Love and Pray for your Enemies

Love and Pray for your Enemies

By Audrey Botts

Matthew 5:43-45 reads “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.”

I was new to the church, when I was going through a bad divorce. I was a broken person experiencing emotions beyond my control.  

I was struggling with anger, bitterness, and jealousy toward my soon to be ex-spouse and the new love of his life.  

I didn’t have a clue how to handle all these toxic emotions.  As I started my new walk with Christ, I learned that I had to love and pray for the same people who hurt me.  I really struggled with this teaching so I started with a prayer like this: “Dear God, I don’t know why I have to pray for these people, I don’t’ like them, but I will do what you ask.  So please show me how.  Amen.”   

Yes, it was just like that! I didn’t want to pray for them and I surely didn’t love them.  I wanted them to feel the pain and suffering I was experiencing, but the Lord commanded us to love and pray for our enemies, so I did.  

Prayer after prayer, I felt the Lord changing my heart and how I prayed for them.  I started to really care and have compassion for my so-called enemies.  

In time, my own heart was healed through this process and I was released from all anger, bitterness, and jealousy.  Jesus taught me to forgive them and He gave me peace and love in exchange for my obedience.  Thank you, Lord!

 Praying for your enemies is hard and we don’t always get to see the result of all our prayers, but for some reason Jesus has allowed me to see His goodness.   

I recently received an unexpected message from the person who I reluctantly prayed for long ago. She said that Jesus had changed her life through my life and she wanted me to know that.  She asked for my forgiveness for what happened so long ago.  I was taken back by this and very blessed that God let me see His faithfulness and goodness toward me and also toward her.   

We both are now healed and fully restored to the women He intended us to be. We both now serve a mighty God and have found new life through Him.  Hallelujah!

May God give you the strength to love and pray for your enemies.  God bless you.