Most prayers are requests for rescue like, "God help me in this situation." But sometimes situations are so bad that prayers include difficult elements like, "God, please do whatever it takes to bring justice in this situation." We need to be careful to pray according to a merciful God's will, but we also need to be careful to not only pray for sweets from a holy God.
God is a God of vengeance as well as a God of love. In a fallen world, tough decisions have to be made regarding evil people. Since God is redemptive, His first and constant choice is to save people. But there are those who will not be saved, and in the end must be destroyed before they can harm a great number of people.
We don't need to be telling God who to deliver and who to kill, but we can find in Scripture quite a few prayers that incorporate this holistic view of praying for the hard things as well as the nice stuff. Here is one example. It is a prayer of King David...
"God, listen to my prayer and do not ignore my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint, because of the enemy’s voice, because of the pressure of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me and harass me in anger.
My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me.
Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and find rest.
How far away I would flee; I would stay in the wilderness.Selah
I would hurry to my shelter from the raging wind and the storm.”
Lord, confuse and confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city; day and night they make the rounds on its walls.
Crime and trouble are within it; destruction is inside it; oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace.
Now it is not an enemy who insults me— otherwise I could bear it; it is not a foe who rises up against me— otherwise I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man who is my peer, my companion and good friend!
We used to have close fellowship; we walked with the crowd into the house of God.
Let death take them by surprise; let them go down to Sheol alive, because evil is in their homes and within them.
But I call to God, and the Lord will save me.
I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and He hears my voice.
Though many are against me, He will redeem me from my battle unharmed.
God, the One enthroned from long ago, will hear and will humiliate them Selah because they do not change and do not fear God.
My friend acts violently against those at peace with him; he violates his covenant.
His buttery words are smooth, but war is in his heart.
His words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
God, You will bring them down to the Pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and treachery will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You."
There's a lot going on there. There is trust in God alongside fear. There is hope for restoration right next to a desire to see people removed from the picture. We see the value of holiness and the price of sin.
This probably isn't a statement/prayer we should make every day for the people in our lives who give us trouble. But it is a perspective that we should appreciate and agree with. Today, think about the reality of this Psalm in your life. Let it cause you to draw closer to God and more compassionate toward the lost. Allow it to be a part of your thinking toward wickedness and those who are determined to do evil.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.