I’ve not really been a frequent traveller these days (and by travel, I don’t mean journeying from one country or state to the other) but I can really account for those which I had last year about 30 to 40 times toward Gospel Street which is filled with almost hundreds of churches.
The last or so which Jerry (he’s my closest person in the world and my brother by blood) and I had, was filled with sorry sights. All we could do was feel sorry and pray that God opens his people’s eyes to see that he doesn’t require his people to pray against their enemies nor curse them. Realizing this, I had to go through scripture to read Jesus’ words about prayer.
Pray For Your Enemies
43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;
44But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].
46For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?
47And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
– Matthew 5:43-47
In Nigeria and so many African countries, most prayers revolve around this that we are to pray the Lord to kill our enemies. And who do we see as these enemies? We see those who seem to torment our lives as our enemies; those who seem to annoy us one way or the other and so on but Jesus said PRAY FOR THEM.
You may be asking, It’s so useless! How can I pray for my enemies? Didn’t David also curse his enemies and pray against them? You know, God didn’t call us to follow David but Jesus. If he could pray for his enemies while he looked down from that cross, how much more we? There’s joy in praying for your enemies and even blessing them.
Jesus said, pray for those who persecute you, vs 44 and how’s that possible except it begins with the presence of love for our enemies right here in our hearts? No one can ever pray for their enemies unless there’s the presence of love in that heart. God is love and if he resides right there in us, then love will live right there but if we don’t have his spirit in us, we surely will not love.
If Jesus lived a life of love all his days on earth and still lives to love, then shouldn’t we do the same? Let’s live a life of love! I won’t use the word, should in this statement. There’s no possibility that we will live to love others unless we follow Jesus closely to have him live his life through us. It’s not a question of ‘should’ but of having him live that life through us.
Our problems don’t always lie with our enemies, for our enemies have no power over us if God doesn’t permit them. Let’s stop facing this enemy, enemy, enemy prayer stuff or whatever they call it and get past that notion to embrace that freedom which Christ has offered us to realize that even our enemies deserve our love and prayer.
May God from this day live that life of love through us.