The Imprecatory Prayer

"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, I shall repay"
(Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30).


written by
Kraig J. Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
www.breadonthewaters.com

Note:
Here's the teaching on this subject as I understand it.

Scriptures are in purple to symbolize Christ's royalty
Words of Christ are in red to symbolize Christ's blood
Quotes of others are in blue for easier navigation

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these internal links will move you down this page)

Introduction
The Imprecatory Prayer in Scripture
Conditions That You Have to Meet in Order to Pray This Kind of Prayer
Let's Take A Brief Look At the Justice of God
God Prefers His Love Over His Justice
Conclusion

Introduction

An imprecatory prayer is scriptural but, to my knowledge, is seldom used any more in this New Testament era.

It was a common prayer practice in times past to ask God to kill your enemies for you. King Solomon could have prayed that prayer but he didn't. His silence in regards to his enemies can be interpreted as his having mercy on them.

"The Lord was pleased with Solomon's reply and was glad that he had asked for wisdom. So God replied, "Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people and have not asked for a long life or riches for yourself or the death of your enemies- I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding mind such as no one else has ever had or ever will have!"
(1 Kings 3:10-12).

So God was pleased that King Solomon did not pray an imprecatory prayer. Solomon could have prayed it- and maybe God would have honored his request...

Just what is an imprecatory prayer? In a more secular sense an imprecatory prayer is a curse on oneís enemies. In the Bible an imprecatory prayer is the prayer of a righteous man or woman petitioning God to carry out justice by bringing punishment or destruction upon evildoers, especially those who have persecuted him or her while they were trying to share the gospel with others as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Great Commission.

The Imprecatory Prayer in Scripture

"Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. "Go away, you baldhead!" they chanted. "Go away, you baldhead!" Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them"
(2 Kings 2:23-24).

"Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated my father with the honor he deserves? For he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites. But now you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman's son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative. If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you. But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!"
"God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon came true".
(Judges 9:16-20;57).

"Once more the king sent a captain with fifty men. But this time the captain fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, "O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. See how the fire from heaven has destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!" Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Don't be afraid. Go with him." So Elijah got up and went to the king"
(2 Kings 1:13-15). Remember, after Jesus was arrested they physically beat him with their fists, pulled his beard out, and spit in his face. This probably would have happened to Elijah by the first two captains but God's judgement (curse) fell on each of them. Why? It was due to the evil intention of the heart of each captain. God didn't want Elijah beat up. God protected him.

Old Testament saints believed in
the Curse of the Lord
:

"But Joshua called together the Gibeonite leaders and said, "Why did you lie to us? Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us? May you be cursed! From now on you will chop wood and carry water for the house of my God."
(Joshua 9:22-23).

"Now the men of Israel were worn out that day, because (King) Saul had made them take an oath, saying, "Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening- before I have full revenge on my enemies." So no one ate a thing all day, even though they found honeycomb on the ground in the forest. They didn't even touch the honey because they all feared the oath they had taken."
(1 Samuel 14:24-26).

Was God's curse on Nadab and Abihu? They were pretenders who were used by Satan to try to undermine and destroy Israel while it was just in it's beginning stage. "Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him a different kind of fire than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD's presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD."
(Leviticus 10:1-2). The term "strange fire" or a "different kind of fire" refers to spiritual rebellion. Probably, Satan had influenced them to inject the worship of Satan somehow into the service. This was their fatal mistake.

Jeremiah was persecuted and said some imprecatory prayers:
"O LORD Almighty, you are just, and you examine the deepest thoughts of hearts and minds. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you"
(Jeremiah 11:20).

"Then I said, "LORD, you know I am suffering for your sake. Punish my persecutors! Don't let them kill me! Be merciful to me and give them what they deserve!"
(Jeremiah 15.15).

"But as for me, LORD, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like helpless sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered!"
(Jeremiah 12:3).

Abraham asked the question of God in relation to God's judgement:
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
(Genesis 18:25).

The psalmist(s) had a few imprecatory expressions:
"I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked"
(Psalms 26:5). (KJV).

"I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord"
(Psalms 31:6). (KJV).

"Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies"
(Psalms 139:21-22). (KJV)

"Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee"
(Deuteronomy 15:9). (KJV)

The Nation of Israel and the Curse of God

Israel is under covenant with God. Israel is God's chosen. You better not fight against Israel lest a curse from God fall on you. If you have a problem with this then take it up with God. I didn't write it, God did, and I believe it.

"Then the LORD told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."
(Genesis 12:1-3).

Abraham is the father of Israel. This promise to Abraham from God also applies to his descendants. The blood line of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) runs through Isaac and Jacob, not Ishmael. Why? It's due to God's election.

The present enemies of Israel are under the curse of God because they seek to destroy Israel. If this were allowed to happen then the nation of Israel would not fulfill it's destiny. And what is it's destiny? It's destiny is to rule the world under the rulership of it's Messiah, Jesus Christ.

"Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True. For he judges fairly and then goes to war. His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him, and only he knew what it meant. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword, and with it he struck down the nations. He ruled them with an iron rod, and he trod the winepress of the fierce wrath of almighty God. On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of kings and Lord of lords."
(Revelation 19:11-16).

"The LORD says to Jerusalem, "I will be your lawyer to plead your case, and I will avenge you..."
(Jeremiah 51:36).

Let's see what God did to one of Israel's enemies:

"So Balak, king of Moab, sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. He sent this message to request that Balaam come to help him:
"A vast horde of people (Israel) has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me. Please come and curse them for me because they are so numerous. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on the people you bless. I also know that the people you curse are doomed."
(Numbers 22:5-6).
"Do not go with them," God told Balaam. "You are not to curse these people, for I have blessed them!"
(Numbers 22:12).

Balaam told Balak: "But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the LORD has not condemned?"
(Numbers 23:8).

But Balaam's real god was money.
Jude 1:11 says, "...Like Balaam, they will do anything for money."
Balaam "undermined" Israel to destroy it in spite of God's warning to him. Balaam's will went contrary to the will of God and he died because of it
(Numbers 31:8). The "curse" he put against Israel fell on his own head.

However, the citizens of ancient Israel were given warning by God to stay obedient to Him or the curse of God would also come upon them. God wanted those folks to be good witnesses of His love and grace to the world. I think that there is a message here for the modern church, as well.

"When the LORD your God brings you into the land to possess it, you must pronounce a blessing from Mount Gerizim and a curse from Mount Ebal"
(Deuteronomy 11:29).

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!"
(Deuteronomy 30:19).

What's the problem with Israel today? The answer in a nutshell is unbelief. They refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their true Messiah. Their history of unbelief goes way back...

Ancient Israel feared Baal (rather than God):

"Nathan Stone in "Names of God" writes:
"Israel could not appear to realize its destiny as a special and separate people, set apart to Jehovah's service and purpose in the midst of the [pagan] nations. They seemed unable to rise above a material conception and plane of living. To live, to multiply, to inherit the land - this seemed to them a sufficient fulfillment of their function, an error common to this very day. It is not difficult to understand, then, the attraction of the grossly materialistic gods of the heathen for them. Without a sense of mission there was no common purpose of uniting as one people. Without spiritual vision they fell an easy prey to the appetites and lusts of the flesh. Every apostasy brought punishment and misery - a chastening of Jehovah to awaken them to their spiritual calling
....Every succeeding apostasy called for even severer chastening by means of the surrounding nations- chastenings which not only deprived them of the fruits of their land and labors, but brought them into slavery. Without obedience to Jehovah they had no right to the land. His people must be more than mere tillers of the soil and dressers of vineyards (in any age); otherwise they should not enjoy the land. They tilled and planted, but they did not reap. As Jehovah had sown spiritual seed in their hearts, and they had allowed their idolatrous neighbors to trample and tear it out by the imitation of their corrupt idolatries, so now these same heathen embittered and endangered Israel's physical existence."

The above quoted from Bob Deffinbaugh from Precept Austin Ministries (2006)

Because Israel is disobedient to God in rejecting Jesus Christ as their Messiah at the present time, God has temporarily turned to the Church. I am not Jewish, but what is the church to think about Israel? The church doesn't want the curse of God to fall on it. We are not to judge Israel or punish Israel. That's God's department and we better not be sticking our nose in where it doesn't belong unless we are asked...
Let's bless Israel
Let's support Israel
Let's help protect Israel
Let's do all we can to help Israel and to eventually help usher in the Kingdom of God through Israel with Jesus Christ as reigning King.

New Testament Imprecatory Prayers

Was God's Curse was on Judas Iscariot?
Jesus knew that Judas would reject Him and ultimately wind up in Hell because of his bad choices. This is what Jesus said while Judas was still alive and while he was a part of His disciples:

"While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled"
(John 17:12).

"Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples..."
(Luke 22:3). "Then Judas threw the money onto the floor of the Temple and went out and hanged himself."
(Matthew 27:5).

Was God's curse on Ananias and Sapphira? They were pretenders who were used by Satan to try to undermine and destroy the church while it was just in it's beginning stage.
"About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?" "Yes," she replied, "that was the price." And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this- conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too." Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband."
(Acts 5:7-10).

The martyred "Revelation saints" were not happy with the way they were treated while on earth:
"And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
(Revelation 6:9-10).

Pauls calls an "imprecatory prayer" down on Bar-Jesus:
"Afterward they preached from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, a man of considerable insight and understanding. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Saul and Barnabas said. He was trying to turn the governor away from the Christian faith. Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said, "You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness." Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed and was astonished at what he learned about the Lord"
(Acts 13:6-12).

Bob Deffinbaugh states:
"The church discipline of the New Testament is not really that different from the imprecatory psalms of the Old Testament. The New Testament also contains curses. Paul cursed Elymas for resisting the gospel
(Acts 13:6-11) and damned any who would pervert it
(Galatians 1:8-9). Peter pronounced sentence on Ananias and Sapphira
(Acts 5:1-11). Paul delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan
(1 Timothy 1:20) as he did the man living with his fatherís wife
(1 Corinthians 5:5). I personally believe that the final step of church discipline involves turning the sinner over to Satan (under Godís sovereign control,
(Matthew 18:17-20) so that he may be severely chastened, with the goal of his repentance and restoration)
(1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11)."

The above info comes from the web. Web address is
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=526

Jesus gave us some clear teaching on what to do if you or I offend someone. Why? Because it's part of the pathway of love. God does not want you or I going around hurting someone else. That's not His will. And there's another fact to consider. The victim might call down an imprecatory prayer of punishment on us. Here's what Jesus said,
"So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God"
(Matthew 5:23-24).

Conditions That You Have to Meet in Order to Pray This Kind of Prayer:

The Bible indicates that you are NOT to strike your enemies yourself but to ask God to strike them for you:
"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, I shall repay" "and not you" (which is implied)
(Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30).

There are certain conditions that have to be met by you and me in order for an imprecatory prayer to be effective:

1A. You have to be saved (the ownership of you has to be by God). If you don't love the Lord Jesus Christ then you don't belong to Him but to Satan (by default). If that is the case then you have no right to call down an imprecatory prayer on anyone because God is not your Master. And if you are unsaved and ask God to punish someone who you hate, God is not obligated to honor your petition. You cannot treat God like you treat the devil. Many Satanists ask Satan to do their bidding for them. The intention of their heart is hate and selfishness. But God asks you to change sides- from Satan's side to God's side. You do this by inviting Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart. You confess your sins to Him and ask Him to forgive you of all your sins. And after Christ comes to live inside of your heart, you live a life of holiness and purity like He did when He was on this earth. You use Him as your example.

Here's a true story from God's Word that emphasizes this ownership point:

13-14 "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds."
(Acts 19:13-18).

The above scriptures become clear when one understands them in the light of ownership. Here you have unsaved people- people owned by Satan going around casting out Satan's demons by the POWER that is in Jesus' magnificent name. Satan's kingdom is being divided against itself and will fall if allowed to continue. The demon acknowledges that Jesus and Paul are genuine and thus on God's side. But then puts a stop to people he owns who have no business doing what they are doing. So it's important for you and I to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and to Him alone.

