by Peter | May 24, 2020
Christians mention one another in their prayers (Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 4:3), and in so doing they bring help and even salvation to those for whom they pray (Romans 15:30; Philippians 1:19). But the final test of compassionate prayer goes beyond prayers for fellow Christians, members of the community, friends, and relatives. Jesus says it most unambiguously, “I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44); and in the depth of his agony on the cross, he prays for those who are killing him, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Here the full significance of the discipline of prayer becomes visible. Prayer allows us to lead into the center of our hearts not only those who love us but also those who hate us. This is possible only when we are willing to make our enemies part of ourselves and thus convert them first of all in our own hearts.
Scripture References: Matthew 5:43-47
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