Matthew 5:43-45 -- Praying for Those Who Persecute You


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (NASB95)

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. (The Message paraphrase)


"You have heard it said in Leviticus 19:18, 'YOU WILL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR,' and has been interpreted from Psalm 139:21,22 to 'Hate your enemies," but that is not it at all, we are to love our enemies because they are our neighbors too. Pray for those who give you a hard time or treat you unfairly (Proverbs 25:21). This show that you are child of God and acting in a way that reflects who you were meant to be in His eyes; in His image. He faithfully gives His best to everyone (even those who reject Him) causing the sun to always rise and the rain to fall on both evil and good people. 


Every day of prayer, these same people come up. They persecuted me for doing right. Then they have continued to slander me even four years later. This is the second time this week (the first from reading Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World) I have been convicted that the reason You bring them to mind during my days of prayer is to PRAY for them! I know praying daily for a person many years ago caused all the weirdness to go away. So, I will try to remember to pray daily for these people. Makes me sad because they slander me based on a false perception of a situation. Most difficult was that I had spent so much time helping them both with needs they had. We really thought we had been helpful, but instead of a thank you I got a personal attack from two people, and I still get those attacks for things my husband said, and I did not (even what he said was not bad, but for some reason, they are mad at me and not my husband). So, I could whine on, but I will just pray. The weird thing is that all the people who have come to us with their slanders said that they wished they could have been bold enough to say what we did, but I did not say it! So weird. 
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