Pray for my enemies

By Rick Shallenberger

A few weeks ago during a winter storm, there was an automobile accident on the freeway entrance ramp that I use almost every day. A local man lost control of his car on the ice and slid into the guardrail. He wasn’t hurt, so he decided to call his wife to tell her about the accident and let her know he was fine. Then, while he was inspecting the damage to his car, another driver slid on the same ice and hit him — killing him at the scene. I learned about the accident from my son, who works with the son of the man who was killed.

My prayer surprised me. Why did I think of this man after all these years? Why did I feel compelled to pray for him?

While driving past the accident site a few days later, I started praying for my son’s friend and his family. Then it struck me to pray for the other driver. How was he feeling, knowing he had killed someone? As I drove, I prayed that God would give the man comfort, encouragement and peace.

As I was thinking about the angst this man must be suffering, my mind went back to another accident. This one happened 39 years ago. A drunken driver ran a red light and broadsided our car. Two of my sisters, one 8 and the other 3, were killed. I wondered how that driver felt today. I can’t imagine how he has lived with the guilt and pain these past 39 years. But I’ve never even given a thought to him. So I did something I’ve never done before. I prayed for the man who killed my sisters. I asked God to relieve his pain and his guilt. I also asked God to give him peace and to heal him.

My prayer surprised me. Why did I think of this man after all these years? Why did I feel compelled to pray for him? Where were these thoughts coming from?

As I continued to drive and wonder, the sermon I had given the previous week came to mind. I was preaching from Luke 6 and had spent a few minutes on verses 27-28, which read, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” I realized I had just forgiven the man who killed my sisters, and I had prayed for my “enemy.”

It was an unbelievably freeing moment. I had actually asked God to bless the man who had caused my family and me so much pain. What enabled me to do that? That’s when it really hit me. I was able to pray for him because for the first time, I saw this man through Christ’s eyes.

Jesus does not look at him as the man who drank too much and caused a deadly accident. Jesus sees a brother, a precious child of God, whose mistake had horrific consequences. This one mistake took two innocent lives and forever changed two families — his and mine. But the mistake did not stop or change this man from being who he is and always will be — God’s beloved child. God never stopped loving him or wanting to have a personal relationship with him.

I don’t know where this man is today. I have no idea whether he is a believer. All I know is that God inspired me to pray for him and I did. That prayer changed me.

Praying for our enemies frees us from a lot of emotional baggage and enables us to see others as God sees them. Further, it helps us place others in God’s hands and trust him to do his work in them just as he does his work in us. Our “enemies” are God’s children.

My prayer for the man who killed my sisters inspired me. I believe God was reminding me that in Christ, all my friends and all my “enemies” are forgiven, loved and included. Christ provides the restoration: I know that by his love and power I’ll see my sisters again. And he provides the healing and reconciliation: theirs, mine and that of the man who hit us. Jesus is truly our “all in all,” the beginning and the end, the full measure of our lives.

Rick Shallenberger is Pastor of Christ Fellowship Church, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Copyright 2010

www.gci.org

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 9, 1951, and is a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation.

Harjo received a BA degree from the University of New Mexico before earning an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1978.

Her books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (W. W. Norton, 2015); How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2002); A Map to the Next World: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2000); The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award; Secrets from the Center of the World (University of Arizona Press, 1989); She Had Some Horses (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1983); and What Moon Drove Me to This? (Reed Books, 1979). She has also written a memoir, Crazy Brave (W. W. Norton, 2012), which describes her journey to becoming a poet, and which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction.

Also a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam in venues across the U.S. and internationally. She plays saxophone with her band Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CD’s of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

Harjo’s other honors include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Most recently, she received the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry by the Academy of American Poets. About Harjo, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Alicia Ostiker said: “Throughout her extraordinary career as poet, storyteller, musician, memoirist, playwright and activist, Joy Harjo has worked to expand our American language, culture, and soul.  A Creek Indian and student of First Nation history, Harjo is rooted simultaneously in the natural world, in earth—especially the landscape of the American southwest— and in the spirit world. Aided by these redemptive forces of nature and spirit, incorporating native traditions of  prayer and myth into a powerfully contemporary idiom,  her visionary justice-seeking art transforms personal and collective bitterness to beauty, fragmentation to wholeness, and trauma to healing.”

Harjo is Professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Selected Bibliography

Poetry

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (W. W. Norton, 2015)
How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2002)
A Map to the Next World: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2000)
The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton, 1994)
In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990)
Secrets from the Center of the World (University of Arizona Press, 1989)
She Had Some Horses (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1983)
What Moon Drove Me to This? (Reed Books, 1979)

www.poets.org

Lyrics Young Dolph – I pray for my enemies

I’m drankin’ lean and she drinkin’ Hennessey
Boujee b*tch with pornstar tendencies
I put her on a plane to come and visit me
Got time for her to go back, she don’t wanna leave
Already know my haters sick of me
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Trap nigga I came up ’bout sellin’ P’s.

I just left the trap, pulled up at her house
Now she in my lap, no panties under blouse
She say ‘hol’ up’, she want me watch her make it clap
You used to have a nigga she met me and pulled him out
You see a real trap nigga, b*tch on the map
I saw my first 100 pounds of weed and said ‘wow’
A 100 mill in ten years, now I’m thinkin’ right now
The last three years my main dawg been on the run
My lil’ nigga right here with me, he just made bond
She used to hold my palm, yes she my day one
And she f*ck me good ever since day one.

I’m drankin’ lean and she drinkin’ Hennessey
Boujee b*tch with pornstar tendencies
I put her on a plane to come and visit me
Got time for her to go back, she don’t want to leave
Already know my haters sick of me
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Trap nigga I came up ’bout sellin’ P’s.

I pray for my opps, my diamonds hopscotch
I feel like I’m in the movie Belly and I’m Ox
Just pulled up at the spot
Now look what I just got
I wake up in the morning and go buy my young nigga a drop
RIP J Money, free all my niggas on lock
They tried to do me like they did Kennedy
I ain’t mad at cha, I pray for my enemies
I learned how to weigh up dope, takin’ chemistry
2017 Dolph made history
All this f*cking swag on me came from Italy
I been doin’ this s**t y’all niggas remember me.

I’m drankin’ lean and she drinkin’ Hennessey
Boujee b*tch with pornstar tendencies
I put her on a plane to come and visit me
Got time for her to go back, she don’t wanna leave
Already know my haters sick of me
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Real nigga, I pray for my enemies
Trap nigga I came up ’bout sellin’ P’sss.

Young Dolph lyrics Video enemies

www.versuri-lyrics.info

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