I have always been fascinated by the imprecatory psalms. The idea that a man, any man, can petition the Court of Divine Justice for protection and appropriate punishment for criminals is so awesome it almost defies belief.
King David, one of the greatest figures in the Old Testament, authored over thirty psalms that contain an imprecation, or curse, uttered against the enemies of God. He understood such prayers were not to be taken lightly when he wrote, “break the teeth in their mouths, O God; tear out, O Lord, the fangs of the lions! Let them vanish like water that flows away” (Psalm 58). And, “let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow” (Psalm 109). Remember, these are inspired prayers, not to be taken—or uttered—lightly. I know for a fact a young woman in Texas cancelled her abortion and walked out of the clinic because of an imprecatory psalm she heard being prayed outside.
These imprecatory psalms are at the heart of my novel, yet I find that many modern Christians are unfamiliar with their message, a message of dependence on God that is as timely today as it was 3,000 years ago when they were first uttered.
David knew well that a righteous imprecatory prayer can only be said for a righteous cause. He wrote them when he was powerless and suffering terrible harm and no earthly means of relief was available. They are prayers that acknowledge God as their last and only hope.
This is much the situation pro-lifers find themselves in today. America is under the yolk of the most pro-abortion president in the history of the republic and the number of slaughtered innocents since Roe v. Wade has passed 50,000,000. Local politicians, beholden to well-funded pro-abortion groups, harass and oppress the faithful at every turn. The pro-abortion, liberal media has never yet told the true story of the horrors of legal abortion, and even refuses to call us pro-life, instead coining the derisive term “anti-choice.” Pro-lifers are threatened with prison, financial ruin, and sometimes even harm to their person.
My story explores a scenario in which untold thousands of Christians petition God to save the lives of the unborn. They come before the Father powerless to stop evil, but—and this is very important—with clean hands. They petition God, not on their own behalf, but to give voice to those innocents yet to be born. And they do not ask God to destroy the outpost of hell—the human slaughterhouse. No, their prayers ask only for the overthrow of Satan’s kingdom, and that his followers be either brought to repentance and forgiveness or that His judgment meets out the justice they deserve. Theirs’ is a cry for justice to a just God, confident that He will answer their prayers, in the manner of His choosing—and in His time.
Recently, George Tiller, one of the most notorious abortionists in the world, was murdered. Was his death the answer to imprecatory prayers? I do not think so. Patience is an essential element in any prayer, but Tiller’s assassination was both impatient and an act of personal vengeance. In Romans 12:19 Christ is very specific: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto [God’s] wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
God’s vengeance can take many forms, and how it is visited upon the evildoers ranges from a Divine rebuke of their careers and lifestyles (“Saul, why do you persecute me?”) to horrific death, or complete destruction of cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah.
As an activist committed to saving lives, I vigorously oppose violence. That is why it has always been my philosophy to convert abortionists. If a man dies outside of a state of Grace, Satan wins. That is not what our Father intends for any of us. So I encourage everyone to pray for the intervention of the Holy Spirit into the lives of everyone involved in the abortion industry. The Pro-Life Action League’s website has testimonies from former abortion providers, including Luhra Tivis, a state officer in the Kansas Chapter of the National Organization for Women and medical secretary for George Tiller, who were saved by the power of prayer. Pastor James E. Adams wrote in his essay, Why We Pray the Imprecatory
- To pray the imprecations of the Psalms is to surrender all rights for vengeance to God. It means being prepared to suffer and to endure without personal revenge or hatred as Christ did. It involves being gentle and loving even when I am reviled and persecuted. It encompasses acknowledging in all my ways that God’s cause is more important than I am.
After writing my book I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at an abortion mill without visualizing a one-hundred foot tall Archangel swinging his flaming sword as he meets out Divine Justice. But until that day, I’ll keep praying for the salvation of the souls of everyone who toils inside its bloodstained walls…and for the healing of the mother’s lives that they destroy.