Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and for those that spitefully use us. We are told not only to pray for our enemies but also to do good to them and it is like heaping coals of fire on their heads. Jesus knew forgiveness would be a hard challenge for most of us in our natural mind. God is our Source and He gave us the ability to forgive. It is through prayer that we are connected to God and are able to receive the strength to forgive those who misuse and abuse us.
We can be assured that we will be vindicated. It may appear that people are getting away with wrong doing at the moment, but they do not get away. God is the only just Judge who knows all and will judge all at the right time. If we try to vindicate ourselves we may overdo it and become guilty ourselves or we may not do enough and be ineffective. We must leave other people to God.
When we humble ourselves and pray for those who have persecuted us God, in His mercy, gives us grace to persevere through our problems. Just as Job prayed for his friends, who spoke evil of him and in the end after Job prayed for them Job was healed and blessed more than before.
Romans 12:20-21 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Luke 6: 11-12 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus… He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. KJV
The prayer of intercession is praying for others. God is not a far off Omnipotent God who is hard to reach but He is our Abba God. He is One we can call our Daddy-God. With intercession we are petitioning God for someone else who needs Him. When we pray for others, we are bringing them and their needs before God. Sometimes people do not realize they are in need of prayer or they may say they do not want prayer. But we can come to God for them just as Jesus is our High Priest in heaven interceding for us we too can pray for those around us. We are not trying to forgive sin we are inviting God into their situation. God saw us while we were still sinners and saved us. He did not wait for us to change or wait until we became perfect. God loved us while we were sinners and sent Jesus to die for us so we may live.
We must forgive no matter the wrong. When we do not forgive it is because of pride. When our focus is on ourselves and our pride then our self-centeredness will not allow us to forgive others because of what they have done to us. We are more concerned about our appearances at the moment and not God’s love and His glory. Pride prevents us from walking away and forgiving. When we forgive, we are showing the love God has for every soul and we are being the love of God on the earth. Forgiveness is a true test of the love of God in us. It will reveal what we believe and who we truly serve.
Hebrews 7: 24-25 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Isaiah 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore, his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. KJV
We are to pray for our leaders and those that are in authority. We are asking God to lead them in making good decisions for us, our families, jobs, schools and nation. We are told to pray for our leaders so it may go well with us. Too often we want to get angry and speak evil communications about our leaders and this is the very opposite of what God tells us to do. We are to pray, intercede and give thanks because this is good and pleases God.
1Timothy 2: 1-3 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.
Jesus was the perfect man, God in the flesh and yet He prayed and had communion with God the Father. We are much more in need and should pray and stay connected to our God and Savior. We too may have the same fellowship with God as Jesus had through prayer. Jesus lived His life as a man by the power of the Holy Spirit and He understood our weaknesses, temptations and testing. He knew we would be tested in our character and tested in the temptations of evil. Jesus told us to pray that we do not let the evil testing overtake us.
Luke 22:40, 44 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
We are told to pray for the sick and this may be one of the hardest things for us to do. We have often heard people say, “I prayed for them but God did not heal them or God did not answer my prayer.” We think if we tag Jesus’ name at the end of our prayer it is the magic word that should open all doors heal all sick or change every situation according to our definition of better. That is mankind leaning unto our own understanding and not the word of God.
When we pray for the sick we must understand the spiritual process that is taking place. When Jesus prayed for the young boy it appeared as though things got worse. The boy fell into the fire and things looked bad but Jesus was not moved by what He saw and kept praying. The enemy will try to bring us into fear and doubt through what we see but God tells us to stand in faith by what we know according to His word. This is how the lack of knowledge of God’s word can destroy God’s people. We are to pray in Jesus name, to ask and it shall be given to us.
To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray like Jesus prayed, in faith that the Father will hear us and answer us. Trusting God with the outcome even though we may never see it manifest at the moment. When we pray in Jesus name, we are doing more than putting a tagline at the end of our prayer. We are asking and praying like Jesus prayed in faith without doubt. Our faith in God to handle the problem or situation should be just like the faith Jesus had when He prayed to God.
We must realize to pray in Jesus’ name is to pray in His authority, power and faith. Many of us allow our history and prior situations to cause doubt and fear in our hearts and this dictates our belief and not the word of God. When we pray for the sick we must understand that this is a spiritual process. Just as Jesus spoke to the fig tree and said it would die, though at that moment the tree had the same appearance it was dying, and when they came back the tree had died from the root up.
The disciples did not see it at the moment Jesus spoke it but the next day they saw it had withered and died. We should pray and have faith in God to fulfill His promises but we must leave the timing up to Him. God said His ways are not our ways and His mind is so far above our limited thoughts. For us to try and fit God into our box will only cause us pain, doubt and we may possibly loose hope.
Doubt is what hinders us from walking in faith. Peter was walking on water and when he started looking at the waves he began to doubt and sink. Jesus healed the boy when the disciples could not. When the boy’s father asked Jesus to pray for the boy, the boy went into convulsions and was thrown into the fire. Most people are led by what we see.
When the disciples tried to heal the boy they probably saw the boy go into a convulsion and their faith turned to doubt because of what they saw. This is how the enemy gets us to lose faith in God’s word and rely on our past experiences, history or our five senses to determine our belief system.
Jesus was not moved by what He saw, though the boy went into a convulsion and fell into the fire. He was not moved by the crowd that said the boy was dead. Jesus’ faith was in the word of God. When we pray we must believe that we shall have what we pray.
Mark 9: 19- 23 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.”
Faith believes God even when all around us speaks against Him. Faith is willing to die to self or to lose everything and stand in the belief that God’s word is true. Faith knows God is faithful to His word and just as Job’s faith believed God and believed, Though God may slay him, yet he will trust in Him. The three Hebrews refused to bow before an idol, through faith in God, they were willing to die rather than to compromise and dishonor their God. They were willing to tell the king, the God they served is able to deliver them from the fiery furnace and even if He does not they still trusted God and would not bow to his idol. Faith is to trust God with our life and our future. Most of us want to trust God for our eternal life but not with our present everyday living.
In these present times, people say they believe in God and have faith in Him and yet when a challenge or a sickness is not handled the way we want it, many may turn their backs on God. Faith stands when all hope is gone, even when everything is taken like what Job faced.
When life comes and deals us a hard blow and our faith is to trust God and not be shaken by what we see or do not see. Our faith is built on the Rock, Jesu our Saviour. If life comes and all is lost and we can still stand and say though my ways are not His ways or may thoughts His thoughts, bless be the name of the Lord.” Then we will know we are standing on the Rock and trust Him will our present and our future situations. This is a hard thing to take and not many can bear it. Only those who know their God and trust in His mercy and grace can stand and not be destroyed. Faith looks not only at the moment but the future. We may not understand God’s ways but we can be sure He is true to His word. When we pray in Jesus name we are praying in the authority He has given us.
Matthew 10:7-8 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
James 5:14-15 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.
Through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus provided a new way of communing with God. We are told to come boldly to the throne of Grace. Jesus paid every sin debt that we owed. Jesus is before God interceding for us. That is why we can come boldly and confidently to God and say, “The Lord is my helper we do not have to be afraid.”
We no longer need a priest on the earth to make sacrifices for us because Jesus became our atonement our propitiation before God. Jesus has now made us kings and priests that we may go boldly to the throne of God.
Hebrews 4: 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 5b-6 …because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”