“And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'”
– Luke 23:42 (RSV)
Indeed, our persecutor deserves our compassion. Through our intercessory prayer, we can help to heal the breach in that person’s heart and prepare that person to receive the love of Jesus Christ. Think of the Good Thief hanging beside Jesus on Calvary. Scripture recounts that he jeered and mocked Jesus just like those around him (see Mt 27:44). But when the Good Thief recognized Jesus as the Messiah, his heart was changed. Our prayers for our persecutors can help to bring them to this same recognition.
Think of someone in your life that has persecuted you or treated you wrongly in any way. How can you pray for them today? Is there something you can offer up for them?