"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)
I have been meditating on this verse and God has been teaching me through it. Here is what I am learning.
God is the ultimate source of love. He loved us into creation. It's His love that won victory on the cross for us, and it's His love that will be consumated when the Bride, the church, is ready.
Hate is an attribute of Satan. But love through Christ is the conquerer.
I think we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us because as children of God, living in His will for our lives, if someone is our adversary, then their brokenness is possibly being used and manipulated by the enemy for Satan's advancement.
By praying and loving our enemies, we unite with God in His love. Through prayer in His love, we have the authority to cancel Satan's plan of division, additional pain, and further brokenness. Through loving and praying for our enemies and persecutors, we can be agents and ambassadors of God, working in his healing redemptive plans for God's kingdom advancement.
In this time between the Fall and New Creation, battles are being waged. We are given the opportunity to choose which weapons to use: Love and Prayer, or Hate and Gossip. Both have power. When the time for a battle arises, which weapons will you choose?