"Love your enemies." Sometimes those words are like high-pitched screeches to my ears. Especially when I've been "attacked" by my neighbor. The last thing I want to do is pray for them.
Our family just had an incident with our neighbor. They constantly harass us and find ways to add stress to our already stressful life.
My initial reaction is to want to return the favor. But then I listen. I listen to a smaller -yet powerful voice that tells me doing so is not what Christ would do. How many times did people spit at him and hit him and mock him during his crucifixion? As he told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Do you not think I could call upon the choirs of angels?"
This tells us that He accepted his suffering and did not hurt his enemies. He followed His own golden rule: "Treat others as you'd have done to you." How lucky we are to have such a perfect role model!
When we are asked to pray for our enemies, it is God's will that we do so. He loves all of us - no matter what we do. Some people need a ton of prayers to turn their hearts fully to God. Usually there aren't many people praying for them because of how they treat others. To us, it might not be a terrible loss. But to God - it is a huge loss. One of his creatures needs prayers. He loves them as He loves all of us. Because of that, we should do all we can to offer our prayers for their salvation.
After all, even as He walked the earth, Jesus said he was also here for the sinners. They need Him more than anyone.
Sure, these thoughts don't make the hurt go away. And praying for the enemies may or may not turn their hearts toward God. But at least we are doing what God asks of us. The rest is up to them. They need to want to have Him in their lives. Not just believe in Him, but live Him also.
And we all need prayers to continue to live Jesus' teachings and His will.