Okay, after this I’ll let it go.

I realize I’m kind of harping on this imprecatory thing, and I promise this is the last post on it. But I had an interesting conversation with a self-described “recovering Catholic” today. She had to have me explain imprecatory prayer to her, never having heard of such a thing in her 35 years. Once I explained it, she was beyond horrified. In fact, I had to mention puppies and kittens to get her to settle down.

Anyway, other than being horrified, she had this to suggest: She wasn’t positive, but she had a thought about the idea of imprecatory prayer. She was fairly well versed in the Bible, having read it several times, and she also had studied other religions to some degree. She said, “I’m not at all positive, but I think the only other religion – and I’m not even sure they can – whose followers can pray for bad things to happen to enemies is Satanism.”

Passed along without further comment. And, moving on now.

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2 Responses to “Okay, after this I’ll let it go.”


  1. 1 Terry August 22, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Prayer, whether imprecatory or intercession or adoration or what ever, is not a SOS to God to ‘do something’, it’s our vehicle to get connected to what God is already doing and find His mind and plan for us in it. It changes us not God.
    I suppose when one is surrounded by an ‘enemy’ it would be pretty tempting to ask God to get rid of them. The enemy in the Psalms is usually an invading army or someone trying to hunt you down and kill you. I can understand calling out for help.

  2. 2 hdolezalek August 23, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Terry, thanks for commenting! I’ve had the impression from other comments that imprecatory prayer is not just calling out for help. Almost any prayer would fit that bill. To imprecate is to curse or to call down evil on someone, and that’s what imprecatory prayer is: Calling down evil from God on your enemies. I see nothing wrong with calling out for help, but I see a lot wrong with doing it by saying “Give them boils!”

    Where I finally landed on the issue is that it seems like imprecatory prayer isn’t the best way to handle things. I’m not really sure what to think of a God who would listen to you and do what you asked when what you’re asking is for a plague of boils to happen to someone you don’t like, particularly if they’re not threatening your life. But not everyone’s going to agree with me, and that’s fine with me! 🙂


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