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What Happens When You Pray for Your Enemies

A graphic of a woman praying for her enemies

What Happens When You Pray for Your Enemies

When you pray for your enemies, something amazing happens. You open up the possibility for God to work in their lives in ways you can’t imagine. Of course, you can’t control what they do with that opportunity, but you can trust that God is good and that He knows what He’s doing. While God is working in their lives, praying for your enemies also changes you.

It helps you to see them as human beings who are beloved by God, just as you are. Praying for your enemies is one of the most difficult things you can do. It requires setting aside your anger and hatred, and instead of asking for God’s blessing and guidance for them.

It softens your heart and reminds you that you, too, are in need of God’s grace. As you spend time praying for your enemies, you become more like the person God created you to be: compassionate, forgiving, and full of love. It helps you to let go of your anger and resentment. By directing your positive energy towards them, you are opening yourself up to forgiveness and understanding.

Second, it allows you to see them as human beings, created in God’s image just like you. This can help break down the barriers that separate you and allow you to see them as fellow children of God.

Finally, it gives you the opportunity to ask God to bless them and guide them in their lives. No matter what the outcome, prayer is always a powerful act that can bring about positive change in both yourself and others and draw you closer to God.

Who are the Enemies?

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Often times when something goes wrong in your life, you might point the finger at someone else or something else. You may even label that person or thing as your “enemy.” However, the Bible says that the true enemies are not people or things.

They are anything and everything that God is not. They are sin and death and the devil himself. But they are also the things in this world that lure you away from God: money, power, and possessions. They are the things that tempt you to turn your back on your faith: doubt, fear, and hatred. And they are the things that keep you from living out your Christian calling: laziness, greed, and selfishness.

The real enemies are spiritual beings who are engaged in a battle against God and His people. These spiritual enemies include Satan and his demons. They are the ones who seek to destroy their lives and relationships with God. They stand against everything that is good and right, and they oppose God’s people.

The enemies of God are those who promote evil and wickedness. They spread lies and false teachings, and they lead people astray. They try to destroy families and communities, and they persecute God’s people.

They are the ones who tempt us to sin and turn away from God. As a Christian, you must be ever vigilant against their schemes and attacks. But you need not fear, for we have the victory in Christ Jesus! (1 John 4:4) He will give us strength to overcome them, and He will ultimately triumph over evil.

Related: 30+ Prayers to Rebuke the Enemy

Why are You Supposed to Pray for Them?

  • God will bless you for your act of kindness
  • Experience the love and joy of God more fully in your life.
  • You will feel the love, compassion and peace in knowing that you’re following Jesus Christ’s example.
  • You will be more likely to forgive those who have hurt you when you pray for them.

One of the most difficult things Christians are asked to do is pray for their enemies. It can be hard to understand why you are supposed to do this, but there are several reasons.

Following Jesus

First, praying for your enemies shows that you are following Jesus’s example. He prayed for the people who crucified Him, and He told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.


Second, praying for your enemies is an act of obedience. God tells us to pray for all people, even those who seem unlovable.

Showing God’s Love

Third, praying for your enemies is a way of showing God’s love to them. You may not be able to show them any other kind of love, but you can always pray that God will bless them and give them what they need.

Change Their Hearts

Finally, praying for your enemies is a way of asking God to change their hearts. You may never see the results of your prayers, but you can trust that God hears you and will answer in His own time and in His own perfect way.

Weapon Against Darkness

Additionally, prayer can be a powerful weapon against darkness. As you lift up your enemies in prayer, you are declaring war on the forces of evil that seek to destroy them.

In doing so, you are taking a stand for what is right and good. Ultimately, praying for your enemies is an act of obedience that brings glory to God and brings hope to those who are lost in sin.


One last reason is you are also asking God to help you forgive them, even when they have hurt you deeply. This is not always easy, but it is what Christ calls you to do. He told you to love your enemies and pray for them because that is what He did for you. And by doing so, you can show the world His love and grace.

Related: 25+ Prayers for Deliverance from Enemies

How does Praying For Your Enemies Change You?

Praying for your enemies is one of the most difficult things you can do as a Christian.

It goes against human nature. But when you pray for your enemies, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus.

He prayed for those who crucified Him, even though they did not deserve it. And because He did that, you are now able to have a relationship with God. When you pray for your enemies, it changes you.

