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Pray for your enemies


According to the Associated Press, in September 1994 Cindy Hartman of Conway, Ark., walked into her house to answer the phone and was confronted by a burglar. He ripped the phone cord out of the wall and ordered her into a closet.

Hartman dropped to her knees and asked the burglar if she could pray for him. “I want you to know that God loves you and I forgive you,” she said.

The burglar apologized for what he had done. Then he yelled out the door to a woman in a pickup truck: “We’ve got to unload all of this. This is a Christian home and a Christian family. We can’t do this to them.”

As Hartman remained on her knees, the burglar returned furniture he had taken from her home. Then he took the bullets out of his gun, handed the gun to Hartman, and walked out the door.

Praying for our enemies is incredibly disarming.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Jesus went on to explain that if we love only those who love us, we are doing no more than unbelievers (Matt. 5:46-47).

Jesus used action words to describe what we must do for our enemies: love, bless, do good, and pray for. We are not asked to ignore those who hate us, but rather to actively seek good for them. Although it is difficult, it is both possible and necessary if we are to be good Christians.

Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

We invite you to join us for Sunday worship at 8 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Sunday school for all ages begins at 9:15 a.m. Make plans to join us for our community festival to be held on Sunday, Aug. 26, in the La Vernia Chamber of Commerce Hall, beginning at 9 a.m. We will have worship, lunch, music, live and silent auctions, games, and more. Hope to see you there!

Have a great week!

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