Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may blot out their name from the earth.
David was a champion of righteousness. He was the king of a theocracy—a nation ruled by God. He longed to see God’s cause lived out. In this psalm David recounts that a person had betrayed him. David’s prayer for vindication was not personal. He desired that God judge the sin and stop the sinner from hurting others.
In the New Testament, our prayer changes in light of God’s full revelation. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. We pray that He will change their hearts. And we also pray that God will stop wicked people from hurting others. The imprecatory prayers of the psalms remind us that we should have a righteous zeal for God to be honored and His people protected.
Some questions to consider: Are you angered by those who oppose God? Are you praying that God will deal with those who persecute Christians? Does disobedience stir your heart? Are you calloused to hearing God’s name taken in vain? Are you comfortable with wickedness…in your life and in the lives of others? Do you have a righteous zeal for God to be honored and His people protected?
Father, never let me be comfortable with sin. Create or renew in me a righteous zeal. As I pray for my enemies let me pray also that You are honored and Your people protected. In Jesus’ name. Amen.