Matthew 5:44 NASB
But I say to you,
love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
The commandment of love for others, which Christ presents here, He Himself has put into practice. Christ prayed for His enemies after He was crucified: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
When Stephen was stoned, he did not curse his enemies, but was allowed to pray for them: ‘Lord, do not impute this sin to them’!
Persecution must be answered with prayer.
This does not mean that one should expose oneself impassive and unprotected to persecution. But it does mean, that we should never let go of the other.
Although God’s child can no longer have contact with certain enemies, the way of prayer remains open. The prayer for cruel, ruthless enemies.
Where this may be practice by grace, it arouses astonishment.
Then there is not only an absence of hatred, or a cold indifference, but then there is love, where hatred seems to be inevitable, and patiently enduring insults, and prayers for the salvation of enemies.
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