Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1024 MP3 Audio File Video File

Imprecatory Prayers

Various Scripture

Delivered 08/09/20

I want to talk to you this morning about a subject that I have never spoken on before, and that is imprecatory prayer. How many of you know what I talking about when I say imprecatory prayer? Let me start by defining what I mean. To imprecate means "to invoke evil upon or curse" one’s enemies.

An imprecatory prayer is a calling down of judgment or curse against one’s enemies or those who are enemies of God. We see these prayers of curses or judgement all throughout Scripture. The ones found in the Psalms are the most famous (Psalms 7; 35; 58; 59; 69; 83; 109;137;139). Let’s look at a few.

Before we even look at these let me say that different people will react differently to these prayers. Some of us are more for seeing justice done and some of us are more on the mercy side. We’re different and so we will react differently to these prayers. Some will love the idea that I’m proposing, and some will hate it thinking I’m wrong. All I ask is that you be a Berean and search this out for yourself. Okay let’s look at some imprecatory prayers. The Psalms that we are going to look at are all Psalms of David:

Arise, O LORD, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. Psalms 7:6 ESV
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! Psalms 7:9 ESV
Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his destruction! Psalms 35:8 ESV
O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD! Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted. Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun. Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away! The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Psalms 58:6-10 ESV
You, LORD God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah Psalms 59:5 ESV
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter, consume them in wrath; consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah Psalms 59:12-13 ESV
Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually. Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them. May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. Psalms 69:22-28 ESV
When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! May his days be few; may another take his office! May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit! May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil! Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children! May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation! May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out! Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth! Psalms 109:7-15 ESV

Okay, I’m sure you get the point. David often prayed for the destruction of his enemies. We also see Moses ask Yahweh to scatter his enemies and make them flee in fear:

And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, "Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you." Numbers 10:35 ESV

Deborah prays that all of God’s enemies would be destroyed:

So may all your enemies perish, O LORD! But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might." And the land had rest for forty years. Judges 5:31 ESV

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, prays for God to destroy those who are evil "with double destruction"

Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed; bring upon them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction! Jeremiah 17:18 ESV

Curse pronouncements are interspersed throughout the biblical canon. Moving into the New Testament we see Yeshua calling down woes of judgment on religious leaders in Matthew 23 and in John 15:25 He quotes from the imprecatory psalms 35:19 and 69:4.  Paul also quoted an imprecatory prayer in Romans 11:9-10, which is a quote of Psalm 69: 22-23. Paul used imprecations against those who did not love God. One example is found in:

If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 1 Corinthians 16:22 ESV

The Greek word translated "accursed" here is anathema. Paul uses this same word in Galatians 1 when he pronounces an anathema on anyone who preaches another gospel:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9 ESV

The word "accursed" from the Greek anathema originally meant: "something dedicated," but as it was used day by day it began to be used only of that which was dedicated to evil. And then, it came to be used to indicate the end of things that were dedicated to evil - that is, destruction. (Liddell-Scott, Greek English Lexicon)

Even the martyrs in heaven petition God to avenge their blood in:

They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:10 ESV

Now, I’m sure that some of you are probably thinking, How can it be right to wish harm and destruction on another human? It seems very malicious and vengeful instead of loving and kind. What about Matthew 5:44 where Yeshua tells us to love our enemies?

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44 ESV

Yes, as believers we are to love our enemies. But loving our enemies shouldn’t come at the expense of forgoing appeals for divine justice. Praying for God to punish the wicked is neither unloving nor vindictive but is an expression of faith in Him who judges justly.

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23 ESV

Yes, we are to love our enemies, but we must distinguish between cursing our personal enemies ourselves and calling upon God to curse his enemies. Imprecatory prayers are not driven by vengeance, but a deep desire for justice. And imprecatory prayers are aimed at great injustice, not small trivial matters. David and the others did not ask God to destroy people because they were annoying, inconvenient, or hurtful.  

