1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1 – 4)
7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)
Today we conclude our reflections on the Discipline of Prayer. We have looked at the Biblical direction to pray for a world in need and the confidence we should have when praying. Today, we will examine a few verses that point us to some ideas for our “world” prayer list. Please prayerfully read the passages above.
Sometimes, the last people we want to spend our time praying for are people we don’t like. Politicians might readily come to mind or people who have done us or people we know harm. In fact, we might wish people we don’t like would suffer misfortune. Do you remember Jonah’s attitude towards the people of Nineveh?
Please consider the question below.
How do you avoid being guilty of the “let them suffer” syndrome, instead of praying for those you don’t like?
March 11, 2020 at 10:17 am
When I need to pray for someone who do not like me or hate me for reasons I don’t know, I must say, it’s really hard to pray for that person and deceive myself. I don’t want to be hypocrite in this situation, and I can say I’ve been through circumstances where someone really hated or disliked me but I know I need to pray for that someone. So, what I do is, in my prayer, I talk to the Lord with all sincerity and ask him to forgive me as I cannot pray for this person who is treating me badly. Sometimes, I get to the point where I really cry and pour out everything to God, after all, He knows my heart and He can see my motives, intention, all that’s in me, and there’s no way, I can hide it from Him. So that’s why, I tell Him everything in prayer. I know Jesus is my friend, my refuge, my rock and salvation. Praying that way first, and acknowledging what I truly feel, asking the Lord to help me, and remove any bitterness , or negativity in my thinking and dealing with others, especially to those who might dislike me. This way, I am able to listen to what God’ wants me to do, usually at the end, I see myself praying for the person who hates or dislike me, after all, I believe my prayer will be meaningless, if my heart is not right with the Lord….it goes back to humility and obedience which is the key to praying for others not only for the ones I like or love but more so, for those who are difficult to love. My God is always faithful and true to me, so I have to be reminded of that, and sure enough, I can pray for others who maybe mean, jealous or bitter towards me. This is what I experience and I thank the Lord for my amazing relationship with him.
March 11, 2020 at 10:23 am
Since starting this 40 Days of Discipline Study, and because of the influence of this Study, I have actually prayed for the President and two other people that I am not fond of. I look forward to a prayer life without leaving anyone out.
I usually don’t have the “let them suffer” syndrome. I just would leave certain people out of my prayers. I didn’t really think about it, it was just the way it was. As mentioned in one of the previous lessons, my prayers were usually for relatives, close friends, and other loved ones.
It can be difficult to pray for people we don’t like, or who have harmed us, but I’ve done it since beginning this Study. I am glad that I have, and I will continue to do so.
March 11, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Well I see I am not alone in “praying for your enemy”.
The first time I heard that I told the person “are you nuts”?
Well I have come a long way .
Little by little instead of reacting by reporting the person if they did something wrong I just tell myself that person is having a bad day and I try to be nice instead.
I think I may have started to pray for some but I am not Jesus so guess taking me a long time.
Maybe by the end of this study I will report otherwise 😁
March 11, 2020 at 1:22 pm
I must admit, that at one time, in my Secondary school life, I adhere to the “ let them suffer syndrome” due to a physics principle learnt. “ To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” If you do bad things, then bad things will be done to you. Love was never included in the response. Then, when I came to know the lord, I understood that love and forgiveness must be part of the transformation.
March 11, 2020 at 3:15 pm
A lot of what Aurora wrote are also my thoughts. I always pray for God’s help in transforming my thoughts. Also reminding myself that God loves me although I have sin. Very important to me is the reminder that God want everyone to come to Him, that none should perish, that if I love God, I will love others, all others, including those who have wronged me. Often I remember, the parable of the man who owed a king a lot of money & who the king forgave. But the forgiven man then demanded payment on a much lesser loan from a man, who he then got thrown into jail when he could not pay him. The Lord’s prayer is another reminder to obey God and to forgive and to pray for others.
March 12, 2020 at 3:00 am
Must admit that I was easily hurt by others who did me wrong or left me out of a group when younger. Thanks to God I was absorbed into a wonderful ladies group in the 3rd non-Christian country that I lived in. I had asked to first find a church where I could freely worship. The prayer for others just came naturally from God. I have never felt animosity to my enemies because God created all and sometimes we learn to truly love our enemies like old friends. Leave it to our Saviour is how I feel.
March 16, 2020 at 11:14 am
Comment from Pastor Anthony Oliver:
It is my default to not want to pray for persons who hurt me and society. However, my default is challenged when the clear and simple teaching of Jesus commands the very opposite. The “let them suffer” syndrome is also challenged in group bible study, in one on one interaction, and sound biblical teachings related to this matter and the testimony that will please God. I am reminded that it is best to do what Jesus commands. One senses the positive vibes when the radical teachings of Jesus are obeyed.