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Bakershalfdozen

Imprecatory Prayers

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Pastor Steve Anderson has made national news with his sermon, "Why I Hate Barack Obama". In it he said he hates him the way God hates wicked ones. He cites Psalm 58 for most of the sermon and said he would pray using David's words...that Obama would melt like a snail and pass away.


<< Psalm 58 >>

1 To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David. Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

5 Which will nOT hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoOT his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may nOT see the sun.

9 Before your pOTs can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, bOTh living, and in his wrath.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.



Are imprecatory prayers (prayers asking for judgment) appropriate for today?

I heard one pastor say that in this age of grace, we are to love and pray for the salvation of our enemies. He went on to say that imprecatory prayers will pick back up again when the Church Age is over, citing the prayers of the martyrs in the book Revelation.


I say that over and over in the N.T. we are told to love our enemies, pray for our leaders, etc.

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Very good topic!

You are right, it's clear in the New Testament that we are to pray for our leaders and to pray for the salvation of the lost in general.

I wouldn't pray for the death of anyone.

We can and should, however, pray the wicked plans of wicked leaders (and OThers) would be thwarted; that the Lord would somehow bind those who would work wickedness (or some particular wickedness).

We can pray these sort of things while at the same time praying the Lord would soften their hearts, draw them to truth and to accepting Christ Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.

Along these lines also, we can pray the Lord would remove from office those who are wicked and that He would replace them with godly men.

We can also pray the Lord would raise up godly men to lead; from the very local level, county, state and national levels.

It's wrong to preach hate of anyone and it's wrong to preach for the death of anyone.

Vengence is mine saith the Lord. We know by the Word of God that His judgement is sure; it's right and will occur at the proper time.

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Pastor Steve Anderson has made national news with his sermon, "Why I Hate Barack Obama". In it he said he hates him the way God hates wicked ones. He cites Psalm 58 for most of the sermon and said he would pray using David's words...that Obama would melt like a snail and pass away.


<< Psalm 58 >>

1 To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David. Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

5 Which will nOT hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoOT his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may nOT see the sun.

9 Before your pOTs can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, bOTh living, and in his wrath.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.



Are imprecatory prayers (prayers asking for judgment) appropriate for today?

I heard one pastor say that in this age of grace, we are to love and pray for the salvation of our enemies. He went on to say that imprecatory prayers will pick back up again when the Church Age is over, citing the prayers of the martyrs in the book Revelation.


I say that over and over in the N.T. we are told to love our enemies, pray for our leaders, etc.



When James and John wanted to call down fire on some who would nOT receive Jesus he rebuked them and told them that they did nOT know what spirit they were of. As a general rule we should be very reluctant to pray and desire that evil would come upon the ungodly. There may be a handful of situation where it may be fitting to wish or pray for judgement of sinners(2 TimOThy 4:14) but that is only rarely in cases of extreme intentional hardhearted evil. I find that many of those who personally claim and emphasize a Godly hatred for sin and or sinners have a carnal hatred instead. If someone truly has a Godly hatred of evil by and large the pattern of their lives will show far more love and kindness than hatred. Carnal hatred on the OTher hand if continually fed tends to consume and destroy a life to the point little love is ever evident. The character of God contains far more love and mercy than wrath and judgement. God is merciful to the wicked every day and they are rarely judged until after God has shown them much longsuffering and mercy.(Luke 6:35)

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I would think, in this present age, Grace should be shown. we should nOT pray as this man teaches, but there will come a time after the church age when such a prayer will be appropriate.

I don't feel that when we are in heaven, and all of the unsaved have been judged and cast into hell, that we will have sympathy for them, but we will realize they have gOTten only what they deserve from a just Judge for having rejected Christ as Savior.

One person I talked with about this said about my thoughts, NO, no, and no, that when we are in heaven we will feel sorry for those who have been judged and cast into the lake of fire, especially those who were our loved ones. I can't believe that.

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I would think, in this present age, Grace should be shown. we should nOT pray as this man teaches, but there will come a time after the church age when such a prayer will be appropriate.

I don't feel that when we are in heaven, and all of the unsaved have been judged and cast into hell, that we will have sympathy for them, but we will realize they have gOTten only what they deserve from a just Judge for having rejected Christ as Savior.

One person I talked with about this said about my thoughts, NO, no, and no, that when we are in heaven we will feel sorry for those who have been judged and cast into the lake of fire, especially those who were our loved ones. I can't believe that.


I agree Jerry. If there is no sadness or tears in heaven I don't think we will be feeling sorry for those in the lake of fire and it's likely we won't have thoughts of any particular person there. In fact, I've heard it suggested that we won't have any memory of those who don't make it to heaven.

Since the Lake of Fire will be tOTally separated from us, it's possible that after the judgement, there will be no more memory of this.

Whatever the case may be, I'm sure God will deal with it all perfectly.

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There is no place in the New Testament where believers on earth perform imprecatory prayer, or where it is even discussed, let alone approved. The closest thing that comes to mind is the prayer of the believers in Acts chapter four:

Acts 4:29-31 - And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Even here, God is only asked to "behold their threatenings", but to compensate the believers with empowerment - nOT harm those who oppose them. In contrast, we have Jesus' words in the gospels which would seem to exclude all such prayer:

Matthew 5:43-48 - Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, 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 which 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. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do nOT even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than OThers? do nOT even the publicans so?

Luke 6:27-36 - But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the OTher; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid nOT to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them nOT again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nOThing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

There is a right time for everything. What was appropriate during king David's day is nOT necessarily appropriate now. Much has changed from the Old Covenant. Instead of having to approach God through a specialized priesthood of Levites, all believers are now priests, sharing the High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus (1Pet.2:5; 2:9; Rev.1:6; 5:10; cf. Heb.7). As such, we have direct access to God through Jesus' work in cleansing the real altar in heaven (Eph.2:18; 3:12; Heb.4:16). This is the dispensation of grace and mercy, and since we have been chosen by God to be a blessing to the world and nOT a cursing, it stands to reason that we should behave accordingly:

1 Peter 3:9 - NOT rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

The believers mentioned who want their blood avenged are in heaven, nOT on earth, and their prayers are thus guaranteed to be right and righteous and entirely appropriate to the circumstances. Here on earth, we cannOT know that. We cannOT know whether it is God's will to blast OThers, even if they seem to deserve it. Jesus rebuked James and John when they suggested such a thing even though one would think that punishing an unbelieving town which had rejected the Messiah might be appropriate (Lk.9:51-56). When Jesus returns, He will "render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." (Is.66:15), and the slain of the LORD shall be many (Is.66:16). But until He does, we ought to "walk even as He walked" (1Jn.2:6). Until the time of vengeance arrives (the time, by the way, that the believers in Revelation 6 are praying for, namely, the Second Advent), the best way to ensure judgment upon our enemies is in fact to do them good:

Romans 12:17-21 - Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge nOT yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be nOT overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good..

Love,
Madeline

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