Pray For Your Enemies

January 6th, 2014

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Psalm 35:1-14

Psalm 35 is a prayer for deliverance from enemies seeking the psalmist’s life. In the middle of the prayer, occasioned by his enemy’s misfortune, evidently a life-threatening sickness, a dramatic change in the prayer occurs. It is in vivid contrast to verse 12 where the enemy is described as rewarding “evil for good.” The psalmist stands that approach on its head. With evident heartfelt compassion he goes into mourning, earnestly–even desperately–seeking the Lord’s intervention on their behalf but to no avail.

While it may raise the issue of unanswered prayer, the most dominant attitude it expresses is a depth of concern for his enemy as if he were a close relative or friend. This prayer expresses the attitude enjoined by Jesus to return good for evil, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

Maybe praying for an enemy with this attitude is its own answer to prayer even if what one specifically prays for does not come to pass. The transformation of one’s spirit through this Christlike spirit is an ideal to be desired.

Author: H. Ray Dunning

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