Praying for the Destruction of Your Enemies
Imprecatory prayers, which call for the violent destruction of others, are recorded in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Psalms. War or no war, you can’t ignore the passionate plea for the violent destruction of enemies.
They Are Inspired
Jesus quoted from two imprecatory psalms, Psa 35 and 69 (Joh 2:17 and 15:25), as did the Apostle Paul and Peter (Acts 1:20 and Rom 11:9), but Jesus never apologized for them or implied that they did not teach the truth.
An imprecatory prayer is one that asks God to bring judgment on someone; there are many texts in the Bible that discuss God’s judgment, but Psalm 69 provides a good example of what such a prayer might look like.
But Jesus Said Love Your Enemies
Imprecatory prayers are frowned upon by Christians because they appear to contradict the idea of praying for the destruction of one’s adversary. Neither Jesus nor any of the other New Testament writers specifically correct the imprecatory prayers of the Old Testament, and some New Testament texts appear to be imprecatory in nature.
The imprecatory prayers of the Psalms are quite different from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in which he talks about personal relationships and how we should pray for our enemies, and in which he asks us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Where Does that Leave Us?
Can we pray for the destruction of our enemies like David did? Here are some principles to consider when deciding whether or not to pray for their destruction.
1. It should not be about personal revenge.
It’s not just personal revenge and pride on the line in every instance of an imprecatory prayer in the Bible; the offence takes on a personal nature because the author represents an entire nation. Imprecatory prayers are about just retribution against an evil enemy.
2. It’s about stopping evil.
Imprecatory prayers are aimed at bringing evil to a halt so that it cannot continue to destroy the lives of the innocent. Taking out the evil man/men in charge is often the quickest and most effective way to put an end to the killing of innocents, and that is exactly what an imprecatory prayer is for!
3. It’s about honoring God.
God is called upon in the psalms to bring justice against men who do not honor or worship him; their deepest desire is for God’s glory and honor, not for revenge; the psalmists ask God to restore his fame, to defend his name.
Reminders for Us
I cannot tell you whether or not you should ever pray an imprecatory prayer, but I can tell you that few of us will have the circumstances that David had when he prayed them, and they are righteous and inspired prayers. I cannot tell you whether or not you should ever pray an imprecatory prayer, but I can tell you that few of us will have the circumstances that David had when he prayed them.
1. Sin is worse that we thought.
They remind us that sin is always against God, and that the innocent are often the ones who suffer from it; we underestimate sin, its power to destroy, and how much it offends our holy God!
2. We aren’t concerned enough about God’s honor.
Our desire to bring God glory should be so strong in our hearts that it bothers us when we see someone not honoring God!
What is Psalm 109 used for?
Psalm 109 is classified as an individual lament psalm (Weiser 1962:690) in form-critical studies of the Psalter; more specifically, it is a lament of an individual person accused of being guilty of the death of a poor man (v. 16), possibly by mysterious means such as curses (vv.
Which Psalm is for battle?
Praise be to the LORD, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle; He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, and who subdues peoples under me.
What is the Psalm 91 prayer?
“He is my refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I put my trust,” I will say of the LORD. “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his feathers, and you will find refuge under his wings; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Should we pray Psalm 109?
Psalm 109 (as well as Psalm 35 and many other imprecatory Psalms) is quoted in the New Testament; therefore, should Christians pray the imprecatory Psalms? Yes, as long as our prayers are in accordance with God’s Word, and thus His will.
What does psalm 25 say?
I put my trust in thee, O my God: do not let me be ashamed, do not let my enemies triumph over me; indeed, let none who wait on thee be ashamed: let those who transgress without cause be ashamed.
How do you pray for protection from evil?
As I begin this day, I pray for Your protection; You are my safe haven, and I can always find refuge under Your wings. Protect me from harm wherever I go, and keep evil at bay; no matter where I am, I will look to You as my Protector, the one who fights for me every day.
What does Psalm 144 say?
Blessed be the LORD, my fortress, my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I put my trust; who subdueth my people under me.
What does Psalms say about enemies?
My greatest enemies are within me, not outside of me; my own passions seek to destroy me; my enemies/adversaries/foes/armies are primarily the wicked impulses and evil thoughts I must battle within myself.
How does God teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight?
u201cPraise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle,u201d the Psalmist knew the Lord could teach him how to fight in this battle, and he was well aware that the Lord could guide his fingers in the art of spiritual warfare.
What is Psalm 91 telling us?
In Jewish thought, Psalm 91 conveys the themes of God’s protection and rescue from danger, according to the Midrash Tehillim and Zohar, Moses composed this psalm while ascending into the cloud hovering over Mount Sinai, at which time he recited these words as protection from the angels of destruction.
What is a good prayer for healing?
Loved God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, strengthen the hands of my healers, and bless the methods used to cure me; give me such faith in the power of your grace that I may put my complete trust in you even when I am afraid; through our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
What does secret place mean in Psalm 91?
There is a secret place in God’s presence that we can ABIDE in; it is a place that no one else knows about, but it is completely accessible through the blood of the Lamb. As we saw in Psalm 27, the place of His presence is where we find strength.
What is the meaning of Psalm 109 8?
On the surface, Psalm 109:8 appears to be an appropriate sentiment for a right-leaning Christian to pray for God to bring upon Obama: u201cLet his days be few; and let another take his office.u201d and may his prayers condemn him.
Is it wrong to pray against your enemies?
The Bible allows prayers against our enemies, but only at specific times, and only with godly intentions and a godly heart. You cannot pray against your enemies out of hatred.
Does God protect me from my enemies?
God will go before me and let me gloat over those who slander me; but do not kill them, O Lord our shield, or my people will forget. Deliver me from my enemies; protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men; God will go before me and let me gloat over those who slander me; God will go before me and let me gloat over those who slander me; God will go before