A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

When Can A Christian Gleefully Make Imprecatory Prayers?

So I have finally reached my wits end. I have decided to search out those dangerous passages in the Bible that flatten every adversary. Yeah, I want to “go nuclear” you assure yourself. But should I feel gleeful as I recite  those “forbidden verses”, so to speak? Like…

O God send down fire...

Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave. (Ps 55:15)
O God, break the teeth in their mouths. (Ps58:6)
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. (Ps 69:28)
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. (Ps 109:9)

The question of the day: How are Christians to pray the imprecatory prayers of the Psalms? And even…should we pray the imprecatory Psalms? Like the disciples of the first century we ask, “Lord teach us to pray”. We do have some direct instruction from our Lord regarding our enemies and the enemies of God. He says, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28) And..Paul.. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Tim 2:1-2) Based on these two verses alone, as Christians, we are permitted to pray for our enemies, to bless them, and to seek their conversion. This would certainly eliminate any personal prayer for particular or specific vengeance. 

I wouldn’t want to assume the office of avenger of God’s wrath. With quiet reverence and trust in the Sovereign God I shall leave vengeance to Him. Isn’t He the one who says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19b)?

Though many times don’t we just feel like making…just one (only one gleeful) imprecatory prayer?


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