Lenten Prayer Guide 4.0

Today at West Side, we began using the fourth Lenten Prayer Guide (check out the previous ones: first, second, third).

Lenten Prayer Guide

27 … Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:32-43

The Scriptures seem to presume that we all have enemies. Who are your enemies? Who are those who cause you hardship? Who dislike you? Who seek to cause you injury? Who are those who use you, abuse you, undermine you, slander, mistreat, misrepresent you?

Repent to God in prayer if you have been an enemy to another. Seek reconciliation with the other.

Pray for God to give you love for your enemy. Loving your enemy, doesn’t mean you agree with their behavior.

Pray for your enemy. See them as someone God loves: someone God is drawing into relationship with him; someone who is already a child of God. Pray for healing in their life. Bonhoeffer: In prayer, we go to the enemy and stand by his/her side and plead for him/her to God.

Bless your enemy. Pray that God will bless them. Speak well of your enemy to others.

Do good to your enemy. Pray God will give you opportunity to actively do good for the other. Always be civil. Allow time for God’s grace to work in their life.

Loving and praying for our enemy is a choice we make. And God will help us make the right choices, as we pray for our enemies. People may act toward us in ways exhibiting they are our enemy. But is our responsibility to respond in ways that express that we are NOT their enemy.

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