The Prayer Of Love

We do not reciprocate… hatred and contention, although [our enemies] would like it better if we did, and so sink to their own level. And how is the battle to be fought? Soon the time will come when we shall pray, not as isolated individuals, but as a corporate body, a congregation, a church; we shall pray in multitudes (albeit small multitudes) and among the thousands of and thousands of apostates we shall loudly praise and confess the Lord who was crucified and is risen and shall come again. And what prayer, what confession, what hymn of praise will it be? It will be the prayer of earnest love for these very children of perdition who stand around and gaze at us with eyes aflame with hatred, and who have perhaps already raised their hands to kill us. It will be prayer for the peace of these erring, devastated, and bewildered souls, a prayer which will penetrate to the depths of their souls and rend their hearts more grievously than anything they can do to us. Yes, the church which is really waiting for its Lord, and which discerns the signs of the times of decision, must fling itself with its utmost power and with the panoply of its holy life into this prayer of love.

– from A Testament To Freedom 320 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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