It makes you more like Christ. You start to see people the way that God sees them. You see their potential, and their value, and see them as people who need God’s love just as much as you do. When you see people that way, it changes the way you treat them. You are more kind and compassionate, just as Jesus is.

The Benefits of Praying for Your Enemies

  • You will be more Christ-like.
  • You will have a deeper understanding of the Bible.
  • You will be more compassionate. 
  • You will feel closer to God.
  • You will have a greater understanding of love.
  • Praying for your enemies makes you a more forgiving person. 
  • It shows that you trust in God’s plan, even when you don’t understand it. 
  • It demonstrates your faith and belief in the power of prayer.

Bible Verses that will Help You Pray for Your Enemies

– Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

When Jesus said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” he was teaching us how to live out the full extent of the love of God.

This love is not based on feelings or emotions, but on a decision to extend grace and forgiveness to others, even when they don’t deserve it. It’s a difficult command to follow, but it’s one that yields incredible fruit. When we love our enemies, we reflect the character of God and show the world that His love is powerful enough to overcome even the deepest hatred.

What’s more, when we pray for our persecutors, we open up the possibility for them to experience God’s transformative power in their lives. We may never see the fruit of our obedience in this life, but we can trust that God is at work, changing hearts and minds for His glory.

– Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

When we read these words of Jesus, they challenge everything we think we know about how the world works. We are used to thinking that we have to fight hard to protect ourselves and our interests and that those who oppose us are our enemies.

But Jesus challenges us to rethink our relationships with those who mistreat us. He tells us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us. This is a radical way of living, but it is the way of Jesus.

And when we choose to follow his way, we find that it leads to life and hope instead of hatred and despair. Jesus showed us the power of love when he died on the cross for his enemies. And when we choose to love our enemies in the same way, we can experience the same power in our lives.

– Romans 12:17-21 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

The book of Romans is chock-full of great verses to live by, and 12:17-21 is no exception. Here, Paul instructs us not to repay evil with evil, but to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. We are also instructed to live at peace with everyone, if at all possible.

And even when we are wronged, we are to take the high road and overcome evil with good. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it is so important. When we choose to forgive instead of retaliating, we not only model the love of Christ, but we also heap burning coals on our enemies’ heads.

In other words, we give them a chance to experience the transforming power of grace. And that is a beautiful thing.

1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

This is a well-known verse that speaks to the heart of how Christians are to relate to others. We are not to repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but instead are to bless those who have treated us poorly.

Why? Because we have been called by God to do so, and when we respond in blessings, we have actually inherited a blessing ourselves. It may not make sense at first glance, but this is how God works.

He takes our broken situations and brings about beauty and good from them. So when we choose to bless those who have wronged us, we are modeling the character of God and opening ourselves up to receive His blessings in return.

Let us then choose not to repay evil with evil, but instead bless those around us, knowing that in doing so, we are also blessed.

How to Pray for Your Enemies

When you pray for your enemy’s salvation, it’s not just a nice thing to do. It’s an act of worship. By praying for the people who hate you, you are putting your trust in God and declaring that He is bigger than the hatred.

It’s a bold statement of faith, and it has the power to change lives. When you pray for your enemy, you are also asking God to bless them. You are asking Him to pour out His love on them and to show them His mercy. This is a tough thing to do, but it is an act of obedience that will be rewarded. As you pray for your enemies, watch how God changes their hearts and brings them into His fold. It will be an amazing thing to see!

Here are four steps to help you pray for your enemies.

1. Pray for their salvation.

This is the most important thing you can pray for your enemies. Pray that they will come to know Jesus and be saved from eternal separation from God.

2. Pray for their repentance.

Ask God to convict your enemies of their sin and help them turn from it.

3. Pray for their healing.

Many of our enemies are wounded people who are lashing out in pain. Pray that God will heal their wounds and set them free from whatever is causing them to act in hostility towards others.

4. Pray for their change.

Once our enemies have been saved and healed, we need to pray that they will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and become new people who love and serve God (and others).

Praying for your enemies can be difficult, but it is so important. It changes you from the inside out and has the potential to change your enemies as well. Take up this challenge and pray for those who have hate in their hearts, knowing that in doing so, you are imitating the love of Christ.

A Prayer for Your Enemies

First Prayer for Your Enemies


Lord, I pray for my enemies today. I know that they don’t always make life easy for me, and sometimes I can get caught up in feeling resentment and anger toward them. But I know that you love them just as much as you love me, and I pray that you would help me to see them through your eyes – full of compassion and grace.

