by Christopher Noones, Moderator, Bread of Life Fellowship
Even those who oppose us aren’t our enemies because God loves them and calls them to himself.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children 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 own people, 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
God has no enemies, no one he excludes. There are those who oppose Him, resist and persecute Him, but Jesus tells us that from the Father’s perspective, they are as precious to him as any of his children. He loves and blesses those whom, in our estimation, may be undeserving, even unjust, but He loves them in the same way that He loves the just. The Father is prodigal, lavish and indiscriminate in His love.
Jesus counsels us to be like that, to be like his (our) Father, to be perfect in love as the Father is perfect in love. Since love has no enemies, we have no enemies. Instead, we have challenging siblings as yet separated from their Father and from us. We know the Father and we know His will, that we love as He loves. While in our human nature this is not possible, nothing is impossible to us through the one who commands us, by grace.
No man is truly our enemy because no man is truly God’s enemy. We need look no further than Saul. To the first Christians Saul was a rabid persecutor, but the Father saw him differently. When no one else could, He could see Saul as one of His greatest friends. It likely that it was the prayer of Christians under persecution that reached the heart of the Father, eager to send his Son to ask Saul the question, ‘Why do you persecute me?’ It was a question that has profound ramifications for all Christians now and until the end of the age. Those who appear to be our enemies, by grace, can become our dearest friends.
As we pray and fast for this election, lest us uphold those in every stripe of leadership and authority—those who oppose, resist and persecute as much as those who stand for righteousness.
Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters whom you love so dearly, those who as yet do not know you, those who zealously oppose you and who persecute you. Reveal to them your kindness, give us your grace to love them as future brothers and sisters for whom Jesus has paid the price of their redemption. We pray too for those who stand for righteousness that you would grace them with wisdom in speech, clarity in thought and courage in their convictions. Empower them to stand firm in the face of opposition and compromise, and enable them to speak your word. Amen.
Election Prayer Points
- Pray that God would rule over this election – that righteous leaders would be elected to govern this nation in truth and justice because, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice”. Proverbs 29:2
- Pray God’s blessing upon all our current parliamentarians and leaders, including their families and all the candidates of all the parties standing for this federal election. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer and unity across the Body of Christ in Australia that people will wake up to the dangers facing our nation and respond in prayer. Ephesians 5:14
- Pray for a Spiritual Awakening for Australia, Revival and Transformation for our nation and the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16
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