How to Pray Against Your Enemies

Several of the psalms contain passages asking God to destroy His enemies or the enemies of the writer of the psalm. Yet we have the teaching in the New Testament that we are to pray for our enemies, and when Jesus said that, I’m pretty sure He didn’t mean pray for their death or demise. How do we fit those two together? Do they fit together nicely? I don’t think they fit together very nicely. There are a lot of times when there is significant tension between the judgment of God and His mercy and grace. God judges sin, that we know. Yet God forgives sin; that we know as well. God wants people to repent and turn to Him, no matter how “wicked” we think they are.

In Psalm 83 we read this: Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O Lord. 17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, 18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. The writer wants God to punish those who are against Him but he also asks God to do something else. He asks God to punish the wicked so that they might know Him. He asks God to fill the wicked with shame so that they would seek God’s name. I’m pretty sure this is the type of prayer God has in mind. When we pray for those who are hurting us, I think we can pray for God to judge them but we also need to add in there somewhere that the ultimate purpose for that judgment is so that our enemies can know God. Let’s not leave that part out.


Leave a Reply