Help me to forgive them when they wrong me, and to show them kindness even when they don’t deserve it. I know that your ways are higher than my ways, and I trust that you will work all things for good in their lives, just as you have promised. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Second Prayer for Your Enemies


Heavenly Father, I come before You today asking for Your help. I am struggling to forgive those who have harmed me, and I need Your strength to overcome my anger and resentment. I know that You command us to love our enemies, and I am willing to obey Your Word. But I need Your help to do so. Fill me with Your love, Lord, so that I can extend that same love to those who have hurt me. Help me to see them through Your eyes—as people who are deeply loved by You and who are in need of Your forgiveness.

Give me the grace to treat them with compassion and mercy, just as You have treated me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Third Prayer for Your Enemies


God, I know that you love all people, even those who are my enemies. I pray that you would bless them and help them to know you more. Draw them close to you and give them your peace. I also pray that you would help me to love them and pray for them, as you have commanded us to do. I know it is not easy, but I trust that you will give me your strength. I ask all of this in your Son’s precious name, Amen.

Remember Who the Real Enemy Is

The real enemy of Christians is not other people or groups. The real enemy is Satan, who seeks to destroy everything that is good in this world. Satan is the one who tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God, and he has been causing trouble ever since.

He is the one who leads people into sin, and he is the one who causes division and conflict in the world. But thanks be to God, we know that Satan has already been defeated!

Jesus Christ came into the world to die for our sins, and He rose again on the third day. Because of Jesus, we have forgiveness and eternal life. So when you face difficulties in this life, you can take comfort in knowing that Satan has already been defeated. You can also take comfort in knowing that Jesus is with you always, even to the end of the age!

What did Jesus do About His Enemies?

By all accounts, Jesus was a master of love and compassion. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and showed kindness to even the most outcast members of society. However, He also faced His share of enemies during His ministry on earth. The religious leaders of His day were constantly trying to trip Him up with difficult questions, and they eventually succeeded in getting Him crucified. But even in the end, Jesus refused to respond in anger or hatred. Instead, He prayed for His enemies and forgave those who killed Him. In doing so, He set an example for all of us to follow. No matter how much hate we face in this world, we can always choose to respond with love. Just as Jesus did.

How to Overcome Evil with Good

As Christians, we are called to overcome evil with good. This can be a difficult task, but it is one that is essential to our faith.

One way to overcome evil is to pray for those who persecute us. Prayer brings us closer to God and helps us to see the situation from His perspective. It also gives us the strength to love those who hate us and to do good even when it seems impossible.

Another way to overcome evil is to speak words of life and hope. When we speak words of encouragement, we plant seeds of faith that can grow and bear fruit in the lives of others.

Finally, we can overcome evil by living out our faith in everything we do. When we love others and serve them selflessly, we are showing the love of Christ in everything we do. Evil may seem powerful, but the good that we do in the name of Christ will always be more powerful.

In Conclusion: What Happens When You Pray for Your Enemies

When you pray for your enemies, not only do you change internally, but you can also affect change in the way others view them too. Your enemies may not even be aware of the effect your prayers are having on them. Consequently, praying for your enemies can be one of the most selfless and impactful things you do. So the next time you’re feeling angry or resentful towards someone, take a moment to pray for them instead. You may be surprised at the changes that come about as a result.

Jeanne Connor

Saturday 9th of December 2023

Very well said- was looking for Catholic answer to my “?” & id’d your response as Catholic almost immediately! One problem: You say our enemies are “children of God” & they may indeed be - yet “all” people are NOT children of God! That ( we are all CoG) is the call of universalism. Paragraph #1 of the Catechism ends with these words: “… He (God) invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, His adopted children & thus heirs of His blessed life.” His invitation requires acceptance - it is not a given. Any NT scripture that mentions CoG is always directed to the “elect” - believers in Christ. If our enemies are already CoG, as you say, then we have no need to pray for their salvation since children of God are already “adopted and thus heirs of His blessed life” (Heaven). Many priests use the “everyone is a Child of God” phrase, from the pulpit, & I cringe … But it sounds so inclusive -right? The correct phrase is “we are ALL made in the “image” of God”. Catechism # 364. I could go on and on about this & the difference between “image” & “likeness” - see CofCC #1701-1709 - the “image” (moral) part being lost at the “Fall” and only restored with 1709: “He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God”.