Bulletin Article
March 21, 2004

Pray for Those...

By Doug Long

One of the hardest things to do is to pray for those who persecute you. I know this because I have been in this position before. Forgiving someone however is a liberating experience. God tells us in the 5th chapter of Matthew to pray for those who persecute us. But I think that this concept can be applied to our lives in general, and not merely for those who persecute us because we are Christians. I was speaking with a lady at another church that we were visiting recently and she told me about a person who had done some bad things to her. She decided to pray for this person. I asked her if it was difficult, and she admitted it was extremely difficult at first, but it gradually got easier. She also related that “moving on” became easier because she prayed for this person. Eventually she found it a rewarding experience to pray for those who hurt her. What I found interesting about this exchange with this woman was that I experienced the same thing when I prayed for someone who was hurting me! It went against everything I was feeling, but it got easier, and eventually became a rewarding experience. God’s wisdom is Great!

Matthew 5:43-45
43 "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I say to you, 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, 45that you may be sons of your Father 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.

This lady I am referring to told me that because she didn’t hold a grudge, this person later became a Christian. Keeping her heart on the word of God and not succumbing to “what seems right to a man” Proverbs 12:14, saved a soul. How valuable is a soul?

Mark 8:36
36For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

The answer is that it is more valuable than the whole world!