Psalm 35 (NASB)
1Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
2Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help.
3Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (ESV)
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.
4Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
5Let them be like chaff before the wind,
With the angel of the LORD driving them on.
6Let their way be dark and slippery,
With the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
7For without cause they hid their net for me;
Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
8Let destruction come upon him unawares,
And let the net which he hid catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.
9And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD;
It shall exult in His salvation.
11Malicious witnesses rise up;
They ask me of things that I do not know.
12They repay me evil for good,
To the bereavement of my soul.
13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting,
And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.
Here’s a great verse to help you pray for your enemies.
Psalm 35:13 says: “But as for me when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth. I humbled my soul with fasting and my prayer returned into my own bosom.”
Praying for people you do not like, or people who hate you, is not the most inspirational thing to do—I must admit. But there is great benefit in doing so.
David is saying here that his prayers did not benefit his enemies due to their sin and rebelliousness toward God. Yet God rewarded him for his prayers and for showing mercy and grace toward them in their time of trouble (“my prayer returned into my own bosom”).
David fasted and prayed for his enemies. He showed compassion toward them. He treated his enemy as a friend. He returned good for evil, as he would to his own brother or mother. What a great heart!
Jesus told us to turn the other cheek.In Matthew 5:44 he said: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” He not only taught it, he lived it.
On the cross he prayed “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Do you need to pray a prayer like this?
14I went about as though it were my friend or brother;
I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.
15But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;
The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me,
They slandered me without ceasing.
16Like godless jesters at a feast,
They gnashed at me with their teeth.
17Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
My only life from the lions.
18I will give You thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise You among a mighty throng.
19Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me;
Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.
20For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.
21They opened their mouth wide against me;
They said, “Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!”
22You have seen it, O LORD, do not keep silent;
O Lord, do not be far from me.
Genesis 16:13 (NLT)
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”
23Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right
And to my cause, my God and my Lord.
24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness,
And do not let them rejoice over me.
25Do not let them say in their heart, “Aha, our desire!”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed him up!”
26Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress;
Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.
27Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication;
And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified,
Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”
28And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness
And Your praise all day long.
My lips will praise you, for you are holy.
My voice will ever rise before your throne.
My heart will love you, for you are lovely,
and you have called me to become your own.
All together, now! HERE is “O for a thousand tongues to sing,” written by Charles Wesley (who visited the island where I live, St. Simons Island, GA, in 1736). The hymn was placed first in John Wesley’s A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodists published in 1780. It appeared first in every (Wesleyan) Methodist hymnal for the next 200 years!