How Should We Pray for the Russians?
Jesus’ words about loving our enemies remain as true and trying as ever. But the radical love to which Christ calls us shouldn’t be confused with squishy emotion or moral vacuity
John StonestreetTimothy D Padgett
When we think of Christ’s call to love our enemies, we often think of work rivals or political opponents. Loving these “enemies” isn’t easy, but not impossible. What if, however, our enemies are evildoers, responsible for acts of evil and violence?
We can respect the brave protestors who have been arrested for standing up to Putin. We pity teenagers conscripted into a fight they neither sought nor understand. But are we really called to love Putin and his cronies or the Russian troops rejoicing in their conquest or the talking heads in Moscow calling to expand the war into Eastern Europe?
Jesus’ words about loving our enemies remain as true and trying as ever. But the radical love to which Christ calls us shouldn’t be confused with squishy emotion or moral vacuity. We love our enemies by praying for God’s mercy on their victims, and for His justice to overwhelm and overcome their wicked intents, and for His will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven.
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