Prayer for Our Enemies, Blessing our Oppressors
Sermon: Practicing Prayer for Enemies
Theme: The practice of praying for our enemies is necessary if we are going to remain healthy and capable of making peace.
Purpose: The congregation will take prayer for enemies seriously as a discipline and practice.
Scriptures: Romans 12:14-21 Bless those who persecute you, by so doing you will heap burning coals upon their heads.
Luke 6:27-36 Jesus’ call to bless those who persecute you, and do not resist the evildoer.
How should we pray for our enemies? Why is it that often our prayers become imagining our enemies being punished or injured? What impact does our praying have upon our enemies? What impact does our prayer have upon ourselves? What does God do with our prayers for people who do wrong? How do we learn to pray regularly in a way that enables us to let go of our hostility or bitterness? How do we practice praying in a way that will be healing for ourselves and others?
From the sermon:
Practical Steps for praying for someone with whom you are in conflict:
- Pray for at least five minutes each day for that person that causes you anger and fear;
- Allow God to help you to see what you have associated with this person (other past poor relationships;
- Pray both that they be changed and that your heart be changed.
As a result of these steps:
- Be open to seeing them as a child of God – created in God’s own image;
- Trust that God is greater than they are – and will care for your needs;
- Accept that there are places where you need to grow and change as well.
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