When Jesus told His followers to love and pray for their enemies, He spoke to a Jewish people who had memories of being conquered out of their land, who still mourned their ransacked, ruined temples, who likely mourned loved ones who had suffered or died under Roman brutality. He knew that.
He also knew it would one day mean praying for ISIS in Iraq, and Boko Haram in Nigeria, as they ruthlessly continue on their quest to exterminate Christians by means of pillaging, kidnapping, burning, raping, hanging and beheading. He knew it would one day mean praying for the Sudan authorities (Meriam Ibrahim), the Pakistani authorities (Asia Noreen Bibi) and the Iranian authorities (Saeed Abedini).
So, so, difficult to do. Impossible!
But we serve a Christ who, when He hung on a cross, cried out for the very people who put Him there, ‘Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.’ (Lk 23:34). And so, we pray.