A prayer for your enemies

This prayer is based on Matthew 5:44 (KJV) “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

This is something that is quite difficult to do for anyone.  Blessing those who are cursing you is not a natural thing for us.  The fact that God has pointed this out to us as something we should do shows that there are some blessings that are locked up in this action.

Love is an action word.  Therefore, in order for us to love our enemies we have to back it up with action.  It is not enough to say “Yes, I love so and so” we have to back up our action by being kind, patient, gentle and blessing our enemies with our words.

Here are some pray for your enemies scripture:

Luke 17:4 (KJV) “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

John 15:12 (KJV) “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Romans 12:19 (KJV) “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Proverbs 10:12 (KJV) “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

What are the benefits of praying for your enemies?

Further in Matthew 5:46 it says “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”  So we see that there is a reward for loving our enemies.  So your blessings may be held back because you are not following this commandment.

Let’s pray this prayer for our enemies so that we can release the blessings of God upon our lives:

Father God, Your word says bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Lord because you have commanded me to act in this manner when I am being persecuted, I offer to you (name of person) to be blessed in Your name Lord. I pray that you will bless this person with (specifically name everything that you know is a godly desire of this person) bless them when they are coming out or going in, when they are laying down and when they are getting up. Bless their entire family, their husband/wife, their children that their entire family will be saved. I pray that they along with their entire family would fulfill the purpose you created them for on this earth. That they would not be lacking in any good thing. That their barn would be overflowing with Your riches from heaven. That you would bless their ministry and their family causing them to prosper above all they could ask think of imagine. I pray hat you would bless and establish to work of their hands for your glory and honor. I pray that you would keep them in good health to do your work and to be used according to your purpose.

I choose this day not to repay anyone evil for evil and as far as it depends on me to live at peace with everyone. I will not take revenge but I will leave room for you Almighty God for it is Yours to avenge; Instead if (name of person) is hungry, I will feed him/her; if he/she is thirsty, I will give him/her something to drink. Whatever is in my power or control to give or do I will do it Lord. I will not stand in the way of their success even more so if it is related to building your Kingdom. I will not be overcome by evil, but I will overcome evil with good.

Lord I pray for your special grace that when I am cursed, I will bless; when I am persecuted, I will endure it; when I am slandered, I will answer kindly.

Lord Jesus, I do not think of myself more highly than I ought, but rather think of myself with sober judgment. For the same persecution I face this day is the same persecution you faced. Even today there are times when I still persecute You and make you out to be a liar when I know what your word says and still disobey. I ask that you forgive me Lord and make intercession for me as I am reminded daily of your mercy & grace. I pray that as merciful & gracious as you have been to me so I will offer the same to (name of person) and I forgive them this day.
Therefore, in view of Your mercy, transform me by renewing my mind with Your word. Cause me to see __________ as you see them, to have a heart of love for them as you love them to understand them through Your eyes and to have speech seasoned with wisdom when I speak to them.

In blessing (name of person) I acknowledge that I am indeed your daughter/son and I know that my reward is with you for honoring you by obeying your word. In return I ask for nothing more than a release from any evil thoughts, intentions or feelings and a renewed joy and freedom to serve You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Scriptures:

Romans 12:1-3, 14,17-21

1 Corinthians 4:12,13,

Luke 6:27-36, 38,

Matthew 5:3-5, 9-12, 44-48,

Deuteronomy 28:6

Here are other bible verses on spiritual warfare

Here is an article on How Social Media has changed Spiritual Warfare

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www.missionariesofprayer.org

By Kim Butts

“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 sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45a).

“But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Choosing to love and pray for those who persecute or mistreat us mystifies unbelievers, and yet this is the lifestyle to which we are called by God. We are to love all people regardless of how they treat us. Although some may set themselves up as enemies against us, they are people in need of a saving relationship with Jesus and an understanding of His Lordship in their lives. The Word of God instructs us to love them, praying that they might enter into His kingdom! Before reading any further, bring someone to mind whom you would consider to be your enemy. Read, study, apply and pray the truths from God’s Word that your enemies might be drawn to Jesus’ kingdom.

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Here is a free PDF of all the Scriptures in this article. They can help you stay on track in your prayers for your enemies.

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Knowing Your True Enemy

Scripture states that our chief enemy is Satan. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we should recognize that behind our flesh and blood enemies ultimately Satan is at work.

The Apostle Paul probably understood this concept more fully than any of the disciples or other believers. At one time, he persecuted the followers of Jesus, even casting his vote to have many put to death while he watched in approval. A case could certainly be made that Paul considered all believers to be his enemies and vice versa. But when God got Paul’s attention on the road to Damascus, which ultimately led to his salvation through Jesus, he grasped for the first time, the mercy of the Lord. He understood that the followers of Jesus were not his enemies, as God gave him tremendous insight about his real enemy–Satan.

Paul went from being an enemy of God to a child of God through a personal encounter with Jesus. He described the difference, from personal experience, to the Philippian church: “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven”  (Philippians 3:18-20a).

