Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! (Job 42:10)

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! (Matthew 5:44)

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So much of what we learn in Scripture is counter-intuitive. Whoever heard of loving people that hate you? And praying for those who traumatize, torture, or abuse you? It’s absurd from a human standpoint. Preposterous!

Job is known as the guy who suffered more than just about anyone else has suffered in history apart from Jesus Himself. Job lost everything he owned including all of his children in a terrible storm. He weathered that disaster emotionally and kept His faith in God. Then the devil took his health away. This brought him extremely low, and he loathed his life.

Friends gathered around him, but their good intentions went south as they countered Job’s complaints with judgement and foolish lectures. In the end, God set these “friends” straight, and He instructed Job to pray for them. Job did so obediently, and hope was restored to him, and his life was set to rights once again. In fact, Job’s situation in life after his struggle was much greater than before.

Think of people in your past who have betrayed you, belittled you, intentionally harmed you, abandoned you, stole from you… Anyone coming to mind? Perhaps a small – or not so small – ensemble of enemies has gathered in your mind as we ask these questions.

Look each one in the eye of your imagination, and pray for them – pray this plain and simple prayer over each one.

Father,

One by one, I bring my enemies before Your throne. Lord, the impact their acts of injustice have had on my life is overwhelming. It has caused me great anger and pain. Even the mention of their names or an object that triggers the memory of their activity in my life gives me cause to seethe in my emotions.

Lord, You have made some statements that I sometimes view as mere suggestions. Sometimes I wish they were. In some instances, I feel my circumstances must be the exception to Your rule. But they’re not. They are Your commands. And if I call myself Your follower, I cannot have it both ways. When You say these hard things, I can trust it is for my ultimate good. You have promised me an abundant life, a blessed life, in spite of all I’ve gone through.

So, Lord, I bless my enemies, each one. I don’t know what they have been through. They may have suffered even more injustice than they have dealt towards me, so I issue forgiveness for any offense I am still hanging on to. I release that to You now. Forgive me for walking in unforgiveness; that is a principle You have made clear over and over in Scripture. I chose the path of forgiveness, Lord, no caveats, no exceptions, no excuses.

Bless my enemies. Bless them with provision; prosper them. Give them insight into how much You love them. I pray that they would find joy and peace in their hearts through discovering Your great love.

Thank You for hearing my prayer. Thank You for teaching me to walk in Your principles.

I give You praise! You are changing me from the inside out.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!

 

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

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