Our friend held a manila envelope in his hands. It was a picture he had gotten of someone breaking into his car. Instead of showing this picture to everyone in the prayer room that day, he handed it to the person next to him and said, “Pass this envelope around. I want everyone to lay hands on it and pray for this person.”
This last year, our truck was broken into while we slept. I left our camera in the car the week before. We’d been on an outing, and I’d forgotten it in the truck when we got home. Out of everything that was stolen, I was most upset about those pictures. I hated the thought of someone else having my precious memories in their hands.
I was angry, upset, shaken… my first reaction was not to pray for them at all, it was something quite different.
When we see people who are doing wrong, especially who have done wrong to us, it’s so easy to let our feelings get in the way and take over. We can become judgmental, and even wish that person harm. That’s just the way our flesh works.
But what if we turned those negative feelings into prayers for their salvation, even into prayers that they might get caught, and while having to pay the price for their crimes, Jesus would intervene in their life?
God saved us, his children, from a life of sin and death. Without Him, we’d be left in our depravity and brokenness. So when we see someone else who is living a life according to the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), shouldn’t we who have the light pray?
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:44-45 NIV).