First, what is imprecatory prayer? The word “imprecate” means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke curse upon”, and thus it is a prayer against enemies in the spirit of hate, anger, and violence, to be blunt. I would imagine imprecatory prayer to be a staple of all religions/cultures, as there must be a mechanism in place perceived to protect them, or they wouldn’t expect to survive. What is the last thing any homogenous culture does when faced with annihiliation by their enemies? They get on their knees and pray to their gods to destroy those forces, right? They all seem to have that understanding that something greater than them should be able to deliver them if they plea their case well enough…that their own lives and destiny is completely out of their hands and trust must be placed in a higher power that they only know in their own minds. A good, biblical, example of use of imprecatory prayer comes from the story of Elijah, who basically agreed to a “battle of imprecatory prayers” in 1 Kings 18. Elijah alone took on 450 Baal priests, challenging them to invoke the power of their god(s) to consume the sacrifices laid before them, to prove who’s god is the True God. Elijah gave them days for their imprecatory prayers to work, He even mocked them. Then, Elijah spoke 2 sentences, asking God to let it be known that Baal can only be the enemy, as Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the only TRUE God…and fire came down from heaven and solved the dispute, putting an end to the deceit of His enemies. Read the chapter. Elijah is angered, and full of hate toward King Ahab and the Baal priests for spitting on Yahweh, the God of their fathers. So he had to invoke the violence of Yahweh to bring about the impact necessary to turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers. Notice Elijah did not do this on his own. He was facing down his own worldly king, and had nothing to back up his hatred and anger for what this king was doing to the children of Israel, but complete faith in Yahweh, by invoking an imprecatory prayer. Now, skeptics of this example may say that this imprecatory prayer did not destroy enemies. On the contrary…the power of Yahweh was not used to exact the punishment, but to be a show of force to set His children back on the right path of enforcing His Laws themselves, as He had been wanting them to do all along, which subsequently happened in the form of the 450 Baal priests immediately being put to death! Bottom line, Elijah prayed to God in a manner that was meant to punish His enemies in one form or fashion. Which brings me to my own personal experience of invoking imprecatory prayer, and it working!
6 years ago, I served 2 months in jail for driving on a suspended license (a story for another blog, perhaps). This was smack dab in the middle of my most intense reading and research, and perhaps my highest level of involvement in the scholarship at Christogenea.org. It was during this period in jail that I sat down and truly READ the entire Bible, cover to cover. That alone is awakening and eye opening. Which brings me to my imprecatory prayer experience. Up until just before going to jail, I was not aware of what imprecatory prayer was, but praise Yahweh He brought it to my attention through the scholarship at Christogenea, because it became the only weapon necessary for me to continue on my walk while sitting in satan’s cesspool for 2 months.
My prison stint was spent in one of the most relaxed parts of the Lebanon Co. prison…the work release section. I swear it was a day camp and family reunion everyday in there for all the beasts. They knew their way around and knew all the other inmates like it was their backyard. While it may be for them, it DEFINITELY was not for me! Anyway, as “luck” would have it, I got stuck bunking right beside the biggest silverback on the block who apparently was everyone’s outside connection for everything contraband. His bunk and trunk were the 24/7 mini mart…and there was nothing discreet about it other than exchanges were not made in front of the guards. I could not get any sleep, and my irritation with him was mounting each day to the point where I was going to tear him apart with my bare hands, and my 2 month stay was going to be 20 years. So I decided to put my faith in Yahweh, and “put my money where my mouth is”. The first night I prayed to Yahweh to deal with him, and let vengeance be His. The next day, the nigger’s supply of contraband never arrived…I was amazed. I felt empowered. I prayed for the same thing again the next night. The next day, the nigger’s mudshark girlfriend found out he was cheating on her and left him, and another attempt to bring in contraband failed (and there were actually a few more things that made his life miserable that day, but I can’t remember specifically. I just know it was an even more horrible day for him). Talk about feeling even more empowered, as I knew Yahweh was indeed at work, and that my pleas were not only valid, but being answered directly! So I wanted this put to rest, asking God to imprecate the silverback one last time. To my complete astonishment yet, the very next day, the beast tried to “boof” (hide rectally) contraband and was caught, subsequently being put in the hole for the remainder of my time! The funniest part about it was that all the beasts in the place blamed me behind my back for “ratting” on him, but there was utterly no proof, and NONE of them ever had the balls to confront me face to face about it. I had no problems showing my complete satisfaction with how it all ended, feeling utterly vindicated, by continuing to sit alone, in the middle of the big open barracks-like facility, reading my Bible in peace, 14 hours a day
This now sets me up for my next blog, which will cover determining the difference between YOUR enemies and GOD’S enemies and how hatred an anger are valid emotions in responses to both of those enemies…an extremely important concept to understand!