Friday, August 17, 2007

Sigh. Imprecatory prayer teaching rears its ugly head.

Calling down God's wrath or love. Which do you think is more powerful? Check it out.
Wiley S. Drake, a Buena Park pastor and a former national leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, called on his followers to pray for the deaths of two leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The request was in response to the liberal group's urging the IRS on Tuesday to investigate Drake's church's nonprofit status because Drake endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for president on church letterhead and during a church-affiliated Internet radio show.

Drake said Wednesday he was "simply doing what God told me to do" by targeting Americans United officials Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, whom he calls the "enemies of God."

"God says to pray imprecatory prayer against people who attack God's church," he said. "The Bible says that if anybody attacks God's people, David said this is what will happen to them. . . . Children will become orphans and wives will become widows."

Imprecatory prayers are alternately defined as praying for someone's misfortune, or an appeal to God for justice.

"Let his days be few; and let another take his office," the prayer reads. "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."



At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has always been hard for me to square David's "imprecatory prayers" with the Sermon on the Mount or Jesus' own prayer over the city of Jerusalem and those crucifying him on the cross.

Then again, Paul did wish that some of his opponents would perform a certain surgery on themselves... I'm sure that was metaphorical, YIKES!

Having said all that, I don't think guys like Drake are going to win many of their "enemies" to Christ praying prayers like these. Do you?

At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friend:

During the life and ministry of Jesus, the same stronghold continually arose when attempting to instruct believing people. In Mark 7:8-13 Jesus addressed it forcefully:

‘For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. And He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother,’ “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban (that is, dedicated to the temple)”; And you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”’

If Jesus were to address the American church, what tradition would He challenge? Would we be surprised if it was our misapplication of mercy? Mercy to a North American Christian usually means escaping a deserved penalty. Covenant mercy to David meant the utter destruction of his adversaries by God’s hand. We have yet to learn the distinction between mercy extended to an individual releasing their penalty versus mercy extended to the nation dispatching their enemies.

David had no such problem with tradition and therefore becomes our example for extending covenant mercy to a nation. David invoked his covenant and God moved mightily. It is high time we followed his example. The season for breaking years of tradition is at hand. Psalm 143 is a brilliant model for intercession that moves God’s hand for the nation. When we can fully follow David’s model in Psalm 143, we too can move God’s hand to save the land!


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