WEDNESDAY, September 23

Matthew 5:38-48. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

One day the intercessor was reciting the prayers of the people and wanted to pray for some Americans who had been ambushed and killed overseas. Cautiously he said, “And let us remember those seven Americans who were so…seriously eliminated…and for those who eliminated them.”

All of us in church chuckled at his use of the delicate phrase “seriously eliminated,” but even in his awkward manner this intercessor got it right when he added the phrase “and those who eliminated them.”

We will often be at odds with someone. Sometimes we don’t know the name of this person, as in this prayer. More often this person is close to us. In either case, Jesus makes it clear how we should behave to-ward those who persecute us: we are to pray for them.

A friend once told me that when we pray for someone, that person no longer remains our enemy. I personally have found that praying does not make someone a friend. But it does make it possible for me to move on and not be poisoned by hatred. And so as much for myself as for them, I pray.

PRAY for the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia (Province III, USA) 

Ps 119:97-120 * 81, 82; 2 Kings 6:1-23; 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

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