It is also important to remember that, like Paul, each of us was at one time an enemy of God: “Since we now have been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled shall we be saved through His life? Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:9-11). Because we have experienced the mercy of God, should we not also extend it to others?

  • Examine your heart to be sure that you are not allowing the devil to have a foothold in your life where you have acted against others in a manner unworthy of Christ. With repentance and godly sorrow, ask for His forgiveness and seek the forgiveness of those you may have damaged by your words or actions. We are either serving the cause of Christ, or doing the work of the enemy of our souls.
  • Perhaps there are people who have hurt or persecuted you or your family in some way. If so, God calls you to forgive them. Pray that the Father will help you to see these enemies through His eyes. Ask Him to give you a forgiving heart. It may mean that you will need to go to someone to extend forgiveness so that your relationship may be healed and restored.

Jesus Prayed for His Enemies

Jesus had enemies . . . and they crucified Him. Yet, as we know, He had the ultimate victory in the end. But because God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die, His Son did not leave the earth without praying for those who were responsible for His death. Jesus, who told us to love and pray for our enemies, demonstrated the ultimate gift of love while hanging on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a). Jesus prayed for His enemies . . . how can we do less?

One of the most amazing commands of Christ is to love our enemies. In our flesh, we naturally want to retaliate or fight back when we are treated unkindly or persecuted. Jesus preached forgiveness and mercy: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). His lifestyle demonstrated grace, that ours might also. He took His command one step further, adding another level of difficulty: “Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44b).

May this article give you a firm foundation upon which to train your children to love their enemies so that they might be determined to pray for them to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jude also spoke about the importance of mercy: “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them” (Jude 1:22). Because of God’s mercy, we were saved. We must extend His mercy to those who are still enemies of God, so that they might also receive what we have been given.

Overcome Evil with Good

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21). How will the unsaved most likely come into God’s kingdom–through your revenge, or by your loving acts and your prayer for them? This is an extremely important concept to teach children, as their first response is often to hit back, think up revenge, cease friendship, etc., rather than praying, continuing to be kind, etc.

Sometimes I say unkind things to my husband that I would normally not say to him. Precious man that he is, he always responds kindly to me and is never harsh. He doesn’t try to get back at me or say something hurtful in response. What does this do in me? It drives me to God in repentance and then to my husband to apologize! How many arguments or hurtful situations in our families could be avoided by simply responding kindly instead of fighting back–submitting to God instead of to our natural human sinful flesh! It really works! I feel terrible for hurting my husband’s feelings or lashing out at him because he is kind! If he responded back to me in anger, I doubt I would feel very repentant. But because he responds in love, it brings me back into right relationship with him, and with God.

How to Pray for Your Enemies

Our Lord is the “God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17b). Sometimes it is hard to imagine that our enemies could ever turn away from evil and come to Christ, but He has called us to pray for them. What seems impossible to us is possible with God (Mark 10:27). What greater love could there be than to pray for God to draw them into His kingdom? Remember the people you and each family member considered as enemies? Here are some passages from Colossians that you can pray on their behalf:

  • Pray that God will rescue them from the dominion of darkness and bring them “into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
  • Pray God will make known to them His glorious riches through the mystery of Christ (Colossians 1:27). Pray that they may “know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3).
  • Pray that they will “put to death whatever belongs to earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”  (Colossians 3:5).
  • Pray that they will rid themselves of “anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from lips” (Colossians 3:8).
  • Pray that they will become one of God’s children, holy and dearly loved, clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
  • Pray they will come to know and possess the love of the Lord (Colossians 3:14).
  • Pray that they will come to know the peace of Christ and that it will rule in their hearts (Colossians 3:15).

–Kim Butts is the co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries.

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Here is a free PDF of all the Scriptures in this article. They can help you stay on track in your prayers for your enemies.

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www.harvestprayer.com

There is power in prayer. We do live in the world where we can’t see everything that is going in our lives and the lives of others. The spiritual realm has battles going on that we are not aware of.

Many of us couldn’t handle seeing this even if we have that gift. We need to use what we against the enemy and all enemies. Remember the prayer of Jabaz? “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

Prayer binds Satan and can pierce darkness along with using our faith. Jesus Christ took the enemy and destroyed him at Calvary—meaning we have the power through prayer to fight and prayer for protection.

Jesus proclaimed:

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy–nothing will harm you.”

God will keep you from harm. He is our rock and fortress from our enemies.

Pray scriptures over your life and for others.  You will find them after each prayer.

“My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies (2 Samuel 22:3-4).”

Here are prayers you can use against your enemies and key scriptures to also help you:

“I come against all darkness, hate, uneasiness with the power of God’s word. I stand on the authority of Jesus Christ his victory of you at Calvary. You will not defeat me for I am in Christ and I am protected. I claim favor over the darkness used by people or in the spirit world.”

Scripture:  A reminder for you in the Psalms to help you: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.”

“I bind all negative powers and influences today. You have no authority over me or the household. I speak confusion into Satan’s assignments.”

Scripture: Isaiah 54:17: No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

“Forgive me and clean me Jesus Christ. I command all demons must cease in the Name of Jesus! I pray a covering over the church, the community, the world, and my family.”

