"Ye have heard that it hath been said,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you,
and persecute you;
that ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven:
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
"Many people pray to God because they want God
to fulfill some of their needs. If they want to have a
picnic, they ask God for a clear, sunny day. At the same
time, farmers might pray for rain. If the weather is clear,
the picnickers will say, "God is on our side; he answered
our prayers." But if it rains, the farmers will say that
God heard their prayers. This is the way we usually pray.
When you pray only for your own picnic and not for
the farmers who need the rain, you are doing the opposite
of what Jesus taught. Jesus said,
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you..."
When you look deeply into your anger, you will see
that the person you call your enemy is also suffering.
As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and
having compassion for him is there.
Jesus called this "loving your enemy."
When you are able to love your enemy,
he or she is no longer your enemy. The idea
of "enemy" vanishes and is replaced by the notion of
someone who is suffering and needs your compassion.
Doing this is sometimes easier than you might have
imagined, but you need to practice. If you read the Bible
but don't practice, it will not help much.
In Buddhism, practicing the teaching of the Buddha
is the highest form of prayer. The Buddha said,
"If someone is standing on one shore and wants
to go to the other shore, he has to either use a boat
or swim across. He cannot just pray, 'Oh, other shore,
please come over here for me to step across!' "
To a Buddhist, praying without practicing
is not real prayer."
From Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh