Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them.Job 21:9

There are always going to be those people who do the wrong thing and get away with it. They might even be very successful. They are going to step on people — maybe even you — to get ahead in life.  What they want, they get. And we secretly wish they would get what’s coming to them. I mean, here I am, doing my best to be a good citizen and a good Christian.

So this person over here, who is bent on doing the wrong thing, gets away with it. Where is the justice in that, Lord?

That’s what Job is talking about here; describing how bad people don’t seem to get what is coming to them. They live wickedly — from a biblical world view — and they prosper. They live in safety, in big houses they’ve built on the backs of good people. In our crazy, mixed up world, the wicked succeed far more often than the pure in heart.

Yet, what I find really crazy is that Jesus asked us to pray for these people! 

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus is really serious. I ponder how I’m going to PRAY for the people that hurt me (and others but mostly me). I know I’m supposed to work to ease suffering, but to intercede on behalf of those who are having their cake and eating it too seems like a bit of a stretch.

Four years ago, for more than six months, I struggled in a relationship with a woman who treated me terribly. She alienated me from the community we were a part of and made me look like a fool, all the while gaining in popularity. There seemed to be no one on my side. My husband got tired of hearing my complaints, but I couldn’t get over what was happening. I’m the pure in heart, but she is the one on top?  How does that work out right, God?

Till one day I heard Him whisper this into my heart:

Do you want me to show her mercy or justice? 

I knew where He was going with this. I wasn’t so pure in heart after all. If I continued in my fallen mindset of wanting her to get what I thought she deserved, that’s exactly what would happen. And at that thought, I was miserable. I know I was encountering the heart of God for her. He didn’t want her to experience justice, He wanted her to come to salvation. 

You can’t experience God’s heart for people and not be changed. I started praying for her that instant.  Nothing about our situation changed, but I did. I was able to forgive and it caused a release of emotion that had held me back all those long months. We moved shortly after and the bitterness that plagued that season of my life was gone. This echoes what the Reverend Karyl Huntley says,

You know you have forgiven someone when he or she has harmless passage through your mind.

Enlist the power of prayer for your enemies. They don’t have to be long prayers, especially at first. Make it simple and by doing so, you free yourself from being tangled in the web of the flesh. You will be transformed. 

Do you have an enemy you need to pray for today?

Dearest Father — You know my heart better than I do. Help me to let go of the hardness built up towards my enemies. Help me to focus on what is going on between You and Me. Give me the courage to forgive and pray for those who’ve hurt me and my loved ones, but still seem to prosper. I want to desire the mercy You came to give. Send Your Spirit to empower me to live according to Your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Further Reading: Proverbs 16:7, Matthew 5:44-46, Romans 12:17-19

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