You know how it is very difficult to focus on our worries while we're thanking God for the good things in our life? Well, it's kind of the same deal with praying for our enemy, it seems. If we're praying good things into the life of another, our heart lines up with that and starts to reject the negative towards them.
That's not to say negative thoughts and feelings won't return to trip us until our hearts are completely healed, but in moments such as that - when mood wants me to play with the anger and offence again - I have to immediately pray for them - just in my head, in my heart, for God to bless them, and, in doing so, the negative slips away again, and love is ushered in.
Through my heart shift, I've come to see a few things a little more clearly:
1. Praying for your enemy releases your heart to not only forgive, but to love as God has called you to.
2. I pray for my enemy, and suddenly, as God floods with me with love, my heart softens towards that person so much so that I feel compassion for them and not hatred.
3. Anger blinds us to the truth of our own attitude. We will/I did justify my anger by continually focusing on the one thing "they" did wrong.
4. You can't see how 'ugly' your heart is behaving when you're entertaining anger and shooting it at someone else... until you've been set free of it and look back to see what you have done. And when you are free of the anger and hatred, you stop pointing fingers, realise your own shortcomings, and, in being humbled by such revelations, you find a lot of gratitude for God, His mercy, love and grace - and gratitude for the tolerance of others who have had to suffer alongside of your anger, be them enemy or friend...
5. While we're bitching and pointing and damning, it's obvious to many we are not reflecting the love of God. We are the hypocrite, no matter what 'the enemy' has done.
6. God is watching our attitude the entire time... He will deal with 'our enemy' as He seems fit, but, for now, His concern is the state of our heart.
7. Our reactions truly do reflect our attitude, not that of our enemy...
Another Scripture that presently comes to mind at the moment is " But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:33
I think we can fool ourselves into believing that we are not denying Him by our negative and ungodly attitudes and responses, when, in truth, we are. Our heart actions either work to deny or prove Him, I believe... not just our verbal confession "Jesus is Lord."