[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=02/06&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
I ran across this somewhat chilling quote from C.S. Lewis, written in April 1940:
The practical problem about charity (in one’s prayer) is very hard work, isn’t it? When you pray for Hitler and Stalin how do you actually teach yourself to make the prayer real? (Letters of C.S. Lewis, [16 April 1940], para. 4, pg 183)
It seems very strange to read those words, to think of someone praying for two men whom we now know were responsible for the murder of tens of millions of people. Some might look strangely at Clive Jack (Following my post, I was informed that Lewis did not care for his given name and preferred Jack.) But, Lewis was clearly following a Biblical admonition:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you—Matthew 5:44 NKJV
Of course, this was before the world knew of the atrocities these two men committed or commanded to be committed, or would yet commit in the future. Yet, I have to ask myself, would it have changed Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 5:44. For the description there would have certainly fit, “enemies…those who curse you…those who hate you…those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
Spurgeon’s devotions for today were on prayer, including intercessory prayer. It sure is much easier to intercede in prayer for someone you love, someone you like, someone who is not my enemy. How would I score myself on the criteria in Matthew 5:44. I must admit I would fail miserably. All around us the world is attacking that which we hold dear. I think in the age we live in and are quickly moving into, we will have much opportunity to follow our LORD’s command in Matthew 5:44.