Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pray for the wicked?

The wicked conceive evil; they are pregnant with trouble and give birth to lies. They dig a pit to trap others and then fall into it themselves. They make trouble, but it backfires on them. They plan violence for others, but it falls on their own heads. Psalm 7: 14-16 NLT

I don't really see wicked people falling into their own traps. I see them becoming powerful, popular and downright admired. Once in a while someone does have their plans to backfire on them. But I mostly see their violence causing more violence. I do see them conceiving, carrying and giving birth to lies. After some time of this, I suppose lies begin to seem like the truth.

Maybe this is more like wishful thinking on the part of the psalmist. If I pray this out loud, perhaps it will come true! If good people repeat this often enough, God will make sure it happens.

I suppose there is something to that. And certainly, this would be a timely verse to pray when we are faced with wickedness and evil, although this is not what Jesus told us to pray. I think for most of us, we will simply be wounded (emotionally) by others in our lifetime. These won't necessarily be bad people but people who have done something bad or hurtful. In either case, this prayer asks that whatever the hurtful person has done will backfire on them. Not that we ourselves will get revenge but that their own actions will come back to haunt them. I guess this isn't exactly what Jesus told us to do but it maybe the best compromise -- we will at least be praying for our enemies!

God, there are wicked people in this world. Sometimes we don't know how to respond to what they have done to us or to others. You tell us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We want to do so but we are human, God, and want revenge! Perhaps the best prayer when we are in such an agony is this: that their deeds of trouble and violence fall on their own heads. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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