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Imprecatory Prayer 4
© 08.24.21 By David Eric Williams

This article appeared in the August 26 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle

Today we conclude the series on imprecatory prayer with an example prayer using Psalm 137 as an outline. I should point out that this illustration is edited for length. When praying the Scripture, it is typical to integrate the entire text into the prayer verbally.

As you recall, the context for Psalm 137 is the aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon and the captivity of Judah. In the first section of the Psalm, the Judeans are mocked by their captors. This turns their thoughts to justice and they call upon God to remember the evil deeds of their enemies, they declare God's punishment upon Babylon and wish for equitable punishment. The concern of the Psalmist is the nation of Judah and so this example prayer will focus on our national circumstance as well. Now to prayer.

Our gracious heavenly Father, we come before you in the name of Jesus Christ on behalf of our nation. Lord God, we know this nation was founded by people who recognized you as the sovereign Lord of creation and we do so today, understanding and accepting the truth that by Jesus all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together (Colossians 1:16-17).

Almighty God Just as the Exiles from Judah discovered, there are many who mock you and your people Indeed, those who tormented [them] demanded songs of joy (Psalms 137:3). They seek to make it unsavory to serve you. Today is seems we are asked to sing Yahweh's song in a foreign land (Psalms 137:4). This was true then and it is true now. It is difficult, oh Lord, to remember the heritage you have given this nation when we are surrounded by those who ridicule you and your ways (Pslams 137:5-6).

Oh God, when Jerusalem fell, the children of Edom . . .said, "Raze it! Raze it even to its foundation!" (Psalms 137:7). Today, many who wield authority over others – elected officials and appointed bureaucrats – actively seek to undermine the foundations of this nation. They are bent upon its destruction. We pray you would remember their wicked deeds. We pray you would recall their duplicity, their hypocrisy. They say one thing and do another. They say they are "for" this nation but their words and actions say otherwise. So, Father in heaven, remember that as they conspire to fundamentally change this nation they do so in opposition to the foundational, original values of the land. And those values are rooted in the Christian faith.

Dear Lord, the people of Judah were confident that Babylon would be destroyed (Psalms 137:8). Thus, we pray you would end the ruinous purpose of our nation's domestic enemies. We pray their house, their ideological fortress will fall. May the seeds of destruction they sow take root in their own camp. May the rot they desire for this nation be evident in their own plans and actions. Turn their wickedness back upon them. In addition, bring blessings upon those who stand against the tide of wickedness. Blessings upon civil authorities and citizens who stand for truth.

Lord, as the exiles prayed, happy shall he be, who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock (Psalms 137:9), recognizing the justice of equitable punishment. We too pray you would bring swift justice upon those who are demolishing this nation. They especially target the children of this land so we pray their wicked ways will not pass to another generation. We pray their intellectual and spiritual progeny would be lost to their cause. Oh, God reform them or remove them. Draw them unto yourself by the power of your Holy Spirit or remove them from their place – this, oh God, as you see fit. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Go here for the first article in this series.

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