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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Enemies/Friends’ as in… “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”

Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners Magazine and a globally respected writer, teacher, preacher, and justice advocate who believes the gospel of Jesus must be transformed from its cultural and political captivities. In today’s Daily Dig from Plough, the award-winning international magazine of faith, culture, and society, Jim writes that praying for our enemies makes us all sisters, brothers, friends.

“As long as we do not pray for our enemies, we continue to see only our own point of view – our own righteousness – and to ignore their perspective. Prayer breaks down the distinctions between us and them. To do violence to others, you must make them enemies. Prayer, on the other hand, makes enemies into friends. When we have brought our enemies into our hearts in prayer, it becomes difficult to maintain the hostility necessary for violence. In bringing them close to us, prayer even serves to protect our enemies. Thus prayer undermines the propaganda and policies designed to make us hate and fear our enemies. By softening our hearts towards our adversaries, prayer can even become treasonous. Fervent prayer for our enemies is a great obstacle to war and the feelings that lead to war.”

Russia and Ukraine are at war. These neighboring countries have drawn deep lines in the ancient soil between friends and enemies. Yet, even though we are 5000 miles away, we can toss our pebbles of prayer into the pond of humanity, knowing that we make a difference by doing so.

Jesus said, “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. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.”

Pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia. Pray for all people everywhere who are experiencing strife. Remember that with every breath that we pray, we dissolve categories of ‘enemies’ and create circles of friendships.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.


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