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.
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,
Here are other bible verses on spiritual warfare
Here is an article on How Social Media has changed Spiritual Warfare
King James Version
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;
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
A Conservative Version
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,
But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Anderson New Testament
But I say to you, Love your enemies: bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you:
Bible in Basic English
But I say to you, Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you;
Daniel Mace New Testament
but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who traduce you, and persecute you:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you,
Godbey New Testament
But I say unto you, Love your enemies with a divine love, bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you:
John Wesley New Testament
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you:
Jubilee 2000 Bible
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you;
Julia Smith Translation
But I say to you, Love your enemies, praise them cursing you, do well to them hating you, and pray for them threatening you, and driving you out.
King James 2000
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Modern King James verseion
But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,
Modern Spelling Tyndale-Coverdale
But I say unto you, Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you. Pray for them which do you wrong and persecute you;
But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you,
The Emphasized Bible
But, I, say unto you, Be loving your enemies, and praying for them who are persecuting you:
Thomas Haweis New Testament
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who treat you insolently, and persecute you;
But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;
World English Bible
But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,
Worsley New Testament
but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that abuse you and persecute you;
Youngs Literal Translation
but I — I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you,
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In Matthew 5:44, Jesus tells His disciples that they should “pray for those who persecute you.” This is timely instruction for our nation especially during these turbulent times, but, have you ever wondered what praying for your enemies does? After all they don’t see or hear the prayer so how can it affect them?
The wonderful thing about prayer is that you don’t have to witness it or even believe in it for it to affect you. This should be encouraging for us when we have to deal with an “enemy” and help us pray for them because:
1. You’re Not Defeated Just Because Your Foe is an Unbeliever.
Of course this assumes that your enemy is an unbeliever. In my experience I have found it easier to forgive and pray for those who don’t believe because I’m not expecting them to act like believers in the first place.
Those whose lives are not consciously led by the Lord shouldn’t be expected to act like Christians because they don’t believe. This is why I find it easier to offer them forgiveness. Most times they don’t know what they are doing, who they are doing it to and the consequences they face from an avenging God. I get why Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
The offense that really hurts is the one committed by a believer in Christ. Many times your worst enemy is in the church, singing alongside you or serving you the communion. It’s easy to pray for someone who is lost, doesn’t know, refuses spiritual things. You can feel sorry for this person and more easily forgive them because they are offending in ignorance. But how to forgive a brother who shares the faith and worships alongside you?
Even for this brother in this situation, prayer is the answer and the power required to heal because the One who answers prayer is the Lord of both you and your enemy, believer or non-believer.
2. The Prayer of a Righteous Person can Avail Much.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
– James 5:16
Only a believer can effectively offer a prayer to God. I am often saddened at the thought of how much energy is expended throughout the world every day and night by sincere people who are praying to entities, ancestors and beings that are not God and have no power to hear, let alone answer prayer.
This knowledge alone should spur us on to pray fervently not only for our enemies but also that God send out workers to proclaim the good news of the only true God, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As far as our personal enemies are concerned, we need to pray for them because no one else may be praying for them.
3. All Things do Work for Good and God’s Purpose.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
– Romans 8:28
Even those who consciously work against God are ultimately in His service and our prayers put them there. The only difference is that they will serve unknowingly and will receive no reward for their effort.
There’s no reason to feel helpless when confronted with our various enemies in this life because God has clearly instructed us in what to do in order to defeat them. Love them so that their attack becomes unwarranted and worthy of judgment; pray for them so that God will work directly in their lives either to limit their attack or win them over to faith and fellowship. Either way prayer is the key to victory.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ said Jesus in his famous Sermon on the Mount. “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” (Matthew 5:43).
If you’ve ever wondered why many people refused to follow Jesus during his earthly ministry, you have to look no further than that verse.
In our day, we have watered down the term “enemy” so much that this command has lost much of its shock value. Today, “enemy” is used primarily in reference to people who are rude to us or treat us unkindly. We even use the portmanteau “frenemy” to refer to an associate pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival.
