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.

Advertisements

Psalm 140:6 A Humble Cry For Mercy

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.” Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy. Psalm 140:6

It is common for people to cry out to God when in need. When a person is going through a very difficult time, he will call out to God for help and mercy in the situation. Others will intercede for him also, asking God to help meet that need.

In the process of praying for assistance from God, many will begin to list the reasons why God should help. In this list, many will bring up all the good deeds that has been done. They are listed as though God should help a person because of what he has done in the past.

When a person is praying like this, either for himself or for someone else, the prayer becomes about self and not about God and what He wants. No person actually deserves God’s help in any situation. In fact, every person deserves the worst possible punishment for all eternity.

Only because Jesus died and paid for the price for all sin, does any person have any right to ask God for anything. It is because God is God that a person has a right to cry out for mercy.

When David was crying out for mercy to God, he did not list anything that he had done. All he did was ask for God’s mercy in dealing with his enemies. He knew God as His God and that God was the one in control and could deliver him. No one else could help him, and he did not deserve the help. Any mercy given by God was a blessing, not an earned right.

As you go to God in prayer for your own personal needs, or the needs of others, allow God to be the one in control. Seek His mercy to meet that need. Do not try to earn the right for Him to help you.

God loves you and had Jesus pay the price for you sins. In paying that price, you are also given the right to have His mercy given to you. It is only because of Jesus, that you can have God’s mercy. Jesus provided abundant mercy in just forgiving your sins, He will continue to pour out that mercy in your life.

I pray today that you will know the mercy God has for you; that you will not try to earn rights with God; that God will be your God; and that you will see God meeting all of your needs in His way and time.

2 Chronicles 7:14 Humility And Turning

“if my people, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Solomon had built and dedicated the new temple for God, who came down and inhabited it. During the night God appeared to Solomon to let him know that He heard his prayers and saw the work he had done. Then God tells Solomon that if His people, after walking away from Him, choose to humble themselves, repent and come back to Him, He will hear them.

This verse is a very commonly quoted verse by many believers. It is most common when things are going bad in the nation.

The “wicked ways” that is mentioned in this verse, is often looked at as the deep sinful practices of people in this world. Although it is true that some believers have turned from God and followed some wicked ways of this world, there can be more to those ways than just following this world.

Jesus had come to seek and save the lost in this world. When Jesus was getting ready to leave the earth, He told the disciples to go and make disciples in all of the world. Believers were to continue to do as Jesus had done. They were to be a witness of who He is and what He has done and will do.

Believers who have chosen not to do what Jesus told them to do, have fallen into wicked ways by omission. When people are not being told about Jesus, or are not being taught what Jesus taught, they will not follow God correctly. Those who are not being a witness and a teacher of the ways of Jesus, are living in sin. It is not gross “big” sins, but it is still sin.

God told Solomon that it was His people who had to humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways. It was not to the people of the world that He spoke to.

How are you living your life today?

You may not be living in some great, horrible sin, but are you being the witness of Jesus today to those around you. If you are not doing that, you are still living in a wicked way.

You definitely need to turn from all sin, but do not forget that in that process you must also begin to do the work God has called  you to do…be His witness. If you do one and not the other, you are still living in sin. Humble yourself and turn today.

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for your life; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that you will turn from all sin; and that you will seek to live fully for God.

Jude 20-21 Building Yourself Up As You Wait

“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 20-21

After talking about various people who will ridicule believers and follow only their own desires, Jude tells the people to build themselves up. This is not a building of themselves by their own power, but by faith and prayer.

As you allow your faith to grow, you yourself will grow. You will grow more mature in God. God will be able to do more in you and through you the more you allow your faith to grow in Him.

If you have a Bible, you have enough to help you to grow and continue to grow. No matter how many times you read and study the Bible, there will always be more to learn. Along with that, there is always room to grow more like Jesus.

He also tells the people to pray in the Holy Spirit. Whether you believe in praying in tongues or not, you can pray in the Holy Spirit. This is praying God’s will and desires for your life. This is allowing God to guide your prayers.

Often prayers are selfish and for one’s own desires. Many people do not seek to find out what it is that God wants in a situation in their life.

Keep your heart open to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide you in what to pray and how to pray. When you allow this to happen, you will allow God to build you up and make you more like Jesus.

Both of these things that Jude is asking to be done, are to be done while waiting in order to keep you in God’s love. Every believer today is waiting for Jesus to return. No one alive today has been brought into eternal life yet.

While on this earth, you need to be filled with God’s love. His love for other people, despite who there are or how they live. And love for God Himself.

Are you building yourself up in faith?

Are you praying with the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Are you waiting for the return of Jesus?

I pray today that you will allow yourself to be led by God’s Holy Spirit; that you will allow God to build your faith daily; that you will stay in God’s love more and more; that you will wait for the return of Jesus; and that you will be His witness to the world.