I'm a firm believer in the idea that prayer changes things. Many times in life we come across situations where our first instinct is to judge. When I say "we," I am of course, implying myself. I have to be careful in jumping to conclusions about people even when everything appears as though it adds up. But what Jesus calls us to do is love and pray. I have to pray for others. I hope my brothers and sisters are praying for me too.
This life is a complicated one, because there are so many angles that it can be approached from:
Everybody has their own story
Everybody has their own distinct past
Everybody has their own skeletons, which in turn may affect how they act
Everybody has their own outlook on situations
Everybody has a side to a story
Everybody hears a story just a little bit differently
Everybody is the hero of their own story
I deeply believe that we're all trying to make it. We're all trying to feel loved. We're all trying to search for love. We want to connect and we want to feel appreciated.
As one of my favorite songs by Tasha Cobbs goes: "There's power in the name of Jesus to break every chain." What a powerful Name it is, and what a beautiful Name it is.
I'm working on loving my neighbors more, without any barriers. Unconditionally. Now, this mindset doesn't mean that you let people walk over you. Sometimes, "love" is correction, and/or rebuke. Love can take many forms, but I believe the root of it is God. In other words, I try to love my neighbor as God loves us. Of course God's love is immeasurable, but I believe that it is our duty to strive to imitate that. Man, I've spat in God's face so many times. And He still loves me. Unconditionally. Literally, without any conditions. That's how we should love others.
In short, we pray for our neighbors, because we love our neighbors. We pray for our enemies, because we love our enemies.