Beyond the Weekend

June 29 | Pray for Them

June 29, 2021


“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

Read: Matthew 5:44
Matthew 5


It probably sounded radical when Jesus tells his followers to pray for those who persecute them. Some might have thought, “I’ll pray for them, pray that God would judge them!” Instead, Jesus challenges their cultural norms and tells them to rethink love and who should receive it. What’s more, his followers would have ample opportunity to practice this in the future. Although they didn’t know then, Jesus knew that significant persecution lay in their future. Jesus cared about their hearts now and in the future.

There is something about praying for someone, even someone who harms us, that can soften our hearts to them. As Pastor Jeff Manion said this weekend, “It’s harder to hate on somebody you are praying for.” Praying for someone who persecutes us doesn’t always mean the relationship will change or that we will trust them again. However, it does open our hearts for God to move both in our life and in theirs.

We usually focus on our family, friends or those around us we know are sick when we pray. According to Jesus, we should also pray for those who cause us trouble. This might mean praying for favor on the guy who always puts us down, the kid who bullies our own or the person who got the promotion over us. May we be so transformed by the love of God that we pray even for those who persecute us.


Think of someone who gives you trouble that you could pray for today. Pray something like this “Heavenly Father, please bless ______ in some unexpected way.”


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Romans 10.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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