One day when I was out walking, I asked God to tell me who needed prayer so that I could pray and share Jesus them. God said, “All of these people need prayer, they all need me.” Every person you see is in need of something. No one, not a single person has it all together perfectly. The second chapter of 1 Timothy begins with an exhortation to action. Verses 1-3 read,
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
You mean God wants us to pray for mean people, people who are better off than us, and people who don’t agree with us? Yes. Not only those people but the people who govern us. Regardless of party affiliation or if we like them or not, they need prayer and we are called to pray for them. They probably need much more prayer than many people. They lead stressful lives fraught with responsibility. Our prayers for them result in our ability to lead peaceful lives. You just can’t feel hostility toward someone you are earnestly praying for. Our prayers for others benefit them, but they also benefit us, and it pleases God! Jesus wants every person to be saved and understand the truth.
We are supposed to pray for everyone that includes our enemies. I’ve heard the cop out that we do not have to pray blessings for them. People can be very creative about praying for people who harm them. Such as, praying that they will pay for their evil, or that they will see how they have hurt us. But that is not what The Lord tells us to pray. In Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus says,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
To be the sons of your Father, means we love and act the way God does. We share His nature and exercise His Spirit. God loves our enemies, and so then should we. We want for them what God wants for them and that means we want them to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We want them to know Jesus. So that is what we pray for, we pray for their salvation. Verses 5-8 read,
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”
So many people do not know that Jesus wants to have a relationship with them, that God wants to shower them with blessings. Maybe they don’t know because we are sour-faced around our enemies. Maybe we are enemies to our enemies. Someone has to tell them about Jesus. Someone has to tell them the truth. Someone has to love them the way Jesus wants us to love them. We may be the only people who can show them who Jesus is. We are the ones who can pray for them. We are the ones who can tell them. Romans 10:13-17 says,
“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Do you pray for everyone? Does everyone include the mayor, governor, and president? Does everyone include the man who punched you, the cop who gave you a ticket, and the waitress who was rude to you? I encourage you, if you haven’t prayed for them before, begin now. See how God will change your heart for them. See how He will take the chaos and anxiety out of your mind when the enmity you once felt for someone is replaced with genuine love and care. You will love because as you prayed for them The Lord replaced your thoughts, and feelings with His mind and perspective.