Praying for Our Enemies

Recently, I read Psalm 67, a little Psalm, with a profound message. These verses struck a chord with me.

Let the peoples give thanks to you, G-d; let the peoples give thanks to you, all of them. The earth has yielded its harvest; may G-d, our G-d, bless us. May G-d continue to bless us, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

-Psalms 67:6‭-‬8

This gem here reminded me of a story from the Talmud.

There were certain hooligans who resided in the neighborhood of Rabbi Meir, and they caused him much misery and anguish. Once, Rabbi Meir prayed for mercy regarding them, so that they would die. His wife Beruriah said to him, “What makes you think that such a prayer is permitted? Is it because the verse states ‘Let sinners [chataim] cease from the earth’? But is it written ‘chotim’—sinners? Rather it is written ‘chataim’—that which causes one to sin, namely the evil inclination. Furthermore, the end of the verse continues, ‘…and let the wicked be no more.’ Since the sins will cease, there will be no more wicked men!

“Rather,” she concluded, “pray for them that they should repent, and there will be no more wicked people.”

He did pray for them, and they repented.

LINK

It also calls to mind the Messiah’s words from the end of Matthew 5

“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor — and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

LINK

This false teaching of hating our enemies is still alive and well today. It didn’t come from Torah, or anywhere else in the Bible. I believe this false doctrine sprang from the hearts of Men. Perhaps it is a trap set by the enemy, meant to divide and destroy. Either way, I know many believers who love the Almighty and hate their enemies. It is easy to get caught up in the Red versus Blue or Right-Left battle here in America. Most of the believers I know lean Right. They stand with the Republican party, perhaps against things more than they stand with them for things. When presented with a party who wants to defend the murder of babies, the destruction of the traditional family and now, even the right to be safe from violent mobs, it isn’t a tough decision for most. I also know believers who are Democrats. These are good, loving people. They see Republicans as indifferent to the suffering of the poor, because of their opposition to the welfare state. They see them as greedy for wanting to keep taxes low across the board, because it is seen as a defense of wealthy fat cats who need to be forced to be generous. They see abortion as an issue of a woman’s right to be free to do as she wishes and to do it safely. The main arguments concern rape, forced pregnancy and the fear of being made vulnerable to an abusive man. They see Republican opposition to BLM as a natural outgrowth of opposition to affirmative action. They don’t see the “soft bigotry of low expectations” resulting from their policies. They don’t perceive these policies as infantalizing towards Blacks and other minorities. They see Republican policies as repugnant, like I do some core planks in the Democratic Party platform. It’s easy to stand against something you hate by running to join others who hate the same thing.

As believers, I think we need to choose to unite on the grounds of what we love. We need to have an honest look at ourselves. We need to listen to the words of David and the words of our Messiah. We need to actively pray for the redemption of those believers we have cast as enemies. I would say we need to go beyond that even and pray for those who hate the Almighty, believers and even America. These people are lost and blinded. They need to be healed, they need to be saved, they need to be able to make repentance. Right now, the Leftist mentality is set on cancelling everyone they disagree with. Let us not fall into that trap. We believers should be making bridges to those who are far off. I submit that the first step is to change the way you, yes you, think about these people you see as enemies, by including them in your daily prayers. What’s the step beyond that? I don’t know. How will it actually effect change? The same as everything else, it will succeed or fail by Heaven’s help. We don’t need to worry about the outcome right now, we need to worry about being true sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. We need to conform ourselves to his likeness, to his will and have faith that his will be done.

Fellow believers, I beseech you to pray for your enemies. Pick whoever you hate most or like least, be they the leaders of the violent mobs; Socialists; Capitalists; Pelosi; Trump; BLM; Cops – I don’t know your heart, and today make the effort to think about them the way our Father does. We believers certainly do that which is displeasing to our Father, just like our brothers and sisters. Will hating them or being angry with them bring joy to our Father? Certainly not. It grieves my heart to see anger and strife between my children and it is clear that the Almighty doesn’t like it any better.

Please do this for yourself and to please our Father, think about your enemies and pray for them. Here is a simple formula based on Psalm 67:

G-d, let the peoples give thanks to you, all of them [even these people who I see as enemies]. The earth has yielded its harvest; may G-d, our G-d, bless us. May G-d continue to bless us, so that all the ends of the earth [yes, even these people who I see as enemies] will fear him. May we all fear and love and obey and praise our Heavenly Father.

Amen.

Published by MJ Muñoz

Husband. Father. Believer. Writer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: