Praying For Those Who Speak Ill of Us

Romans 12:16 ESV
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”

Luke 6:27 ESV
“but I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

It is one thing to bless or pray for someone who is doing good to you, but to bless or pray for those who curse you is extremely different. To curse is to cause harm or to persecute. Jesus and Paul both are telling their listeners that the way to respond to the person who is seeking to harm us, is to pray for his or her good.

Obviously, IF we are motivated by self-interest, we would never pursue the good of our enemies. Jesus and Paul are challenging us to work from truly selfless love and concern for others.  When we decide to act for the benefit of someone else, especially when it is undeserved, we ourselves are blessed.

Retaliation may make us feel good on the surface, but if we do that, are we any better than our persecutors? Human nature says to pay them back, but that will only compromise our witness and damage our reputation. Blessing those who wish us harm is not easy, but commanded of Jesus.

We are here on earth for a time, for a purpose, for a destiny. In God’s plan, He asks us to act a certain way towards believers and non-believers. We may not understand everything, or we may never forget all the abuse that we have seen, but we can respond the way God asks us to. There is great reward in doing so.

Lord Jesus, we are not of this world, so help us in times of persecution not to respond as the worldly respond, but to do the complete opposite and pray for those who have done us wrong. In doing this, we silence the onlookers, and we make the abusers painfully conscious of their guilt and show that we belong to You. In Your name magnificent Savior, Amen!