"Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies." - Psalm 139:21-22
With that, let us look at what it means to pray in the imprecatory style…
im∙pre∙cate (transitive and intransitive verb)
to call down something bad
or harmful, especially a
curse on somebody.
im∙pre∙ca∙tor (noun)With this limitedly defined word I conclude that it is something akin to two children fighting over a stuffed animal or a GI Joe and calling one another’s mama “fat”.
For many of the so-called “faithful”, however, it is much more than reckless playground banter.
Take Pastor Wiley Drake for example; this “man of God” a href="http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/44143894.html">has called and is calling for the Imprecatory Prayer against the Religious Liberty Watchdog Group, the AU.
PASTOR DRAKE: In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State . I made an attempt to go to them via Matthew 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack.It is actually Jeremy LearNing that he meant to invoke the wrath of God upon, so if you are Jeremy Learing and not Jeremy Learning, watch out for that pesky horde of locusts.
Here are the “Imprecatory Psalms" I found via Theopedia:
Psalm 35:5 - May they be like chaff before the wind.
Psalm 55:15 - Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave.
Psalm 58:6 - O God, break the teeth in their mouths.
Psalm 69:28 - May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.
Psalm 109:9 - May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
Psalm 137:9 - How blessed will be the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.I see a glaring problem with these prayers of wrath. The teachings of Jesus. Remember that guy, Pastor Drake?
To accentuate my feelings on the hypocrisy I find in this thinking I can direct you to MoJoey of Deep Thoughts and his post How is this different from Jihad? …
Here’s a grand rationale for such prayers by David R. Reid via his web-page, Devotions for Growing Christians on the page titled,PLEASE ZAP THEM, LORD!
Imprecatory psalms can reflect a godly way of thinking
"There is a kind of hate for the sinner (viewed as morally corrupt and hostile to God) that may coexist with pity and even a desire for their salvation... [T]hat there comes a point of such extended, hardened, high-handed lovelessness toward God that it may be appropriate to call down anathema on it."
"...it is appropriate that we pray that Christ would vindicate his holy name and program by destroying the enemies of righteousness, just as he preserves those who love his name."
They are merely explanatory of what would happen
"...they merely were stating what would happen to the wicked; they were not actually asking God to destroy the wicked."Remind you of anything?
How about radicalism?
How about terrorism?
Shock and awe?
Let's end the grande flourish of rationale with Mr. Reid’s closing argument-
The desire for personal revenge is never an option for the Christian and we should always have the mind and heart of God "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). But at the same time we do not want the name and character of our God blasphemed. We long for and pray for the time when God's righteousness will be realized "on earth as it is in heaven." We pray these prayers knowing full well that in the final analysis the universal reign of righteousness by a holy God demands the eternal punishment of the wicked. The imprecatory psalms are the Old Testament expression of this godly attitude.
This thinking, and the execution of Imprecatory prayers, while on the surface seems childish, is, when applied to our present reality, a very dangerous and downright delusional evocation.
They were told to pray upon the sins of others;
instructed to desire their adversary’s end
until the hand no longer covered the ashen face,
until the slaughter across the sand was complete.
Infants dashed against rock.
Fatherless and widowed.
Teeth broken in their mouths.
Buried and breathing.
Begging God to perform their soul-fouled work,
invoking prayers of bone-prattled doom,
calling forth their god-smacking wrath
riddled with the brown flesh of Islam;
The face of mother.
The back of father.
The heart of brother.
The neck of sister.
O! This sickness brings forth such loss and
carries the hordes of stench to madness!
O! Let these prayers fall upon the dead lips of
thy conjured and stinking god forthwith!
Reason dashed against idols,
breath snapped in the throat,
buried and fruitless shall be thy
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman
Thanks to The Faithful Skeptic for the inspiration.