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:18: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever.”

“I come against all those spirits trying to confuse me and hurt my mind or body. I am a child of the highest God. I have the garment of praise today. Nothing can hurt me. My boss, people, creditors, the spirit of intimidation or the spirit of fear can’t harm me. I am more than a victor in Jesus. I rebuke these distractions and walk in the love of Christ.”

Scripture: Psalm 121:7-8: “The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

The prayer of David is another prayer you can use for protection against enemies. “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust, let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.”

“Father, I pray for protection at night and during the day. Lead me to righteousness, and strengthen me.”

Scripture: In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 we read that we don’t have to be crushed despite being persecuted. Persecution is not just from people, but from the devil. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

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My co-worker’s words were unkind and untrue. How could Beth say such a thing about me? She’s a Christian. She should know better. All day her words simmered in my soul. Each time my mind hit the replay button, my eyes narrowed and my jaw tightened.

That night as I lay in bed, I thought about what I’d do the next time I saw Beth. Avoid her? Confront her? Pretend nothing had happened?

At some point during my mental rant, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44: “Pray for those who spitefully use you…” (NKJV). Humph. I’d rather tell Beth exactly what I think and complain about her to other people. I’d rather harbor a grudge and avoid her. But the Holy Spirit kept poking me: If you want to do what pleases and glorifies Jesus, pray for those who hurt you.

“Lord,” I said, “please show me how to pray for Beth with a sincere heart.”

Be Honest with God

The next morning I settled into my favorite chair to have my devotions, but my heart was restless. First, I wrote Beth’s name on my daily prayer list. Then I admitted my feelings to God. “Lord, I don’t like Beth or what she did to me. She’s difficult to get along with anyway, and now she’s spreading gossip about me.” God knew what had happened. I didn’t need to airbrush what she’d done or camouflage how I felt about it.

Next I confessed my unwillingness to change my attitude. “Lord, I can’t get over this. I’m too angry, too hurt. I don’t want to pray for Beth, but I want to obey you.” I reminded myself that Jesus’ blood had washed away her sin as it had washed away mine. God loves her as much as he loves me. I said, “Lord, help me see what you see when you look at Beth.”

Use God’s Words

After I prayed, I opened my Bible to Matthew 5. I read Jesus’ words in verses 43-46:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”

“Okay, Lord,” I prayed, “work in my heart and in Beth’s. Show us that we’re on the same team—your team. Heal this wound in my heart. Heal the wounds in her heart. Help us both to be the daughters you’ve designed and redeemed us to be.”

Next I turned to Colossians 1. I often pray verses 9-11 for my children, so why not use Paul’s prayer as a guide for this situation with Beth?

“Lord, Give us wise minds and spirits attuned to your will. Help us to move toward a thorough understanding of how you work and how you want us to work together. Enable us to make you proud of the way we honor you in our workplace. Give us the strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy” (MSG paraphrased).

In the days that followed, I continued to incorporate God’s Word into my prayers for Beth. When I read Psalm 37, I asked God to give her the desires of her heart (v. 4). When the day’s reading was James 1, I asked God to give her wisdom (v. 5) and to help her be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (v. 19). I prayed the same things for myself.

Wait for Him to Work

As I prayed for Beth, my anger and resentment decreased. At work, when we passed each other or sat in a meeting together, I greeted her with less animosity churning in my stomach. I asked about her kids and her husband. Yes, the conversation between us was awkward at first, but gradually we both relaxed.

Several weeks passed. One day Beth and I were both working in the copier room. She seemed agitated when I said hello, so I asked, “How’s your day going?” As she revealed details about an ongoing trial, I realized why she might have misjudged me, why she’d misinterpreted some of my actions and words. I recognized that I’d misjudged her too. The Holy Spirit nudged my heart. See? Aren’t you glad you’ve been praying for her?

When Beth finished her story, I could honestly say to her, “I’ve been praying for you, and I’ll keep praying for you.” She smiled.

Pursue Peace through Prayer

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8,10)

Though we were opposed to him and all his ways, Jesus died for us, removed the barrier of our sin, and brought us into relationship with God. Because his reconciling love now resides within us by his Spirit, we can extend that love to others. God no longer counts our sins against us, so we no longer hold other people’s sins against them (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Our attitudes toward those who offend us won’t change overnight. Sometimes the adjustment takes months, years, or maybe even decades. But God will be faithful to change our perspective as we come to him in prayer. Praying for those who have hurt us is not only obedience to God’s Word, but also opportunity for him to work in our hearts and within other people. He will help us move beyond our sinful attitudes about others and toward his love for them.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he wrote,

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister….Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:13, 19, NIV)

Because I was honest with God, prayed his Word for Beth and myself, and waited for him to change my attitude, God healed my hurt and softened my heart toward her. He helped me avoid putting obstacles in her path and seek the attitudes and actions that led toward peace. He freed me to extend the love of Christ to her, as he first gave this same peaceable, forgiving love to me.

People are bound to hurt us. But if we take those hurts to God, he can help us pursue the path that will glorify him and edify others.

Do you need to add someone to your prayer list?

Not her real name

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