I thought I'd take a chance to be clarify a couple of things about loving and praying for our enemies.
- We pray for our enemies not because praying for them will heal a broken relationship or instantly change the way we feel about them, or even change them to become more palatable. We love and pray for our enemies because Jesus told us to. If you're a parent who has ever said, "Because I told you so..." you should totally understand this. Jesus doesn't say that loving and praying for our enemies will solve all of our problems. He simply says that it makes us perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect.
- The point of any spiritual practice--prayer, scripture reading, fasting, meditation, writing, silence--is not to change us or to provide some sort of practical and tangible result. The point of any spiritual practice is to get us into the place where something can be done in us. It is the way that we invite the Holy Spirit in to work on us from the inside out. So don't expect something magical to happen. Just know that you are making yourself available for the Holy Spirit to work.
- You might find that praying for your enemies provokes a loving action! I've heard one story already about how God put someone's enemy in their path and that person was guided by the Spirit to take a loving action in that moment. That story has inspired me personally to add to my prayer an action of love.
That God would come to work in our lives and in our hearts is a great mercy. We are not promised instant change or sudden transformation. We open ourselves because God has given us this great gift!
Loving this journey with all of you!