  • Click here for ownership truths
    You can read more on ownership truths by clicking on this link that will take you to another one of my web pages that explains this truth in greater detail. However, in order to say the "sinner's prayer" to become a Christian, please click on the button at the bottom of this web page titled "Holding Forth the Word of Life."

    1B. It's very important that you recognize your identity in Christ. You need to know who you are in the beloved relationship with God. God is your creator and your Heavenly Father. Once you realize how special you are to Him then you can understand why God will stick up for you when others mistreat you. Then you will understand why your loving Heavenly Father will answer an imprecatory prayer from you (if it is justified). Those who hurt you also hurt Him at the same time. Your identity is intertwined with His with cords of love and spirituality.

    I'm a child of God - He is my Father - 1 John 3:1-2
    I am Christ's friend - John 15:15
    I am born of God - 1 John 4:7
    I have been adopted by God - Romans 8:15
    I'm an enemy of the devil - 1 Peter 5:8
    I have been given spiritual authority - Luke 10:19
    I am a minister of reconciliation - 2 Corinthians 5:18,19
    I am connected to the true vine - John 15:1,5
    I'm a willing slave of righeousness - Romans 6:18,22
    I am a temple of God - 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19
    I am one spirit with the Lord - 1 Corinthians 6:17
    I am a member of Christ's body - 1 Corinthians 12:27

    Once you know what your position is in Him, then, if necessary, you can petition your Heavenly Father for judgement on another. God is a Mighty Judge. He does not make mistakes. He is just and will take your petition under advisement (with the other members of the Holy Trinity) before He renders His judgement
    (Genesis 3:22). His judgement may not always be immediate upon the offender(s) but it will be sure. The punishment must always fit the crime "in His eyes, not in your eyes". Sometimes, God may be more severe with someone than what you think is necessary. Maybe you just wanted God to punish someone but the offender was killed instead. You have to be prepared for that, so be careful when you pray an imprecatory prayer.

    2. An Imprecatory Prayer Should be A Last Resort Appeal to God for Justice:

    Here is what one minister had to say:

    "Imprecatory prayer is a last resort appeal to God for justice. The so called "curses" are simply the just penalty called for in the scriptures for the alleged crime. Imprecatory prayer is an appeal to the court of divine justice
    (1) for protection and
    (2) the appropriate punishment for the criminals.

    Imprecatory prayer is most often used when the criminals are the rich and powerful or corrupt men and women in government. The prayer asks God to solve the problem and bring the criminal to repentance, or to judgment.

    Here are a few words from a sermon by Pastor Pete Peters as he was commenting on pages 216 and 217 of "Paradise Restored" by Rev. David Chilton.

    "You be careful with imprecatory prayer. Because if your life is not right, it can have a boomerang effect. You see, as you judge, so shall you be judged. Think about that. Does that make sense? I say that because, the other day somebody pointed out to me that a woman has been praying for me to die in an airplane crash. She is a Christian woman. She wants me dead. Well, now, I was thinking about that, you know, If I was her son I would not want to get into an airplane. You see what I am saying? You got to be careful how you use that power. With imprecatory prayer, if we don't mature as Christians, it is like putting a loaded .45 pistol, hammer-back, cocked and the safety off, into the hands of a five-year old. Does that make sense?"
    The above quoted from: Pete Peters, Rules for Radicals. 3 tape set.

    Praying for someone to die in an airplane crash does fit the establishment definition of imprecatory prayer. (A curse, denunciation that conveys a wish or threat of evil. To pray for evil or misfortune.) But does that woman's prayer conform to the second definition, "a last resort appeal to God for justice". No! And that prayer would be un-Christian.

    If you have a problem with a co-worker or neighbor then deal with them on a personal basis or in court. But you don't ask God to kill someone just because you don't like him. There has to be a crime and an appropriate appeal for justice.

    The purpose of imprecatory prayer is to bring a criminal to repentance. And if there is no repentance, then to punishment. Not at man's hand, but at God's hand. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."

