Why does God tell us to pray for our enemies?

We all know people whose sole purpose, it seems, is to be our stumbling block in life. They bring us sorrows, cause us strife and surround us with challenges we’d rather not have.  And yet, God says we should pray for them. Why?

There are two main reasons why Jesus instructed us in Matthew 5:44 to pray for our enemies.

The first is for their sake, so that through our prayers they may begin to see the goodness of God and turn to Him for their own salvation. As Christ came for the lost, He has passed His mission on to us and so our quest is to pray for the lost – and for those who curse us.

The second is for our sake, so that the people who come against us will leave us alone.  Since they are of the world and we are not but instead we belong to Jesus, we will struggle endlessly if we are trying to rid this type of persecution on our own merits.  It’s not the people we are fighting but the powers of darkness, and on our own we will never win.

…but we get the victory when the strong arm of God fights them for us.

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