A Guide: How Do We Pray For Our Enemies?

On Tuesday, July 26th, 2016, an 84 year old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, was murdered in cold blood while he was leading a mass in France. He was forced to his knees before his throat was slit all while being videotaped. How marred the image of God must be in the people who do things like that, one of them a 19 year old.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28).

So how do we pray for enemies like this? How do we possibly love them like Jesus taught us?

Maybe we try praying the Lord’s Prayer for them.

Our Father in heaven, we pray that our enemies would be converted by your hallowed, holy, sacred name.

We pray that your Kingdom would come upon our enemies and Your will would be done in them and to them. Let this happen on earth before they have to stand before your heavenly throne in judgment.

Give them as little or as much provision as is needed to drive them unto you and to beg for forgiveness of their trespasses. Do the same for us until we have prayed to a place where we are able to forgive them, lest we be accountable in Your judgement.

Lead them away from the path of temptation and deliver them from this evil that has overcome them, because Lord, Your Kingdom is the only Kingdom with power, authority, and glory.

As we pray this for our enemies we pray it for ourselves as well. Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy.

In our lives and especially in our deaths, may the love of Jesus be seen in us by everyone, especially our enemies who need Your love so desperately.

Our lives are yours Lord, and with our final breath, help us to tell our enemies, “God loves You and what the enemy has intended for evil, our God will work for good.”

How Do We Love Our Enemies? A Conversation with Jesus & a Song

Me: “Jesus, enough is enough. You just told us to sell our cloaks and buy swords, but now your telling us not to use our swords but to beat them into plow shares. Are you really telling us to sell our possessions and destroy our weapons? Do you really want us love our enemies, pray for them? Do you really expect us to do that? Won’t living like this will likely get us, our families, and friends tortured and killed.”

Jesus: Yep.

Me: But this isn’t safe.

Jesus: No it isn’t. Do you still love me?

Me: Yes.

Jesus: Those who love me keep my commands. I’m only asking you to follow my example. I did it and so can you. I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Me: Anything else?

Jesus: Forgive the people who hurt you and your loved ones. Show them what God is really like.

Me: What the %#@$, Jesus?

Jesus: I get that a lot. Follow me.

Are You Sure You Want To Be Merry About Christmas?

“Us” vs. “Them” is the opposite of the Gospel. There is just as much “Them” in “Us” as there is “Us” in “Them”. The coming of Christ is the birth of the One who taught us to love “Them” even when they don’t love us. This isn’t to say that Jesus found all of “Them” lovable or even likable, and I think he found “Us” even le

ss so. It almost seemed like he couldn’t stand religious people because they couldn’t loosen up enough to have some food, a drink, and a laugh with the non-religious people. That’s saying a lot for an Orthdox, practicing Jew like Jesus to act so unorthodox. It’s so strange of Jesus to treat his enemies as family and friends and to treat his friends and family as enemies, but that’s the gospel for you. It draws people in and drives people out. Christmas is the birth of the one who makes us all uncomfortable by loving “Us” so much that He is willing to treat “Us” like “Them” and “Them” like “Us”. For us it seems to be “Merry Christmas” today and “Crucify him” tomorrow for we don’t want a Savior we can’t manipulate and control. He’s more like “Them” than we want to admit, which is why we will smile and betray him with a kiss. Come Jesus and show us what love really is, even if it make “Us” squirm when we discover we are “Them”.

Autographed hardcover book + DVD + Digital album sale
Autographed hardcover book + DVD + Digital album sale

Love Our Enemies (A Hymn I’m Writing)

This is a hymn I am writing on Jesus teaching to love our enemies. It’s been difficult to write, probably because it’s difficult to live. I would appreciate your input, and constructive criticism. Lyrics and a link to the lead sheets are below. There are two different versions. One version has a refrain and one does not.

Version One

Lead Sheet: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/bfe6bde374baf3634692de55d8e14a6d5fc7b6e9

Lyrics:

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.

They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.

When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.

You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.

So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.

When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Version Two

Lead Sheet for version 2 available at this link: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/b07d46a46e3fd5cab63d57bf417d81e3fecd1cb1

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies (Version 2)

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.
They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.
When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.
You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.
So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.
When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Ending
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
In the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies