Imprecatory prayer

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An evil miracle is still technically a miracle.
—Black Mage, 8-Bit Theater

Imprecatory prayer is prayer asking God to kill, maim, curse, send into eternal damnation, or otherwise harm an enemy. Perhaps the most well-known imprecatory prayer is found in the Bible in Psalm 109, a Psalm which generally gets overlooked by sermon-writers.

[edit] WWJD?

"Love your enemies"? Not a chance. The teachings of Jesus go out the window here.[1] Those who say imprecatory prayer is scriptural point to Psalms, which contains several such prayers.[2]

The practice seems to be increasing in popularity lately:

  • Dr. Wiley Drake, of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California, has decided to publicly "ask the children of God to go into action with imprecatory prayer" to try to get God to curse his enemies for him.[3][4][5]
  • Peter J. Peters leads his radio listeners in an imprecatory prayer against the "enemies of God" almost every show.
  • Fred Phelps used to say an imprecatory prayer against the whole world every hour, by the sound of it.
  • Psalm 109 is one of the imprecatory prayers found in the Psalms with "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109" bumper stickers and t-shirts.[6] Probably sold through the same outlets selling WWJD trinkets.[7]

[edit] Name it and claim it

On the other hand, proponents of name it and claim it theology teach that the words that come out of your mouth are a "creative force" which actually speaks something into being [8]. Therefore, they warn, watch what you say because anything you say can work against you as an imprecatory prayer. According to this teaching, if you say, "I don't feel so good today", you have just literally prayed an imprecatory prayer over yourself making yourself sick.[9] Don't say "damn it!" either because saying so is praying an imprecatory prayer over your current situation asking God to send you (or whomever) to Hell. If, by chance, you were born with the soul of a dragon and happen to say things in dragon language, this effect will of course be much stronger. So say only positive things which will speak health and wealth into your life, or don't say anything at all. Why multiple proponents of this haven't won the lottery remains a mystery.

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Well, unless the word "love" means God's love
  2. The prophet Elisha curses some children, and the Lord promptly sends some bears along to eat the cheeky little tykes
  3. "Pastor Wiley Drake Calls for Imprecatory Prayer against So-Called Religious Liberty Watchdog Group"
  4. "Curses, (Not) Foiled Again!"
  5. Death to Americans United for Separation of Church and State!, Talk to Action
  6. Psalm 109 is particularly nasty calling for the children of the person cursed to be lifelong beggars due to the sins of the father and more. Psalm 109:6
  8. interestingly, "I create as I speak" is the origin of the phrase abra cadabra.
  9. This is a theme, for example, in such books as The Tongue: A Creative Force by Charles Capps and Hung by the Tongue by Francis Martin.
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