Psalm: Prayers to Curse Enemies?

As you know I have been going through the Psalms, and to be quite frank there are some tough passages sometimes. We  mostly think of King David with what is called imprecatory prayer. This is a prayer to invoke judgment, calamity, or curses upon an enemy. I did a little searching trying to understand how we deal with these passages. My immediate thought was these verses are proving that God hates evil. God is holy. God is just. God is righteous. God is sovereign.  God is in control. Evil will not win. These verses can be viewed as prophetic as well to what was to come.

While I do think its ok to pray for God’s judgment such as in the case of ISIS and the like, imprecatory prayers should be taken with caution.  It’s ok to ask God to bring justice.  There is a fine line though between asking God to have his way and will and quite another when we are praying from a feeling of revenge and elevating ourselves above God. Prayers of asking God to pour out his wrath on evil is a prayer not against a certain person, but on the spiritual enemy, and this is an appropriate prayer.When we are dealing with our personal enemies, Jesus was quite clear on how we should deal with them,  He said to love our enemies and we should pray for them. This, I know is not easy, and we can ask for God to give us the strength and help we need.

One thing for sure David is very raw and honest about his enemies. He speaks the truth about them and the evil they are doing and how it is affecting David emotionally and mentally. I think we should be real and honest with God. He understands.  We can express our emotional anguish and our mental state. It’s ok to express what we are feeling to God, and then ask for his help in being Christ like, and ultimately pray for his will to be done.

Jesus shows us how we are to act towards our enemies. This doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings of hate, hate for evil, and injustice. It is not flesh and blood that we are in battle with, and when we recognize that our little feelings of revenge towards our enemies are directed in the wrong place, we can then shift our focus to elevating God and submitting to his will and trusting that He has it all under control and HE DOES! God knows exactly what he is doing!

Blessings to you all!  Let not your heart be troubled!

P.S. To keep me writing, and not letting it go by the wayside by busy schedules, I have decided to pick a day out of the week designated to blog- so Thursday it is.

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Get in on the Action!

But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20,21

We are not programmed robots. God created us with a free will to do as we please. As I study this verse in Jude, I see four action verbs.

The first is “building up.” Every day our actions are either building us up in the faith, tearing us down, or complacency is causing a slow deterioration. The apostle James said “faith without works is dead.” How can our faith grow without the right orthopraxy (doing of the word)? We must not just be hearers of the Word but doers as James instructs. What does our behavior do in efforts to build us up? Do we just admire the ideals of Christianity and read about Jesus with fondness or are we trying to live our lives like Jesus? Are we just hearing what He says or are we doing what He says? How can we be “building” if we are not “doing”?

The second action verb Jude gives is “praying” Prayer is our direct line to God. This is our communion, our one on one communication. We would never expect any relationship to grow if we never spoke to the person; the same is with Christ. He is on the other end, saying come talk to me. He is calling but we must decide to answer.

Thirdly, “KEEP yourselves in the love of God.” To keep is to “retain possession of.” We have been given God’s love and we must accept and hold on to it. Grasp tightly to the love that sets us free through Jesus Christ. Don’t lose sight of this love.

And this brings us to the fourth; “LOOK for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The enemy does not want us to build up in the faith, to have communion with the Father, to know Christ’s love, so he will do all he can to distract us from Christ’s mercy. The enemy will condemn, but take heart, we know better; Jesus is merciful. He knows our weakness. He knows we fall short of the holy standard and yet, he is merciful.

Let’s look at them in reverse order:

  • Look for the mercy of our Lord, the one who saves us from our sins and gives eternal life.
  • Keep His love and hold it close so that we can give love to others and show the world who this Jesus really is.
  • Always be in prayer, our direct line of communication.
  • Build up your faith continually to the glory of God.

Go ahead! Get in on the action!

In His love,

Johanna

“The Hour has Come!”

In John 17 we read Jesus’ prayer  in the upper room with his disciples just before being arrested, tried, tortured and crucified.

“The hour has come.” 

What was he talking about? At this moment can you imagine the power behind these words?
A major shift was about to take place.
Everything was about to change from this point onward.
The ultimate sacrifice was about to be made for our sins that would finally atone so that God would now be able to look at us and have a direct line of communication. We from this point forward have been made clean through Jesus. We are asked to believe and accept.
For hundreds of years man was trying to do better to meet God’s standard to appease God, but………….
The hour has come, the trying is over. It will never do. The hour has come. Jesus is our redeemer. The hour has come. Jesus is our savior. The hour has come. Jesus paid it all. The hour has come. I can have communion with the living God. The hour has come. I am cleansed. The hour has come. Jesus is glorified. The hour has come. God the Father is glorified. The hour has come. It is finished. The hour has come. Believe and accept the free gift.

John 17:6-8
REVELATION – Jesus came and revealed himself as the son of the living God.

MESSAGE – Jesus delivered the message from the Father. Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me(Jesus)

THE GIFT – Out of love, He gave of himself finally as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin cleansing us so that we may have eternal life. What is eternal life? It’s not living forever on a cloud or some abstract idea beyond this life. It is sharing in joy and communion and glory with God forever! How awesome!!

What was Jesus’ purpose? To glorify the Father. To point all to God the Father.
What is our purpose? To glorify Jesus which in turn glorify’s God the Father. When we receive the message Jesus sent, this glorifies God. When we come to him and accept his free gift of eternal life, this glorifies God. When we believe, this glorifies God. Jesus’ motivation and purpose in this prayer was none other than to glorify God. He was about to be crucified, and his eyes were set on God the Father being exalted and lifted up. What is your motivation for believing? Is it because you want to escape punishment? Is it because you want to be blessed? Is it because it seems like a good moral thing to do? Did you inherit your belief from your family? It doesn’t start with you and it doesn’t end with you. It starts with God and ends with God. He is the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end. Jesus prayed, “thy will be done.”

Prayer for protection, holiness and unity among believers. John 17:10-26
We as disciples are to bring glory to Jesus! This is a testimony to the world. Jesus clearly saw these three things very important. This was his chief concern for his disciples.
Protection – Jesus warned that we would have trouble in this world. We would be persecuted and hated by the world. We would have the world, the flesh, and the devil to contend with. He is sending us into the world, the world with all the trouble and persecution, yes, but he has shielded us with his protection, we will most certainly have to endure troubles, but no one can separate us from the love of God. Jesus specifically prays for protection as we should too, for ourselves and for each other.

Holiness – Jesus prayed that the disciples would be made holy, by truth and his word which is truth. Who said he was truth? Jesus said I am “the truth”. We can only be made holy by Jesus. He gave himself up as a holy sacrifice for us to be holy. He prayed for God the Father to teach them his word. We have a need to know what Jesus said. We have a need to read the scriptures. Jesus prayed this specifically. Holiness is a lifetime goal. We should pray and seek holiness and the holiness of our fellow believers. We are being perfected each day through our journey through this life.

Unity – Jesus prayed for his disciples to be in perfect unity as the Father and Son are. We are supposed to be examples to the world of God’s glory, of Jesus’ love. If we are not one with each other, what message is this to the world? The apostle Paul dealt with this very thing in all of the churches. Jesus is not a denomination. He is the way the truth and the life. He is not a doctrine. He is a living person who died to bring you and me into shared glory with God the Father. Lets join together in unity as believers to show the world that God is love and that He is glorified. Let’s not get caught up in our differences. Lets get caught up in Jesus who binds us all together in truth and love.

Jesus prayed for you and me. John 17:20. He prayed for all that would put their trust in Him and believe. THE HOUR HAS COME! Glorify God! Thy will be done! Amen!