Psalm 35:12-13 “They repay me evil for good; my soul is forlorn. But as for me, when they were sick, I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting. I prayed with head bowed on my bosom.”
In these verses prayers and fasting are offered for the psalmists enemies. He is praying for those people who have been pursuing him, lying about him and treating him with contempt. This is one of the hardest things to do. Praying for the well-being of your enemies seems backwards. If our enemies were sick or weakened in some other way, there would be relief for us. We wouldn’t have to worry about being treated badly or being persecuted somehow. All would be well in the world. Yet this verse calls us to pray for our enemies, other scripture tells us to love our enemies. We are reminded throughout the word of God that we are all children of God. A children’s song tells us that Jesus loves all the children of the world and we know we are called to follow in Jesus footsteps. Who do you struggle with? Who is your enemy? Search your heart and open your ears to hear who God is calling you to pray for and to love as He loves. It could be a nation or religion; it could be leaders of your country or state. It may even be a co-worker or a neighbor. When you find yourself feeling mistreated in some way, lift a prayer for well-being of your enemy.
When we pray, hearts are changed. Help us see the need to lift everyone in prayer, even our enemies. You have called us to love as you love but we cannot do it without your help. Change our hearts, hear our prayers and guide our steps in love and peace. Amen.