I have become so overwhelmed by the negativity in our world, by “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” mentality we see and hear day by day, that I asked the Lord how to pray for this. This, I believe, was His response to me: “Pray for your enemies! More so than the oil that is pouring into the Gulf, man’s hatred of and lack of forgiveness toward his fellow man is the most lethal of poisons.” I composed this prayer in response. I hope it helps us all to remember that the worst pollutant is a bitter and unforgiving heart and the most effective cleanser is a charitable and benevolent spirit which only God can give us.
Here is my prayer:
Lord, you know our hearts where our foes are concerned. We are filled with doubts about their motives and their actions, but at the same time we acknowledge that You alone know how to read souls and You alone are the judge of men. We come before You in humility, in repentance and neediness. Left to ourselves, we can never exercise true charity; we will always fall short. We can’t see the whole picture; only You can do that. The Holy Scriptures assure us that no purpose of Yours can ever be thwarted. No evil can ever defeat You or overthrow Your designs. Help us to keep that in mind as we pray. Help us to grow in trust that You can and will work all things for good, even the foulest and most despicable situations. Help us to think twice when we express aversion toward others. Help us to use those occasions to stop in our tracks, to redirect our thoughts, and to turn those negatives to positives, believing that with You in the equation, the bitter can become sweet; the dark can become flooded with light; the sinister can fall prostrate before you in repentance; the most dismal situations can become infused with hope; the black storm clouds can reveal their silver linings. Lord, we pray for our enemies. We unclench our fists and release all the energy we’ve expended in distrusting them to trusting You to take care of them in ways we never can. To the best of our ability, we pray You bestow blessings on those we don’t like, don’t agree with, don’t want to associate with. We ask You to bring us all, Your children, into the family You envision us to be, a family united in love and peace and joy. To God be the glory for the conversions of hearts that will ensue, both in ourselves and in our foes. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer. Amen