Is it OK To Pray God’s Judgment on Evil People?

There is a reason why most of us feel rage when we see what an evil dictator is doing to innocent people. God has created us in such a way that when we see horrific injustice, everything in us says, THIS IS WRONG. But does that make it OK to call down curses on evil people who seek the annihilation of whole nations?

The Short Answer

The short answer is, yes. God has given us at least 16 Psalms of imprecation where either part or the whole Psalm calls down curses on evil.

Imprecation means curse. Psalms of imprecation are those that call down destruction, calamity, and God’s judgment on evil people. They are not about revenge, but about God’s justice against unrepenting evil. Imprecation Psalms serve as channels for our outrage at injustice during evil times.

These psalms name the evil that is happening, they give a voice to the victim that cannot speak, they express outrage against the injustice, and they call on God to act.

Though Jesus taught His followers to “love their enemies and pray for them” (Luke 6:27–38), He also spoke imprecations over the sellers in the temple while He flogged them with a whip (John 2:15-17).

A Psalm of Imprecation

This is just an excerpt of a Psalm filled with calls for God’s justice and curses on a ruthless enemy.

Psalm 10:12–15 (NRSV)
12 Rise up, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?
14 But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none.

 

A Prayer of Imprecation

Lord, we acknowledge that vengeance comes from you, not from us. While we pray for the soul of Vladimir Putin, we also pray that you judge Vladimir Putin for the senseless destruction he is causing, and for the lives he has forever shattered! If he should repent, so be it; if not, then may You lay on his head all the devastation he is causing.

May God protect the Ukrainian people physically, mentally, and spiritually. May the Lord bring great provision and blessing on them and grant them favor in the eyes of the nations.

May God help the Russian people, many of whom are Christian, and many more who are closet-opposers to the war. May God turn the hearts of the Russian people against their leader so that the war stops in its tracks! May He cause the efforts of the Russian army to boomerang back on themselves (Ps. 40:14).

We pray in line with Psalm 89:14 for the Ukrainian people.

Psalm 89:14 (NRSV)

14Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

May our prayer be free of vengeance, lest we usurp Your authority as Judge of the world. We pray Romans 12:19, that we would not be vengeful but “Leave room for God’s wrath.” Let our trust in You leave room for Your justice to work.  Amen.

Source:

“Go Ahead. Pray for Putin’s Demise,” Tish Harrison Warren, Christianity Today March 8, 2022.

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