Pray for Our Enemies?

Last night I was thinking about those people for whom I pray.  I always remember to pray for my family and my friends, especially those who are struggling with ill health or personal issues. I pray for help with things I’m having trouble with.  I also join in with people around the world to pray for the victims of disaster and war.  In short, I pray for those whom I love.

Jesus said to love our neighbours as ourselves.  This raises the much discussed question of just what makes a person our neighbour.  In my opinion everyone is a neighbour.  I have many neighbours whom I have not met, or may never meet, neighbours whom I like and neighbours whom I do not like for one reason or another.  Not only that, but I’m sure that many of them don’t like me either.  They may not like what I stand for, how I look, how I behave, or the other people I hang with whom I hang around.

So, if I pray for those whom I love and am supposed to love my neighbour that means I should be praying even for my enemies.  While I am praying for Canada’s troops who are at war and their families, I should also be praying for the enemy soldiers and their families.  As I pray for the innocent victims I need to also pray for those who did them harm.  This is not an easy concept.

As in the Lord’s Prayer we pray for the forgiveness of our sins (debts or trespasses) as we forgive those who sin against us, when someone has done something to hurt me I can at least pray for God’s help to forgive them.  Even if they don’t forgive me I can still pray for their wellbeing.

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