I’m working on this. If enemies were limited to the people I come in physical contact with in my daily life, I’d be pretty much free of this directive because I don’t have any personal enemies. Undoubtedly there are people who don’t like me, but I don’t know who they might be because I stay away from much of what is negative. That’s just part of my disposition.
But what about those enemies outside my immediate orbit that Jesus asks me to pray for? Those people in power with different political views, or those who carry guns, or those who have different ideas about voting rights? I certainly don’t want to pray for their success, and so my easy way out is not to pray for them at all, to ignore them. I make the excuse that in ignoring them, I am keeping positive, not adding negative energy.
But I know better. I am being selfish. We are all children of God; we all need prayers that our hearts will open to love. And, for sure, I don’t know what God is up to. I try to listen through the ears of Job. I listen as Jesus continues:
…So that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Matt.5:44-45
There is much more going on these days that we can possibly imagine; what will transpire is much more than we can hope for. Praying for my enemies gives me hope.