TEXT: Luke 6:27-31
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 161 messages in this series.
This is message #162 titled, How to Fight Your Enemies On Your Knees
During the many times we have talked about prayer in the Bible, we have often mentioned the importance of going to our prayer closets — a private place where we can get away from the world and alone with God. However, we must not fall into the trap of treating our prayer closet as a place to hide from the world and the difficulties of life. Yes, prayer to God is a way of gaining comfort and solace as we fight off the world, the flesh, and the devil. However, the prayer closet is also a place of preparation. It is a place where we get suited up to go back out into the world and do battle in a Godly manner. Jesus’ words in our passage for today paint a vivid picture of this truth.
Listen to Jesus’ command: “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you.” Jesus’s words are not complicated. They are not difficult to understand. But they are remarkably hard to obey. Just how can you love your enemy? In our natural mindset, the word “enemy” denotes some whom we have hatred for. How could we love such a person?
The key is to get rid of our natural mindset. Jesus challenged his followers to live beyond the reasoning of the world. The natural mindset says, ‘Hate your enemies.’ It feels unnatural for us to do anything else. However, the Christ-like mindset says, ‘Love your enemies.’ So, how can we go from hating our enemies to loving our enemies? One way in which we can do this is through prayer. Jesus tells us, “pray for them which despitefully use you.”
Prayer can change your perspective on a person, no matter how much you dislike them and no matter how negatively they treat you. Just try praying for those people on the job who hate you for seemingly no reason or that person who has a reason – maybe it is because you are a christian,and they have it out for you or your annoying spouse, your disobedient child, your rebellious teenager, your boss who seems to have it out for you, the unsaved person who ridicules and belittles you every chance they get, the friend who said he would pay back the money you loaned to him. Pray that God would help you see those people as He sees them.
John Piper says that we ought to pray for our enemies the way we want others to pray for us. He suggests using the Lord’s Prayer as a starting point and provides this as an example: “Our Father which art in Heaven, grant that my enemy — my colleague who snubs me, my wife who belittles me, my child who disrespects me, the ISIS member who wants to kill me — grant that they would come to hallow your name. Grant that they would treasure you above all, and reverence you, and admire you more than anything. Grant that my enemy would come under the saving, purifying sway of your kingly rule. Grant, Father, that my enemy would love to do your will the way the angels do it in heaven. Grant, Father, that my enemy would have all the physical resources of food and clothing and shelter and education and health-care and transportation. And forgive my enemy of his sins, as you bring him to repentance, and make him a forgiving person, and protect him from overpowering temptations, and from the destructive power of the devil. Amen.” Can you imagine praying for your enemy like that? Probably not, but that is what Jesus commanded.
However, prayer is not all that Jesus commanded us to do for our enemies. He also requires that we treat them in a Christ-like manner. He says, “unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
We often expend words in order to resolve issues between ourselves and people who could be described as enemies. Normally, these words are angry and full of bitterness and hate. Instead of using words that only deepen the negativity between us and our enemies, let’s use our words to pray to God about our enemies. And, then, let’s use our actions to demonstrate Christ-like love to our enemies.
Once a Bible study group decided to make a prayer list of the people they “disliked” the most, and then pray for these people every week as part of the Bible study. Over the course of the next ten years, all but one of the people on that list became believers. The reason why almost all of these “enemies” became Christians is because the members of that Bible study prayed for them and showed grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness toward them.
Imagine one day being able to call your enemies your friends. Imagine being able to sit down with them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Such an outcome is possible through prayer and through the demonstration of Christ-like love each and every day. So, get to your prayer closet, start praying for your enemies, and then come out and treat them as Jesus Christ would.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.