Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lessons from Corrie // Praying for your enemies

Together we said it aloud:"War." 

It was five hours after the Prime Minister's speech. How long we clung together, listening, I do not know. The bombing seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the airport. At last we tiptoed uncertainly out of Tante Jans's front room. The glowing sky lit the room with a strange brilliance. The chairs, the mahogany bookcase, the old upright piano, all pulsed with an eerie light. 
Betsie and I knelt down by the piano bench. For what seemed hours we prayed for our country, for the dead and injured tonight, for the Queen. And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany. I looked at my sister kneeling beside me in the light of burning Holland. "Oh Lord," I whispered, "listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for those men at all." 

As I was reading a chapter from The Hiding Place this morning I was touched at the thought that Betsie, Corrie's sister, prayed for the Germans. The enemies. The men that would rip her away from her beloved home into the dark, frightening unknown. The very ones that would extinguish her health and eventually her life. This struck a chord with me. I wouldn't say I really have any enemies. That's a harsh word. But there are a few people who I don't think very highly of. People I would be perfectly happy never to cross paths with again. How often do I pray for them? In all honestly, hardly ever...if ever. If Betsie could pray for those who would torture her, her loved ones, and eventually kill her, how could I not pray for those who have only just hurt my feelings?

No only does God command us to pray for our enemies in Matthew 5:44, He commands us to LOVE them as well: "But I say to you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!". Gosh, that's hard. But, God through this Spirit and grace CAN give us to ability to do so. 

Growing up, my parents encouraged me on several occasions to pray for those whom I didn't like. They told me that not only does it glorify God but often when you pray earnestly for your enemies it prevents you from becoming bitter and grows a spiritual love for that very person. They were right. It's hard to consistently think bad thoughts or speak negatively toward someone when you are praying for them. 

This morning I was convicted to begin taking up that practice again. I challenge you guys to do the same. How different would the church look if we were all continuously praying for our enemies? 

No comments:

Post a Comment