“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 NASB).
In prayer, we can praise, thank, and make requests of God. Is it proper to ask God to improve our health or to provide us a car so we can get to work? Or are we only to make spiritual requests, asking for help to develop patience, overcome jealousy, or speak the right words of comfort in grief? A careful study helps to find Biblical guidelines for our prayer lives.
(1) Pray for your Enemies Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28
While it is natural to want punishment or destruction of our enemies, Jesus admonishes “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27, 28 NASB). Opposite to our natural human thinking, Jesus said, “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:33, 36 NASB).
How can we pray for our enemies? We can pray for their deliverance from the snares and delusions of Satan, and the blindness which hinders them from discerning the beauty of holiness. Yet, such prayers must be made with great humility, lest we be overcome with the pride of the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14). Samuel sets an example by praying for the unfaithful nation of Israel who asked for a king in place of their true King, Jehovah. Even so, Samuel said, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).