March 30, 2023

Day 6: Love Your Enemy | 12-Day Guided Prayer

Welcome to Day 6 of Our Guided Prayer

Note: This prayer meditation is first and foremost designed to be listened to, so we encourage you to listen to the audio as you read along.


Hey Church on the Move family,

Welcome to our 12-day guided prayer.

Today is day 6.

Take a moment to prepare yourself to pray over the next few minutes by putting away distractions, setting aside mental to-do lists, and finding a place where for the next 10 minutes or so you can give yourself entirely to the task of prayer.

See yourself placing any worries or situations outside of your control at the feet of Jesus.

Let’s begin by praying a simple prayer. If you find your mind wandering or it’s difficult to focus simply return to prayer by repeating this phrase. Take a deep breath, rest your thoughts on God and pray:

I have been crucified with Christ.

It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.

Our prayers over the 12 days are based on reflections from the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Today we continue our time in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus is teaching on a hillside in Galilee.

Today we’re going to pray through one of the most challenging teachings of Jesus.

Let’s listen to His words recorded in Matthew 5:43-48 now.

43 “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. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This word “perfect” in the Greek is the word for “mature” or “brought to completion”. Jesus is saying, “Enemy love is the end goal that God has in mind for you”.

And some of you might be wondering what you’ve signed up for right about now. I’m right there with you. This feels too hard, impossible even. And, without Jesus, it is. But let’s take a moment to think about it.

The sun rises and the rain falls on everyone, no matter who they are, no matter what they’ve done. And whether we acknowledge it or not these things are a gift from God, in other words, this is God’s grace. Grace that He doesn’t withhold.

Before we go any further, let’s take just a moment to thank God for the good gifts He gives that we might not even recognize or that we take for granted. Thank God for the breath in your lungs or the breeze on your face. Whatever it make be, thank God for it now.

Now, Jesus compares our prayers for our enemies to the good gifts that God gives all of us.

Jesus is calling us to act like God acts in one of the most meaningful ways we can, through prayer.

Jesus is saying, you are a son or a daughter so act like a son or daughter! George MacDonald said, “Since we are the sons of God, let us become the sons of God.” This is something we practice our way into. So, we’re going to practice today. Is there someone in your life you’re having a hard time forgiving? Bring them to mind now. Now, I want you to ask God what He thinks about this person.

Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Ask God to show you how this person has been fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.

Some of us have experienced a lot of pain and heartache and holding onto unforgiveness feels like control or power.

But it’s not. It’s actually holding us captive. Releasing this person and what they have done to God is one of the most important steps we take in our own healing. But I want to be clear, what that does not mean is that we let destructive or abusive people back into our lives. We all need healthy boundaries to help us love people well.

So now, let’s bring our pain to God and ask Him to heal us and to help us forgive because we have been forgiven.

To end our time today, let’s pray together.

When we take an honest look at ourselves and an honest look at what Jesus taught we sense the distance between our lived experience and who you’ve called us to be as your sons and daughters. But Your love is what makes real change possible. It’s Your love that has saved us, redeemed us, and calls us righteous when we’ve done nothing to deserve it. And it’s Your love that we are called to offer to those who have caused us pain. We have been called to forgive as we have been forgiven. Give us a renewed understanding of what it means to be forgiven by You, a righteous and holy God and help us, in turn, to offer that forgiveness to others.


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