Would you pray for a terrorist?
A young man named Stephen did. Even as he was being stoned to death by an angry mob, intent on wiping out Christians, he prayed.
And his prayer was not that God wash them from the face of the earth. His prayer was not that God save him to continued earthly life.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
There was a young terrorist watching. His name was Saul. God did not kill him. God did not hold his acts against him.
Saul the terrorist did not immediately change. But later he became Paul the evangelist, who wrote a big part of our New Testament Bible.
There was another man who came before Stephen. He also prayed for those who were torturing Him and murdering Him.
Jesus did not ask God to kill His attackers. Even in the midst of intense suffering, He prayed,
“Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.”
He knew what His Father had already said through the prophet Ezekiel.
“As surely as I live,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
In fact, Jesus had already told His Followers
“The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me.”
How many times do we hear of violent acts and pray only for the victims? And sometimes, perhaps even pray for violence against the perpetrators of violence?
But God sees what we do not. He sees the person He created for good and not evil. He wants that person to live and turn from his evil ways.
The next Paul may soon be revealed.
May we all pray not only for the victims of violence, but also for those who have become victims of satan and are now being used by him.
Since Jesus has told us they do these things because they do not know God or Him, let us pray for all to know The Truth and for all to be set free.
Then you will know The Truth, and The Truth will set you free!