Day Twenty


Today I thought it would be powerful to address what it means to pray for your enemies, people you are in conflict with, or others that you find it difficult to love and forgive.

It’s easy to pray for those we love, but what about those who have hurt us, abused us, betrayed us?

It’s day 20 of our fast, the Lord would have worked deeply and powerfully in your life. He may even have nudged you about an unresolved conflict or relationship. I pray that you would have the strength to take the next step in pursuing peace.

Remember forgiveness does not mean you have to form reconciliation. I have found over the years that is the Lords’ domain.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)
I want you to think of somebody who irritates you — maybe somebody you’ve got a strained relationship with or who just rubs you the wrong way. I have two questions for you: One, do you pray for that person? Or do you just complain, curse, repeat in your mind over and over again the scenarios that have hurt you? We really do have a choice. One leads to life and the other leads to destruction and no peace.

Paul says in Philippians 1:4, “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy” (NLT).

Paul didn’t just pray for people in his life; he prayed with joy!

There are things in other people’s lives that you’d like to change. You can never change them. You can, however, pray, and let God do his work in other people.

And to be honest, more than often the prayer doesn’t even change them, it changes our HEART towards them.

Paul even told us how to pray for others: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV).

Rick Warren, Pastor and Author of the Purpose Driven Life says we can learn from these verses how to pray for the people in our lives in four ways:

1. Pray that they will grow in love: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

Pray that they will make wise choices: “… so that you may be able to discern what is best …”

Pray that they will live with integrity: “… and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ …”

Pray that they will become like Jesus: “… filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.”

Pray these for yourself and anyone else in your life, and watch how God turns around the relationship you thought had no hope or that needed to be revived.

What is the “fruit of righteousness” that comes through Jesus Christ (see Galatians 5:22-23) and believe for this in your own life, and the life of who you are praying for.

I encourage you today practice the art of ‘blessing’ your enemies and those who have hurt you. Pray crazy, bold, generous prayers of blessing over their lives. And literally watch and feel your heart begin to change. It is one of the most powerful keys to breakthrough I have ever experienced in my own life.


 

1 Comment on “Day Twenty

  1. This is so good, something we all need to do at some point in our lives! My time is now, I will be praying for my enemies or people that have hurt me deeply! At the end of this fast, I have learned to keep the fight the good fight.
    Eph. 6:12, For our struggles are not against flesh and blood, BUT, against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    Thank you Pastor Vanessa for guiding our days of this fast with prayer, your thoughts and integrity, much appreciated

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