    The governmental courts are considered to be God's courts. If the court judges righteously and punishes the criminal then the Court's punishment is God's vengeance. When the Earthly courts are corrupt, we appeal to a higher court, the court of divine justice. We appeal to God asking Him to get personally involved."
    The above quoted fom the web. Web address is
    http://www.moseshand.com/buildup/prayer.htm

    3. You have to be totally innocent. You cannot have had any manipulation or involvement of circumstances or people or things that would have brought on a cause and effect kind of a situation against you. If you are not innocent and you are partly to blame (or all to blame) then you don't have a right to call down an imprecatory prayer on anyone. You cannot be guilty of complicity in any way in the matter at hand.

    An exception here might be if you may have had to practice obedient disobedience and been persecuted (in case a country's laws have contradicted the mandates of God as is clearly taught in the Holy writings of the Word of God). In that case, you are guiltless and can ask God to punish your persecutors if you are so inclined.

    When we cry out to God to judge speedily the wicked, we are expressing our hatred for the harmfulness of evil deeds and our desire that they be frustrated.

    A good example of this is when Jesus Christ unleashed an imprecatory prayer upon the Pharisees in the form of a seven-fold curse upon their heads:

    "Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell? I will send you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. You will kill some by crucifixion and whip others in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city. As a result, you will become guilty of murdering all the godly people from righteous Abel to Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered in the Temple between the altar and the sanctuary. I assure you, all the accumulated judgment of the centuries will break upon the heads of this very generation"
    (Matthew 23:33-36).

    4. God's reputation and truth have to be on the line and not your own. If you or your reputation or your ministry have been viciously attacked and persecuted by God's enemies who are outside of the church then you may have recourse to an imprecatory prayer against them. However, Church discipline will take care of many problems that happen inside of the church.

    Let's look at a good example from scripture:

    The Apostle Peter called down "an imprecatory curse" on Simon, the sorcerer, to his face. Why? He was a threat. In his ownership he belonged to Satan. He was from outside of the church:

    "When the apostles back in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God's message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given when the apostles placed their hands upon people's heads, he offered money to buy this power. "Let me have this power, too," he exclaimed, "so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!" But Peter replied, "May your money perish with you for thinking God's gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right before God. Turn from your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitterness and held captive by sin." "Pray to the Lord for me," Simon exclaimed, "that these terrible things won't happen to me!"
    (Acts 8:14-24).

  • Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
    If you need additional teaching on the Pentecostal Baptism in the Holy Spirit then please visit my other web pages that explain this. This mighty experience is for today. (Assemblies of God Church doctrine).

    5. You cannot use imprecatory prayer as a manipulation against others. Prayer- any kind of prayer to God- is not to be used as a weapon to help you get your own way. This is selfishness and the Christian walk is one of being other-centered rather than self-centered. Jesus taught us the proper way to pray in using The Lord's Prayer as an example.

    In other words, you can't approach someone and demand something from them while threatening to call down a prayer of punishment on them if they don't comply with your wishes.

    I had a man in my congregation come to me one time and ask me to explain to his wife, who was present, that she was supposed to be obedient to God and obey her husband in all things. He asked me to pray over them using this kind of a prayer. I believe he wanted certain sexual acts from her that she had refused to give him. He was using prayer as a manipulation and as a weapon of selfishness. I refused to pray over them and confronted him with the truth that he was not to use prayer as a weapon like this. They needed professional help.

    Let's Take A Brief Look At the Justice of God

    An Imprecatory Prayer is only one small part of the Justice of God. I suggest that you study the Bible doctrine of the Justice of God for a more inclusive knowledge of who God is and to know why He sometimes does what He does.

    According to one Christian dictionary, the Justice of God falls into 4 main categories:

    1. His legislative justice is his requiring of his rational creatures conformity in all respects to the moral law.

    2. His rectoral or distributive justice is his dealing with his accountable creatures according to the requirements of the law in rewarding or punishing them
    (Psalm 89:14).

    3. His remunerative justice. In remunerative justice God distributes rewards:
    "...they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him"
    (James 1:12). "And now the prize awaits me- the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return"
    (2 Timothy 4:8).

    4. His punitive justice. In vindictive or punitive justice, God inflicts punishment on account of transgression:

    An imprecatory prayer falls under the punitive justice of God.

    A Christian author had this to say:

    It is..."that perfection of his nature whereby he is infinitely righteous in himself and in all he does, the righteousness of the divine nature exercised in his moral government."

