Praying For Those That Persecute You

“A heart that does not aim at its enemy_s eternal joy is not the full-orbed love that Jesus demands.”Absolute carnage – we see it on the television screens almost daily. Blood shed at the hands of evil-filled humans, who methodically plot to kill, destroy lives and wreck the hearts of families in a million pieces.

Flashing body tolls on the news tickers – shake our cores. With every new body count our souls grow heavy like a kettle ball. We think of the scene of terror – the thumping palpitations of the hearts exposed to such wicked acts.

What fuels such anger and malice? What motivates the hearts of man to carry out such violent deeds? Has the serpent ravaged this world to the point of no return?

We, as Christians, pray fervently: LORD, let your light shine in the darkness. May your love transform this wild hate!

Yet, the terror seems to intensify – and we find ourselves like King David crying out (like in the Psalms) in deep, dark desperation.

We say,

How long, LORD, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? (Psalm 94:3)

Faced with death tolls rising – it’s easy to lose heart. I find myself asking questions, feeling defeated and utterly broken when it appears that evil is prevailing. Lives – young and old – lost at the hands of hate are such a tragedy.

I cry to the LORD, “didn’t you tell us that you overcame the world?” and I tend to forget the portion of the scripture that tells us – “in this world you will have tribulation.”

He has told us – no, assured us – there will be dark days.


When reflecting on so many terrorist attacks across the nation (most recently in Barcelona, Spain) the words of Jesus instructing us to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you” flashes across my mind. (Matthew 5)

To be honest – this verse stings my heart as I think: Have I adequately been on my knees crying out for those that seek such destruction? Why let my heart feel defeated when I have not spent time in my war room claiming the lives, controlled by the evil one, for Christ!

Instead of feeling lost in such heartbreak and mayhem, as a Christian, I need to do what Christ has called all believers to do – pray for those who persecute you and persecute others.

Honestly, this is a tall order. Yet, as John Piper so eloquently wrote,

“A heart that does not aim at its enemy’s eternal joy is not the full-orbed love that Jesus demands.”

If you feel compelled to – please join with me in praying for those that seek carnage:

Father,


You are the redeemer of souls. You can turn a heart of stone into a pumping, soft vessel. Today, I pray for my enemies, the ones that would seek my destruction simply for loving you and the sacrifice you made for us. Speak to their hearts, LORD. Show them your true glory! You liberate those who are captive to sin and under control of the evil one. So, I pray today loose the chains of those harboring ill will toward anyone who stands contrary to their outlook on life. Hold their hearts in your nailed-scared hands. Reveal to them the love you displayed on the cross and the true joy that can be found in you! Wherever in the world they may be – appear to them in dreams, visions through the actions of others – so that they may know the true way in which to walk!


In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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You are Blessed, Beloved.

ImageGod calls us his ‘beloved.’ I love that term, it is such an endearing word. It means, ‘a much loved person, dearly loved.’

I imagine a groom looking up at his sweet bride and calling her darling – for she is so cherished in his eyes. You are cherished in the eyes of God. Cherished more than the crown jewels!  Cherished more than that young groom cares for his bride.

You are God’s masterpiece – His creation – knitted together in your mother’s womb by His hands. We cannot comprehend how great our Father’s love is for us!

Loneliness is a common feeling (especially in the social media times we live in). Communication is constant but not as meaningful, creating a void in our souls.

However, what an awesome feeling to know that your Father is by your side at all times. How wonderful and weighty to realize he sent his son to die on that cross for you. And as Jesus died, he thought of you being his ‘beloved.’ That was his goal – that was His ultimate love.

Remember – if you are feeling down or unloved that God loves you more than the heavens and the earth. Jesus died for you – and looks at you like a cherished artwork that has been on display for centuries.

You are his ‘beloved.’ If you need to say it over and over again in the mirror – do it. Feel his love. It’s always there. Look in the mirror and say – Christ died for me and calls me his beloved, his cherished one!

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. – Isaiah 54:5