“Prayer redirects our hearts- we focus on the need instead of the fault.”- June Hunt
“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”- Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
In Chapter 10 (“Breaking the Power of Your Pelter- Praying for Those Who Pelt You”) of How to Forgive, June Hunt states that the Greek word agape, translated “love” in Matthew 5:44, intrinsically means “a commitment to seek the highest good of another person.” Ms. Hunt defines what it means to pray for our offender’s highest good:
“We pray not that the Lord will prosper that person, but that He will cause growth and maturity. We pray that whatever prompted our enemy to harm us- pride, arrogance, selfishness, deceit- will be addressed by God in His way and in His time.”
June compares our enemies to geodes- rough and rugged on the outside with no apparent beauty, yet containing beautiful crystals on the inside. God knows the potential that lies within our enemies. Over time, something extraordinary may be created. Ms. Hunt goes on to discuss two benefits of praying for our enemies:
1. Prayer insulates us from bitterness. June states that when you consistently pray for your offender’s spiritual growth, change occurs within your heart. Praying for someone consistently provides an added benefit- you develop compassion for that person. Ms. Hunt explains:
“Through prayer, the Holy Spirit softens the hardened pieces of our hearts, hatred is turned to love, the bitter is turned to sweet. We begin to see our enemies through God’s eyes.”
2. Prayer allows us to be controlled by the Spirit, not the offender. By refusing to pray for our enemy, we give power to that person. The offender continues to control what we do. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can experience tremendous freedom when Christ controls our thoughts and actions.
Today’s question: How might June’s statement that “prayer redirects our hearts” transform your view of your wounders? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Holding God responsible”