May 20, 2013

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.  For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:44

I pray while I run.  I pray that I will finish the loop and won’t die but I pray about everything else also.  Running is very meditative for me.  I have found that I pray in rhythm with the cadence of my foot strikes.  It is nothing that I try to do, it just happens.  My prayers come out in measure with my breathing.  It is rather meditative.

I do not know exactly why it is such a sweet time for my soul.  It might be the lack of distractions.  It might be due to just being alone and fully awake.  It might be that the physical excursion allows my mind to just flow.  I don’t know why it feels natural for me to talk with God while I run.  It just does.

I don’t come to these times with a prayer list.  My running-prayer time is more of a conversation.  As things and people come to my mind, I pray about them.  I usually spend some time mulling and praying through the passages that were in my Bible reading.  I spend most of my time praying for my wife and kids.  I pray for my extended family.  I pray about all the issues we are facing.  I pray about work.  I pray for people I have met and my friends.  I pray for our world leaders.  I pray for my… enemies.

This one got me stumped the other day.  I was in the back stretch of my run.  I was tired and the fog of fatigue was clouding my mind a bit.  I was praying through the lawsuit that my company has been threatened with.  I have written about this before in But I Don’t Wanna Be Slapped and Dealing with Troubles.  As you can see, it is an ongoing and reoccurring theme.

Evidently, I need to continue to preach to myself about loving my enemies and praying for them.  In that moment, I had a complete blank of what to pray for them about.  It seems all that I could bring to my mind would give them stability and their stability appears to lead directly to my instability.  Praying for them felt like I was praying against myself and my colleagues.

What could I pray for them about?  I struggled with that question for a couple of miles as their faces flashed through my mind.  As the asphalt passed under my feet, I wondered if I really loved them.  We are told to love our enemies.  That is an easy command when you don’t have anyone really coming after you.  It is so much harder when you anticipate having to go into an unnecessary legal battle with them.

I don’t love what they are doing.  I hate it.  I hate everything that has come out of it.  I hate how it makes me feel.  I hate all the uncertainty and waste.  However, I was reminded what their actions are; sin.  Their actions against me are coming from a heart that needs to be redeemed.  Several of the players on the other side are not Christians.  I want them to be saved.  Just because they have been very active in tearing down my company’s reputation, does not mean that I want them to go to hell.  I don’t; I just want them to leave us alone.  As my legs moved in a mindless motion, I realized that I don’t hate them.  I don’t want a pound of flesh out of them.  I don’t want them to lose their jobs.  I don’t want them to be humiliated.  I want them to be saved.  I want them to come to Jesus and know my Savior…I want to spend eternity with them.

That is a lot more like love…I can love them by praying for their salvation.

There are a few in the other camp who are professing Christians.  It distresses me to think that fellow brothers in the Lord would act as these men have.  I don’t have a problem with Christians disagreeing.  However, it is how we disagree.  I truly believe that Christians can disagree in the secular environment with integrity and in a manner that is glorifying to God.  From my perspective these men have not done that.  I can pray about that.  I can pray that the Spirit would work in their hearts and motivate them to pursue a route that brings the most glory to God out of a bad situation.  They are my brothers in Christ.  I care more about the condition of their souls then I do about the money they are so passionately pursuing.  I know that they hold me in pretty low opinion.  That is fine; I know my heart and I am worse than they think.

If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be.
~ Charles Spurgeon

I just hope and pray that these men who profess the name of Jesus will use this conflict between us to glorify God.  I can ask no more.  If that happens then I will be satisfied.

I finally returned to my driveway.  My run had served its purpose.  It is so easy to pray for those who love us.  It is easy to pray for those who are indifferent to us.  It is easy to love those who love us.  However, is there any difference in that from what those who hate Jesus do?

The most loving thing I can do for my enemies, those who persecute and prosecute, is to pray for their salvation and sanctification.  God can do anything.  He can handle this little problem as well.  May HE be glorified, first and foremost and may my actions speak to a difference that does not come from this world.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for my attitudes towards these men.  Forgive me for confusing their actions with who they are.  Lord, I pray that they will stop doing what they are doing and act with integrity.  Father, examine my heart – I want to resolve this issue.  However, I want these enemies of mine to know You more than anything else.  Father, I pray for their salvation and sanctification.  Please use this messy situation to draw them closer to You.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. […] I Don’t Wanna to be Slapped Dealing with Troubles A Prayerful Run Struggle to Forgive – […]

  2. Well said! I enjoy your thought process and prayer. Maybe i should take up running…well, actually tried didn’t work for me. I am thankful for all the ways God speaks to us and all the special places He meets us to give us His perspective and truth. Thank you for sharing a very needed message.

  3. I’ve found that by praying for my “enemies” I can’t possibly hate them. I used this system when my marriage ended. I could give my ‘ex’ a hug and a kiss without any hesitation if I ever ran into him (no, I don’t mean in the car 🙂 )

  4. It is easy for me to say , I am the greatest of all sinners! But it is hard to get from my head and mouth to my heart! More often than not, it is “lip service”. But I serve a BIG GOD and I am sure He will find a way to make it real if I am faithful to listen ! ( although I would prefer a less painful way)! Thanks for the message!

  5. Very good edifying and instructive post. Good leading by example!

  6. “I know that they hold me in pretty low opinion. That is fine; I know my heart and I am worse than they think.”

    Awesome. I hope you don’t mind, I’m sharing this link. I know a lot of us who need this post. Thank you for sharing!

  7. This is wonderful! If all of us believers had this heart, the church wouldn’t be in the mess it is! All glory to the LORD!!

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