“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who mistreat you.”- Luke 6:27-28
“I wasn’t talking to them [the protestors], I was praying for them.”- Ruby Bridges
Today, Pastor Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 6 of Grace Is Greater with the final two steps on the journey of grace.
3. Pray for your enemies. In 2 Timothy 4:16 (NLT), the apostle Paul writes: “The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me.” In this passage, Paul references a trial where his life hung in the balance. In this extreme moment of need, no one showed up. Thus, this hurt came from people Paul trusted.
Yet, even though the people Paul loved and sacrificed for deserted him, he prays that it “might not be held against them (v. 16).” Thus, Paul reflects what Jesus told all of us to do in Luke 6:27-28.
Perhaps, Pastor Idleman notes, when you read that passage and attach the name and face of the person who mistreated you, Jesus’ command seems impossible. But, Kyle encourages, pray for the person who hurt you. It “will do more to get you down the path of forgiveness and grace than anything else.”
4. Lean on Him. Paul states that even though people let him down, “The Lord stood with me and gave me strength (v. 17).” When people seem absent, God seems most present. As you lean on God, you’re able to forgive. When your forgive, you:
- choose to release it
- pray for your enemy
- (most importantly) recognize God stands with you- He’ll have the final word
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you pray for those who mistreat you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The grace effect we experience”