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As I was reading through the thread, "A German's View on Islam" Paul_S' response on the matter of praying as a citizen of both heaven and earth evoked a question within me which I have often wanted to ask here for the purpose of discussion. That question is, "Does Scripture allow New Testament believers to pray imprecatory (Of the nature of, or containing, imprecation; invoking evil; a curse; execration) prayers?"

An article on The Highway by James E. Adams is an excellent introduction to this subject if you aren't familiar with it. You can read it here: May We Pray the Imprecatory Psalms?.

So, in application, can we/should we as believers pray imprecation upon Muslims/Islam, terrorists, non-biblical religion(ists), etc.? If so, then how does this fit in with "Love your enemy"?

Don't be shy..... let's hear your thoughts. grin

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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OK, I'll give it a shot

Matthew 5:43-47 strongly suggests that imprecatory prayers are undesirable at best. So, unless you hold to a dispensational view akin to Vernon McGee, you'd be hard pressed to see them as OK in this time and age.

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vince_kieff said:
Matthew 5:43-47 strongly suggests that imprecatory prayers are undesirable at best. So, unless you hold to a dispensational view akin to Vernon McGee, you'd be hard pressed to see them as OK in this time and age.
Vince,

Thanks for the input. But I'm wondering if you didn't mean "unless you DID NOT hold to a dispensational view... you'd be hard pressed...", since Dispensationalists bifurcate Israel and the Church, thus possibly reasoning that since the Psalms belonged to OT Israel, they are inapplicable to us today. Whereas non-Dispensationalists hold to a continuity of the Scriptures, to various degrees, and thus could therefore justify a possible use of imprecatory prayers. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

I'm curious to know if you perhaps read the article by James E. Adams and if so where do you think he went wrong, etc.?

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Referring to the article I think Luther made a good point, that in praying for God's Kingdom to come we are in the same breath asking for all other kingdoms, dominions, and principalities to fail.

I see Adams' point in his discourse in First, We Must Learn to Pray in Christ

To pray the imprecations of the Psalms is to surrender all rights for vengeance to God. It means being prepared to suffer and to endure without personal revenge or hatred as Christ did. It involves being gentle and loving even when I am reviled and persecuted. It encompasses acknowledging in all my ways that God’s cause is more important than I am.


If prayer was man centered then by no means could we pray imprecations, but since prayer is God centered, I see little consternation here. Vengeance is a perfectly Biblical concept, as long as the One administrating it is The Omniscient God. Rom 12:19, Rev 6:9-11.

I find myself agreeing w/ Mennega

It is the peculiarly balanced prayer life that the Christian must foster. He is obligated to pray for the conversion of sinners, of those who are now identified with the kingdom of darkness; this he must do in the interest of God’s glory. At the same time and in the same interest he must pray for the coming of God’s kingdom which involves necessarily praying for the destruction of the kingdom of evil and those who are identified with it. It is in this tension that the Christian must live.

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It would appear that Mennega is in agreement with Adams, yes? Personally, that's what I have come to believe in regard to imprecatory prayers. We are not to exact vengeance for ourselves, but rather we are to call upon God to exact justice (judgment) in regard to HIS enemies, which are surely ours as well all the while praying that He would have mercy upon them and bring them to salvation (repentance and faith) in Christ according to His perfect will.

Thanks for providing the quote. Where did you get that from? Perhaps it is from an article he wrote? It could be something we could all benefit from reading. grin


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Thanks for providing the quote. Where did you get that from?

LOL, Adams sites that quote in the article

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Pilgrim said:
I'm curious to know if you perhaps read the article by James E. Adams and if so where do you think he went wrong, etc.?
I don't see anything highly objectionable in that article; in fact I like the priority approach it suggests: Pray for the conversion of unbelievers first, then pray for their hatred for all things godly to be neutered if they remain unconverted.

Edited the "quote" tag <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by Pilgrim; Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:20 AM.

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