Prayers that Rage

Rage. It’s okay. At least it can be. God says to me that it is true that raging in prayer is not only okay, but it is commanded. To ask God to curse evil is a good thing. Evil deserved (i.e. it is OWED) God’s wrath! Pleading with God to destroy evil …that is the essence of keep me from temptation and deliver me from evil! Evil is something that I want to be delivered from because it is repulsive and utterly deserving of God’s wrath and infinite displeasure.

But these prayers Jar My Sensitivities!? Indeed …in large part because you have indwelling sin still in you, the monster in the hollows has not be utterly eradicated. Though the death blow has been dealt the monster writhes. But didn’t Jesus tell us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us!? Indeed …& we must see (and SAVOR) that these heartfelt pleadings of the pray-er to persecute the wickedness that persecutes the people of God are in NO WAY inconsistent with that command of Jesus!

The key is to know with all our hearts WHO owns vengeance? Vengeance is NOT a personal, autonomous, individualistic plan for selfish-sinner vindication. Imagine Saul in 1 Samuel 22 seeing the language of Psalm 109 …and it is not hard at all to picture him saying, “Yes! this is precisely my problem …I’m being bullied by David, and nobody loves me.” However, I believe that Saul would leave out verse 4 (and no doubt a few other verses as well), because some of the verses are simply too hard to retain while maintaining a sense of self-earned-&-realized autonomy.

The ppl of God MUST cry for God’s vengeance against atrocities and the autonomous lies that gave rise to them. The people of God MUST NOT diminish the depth of darkness and agony – for that would be do dilute the power of the cross and cheapen grace!

Outrage is a gift of God. The non-Holy-Spirit inhabited person (the person w/o the redeeming influence) does not know what wickedness is …that person doesn’t have right ears and eyes (and we would all be that person if it were not God’s mere good pleasure to adopt some into His family out of the darkness). The “enlightened” person does not glare at the darkness, because the darkness is fine (or fine-ish) for all who dwell in darkness – – – their outrage is not aimed at the darkness …it is aimed at the light!

 

Contemporary readers, particularly those in more affluent societies, can allow these prayers to help them enter the suffering life of the people of God, to transport them from their relative ease into the ghastly suffering and consternation of persons who have been uprooted, mocked, or abused. These prayers awaken the conscience to the human cry for redress, the cosmic demand for moral order and justice. They can lead one to feel as deeply as one ought the horrendous insult to Yahweh and his creation perpetrated by those who lie and cheat and kill and abuse and blaspheme. Made callous by exposure to continual evil, one may lose the sense of outrage these evils deserve, whether done to us or to others or to God. These prayers awaken that outrage, which is to be offered to God and which motivates to redemptive action.

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