Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pray for your Enemies

Pray for your Enemies
by Suzie M.
Seven years ago my husband and I went into a business deal with a good friend and his wife.   By the end of the project my husband and I were hurting both financially and emotionally. 
Our partners’ wife and I were very good friends, but when the deal went south so did our friendship.  My husband’s pain was felt in his wallet but mine was in my heart. 
I was very angry at her husband for his role in the deal and how he mistreated us, but particularly because it resulted in a huge friendship loss.  Through countless lonely days, nights and tears I heard the still small voice in my head telling me to forgive him. 
Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
I began praying for this man and my friend every day.  I would lie in bed some nights filled with so much anger, but I would pray anyway.  I prayed every time I thought about them.  I finally began asking myself if I had really forgiven him, after all, I had been praying for him on and off for over 3 years.
One day a girlfriend of mine and I went to lunch.  We walked into the restaurant and I saw this man sitting there and thought he sure looks like my friends husband.  As we walked by his table he said “Hi Suzie.” It was him!  My instant reaction was “Hi!  Oh my goodness, I thought that was you.  How have you been?”  We talked for a few minutes and then I sat at my table.  I could not believe my reaction!  I knew at that moment that I had truly forgiven him.  I did not have any more anger and I was genuinely glad to see him and talk with him.
When I read the Crucifixion of Jesus in Luke 23 I am always in awe that Jesus prayed for the people who were crucifying him, casting lots for his clothes and mocking him.  “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Luke 23:34
Jesus was not only praying for the witnesses there that day but he was also praying for you and me.  Once again our perfect Jesus sets the example for us to follow.  No matter what someone has done to you, pray for them.  God will change your heart.
Challenge:  Pray for those who have hurt you mistreated you, or any other offense against you.  Forgive and let Jesus do his work on them and you. 
As a side note, when this man was leaving the restaurant he asked me for my husband’s cell number.  Turns out the Lord did a work in him and he was calling everyone he had wronged!  Go GOD!!

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