I’m not saying that we should pray imprecatory prayers when someone cuts us off in traffic, or attacks us on social media, or has a different eschatology than we do. I’m talking about praying against the enemies of justice and righteousness.

Should we, 21st century believers pray this way? Yes, I believe we should. Why should we pray this type of prayer? Two reasons,

1. Because prayer is effective: if we don’t believe that prayer is effective were not going to pray much.

and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." Psalms 50:15 ESV
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. Psalms 91:15 ESV
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:12 ESV

God promises over and over to answer our prayers. Hezekiah was a man of prayer and we see prayer's effectiveness in his life. Hezekiah was the king of Judah (South) just before Israel (North) was taken into Assyrian captivity (700 B.C.) He prayed for forgiveness for the people.

And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 2 Chronicles 30:20 ESV

Hezekiah prayed for the people, and Yahweh heard his prayers and healed the people. Please notice what the Scripture says, "Yahweh heard Hezekiah and healed the people."

When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came against Jerusalem, Hezekiah turned to God in prayer.

So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side. 2 Chronicles 32:22 ESV

Believers, prayer is effective - Hezekiah prays to God, and God delivers Judah. Hezekiah's prayers were also effective in his personal life.

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’" 2 Kings 20:1 ESV

What would you do here? What did Hezekiah do? Did he say, "Well God is sovereign, and He said I'm going to die, so that's it, I'm dead." No, he did the same thing you would do, he prayed to Yahweh and he wept bitterly. Then Yahweh responded:

"Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD, 2 Kings 20:5 ESV

Over and over in the life of Hezekiah he prayed, and God answered. What we see in the life of Hezekiah is that prayer is effective. Since prayer is effective, we should use it.

Why should we pray this type of prayer? Two reasons,

1. Because prayer is effective.

2. Because our society is filled with evil.

Our country is filled with corruption, political corruption, media corruption, pharmaceutical corruption. Rioters are destroying people’s businesses, beating people up, killing people and governors and mayors have told the police to stand down. Governors are pronouncing more and more executive orders, mandating that we wear masks that have been scientifically proven not to work. They are telling us where we can shop and if we can corporately worship.

On July 28 a video came out of a group of doctors calling themselves, "America's Frontline Doctors" held a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. They were pushing the fact that HCQ is safe and effective for the treatment of covid-19. This video was immediately taken down and blocked by YouTube, Twitter, FaceBook. This is censorship plain and simple. Why so much anger over a drug that has been in use for 65 years? Because it works and if everyone used it the plandemic would end. I cried as I watched this video because it is evident that they are trying to hide the cure for covid. They are killing people with covid by falsely saying that HCQ is dangerous.

On July 28 CNN Business put out an article saying, A video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus was removed by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after going viral online Monday.

During the press conference, a speaker who identifies herself as a doctor makes a number of dubious claims, including that "you don't need masks" to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are "fake science" sponsored by "fake pharma companies."

Ask yourself, Why would these doctors risk losing their jobs and possible even their medical licenses to promote HCQ? These are frontline doctors. They are simply trying to help people.

The state of Ohio Pharmacy Board banned the use of HCQ for covid patients. A drug that has been proven to save lives, they banned. This is murder. A couple days later they withdrew the ruling. Virginia restricts the use of HCQ. Why? Because they are evil and they are killing people for political gain. They are murderers!

Five governors sent elderly people with covid back to nursing homes where they infected others and many died. These governors are guilty of murder. They are Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. Those in nursing homes are at the highest risk of death from covid but these murderous governors sent those who tested positive for covid into nursing homes.  We should be praying for these governors:

May his days be few; may another take his office! May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! Psalms 109:8-9 ESV

They are murders and God hates murders:

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, Proverbs 6:16-17 ESV

None of this wicked murderous behavior should really surprise us because sanctioned murder has been going on in this country since 1973. Roe v. Wade, the insidious U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized murder of the unborn happened on January 22, 1973.

