Is This a Day for Imprecatory Prayer in America?
February 8, 2021
I asked a group of people I was addressing recently if they believed in prayer. Every hand in the room went up. Then I asked if they had seen prayers answered, once again every hand was raised.
Should we need to be reminded that while Twitter, Facebook, and others are banning speech, God is still quite willing to hear what we have to say.
So, what are we saying?
What is Imprecatory Prayer? (1a)
Sometimes the Psalms are quoted as examples of precatory prayer. Psalm 69 (1) and 109 (2) are prime examples of imprecatory prayer.
Faith in God is not confined or limited to old ladies mumbling repetitive prayers in the dark and quiet corners of a cathedral. Real Christians know that a prayer life should be a vociferous, robust, and an active way of petitioning God for anything and everything.
But praying against evil and those who do evil is a common thread throughout the pages of writ. We need not be ashamed of this kind of prayer.
Christ told us to pray for our enemies and to do good for them.
“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” (Mt 5:44)
This does not imply that we should do good for them while they are engaged in evil. Remember that the same one who gave us Matthew 5:44 also made a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple at Jerusalem.
While it would not be just to pray that our enemies fall in a sinkhole or get electrocuted or worse, it is within reason and scripture to pray that their evil be stopped.
Recently, I heard one Christian asking that the abortion and transgender policies of Joe Biden be stopped. Then someone exclaimed, why don’t we pray that Biden will be converted, and every policy would change?
In fact, rather than just being a good idea, it is one of the three kinds of prayer that every Christian should pray when evildoers are on the rise. We must pray against every evil work and person in one or more of the following categories. With success in number one, we would not need to ask for the other two.
In case you think Mr. Biden is a Christian, remember his own church will not allow him to partake in communion because of his stand on abortion.
Any person that is “born again” will not even consider abortion. This is why conversion is prayer number one.
Secondly, they may become active in trying to lawfully stop abortions.
Thirdly, they may be a part of the lawful actions against abortionists such as seen in the trial of Kermit Gosnell (3), considered to be one of America’s worst serial killers of unborn babies.
To Stop the Graduation of Evil
Imprecatory prayer is largely used to hinder or stop the profusion of evil. We pray against all forms of evil and against those who practice it, without malice, violence, or hatred.
The prophet Daniel warned, that as the last days of time as we know it were approaching, that knowledge would be at an all-time high. With the aid of computers and other technology we have seen knowledge rise exponentially just in the last decade.
Little known to the world, is that the Bible also warns of the doubling and tripling over of evil, as we approach the last days. It is a signal of the approaching last and worst dictator’s emergence on the world scene.
Some progressions slip in incrementally and are not noticed while others are blatant.
We saw the dismissal of the scriptures by an entire generation of kids who think they actually came from a puddle of primordial ooze to a present-day horde of woke thinkers who are willing to chuck both our Constitution, and our history, into the dust bin of yesterday
We saw disproportionate growth of indifference to human life at the inception of Roe v. Wade in 1973. Here in 2021, we listen to a governor who dismisses the lives of 12,000 nursing home victims of COVID-19 with a glib – “It happened.” (4)
After all, what are a few old folks compared to 62 million unborn and potentially happy and useful human beings?
To Remind God that We are Awaiting his Justice.
The differences between this world and the true Christian are many, but this much is certain. Christians have stopped asking for justice and have wised up – they know that it is far more expedient to ask for mercy.
But justice is still on the way and we will never cease to wait upon its fulfillment.
The perfect example of this is from the book of Revelation where the believers are seen waiting in God’s care for the last few days of the second coming of Christ to be wrapped up.
The mournful cry is for a long-awaited and well-deserved avengement of the wrong, the crimes, and the wrongful deaths they have endured.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:9-10)
So - We will not Presume - Nor Despair
Imprecatory prayer is bolstered by the parable of the unjust judge (5) found in Luke’s gospel account.
In this passage, we see that the widow did not presume that the judge would jump to his feet and give her anything she asked for, but she also did not despair. She knew that if approached earnestly and in good faith the judge would eventually know that he needed to make some reasonable response.
Our judge is not “unjust,” and his response is already promised.
Imprecatory Prayer is a Must – Now More Than Ever.
Our voices may be cut off from social media, which didn’t do much for us anyway, but they are never cut off from God. God will respond, whereas Facebook and Twitter, will only give us the axe.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b)
1a. Imprecatory Psalms, contained within the Book of Psalms of the Hebrew Bible (??"?), are those that invoke judgment, calamity or curses upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God. ... As a sample, Psalm 69:24 states toward God, "Pour out Your indignation on them, and let Your burning anger overtake them." (Wikipedia)
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