Oh My! Where do I start? How about with thanks and praise and repentance? Yes! Let us always start there.
Lord God, You are so good. You are Powerful, Merciful, Loving, and Perfect Justice comes from You. You have given us so much: our very breath, our families, the food we eat, the roofs over our heads. Thank You God for who You are and what You do!
God, we repent of our sins. Help us to be truly sorry for the times we have been disobedient to our rightful authorities and have failed to pray for our enemies and to love them. Lord, forgive our families for the times they have not been united in You. Lord, forgive our communities for any action or words that have been demeaning and unloving. Lord, forgive our states and nation for the laws of the land that give our citizens license to sin. Lord, forgive our world for the sin of greed and selfishness. God we pray against these sins and ask that true repentance be upon us and the whole world. Banish all to the foot of the cross, never to return. In their place, Lord, send grace upon grace so that we may be obedient to rightful and holy authority, so that we may love and pray for our enemies, so that we may be united in giving You glory, so that we may be kind and loving to all, so that we may establish laws of the land that do not contradict Your most perfect laws, so that we may be generous, charitable and selfless and reflect You and Your will in all things!
I am blessed to be loved and visited by friends who encourage me and yet still accept my humanness. One dear friend dropped by recently and our conversation drifted toward the topics of obedience and enemies.
I shared with her my firm belief that there is protection in obedience. Now, when I say obedience, I mean to God appointed authority and in all things but sin! God given authority in my daily life is my husband. Obedience not only grants me protection- it takes a tremendous amount of weight off my shoulder, and when caring people question a decision, I get to say, “Ask hubby!” LOL! At this time in history, it can be very challenging to discern rightful authority, so let us pray, pray, pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and cover your husband or your father and your pastor and our leaders in prayer!
On the subject of prayer, when was the last time you prayed FOR, not – I repeat – NOT ABOUT someone who makes you want to ‘spit nails’? God has been after me to really chew on how I deal with my enemies! I am STILL chewing and trying to comprehend what He is asking of me in a very tangible day to day way. He is so patient and funny with me! I started by praying ABOUT my enemies. He let that slide for a while… then He said, “Ahem! No, my child, pray FOR them.” Then, He let that slide for a while and then BAM! “GO BACK! READ MY WORDS AGAIN!” Matthew 5: 44 “LOVE YOUR ENEMIES” What does that look like? How do I do that in my daily life?
I have discerned that “love” means pursuing the best for the beloved. For me, the best for anyone is eternal happiness in heaven. So, I am loving my enemies by having a monthly Mass said for “the conversion of sinners”. I discerned this wording through much prayer and sitting in silence with Our Lord. I have realized that enemies can be internal and external and that anything opposite of love is sin. So, if my enemy is my sinfulness, or if my enemy is a person who sins, the most practical way for me to love my enemy is to pray for conversion.
There are other very practical ways to love our enemy, but, remember, I am a slow learner. So, I will start with this, and see what the Lord will reveal to me next.
So please tell me—- what does loving your enemy look like in your daily life? Think about it and share with someone. God may just use you to help someone else love the way He loves.
Author: Monica Hebert