How to Pray When Someone is EVIL!

I have often wondered how our worship songs always reflect on the mercy, the glory or the forgiveness of Father for our sins, and neglect the “imprecatory psalms” that call for justice or destruction of those who refuse His grace. (To imprecate is to invoke or call down curses, as upon a person”.)  A recent article in Christianity Today sheds some light on this idea, and I seriously doubt we will see many songs like “I Will Sing Unto the Lord” coming along again, “the horse and rider thrown into the sea,” sometimes cheerfully sung by children.

No one seems to be writing Psalm 109 hymns for the worship team:
8May his days be few; may another take his office!
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!
10 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!

And perhaps this is okay, in that there are times we tend to excuse our own inclinations to vengeance, when it is God who is the Judge, not us.  In these times of polarization where even families cannot gather because of differing views on everything from masks, vaccines, border control and anything political, it may be more vital than ever that we focus our worship times on God’s mercy for the undeserving… like me.  Remember “Standing in the Need of Prayer?” 😉

2022-07-16 The Woman Caught in AdulteryIn line with this, often our reluctance to condemn the guilty is lodged in our own guilt because we do know we are not without sin.  Like the accusers in John 8 who wanted to condemn a woman “caught in the act of adultery” (so where was the man who was also committing sin???), none of us wants to cast the first stone, knowing that we have been just as bad.  But it leaves a sour taste in our mouths when someone does something so heinous that we would never do (or at least we think we would never do).

Then we feel justified in condemning the sinner, and therein lies the deceit of our enemy.  OUR tendency is to condemn the person, more than the action.  And that is the reason Father tells us to leave vengeance up to Him!  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  (Romans 12:19-21)

But what we do in reaction to a person’s sin can be quite apart from how we pray for a person caught in sin!  Leaving the actual judgement up to Father does not mean to ignore the sin, and we may even be called to justify or condemn an action based on the Law, not on our personal guilt or absolution.  Jury duty, anyone?  If we absolve a criminal driving offense because we have been guilty of the same, we abuse the law intended to protect us and others from criminal effects.

However, this is very different from personally attacking the person who has violated the law.  Rather, it is allowing the law to proceed as it was intended.  And it should serve as a warning to us to not abuse that law… again.

And this is very different from participating in national or tribal action against one acting criminally as in warfare, but that is a subject for another blog someday.

Anyway, I thought you might do some introspection on the theme of this article from CT, Go Ahead. Pray for Putin’s Demise.”  It is less “imprecatory” than the title suggests. Good reading in the magazine when you subscribe.
And check out these acapella Amish boys reminding us how holy Father is!

15 thoughts on “How to Pray When Someone is EVIL!

  1. Great post and there is a difference between personal and state behavior. However, in Romans Paul tells us “To bless and curse not.”, so I am not sure where we any more have permission to pray curses on anyone. By the way, I love “Sounds Like Reign” but for the record though they have the appearance of being Amish they are not. I have followed their YouTube channel for a couple of years.


  2. This is a fantastic write up! I’ve often wondered how we square up rejoicing in the vengeance of God for His people, with forgiveness and love. I remember singing those lyrics as a kid “the horse and the riiider, the horse and the rider, the horse and the riiiider… thrown in the sea!”

    I think we live in some seriously unique times in which we simultaneously know of God’s grace for ALL people, and His wrath in defending his CHOSEN people (Israel). The Lord’s day is coming when those who stand against His chosen people will be destroyed.

    I think the culture of worship has dramatically changed largely from a scriptural based worship to singing about feelings. Not all of it, but a lot of it. That’s where we need to be careful, in my opinion, because it splits the focus from God onto us and our feelings.

    Great post my friend!

    ✝️🙏🏼 – Brian

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your title caught my attention with the words “when someone is evil.” The sin I struggle with the most is forgiving those that hurt me or someone I love over and over again and don’t seem to care. I’ve been asking God to help me forgive these people. It’s not easy, but I’m not going to give up working on this! The Lord’s prayer says for God to forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us. What a scary thought! I need to get busy trying to be more like God!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I suspect ALL of us struggle with those who personally offend us; that’s why Jesus made forgiving others SOO important that we cannot receive Father’s forgiveness unless we learn to forgive.
      However, prayers for leaders in position of authority is a different species. When someone does evil from that place, and aligns with Satan, we are free to pray for their removal from authority.
      However, still we can pray FOR the person to be enlightened and saved, as on the personal level THAT is always Father’s heart!
      See Ezekiel 18:31-32.
      ❤️&🙏, c.a.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. A parent always loves and forgives their child, but they still correct and discipline them. Those in authority should do what’s right or face consequences for it. They have to obey the laws just as we do or we can lawfully seek to have them removed from office. Another thought; the Old Testament seems to focus on avenging your enemies, while the New Testament focuses on forgiveness. This used to confuse me. For personal grievances (I’m not talking about Government officials breaking laws) I believe God wants me to forgive and leave the judging to him. I feel he’s helping me on my journey to a forgiving heart. That was a good and relevant post; perfect for these times.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Of the 128 references in the ESV to “grace,” only 10 are in the OT, and 118 in the NT. However, “forgive” is listed as 51 in the OT and only 58 in the NT, bringing them closer in line. “Mercy”s 157 mentions show up 101 times in the OT and only 56 in the NT. Now, keep in mind that is WITHOUT looking at ANY context of these themes!
        In any case, Father has ALWAYS been a God of grace and mercy, e.g., Ezekiel 28 with special notation of verse 23!
        Much of God’s apparent “vengeance” on enemies in the OT was to preserve and keep pure the Chosen People, particularly the Davidic line for the Messiah. At times His orders to kill enemies, even women and children – and even animals – had less to do with individual culpability and with pollution of the society. When He ordered such destruction it was against people of such immorality that even their children and animals were diseased from sexual abuse because of the immorality of their “worship” practices. But individually, anyone who would “call on the name of the LORD” would be saved, even though they might die in the conflict.
        As you note, the hard part is the personal development of a heart like Jesus’ that forgives any sin, even blasphemy against the Father or the Son; only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. May our hearts develop to forgive as He does.
        ❤️&🙏, c.a.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol This is why I consider myself way below the bible scholars. I mainly state my feelings without always doing enough (and sometimes no) research. I remember King David and Samson (no, I’m not looking it up but going by memory) sometimes wanted to punish their enemies, but I don’t recall that spirit in the N.T. Yes, our God is a God of grace and mercy. It’s the only reason we can be saved. Hallelujah! I am thankful for Jesus!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. The destruction of a tribe had to do with genetic corruption as much as anything else, hence the injunction not to intermarry. The failure of the Israelites to do this has caused many problems since.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Actually Father was NOT concerned with genetic corruption! This was a lie purported by Hitler among others who were racists.
        The lack of concern with genetic corruption is evident in that even Rahab and Ruth are included in Jesus’ genealogy.
        Father’s concern was ALWAYS with spiritual commitment, not genetics. ANYONE could marry into any Jewish tribe with cooperation into the Hebrew worship.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Law is impartial to any. Whether we have fallen short or not… His righteousness abides forever. And it is that righteousness we declare (not in hypocrisy) but in truth. When we speak we are to consider our own selves that the mercy given us will be woven into the word we speak.

    To me the truth is: “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Cor. 5:12-13

    I think if we would spend more time dealing with the issues of the church which are many and grevious the world would see the Light of Him and be drawn to it. We turn a blind eye to the things within and judge the world for the same sin and vices that are rampant in His Church.

    Always appreciate your share!

    Liked by 4 people

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