How do you bless someone who is against you, what do you say? I truly don’t know. Also, when God’s word says to pray for our enemies, like the ones who have hurt us in some way, does that mean asking Him to keep them safe from harm?
Thank you for your question. I’m sure there are many others who have wondered about how to pray for enemies or those who have hurt them in some way. I don’t know anybody, personally, who hasn’t suffered the pain of rejection and/or betrayal. I remember my Dad would tell me to let it roll off of me like water on a duck’s back. Now, that is easy to say, but certainly not easy to do!
When you pray for those who are against you; those who have hurt you, pray for them without having a personal agenda. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray…you may not ever do more than call their names before the Throne of Grace and say, “Bless them Father.” You don’t have to pray for them to repent or tell God what He needs to do to “fix it.”
Proverbs 4:23 gives us this instruction: More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it. Ask God to locate the origin of your pain and thoughts…show you how you might have opened the door. Sometimes, the actions of others may trigger a painful event from your past that God desires to expose for the purpose of healing. In other words, He will teach you how to guard your mind…to change your feelings and thoughts. (One thing I learned is hurting people, hurt people…sometimes unintentionally.) You don’t have to pray anything specific for those who would despitefully use you or say all manner of evil against you. God will bind up and heal your broken heart. He also knows just how to touch the hearts of your “enemies.”
There was a painful event in my Christian walk, which motivated me to see God about that verse in Proverbs 4. Years ago a close group of friends decided that I was in error…their judgment was very painful! The worst part was, they wouldn’t tell me where I had gone wrong, but neither would they have any more to do with me. For many weeks I laid in my floor, on my face, saying, “God I choose to forgive them, and I ask You to bless them.”
It was several weeks, may have been months, before my feelings changed and I could think about them without feeling the pain of rejection and betrayal. The relationships were not restored as before; we each went our separate ways. But I can truthfully say that I praise God for them, and that He gave me His Peace and Love for them. In the process He healed me of past hurts that I had buried deep inside…situations that I had forgotten! I love each of these dear people and rejoice because they are walking with Him! I can worship with them again.
Jesus died for us while we were His enemies. He has freely forgiven us. Freely we have received, freely we forgive. Always remember: the act of forgiving is a choice, not a feeling. Do not be too hard on yourself…give yourself time to heal…time to process your feelings and thoughts. The Holy Spirit is present to Comfort you and help you pray for those who have hurt you!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 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. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
Love and Many Blessings,
Your Partner in Prayer