By Lynda MacFarland
Most of us don’t have any true enemies who we feel great animosity towards and who feel the same toward us. Most of us don’t have to worry about someone hating us so much they want to harm us or worse. But as a country, we sometimes have enemies who our Military service members must do battle against on our behalf. They are true enemies; people are killed, on both sides.
How do we pray for those enemies? Especially when we are related to the Military members who are fighting against them? How can we? Once again, only God can do that. So we have to allow Jesus to love through us; it will be Divine love that we give, not our own. I struggle with opening up my heart that much. We’ve lost too many of our Troops, and I have known many of them. How to love the ones who cause such pain?
It’s a War Out There
I didn’t know how to pray for the enemy. The closest I get is reciting the Fatima prayer for our enemies, as I also pray for family and friends, and so many brave citizens battling to keep us safe. Are you familiar with it?
“Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.”
Learn from the Best
That’s the best I can do: ask for God’s mercy to save them. Perhaps it’s a very feeble sort of prayer for one’s enemies. It’s something I have to bring to Jesus, again and again. Jesus, who could say from the cross, all torn up, bleeding and bruised, seemingly abandoned, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
When Jesus, near the beginning of His public ministry, said to His apostles, “Follow me,” this is where He wanted them and us to follow – to the cross, but not to stand idly by in terror and grief. Not only to remind us of His suffering and dying for us. Jesus wants us to forgive as He forgives us. Even as we are suffering, even as we are grieving and feeling helpless or abandoned. Some might say that’s impossible. But we know that nothing is impossible for God.
The Only Way to Truly Love and Forgive
It’s about allowing Jesus to love through us with Divine Love. It will not be our own. When we filled with the God of Love can love and forgive anyone; it is humbling. While I’m working on being that open to the Lord, I will continue to pray the Fatima prayer for my enemies. It’s the best I have to offer right now. I am, I admit, counting on God’s mercy to understand my frailties. I will not stop working on this, though, always asking for God’s grace to transform my heart to make it more like His — merciful, forgiving, and all-loving.
About the author:
Lynda MacFarland loves Jesus and her fondest desire is to encourage others in their faith journey toward Home. She prays often that the things she does will glorify God and advance His Kingdom. Lynda is the author of the book: Drowning In Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife, and has a blog at www.drowning-in-lemonade.com.