The Enemy Prayer
There’s a prayer in the Bible that’s meant to be prayed for our enemies. A lot of us don’t notice at first that this is what it’s for, but it is. We’re going to pray this prayer today. Before we do, take some time to think about your enemies - your ideological enemies and those who are part of systems that have hurt you, and then the more intimate enemies who are family or friends or acquaintances who have wounded you whether temporarily or permanently.
Join in praying now.
The premise of this prayer is that we all have one Father in heaven - hold that in mind as you pray these lines and sit in silence:
Our Father, in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Next we seek together a different way to treat our enemies and to be human together - hold that in mind as you pray these lines and sit in silence.
Your kingdom come and your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Then we acknowledge the need for justice in this world because its resources are not distributed fairly - hold that in mind as you pray these lines and sit in silence.
Give us this day our daily bread
Now we address our enemies head on, extending forgiveness in our hearts just as we seek our own forgiveness from God, naming all of our indebtedness - hold that in mind as you pray these lines and sit in silence.
Forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors
Finally we ask for a way out of the temptations towards hate and bitterness and smallness and we seek protection from injustice and oppression - hold that in mind as you pray these lines and sit in silence.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
These next lines are not part of Jesus’s teaching on this prayer in Matthew 6 but they help in reminding us the awesomeness of our God, in power and in humility, in love and in justice. So let this be your Amen.
For yours is the power and the glory
Forever and ever, Amen.