Thursday, April 7, 2011

Praying for Our Enemies

I recently came across, through Philip Yancey's blog, a website devoted to praying for terrorists.  It's an interesting thought.  I've heard people talk about praying for terrorists before in reference to Jesus telling us to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us.  When I've heard it talked about I always think, "Well I agree with that, I think that's good and right." But I've found that it's very hard to follow through with, mostly because I don't know any terrorists and therefore struggle to know what to pray.
This site understands this dilemma and has very nicely made a database of terrorists so that anyone can "adopt" any terrorist they want, for the purpose of praying for them.  By "adopting" a terrorist, you are committing to praying for them daily, and there is information about their personal life and any terrorism they have done so that you know what to pray for.
The website has therefore been named Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (  It has received both positive and negative feedback from Christians and non-Christians alike.  There was actually a story put out on CNN about it, and the comments on the story were approximately 1/3 positive and 2/3 negative.
It's interesting to me how Jesus was so adamant about loving our enemies, and that his purpose in coming was reconciliation, and that we are not called to build a physical kingdom here on earth but rather to save souls to a kingdom that is from above, but yet so many of his followers are still so focused on the kingdom they are building right here right now.  It is interesting how many of the moral and ethical principals of Christianity have been woven through our culture, so that those who support gay marriage in the US are still a minority, but yet the idea of loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you has never really taken off.
It reminds me of when Jesus says "He who has been forgiven much, loves much."  It's easy for the world to take some Christian principles and add them to their lifestyle, but to love one's enemy.....well, you can't really do that unless you've experienced love when you were yet an enemy.

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