But Jesus didn’t tell us to arm ourselves against our enemies. He didn’t say to shout down or out-argue them. He told us to love them (Matthew 5:44). And He didn’t just say it was a good idea; He commanded it. It was central to His teachings.
“I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45, NIV)
How do we pray for our enemies? Bob suggests five ways, one of which is to thank God for them.
Paul the great church planter of the first century once wrote, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3, NIV). So begin your prayers for your enemies (or people who disagree with you or frustrate you) with thanks—for what God may be trying to teach you through them, for how He is refining you because of them, etc. As you start to do this, you will find it easier and easier as you go along.
For Bob’s other tips: 5 Ways to Love Your Enemy…Through Prayer | Guideposts