To Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you is a higher level of love. As a matter of fact, we learn that from Jesus, who while on the cross still prayed for the men who kept hauling stones at him and cursing him.
He pardoned those that nailed Him to the cross, saying “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34.
The world today is so full of hate, rancour and violence; at almost every turn, bend and corner of the city there’s someone hurting another person.
Related article: Love your neighbour as yourself.
You can hardly go through the day without someone saying a hurtful thing to you. And if peradventure you stayed back at home and opened the online news websites, the social media or television, you’ll be inundated with trailer loads of hate, bitterness, anger, violence etc.
This makes it imperative for every child of God to cultivate the habit of love – loving our spouse, children, neighbour etc and teaching same to your children.
A parenthesis: Several times on and out of social media, some people attempt to create imaginary enemies for themselves. It’s as though they need enemies to be motivated to achieve their goals. You see songs where young boys and girls are busy cursing and abusing people they regard as enemies, which many times are a figment of their imagination.
Don’t get me wrong, there are professional haters online and offline but when I see young people taking drugs, heavy-drinking alcohol, smoking all sorts of things and glamorizing lewdness and still talk about enemies, I wonder if they aren’t talking about themselves.
Granted, there are people who wouldn’t want to hear that you made it to the limelight, but you need to grow above them. You don’t have to prove anything to them.
Related post: Do Good to them that hate you.
Rather I want you to know this: you have a responsibility towards millions of men, women, boys and girls, including those yet unborn. Get motivated to work harder, study/research more, invest more, pray more etc by this inner responsibility.
When you realise that you’re part of a bigger setup (humanity), then you won’t need imaginary enemies to motivate you.
Pray for them
This brings me to saying that we should pray for those that maliciously use us and persecute us. They laugh at your beliefs and lifestyle as a Christian. They try to shame you for standing up for what is godly.
While reading 1 Cor. 4:10-13 at about 2 am, my eyes were full of tears:
“10 We are [regarded as] fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are highly esteemed, but we are dishonored. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are continually poorly dressed, and we are roughly treated, and wander homeless. 12 We work [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When we are reviled and verbally abused, we bless. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure. 13 When we are slandered, we try to be conciliatory and answer softly. We have become like the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.’’ But in Romans 10:1 he still said ‘‘Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved’’.
As a matter of fact, persecution is an indispensable experience when you’re living godly in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 3:12). As such, prayers for the forgiveness of and blessings for our persecutors is a line that we must toe no matter how difficult, if we must be perfect like our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Acts 7:60; Romans 12:14)
Related article: Why you should bless them that curse you.