Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


Is It Ever Appropriate to Pray the Imprecatory Psalms?

My Bible reading has led me to the Psalms. As I was reading the introductory section to the Psalms in the Reformation Study Bible, I read about a category of psalms called imprecatory psalms. We are told that these psalms cry out not only for the righteous to be vindicated, but also for God to punish the wicked. This section states that theologians are divided over whether there might be circumstances under which Christians may pray the imprecatory psalms against the church’s enemies in the new covenant era, but if there is a place for such prayers, two things must be kept in mind:

  1. “As under the old covenant, the imprecatory psalms are not for use against just any enemy who causes problems for God’s people. Rather, they are for enemies who are flagrantly and impenitently evil in their actions against Christ’s church.
  2. In praying imprecatory psalms, space must always be allowed for the Lord to answer them by redeeming our enemies through judgment, just as He has done for us. Christ bore the imprecations that were rightly directed at us as the enemies of God, and so we passed through judgment in Him unto eternal life. God may do the same for our enemies, uniting them to Christ so that He bears the imprecations in their place, granting them the gift of eternal life.”

Is it ever appropriate today for a Christian to pray imprecatory prayers? Continue reading