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day world wide.

In the USA, where nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion [1] , there are over 3,000 abortions per day. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in the USA (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. [2]

[1] Finer LB and Henshaw SK, Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2006, 38(2):90–96.

[2] Jones RK et al., Abortion in the United States: incidence and access to services, 2005, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40(1):6–16

Abortion is murder! People kill for all kinds of reasons: in the heat of passion, revenge, anger, money, pride, but abortion is simply murder for money and convenience. The mother doesn't want to be inconvenienced by a baby, so she pays a murderer to kill it.

What we must understand is that when the Bible speaks, God speaks. When we want to know God's view of the issue, we simply need to go to the Bible. Let me give you several biblical principles which I believe make abortion murder.

The strongest Scriptural and theological argument against abortion is that God Himself is said to create the child in the womb. So then, those who have an abortion are not merely destroying tissue or protoplasm, but an actual work of God Himself. We suppose that the power of reproduction lies solely within the ovum and sperm and is entirely controlled by the genetic code. But biblically, it is clear that God Himself is involved in the process. God creates, personally and individually, every human life. God not only starts a pro-creation process, but is active in that process bringing into existence all those people whom He has foreordained to life:

Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Genesis 20:17-18 ESV

God is sovereign over conception. The Bible says He opens and closes the womb.

The Hebrew Scriptures use the same Hebrew words to describe the pre-born, infants, and children. In the New Testament the same Greek words also describe the pre-born, infants, and children, which indicates a continuity from conception to childhood and on to adulthood. The Greek word brephos is used of the newly born, infants, and older children in Luke 2:12 & 16, 18:15; 1 Peter 2:2 and Acts 7:19. In Luke 1:44, brephos is used of John the Baptist while he was still in the womb, a pre-born infant.

Scriptures teach we must defend and protect the weak, the defenseless, the innocent, and the needy. I would think that if life begins at conception, that the pre-born fall into this category of weak and defenseless:

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV

Believers, we need to open our mouth for those in the womb who cannot yet speak:

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalms 82:3-4 ESV

Yahweh tells the gods of the nations that they are to "give justice to the weak and the fatherless… Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

Scripture proves that God values the unborn in the womb as an adult. This principle is illustrated in:

"When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Exodus 21:22-25 ESV

The Hebrew word for "pregnant" here is the Hebrew word hareh, it is used 21 times in the Tanakh of children in the womb. The word, "children" is from yalad. It is used 88 times in the Tanakh of children. In verse 23, God has ordained that the killing of a child prior to its birth is to be paid for by giving your own life. This law is perhaps the most decisive evidence in Scripture that the unborn in the womb is to be regarded as a living person. Abortion is murder!

Believers, Scripture condemns murder:

"You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 ESV
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. Genesis 9:6 ESV

When Cain murders Abel in the Book of Genesis, Scripture says that his "blood cries out from the ground." Murder is a horrific act, which the Bible commands us not to do. God values life and wants us to do the exact same. Yeshua confirms this in His teachings, not to murder, and goes on to describe how our hearts should even try to avoid anger. Because man is made in the image of God, life is by definition sacred and should not be destroyed:

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, Proverbs 6:16-17 ESV

What blood could be more innocent than an unborn babies? Here is a verse that the doctors who perform abortions should take a close look at:

"‘Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Deuteronomy 27:25 ESV

I hope you can see that the Bible clearly condemns abortion. Abortion is murder and murder is always wrong.

So many of our politicians today are baby murderers. Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, wants abortion on demand to be enshrined in the Virginia Constitution. Northam wants the state General Assembly to approve a constitutional amendment that would guarantee a "right" to abortion. Lawmakers in New York celebrated, and I mean celebrated, legislation allowing abortion up until delivery. They are murders!

