Jesus said, “Pray for your enemies.” He was trying to teach us that it is hard to stay mad and angry at someone that you have decided to pray for. When we get mad at others who have been mean or ugly to us or have broken trust, our first reaction is to stew over the hurt. But all those feelings do is keep you tied up in knots, and the hurts keep on hurting you. Jesus said to pray for them. It is okay to get angry, but don’t let that anger turn to revenge or grudge-holding. Let God handle any justice that needs to be served, and you pray for them. Occasionally I have said to God, “Okay, God, I’ll pray for them. Will you please zap them, send plagues, and oozing boils upon them?” I don’t think that is what Jesus meant when he said, “Pray for your enemies.” What if you prayed for God to bless the person that you are angry with, to bless their heart, their work, their soul? What if you prayed for God to open their hearts to all His gifts of love and peace and joy and hope? What if you were to pray for God to take away your anger and ill feelings and fill your heart with His graciousness and His peace and His compassion? Surely something more beneficial will come from those kinds of prayers than from staying angry and seeking revenge. Try it. Pray daily for your enemies. It may take a while but you will discover it is hard to stay mad for someone you have decided to pray for.
– Dr. Tim Thompson