Jeremiah 29:7 Praying For The Enemy

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

Going into exile was a difficult thing for the Israelites of Judah to do. As they are going into exile, God now tells them to settle in and serve their enemy. Then on top of that God tells them to pray for their enemy to prosper. His reason for praying for the enemy to prosper is that if the enemy prospers, so do the Israelites.

Praying for the enemy is something many Christians have no problem doing. However, it is how they pray for the enemy that is different. It is common to hear a Christian pray for his enemy that God would strike them down, or remove them. The focus is to change that person, so that one can have a better life. The problem with this type of prayer is that it is totally self-focused.

Years later Jesus would tell all believers to pray for their enemy and bless them, not curse them. Praying for the prosperity of your enemy is a blessing upon them. Doing this shows the enemy the love of God, not the hatred of people.

Not blessing your enemy will fall back on you in the same way. If the economy of everyone around you is failing, your economy will also fail. If there is no peace with everyone around you, then you will not have any peace either. If there is poverty all around you, then you will also have poverty.

No person can have peace or prosperity completely alone. It takes a community to have either. There will always be some in your community that will be your enemy–those who do not follow Jesus. If they do not prosper, you cannot prosper.

Along with physical prosperity, every person needs to know the love of Jesus. If you are praying against them and for their downfall, where is there any love in that? How will they know the love of Jesus, when all they see is hatred?

You may not always agree with your enemy, but you can pray for God to bless them and draw them closer to Him by His love and care. It is His kindness that will draw them to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for your enemies; that you will show God’s love to your enemies; that you will be able to pray God’s blessings on your enemies; and that many will come to know Jesus through the love you show them.

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Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Blessings And Curses

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse–the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Moses set before the Israelites many commands of God. With those commands came a variety of blessings and curses. If they loved and served God faithfully, they would enter the land, take possession of it, and God would pour out rain for their crops on it. If they chose not to obey God and worshipped other gods, He would strike them in anger.

Even to this day, God’s blessings and curses still work in a person’s life. If a person chooses to not follow God, He will set Himself against that person.

Following and obeying God will always bring about blessings. Many people, however, refuse to see all the blessings God is giving them. They see the struggles of life and feel that God is not blessing them at all.

As the Israelites went into Canaan, they had to work at taking over the land. They had to go into battle against the enemy to take possession. The blessings appeared in that God helped them win each battle, as long as they obeyed and followed Him.

You will have struggles in this life, Jesus promised them. Yet, through it all, there will be the blessing of peace and comfort in knowing that God will bring you through it all, if you are loving and obeying God.

Do not allow yourself to be turned away to the gods (things) of this world. Trust only in Jesus and love and obey Him. In doing this you will not have to receive God’s anger against you. You will receive the blessings and favor of God in your life, in spite of all the struggles of this life.

Who are you following and obeying today?

God?

Or this world?

I pray today that you will love and obey God with all your heart; that you will trust God in every circumstance in your life; that you will see all the blessings of serving God; and that God will give you the strength to stay true and faithful to Him.

Romans 12:14 Blessing The Persecutors

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14

During the time that Paul writes this letter, there was a lot of persecution going on. Christians were being attacked by many and had no personal rights in their country. For a time Paul had been one of those persecuting the Christian believers. The people were going through a hard time. It was easy for someone to curse those who were doing the persecuting, yet, Paul says to bless them.

Persecution can show up in many different forms. Most people think of it as just physical abuse against another person. It is also verbal abuse, refusal to recognize, shunning, overlooking, talking bad about, ridicule and rejection. In the USA these types of abuse are more common than the physical abuse.

The common thread of all types of persecution is the pain. There is pain in the physical, as well as the emotional. A person is hurt in the process.

It is very common for a person to attack those who do any persecution on them. They fight back with violence or bad words. Many will curse the person. One thing in common is that there is no love for those who did the persecution.

Blessing a person is asking God to give them favor and what they need. It is bringing the person something they need or helping to meet a need they have. It is talking good about the persecutor despite all the bad that they are doing. It is forgiving them, even when they have not requested forgiveness or repented of the wrongs done.

Jesus had loved you when you were against Him. When you persecuted Him, He still loved you. As a believer you are to show that same love to others. Do not take revenge or fight back at person. Bless the one who is doing wrong to you.

This blessing will show them the true love of Jesus. It may or may not diffuse their abuse, but it will be a testimony to them of God’s love and power.

Cursing a person does you no good. It only fuels the anger and hurt. You are told to not go to bed angry. Bless them and the anger must leave. You cannot be angry and bless a person.

Who are willing to bless today? Who do you need to bless today?

I pray today that God will reveal His blessings to you; that God will reveal His love for all those who do wrong; that you will be filled with God’s love for those against you; that God will strengthen you to bless those who persecute you; and that you will not curse anyone.

James 3:9-10 Praising and Cursing

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:9-10

Every believer has no problems with giving praise to God. Each Sunday, in church, people will sing songs of praise to God. When things go good, they will often give thanks to God. Later, however, they will curse another person.

Cursing a person has become a common place thing in our culture. Although in Biblical times it was looked at as more of a condemnation or asking God (or any god) to bring harm to someone. Often in the ancient days the curse would be stated in a long statement. Today, instead of a long phrase, short words or phrases are used to condemn a person. The words may have changed, but the meaning is still there. When a person curses someone today, he still desires some form of harm or condemnation to come upon that person. James tells us that this should not be the case.

You have to remember that every person is made in the image of God. Would you curse God? Would you curse His image? Most people will say no to these questions, yet, many will curse another person without any thought about it. When you curse a person, you are essentially also cursing God. Jesus had said as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me.

As a believer your speech should be bringing praise to God and building other people up. It does not matter if the person is a very “bad” person, breaking all of the rules of man and God…you are just as bad in sinning against God. Remember you also are a filthy rotten sinner. The only difference is you have been saved by God’s grace and mercy. That other person also needs God’s grace and mercy. Will you condemn him or will you point Him to God? You are not God and do not have the authority to curse any person or thing. Ask God to change the words of your mouth. Learn to bless and not curse. No person or thing in this world deserves to be cursed by you if God does not curse that person or thing.

I pray that today God will place new words of blessing in your mouth; that God will change your heart to bring out only blessings; that God will reveal to you the grace and mercy He has had on you; that God will help you to be a blessing to others; and that God will strengthen you to be His witness daily in your speech.