“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: Love others as well as you love yourself.”
“…if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.”
When it comes to love we are given three directives: Love God. Love your neighbour. Love your enemies.
The first step forward to develop this love in your life is to learn to pray. I have found prayer to be an incredibly energising practice. Now if this is not familiar to you, let me explain that this is not the point where you get all holier than thou on me. Prayer for me is simply sharing my heart with one greater than myself. You will often find me talking out loud as I pray, or sometimes I’m simply speaking quietly in the depths of my mind to one greater than myself.
I was actually up at 3.30am this morning praying. That happens to me from time to time. But I also pray while I’m at work. I pray while I stroll beside the ocean. I pray in the car. I pray as an individual, and we pray as a family.
But what is prayer? Simply handing over life’s good and bad that we’re handed to one far greater than ourselves – and that even includes our enemies. Seems back to front to conventional thinking – but I have seen many an enemy turned around 180 degrees through the power of simply praying that good happen in their life.