Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Praying for our enemies

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.
        -- David (Psalm 5:1,2)
Psalm 5 talks about our enemies. For David, his enemies were obvious. For us, probably not so much. Even those who we may not get along with, they're still not enemies in the same way as Saul was to David. Really. I mean, when was the last time someone tried to pin you to the wall with a spear?

I last read this Psalm during a time when I was also spending time in both Ephesians and The Sermon on the Mount. As I read David's words, I was reminded that, the guy at work who's manipulative and duplicitous isn't my enemy, even though it may seem like it.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
-- Jesus (Matthew 5:43-45)
Jesus actually calls me to love him.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ... And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-- Paul (Ephesians 6:12,18)
However, the demons jabbing him are my enemy. I don't wrestle with men, my fight is with the spirits manipulating them. My weapons are not physical or even political or intellectual. My weapons are spiritual because that is the realm of the battle. Paul exhorts us to give ourselves wholly to prayer so we may stand when things are at their worst. From a cave in hiding, David gives us an example of what this looks like.