Why Did Jesus Teach Us To Pray For Our Enemies?

Neil Vermillion —  June 22, 2011 —  Comments

In my opinion the answer is actually two-fold.

The first reason is because it’s good for us.

The second reason is because it’s good for our enemies.

It’s Good For Us



When we connect with God’s heart, even for (and especially for) our “enemies” we begin to feel mercy, love and compassion for them.

Even though they are opposing us as some level, our hearts can be fully alive in love, allowing us to relate to them from a foundation of love, not hate or anger.

Our Father is slow to anger and full of love, and delights in showing mercy. When our hearts are alive in love we are accurately behaving and responding like He does.


As we allow love to grow in our hearts, we continue to be transformed into His likeness.

When we take time to pray for our enemies, we are setting time aside to allow our hearts to be influenced directly by God’s heart.

As a result, we begin to grow in love, for everyone, not just our enemies. This kind of transformation frees our hearts from hate, anger, bitterness, etc., and opens the doorway of love to abide within us more freely.

Over time, love for our enemies grows in our own hearts, which in my opinion, is one of the greatest miracles possible.

It staggers our minds as we consider Jesus praying for those crucifying him on the cross, releasing a blessing on them when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know now what they do…”

It’s a famous quote because it’s truly miraculous in its demonstration of unconditional love. This miracle of limitless, unconditional love draws attention to the heart of the person, in this case Jesus, and provokes us to ask the question, “how could love like this exist?”.

Personally I believe Jesus responded this way while hanging on the cross to not only demonstrate love, but also to keep his heart free from offense even as he was dying.

Tell me what you think by leaving a comment below.

Why do you think Jesus told us to pray for our enemies?