    At first, God imposes righteous laws on his creatures and executes them righteously. Justice is not an optional product of his will, but an unchangeable principle of his very nature.

    "...and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you"
    (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

    The above info quoted from the web. Web address is
    http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/justiceofgod.html

    God Prefers His Love Over His Justice

    What's the difference between the love of God and the justice of God? Well, let's look at a hypothetical situation. I love my neighbors. I do good to them and help them when I can. But then one day this same neighbor premeditates and murders a member of my immediate family. What do I do? I call the police on him and have him arrested. Why? Because now I have changed from love to justice. I want him to pay for the crime he has just committed against my family. Personal vengeance is not mine to commit but legal vengeance can be followed to the fullest extent of the law. So you can see that love and justice are not the same.

    How does God's grace and God's law correspond to each other? Is God's law (the 10 commandments) still in effect? Of course! God's law is the foundation but God's grace supercedes it or is above it or is the higher spiritual road one is to follow. Did Jesus do away with imprecatory prayers and His justice? No. Just as the grace of God is above the law of God, so is the love of God above the justice of God. How do we know this? In this regard, Jesus set the teaching and example of His love for us to follow:

    "But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do for you."
    (Luke 6:27-31)

    "You have heard that the law of Moses says, "Love your neighbor" and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
    (Matthew 5:43-48).

    When He was facing persecution Jesus could have called down an imprecatory prayer on His enemies but, instead, He said:
    "Don't you realize that I could ask my (Heavenly) Father for 12 legions of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?"
    (Matthew 26:53).

    The only reason He didn't come down from that cross and kick some "Roman behinds" is because of love. It was love that crucified Him and it was love that held Him to that cross. It was His love being manifested for you and for me.

    One time James and John wanted to call down an imprecatory prayer on a Samaritan village. The people in that village were their enemies. Jesus did not tell them that this wasn't possible. At one time God burned up the people in 5 towns including Sodom and Gomorrah
    (Genesis 19:28). Rather, Jesus wanted His disciples to follow a higher spiritual road of love and selflessness:

    "As the time drew near for his return to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But they were turned away. The people of the village refused to have anything to do with Jesus because he had resolved to go to Jerusalem. When James and John heard about it, they said to Jesus, "Lord, should we order down fire from heaven to burn them up?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them. So they went on to another village." (NLT)
    (Luke 9:51-55).

    As Jesus was dying on the cross, He didn't ask His Father to punish his killers. Rather, He said this:
    "Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing."
    (Luke 23:34)

    Jesus' teaching on forgiveness was for each of us to practice:
    "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."
    (Matthew 6:14-15).

    "For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them"
    (Luke 9:56) (KJV)

    There is a spiritual law of sowing and reaping. The justice of God is automatic and it's in effect today for pagans and Christians alike. After someone "has done you dirty" you know that God has seen it all and has written it all down. You know that somewhere and sometime that "dirty deed" will come back on the person who did it to you. This law is "written in stone" and can never be changed or thwarted. And the beautiful part of this law is that it works in the affirmative also. One time I helped a man get hired on a job. Several years later a man helped me get hired on a job. I reaped what I had sowed for the good.

    "You will always reap what you sow!"
    (Galatians 6:7).

    So, let's get outside of the 4 walls of our church and evangelize the lost. Yes, you are promised to get persecuted. But let's respond with love and try to win our persecutors to Christ. And if they never accept Christ it won't be because we never tried. And they will reap what they have sowed after they persecute you.

    Conclusion

    An imprecatory prayer is scriptural but so is the love of God. Are you willing to walk in love on the higher spiritual road, suffer the wrong, and pray for the salvation of your enemies? In my opinion I believe that is what Jesus is teaching us by His words and by His example in His Word.

    There will come a time in the future when there will be no curse of any kind:
    "And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will anything be cursed..."
    (Revelation 22:1-3).


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    links

    Don't Stone the Devil's Dogs

    A Bible Study on Forgiveness

    Psalm 30- King David was Persecuted

    How To Survive a Job's Trial

    Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

    How To Handle Persecution

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  • The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

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    As of July 26, 2007