But in Jesus day, the Jews in Israel had real enemies. For the entirety of their existence as a people they had been fending off enemies — from their slavery in Egypt to the state of occupation by their latest enemy, the Roman Empire. Telling them to love and pray for enemies was akin to telling the Christians in Iraq to love and pray for ISIS.
And yet, that is exactly what Jesus was saying. When Jesus gave the command to love and pray for our enemies he knew it would one day require praying for Islamic extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda who murder his Bride. Jesus was saying that when we think of those people, we no longer even see them as enemies. As John MacArthur explains, “we are not to be enemies of those who may be enemies to us. From their perspective, we are their enemies; but from our perspective, they should be our neighbors.”
But how do we do that? How should we pray for these neighbors who want to murder members of our family? Such a task is difficult, but there are three specific ways we can pray for those who are engaged in persecution against Christians:
1. Pray for their conversion
There are two primary reasons we don’t pray for the conversion of Islamic extremists. The first reason is that we believe it is absurd to think they’ll become Christians. The second reason is that we fear they might actually convert.
The first reason is more common, since praying the terrorists will convert seems like a useless plea. We recognize the theological truth that God can do for them what he did for us: provide the gift of grace that they might be saved (Ephesians 2:8). But we look at the situation “realistically” and tell ourselves that the probability of their genuine conversion is so close to zero that it would be a waste of our time (and God’s) to even bother to ask.
No doubt such conversions are unlikely and rare. Yet we should pray for their conversion anyway. If we truly love our enemy, how could we not at least petition God on their behalf?
Another, less frequent, reason we don’t pray for their conversion is because we fear they may actually repent. Like Jonah in Nineveh, we want our enemies to receive their just desserts, not mercy and forgiveness. Consider all of the Christians who dutifully prayed for the Nazis. How would they have felt if they discovered that Hitler, in the moments prior to his death, had truly repented of his sins and was forgiven by God? Many of those Christians would have felt cheated, as if it was unfair of God to forgive such horrific crimes. They would likely want to complain, as Jonah did when God spared the Ninevites, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2)?
But it is precisely because he is a gracious and compassionate God that we ought to pray for the conversion of our enemies. How could we do anything less than ask God to show them the same grace shown to us?
2. Pray the evil they do may be restrained
There is no dichotomy in praying for the good of our enemy and praying that their evil actions be restrained. It is to their benefit as well as ours that they be prevented from committing more evil. For those who have hardened their heart against God, it would be better that their life was shortened than for them to continue to persecute his children.
The protection of innocents from slaughter may require human governments to take military action against that Islamic extremists. We are warranted in supporting the just use of force in restraining such evil. But we should remember that while the death of the terrorists may be the only effective way to restrain their actions, we should not rejoice in their suffering or death (Proverbs 24:17).
3. Pray they will receive divine justice
Just as we seek justice on earth from duly established governmental authorities, we can seek the divine justice of our holy God. As John N. Day says, “hereas love and blessing are the characteristic ethic of believers of both testaments, cursing and calling for divine vengeance are their extreme ethic and may be voiced in extreme circumstances, against hardened, deceitful, violent, immoral, unjust sinners.”
In asking that divine justice be done, we should be careful to guard our motives. Praying for divine justice can be a way to circumvent our duty to love our enemy. While we must leave vengeance to God, we must not forget what is commanded of us. As Paul writes in Romans 12:19-21:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In the order of our prayers, asking for divine justice should be included as the “last resort” option, a plea for doing what is necessary for those who will neither turn to God nor turn away from doing evil.
As former enemies of God, we should be gracious and grateful that we are allowed to pray for our current enemies, secure in the knowledge that Jesus will hear us. We should be thankful enough for the grace of God that we want even our enemies to receive it too. But if they refuse and harden their hearts against the one who would spare them, then we must ask they receive the divine retribution due everyone apart from the righteousness of Christ.
Additional Resources: In discussions of praying for our enemies it’s important to consider the role and relevance of the imprecatory prayers found in the Bible. The topic was too complex to address in this brief article, so for more on that topic I recommend Sam Storms’ essay “Imprecations in the Psalms.”