One of the most ignored attributes of God is his justice. God is just! Justice is likely the least favorite attribute of God. If a survey was taken, I'm quite confident that the aspect of God that would be least popular would be the justice of God. People do not like the idea that God might judge them with justice. I guess you could say that our society suffers from justophobia. But it is widely and consistently taught in Scripture that God is just:

"The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. Deuteronomy 32:4 ESV

Job acknowledged:

The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Job 37:23 ESV

The Psalmist praises God as dwelling in justice:

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Psalms 89:14 ESV

It may help to have a working definition of justice. Here's a simple one: "Justice is giving to everyone his due." Justice may not treat everyone with absolute sameness, but it is treating each person with a standard of what is owed. Watson said, "Injustice lies in two things, either not to punish where there is a fault, or to punish where there is no fault."

Thus Proverbs 24:12 teaches:

If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Proverbs 24:12 ESV

God will render to each man according to his deeds. That seems to be God's standard for justice.

Our God is just but our society is unjust and evil, it is filled with those who murder for money. We seem to be used to these injustices; they don’t seem to bother us. But they should. We should be angry about these evils. They should make us sick. I don’t know about you but I’m angry!

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, Ephesians 4:26 ESV

We are to:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Romans 12:9 ESV

"Abhor what is evil"—anyone who truly loves will hate evil and cling to what is good. The use of the imperative in the present tense denotes, "Be continuously or be constantly hating that which is evil." If you love you must hate anything that will hurt that love. The prophets commanded this:

Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:15 ESV

Let me say here that evil and good are not subjective concepts; that is, we do not have the liberty to abhor what we think is evil and cling to what we think is good. Otherwise, no standard would exist for good and evil. What is good to me, subjectively, might be evil to you, subjectively. Unfortunately, this is where too much of Christian abhorrence and clinging lands. It focuses on our sentiments instead of what is clearly revealed in the Word of God.

Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Psalms 119:104 ESV

The standard for identifying those things we are to abhor and the things that we are to cling to is found in Scripture not in opinion polls. Today's society, like those in the days of Micah have this backward:

you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people and their flesh from off their bones, Micah 3:2 ESV

The love of evil and the hatred of good is a characteristic of our sick society. The murder of unborn children is seen as woman's right to choose. Yahweh hates murder and so should His children:

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD. Proverbs 17:15 ESV

Those who support abortion do both, they justify the act of murder as a right, and they condemn the righteous unborn child to death.

If you want to know what is evil and what is good, we have an objective standard, it's called the Bible. The more we dig into the Word, paying attention to context, seeing the commands in their appropriate setting, and observing how they are modeled for us in Yeshua, the clearer we see what is good and what is evil.

So, what can we do about the injustice and evil in our society? We can pray! And I think that includes imprecatory prayers. Pray that God’s judgment will fall on these evil people. If that sounds to harsh to you what do you suggest we do? Do we sit by and watch people be murdered? Or do we cry out, "God, stop them! Do whatever you have to do to stop them!"

Christians we need to get angry, and we will if our eyes are open to what is happening in our society. We’re murdering 3,000 babies per day in America. Child trafficking, pedophilia, torture, and murder of children is happening every day in this country by the elite. The news media, big pharma, and our politicians are fighting against and restricting the use of HCQ for political reasons and because of this people are dying.

If all of this doesn’t cause you to cry out for God’s justice something is wrong. It’s time the church wake up and rise up and fight the evil in our society, not by taking up arms, we have a much more powerful weapon, we need to pray that God’s judgment would fall on them. I’m praying that a seat would open up on the Supreme Court so we can put a stop to the murder of the unborn. I’m praying for many of our politicians, news media, and those in Hollywood that:

May his days be few; may another take his office! May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! Psalms 109:8-9 ESV
O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD! Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted. Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun. Psalms 58:6-8 ESV

Join with me in praying for justice and righteousness to return to our nation. Pray that Yahweh would kill these murders preying on the unborn and children. "Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime."

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