A Prayer About Enemy Love
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:32-36
Heavenly Father, if I was ever in doubt about the power of your law to drive me to Jesus, all doubt is freshly removed by this one portion of your Word. I cannot and I will not seek to love like this apart from union and communion with Jesus. So I start my prayer walk through this passage praising you for the measureless mercy you have lavished on me in Jesus.
I’m the ungrateful and wicked one to whom your kindness has been and continues to be so relentlessly expressed in the gospel. I am your son, Most High Father, through your enemy love. Indeed, it was while I was your enemy that you reconciled me to yourself through the death of your beloved Son, Jesus (Rom. 5:10). What wondrous love is THIS, indeed?
So kind Father, every time I try to excuse and recuse myself from loving difficult people, let me know myself to be a difficult person you are constantly and persistently loving.
Who are my enemies I am to love with your love, merciful Father? To whom am I to do good or “lend” something without any strings attached? Show me who I have labeled “enemy” simply out of my bruised pride, hurt feelings and fragile self. Gentle me and humble me in those relationships. Free me from simply avoiding those people and free me from continually rehearsing the ways they have failed to live up to my expectations.
About those who have brought evil to bear in my life-by their destructive words, with their own hands, through their dark machinations and cruel manipulations-give me great wisdom and courage. I will seek to revoke all revenge, as I wait on you, gracious Father.
Lastly, about the people who have labeled me their enemy, help me to care more about your glory than my reputation. I don’t want to obsess over their gossip. I don’t want to be paralyzed by their distance and disdain. Where I need to own my sin and repent, please make it clear to me, loving Father. Where their anger towards me has very little or nothing to do with me at all, sustain me in the chaos while you do your work of redemption.
How I praise you for not rewarding me according to my sins, Father, and how I praise you for fully rewarding me according to Jesus’ righteousness. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ name.