Praying for Your Offender (Matthew 5:43-48)

Have you tried praying for the person who wronged you? If so, what did your prayer sound like? Too often we hold on to resisting blessing our offender, the fourth prison wall of withholding forgiveness.

Resisting blessing does not wish our offender well before God or others; it treats others as they have treated us, hardening our heart toward our enemies. Rather than love our offender, we actually hate them because we will not wish them well. As a result, we will not love them in a way that God wants us to love them, and we surely will not pray for them, even when praying with other people. We find ourselves withholding positive conversation or behavior with our offender and about our offender with others.

Jesus offered a different way: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

We let go of resisting blessing by wishing our offender well before God and others. This occurs in two ways, we: (1) love our enemy and (2) pray for them even when they persecute us (Matthew 5:43).

We begin by wishing our enemy well before God. We love our enemy by praying for them to be blessed in the exact same way that we want to be blessed by God (Matthew 5:44). This releases the heart of Christ in our vertical relationship with God who loves both the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Christ loved His enemies and prayed for those who persecuted Him (Luke 23:34). We love God by being His child, surrendering to Christ in us (Galatians 4:7).

Each day for the next week, read Matthew 5:43-48, then pray. At the close of your prayer, review the dominant theme that you have requested from God for your life. Now pray that blessing for your offender.

Episode 61: The Prison Wall of Resisting Blessing from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.