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A Prayer to Overcome Evil
By Beth Ann Baus
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)
If you live on this earth you can be sure of one thing: you will witness evil. We should expect it and be prepared to react. How then, should we respond to evil?
Hate it. Romans 12:9 tells us “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”This may seem obvious, but our culture has turned evil into entertainment. We pay money to see evil unfold on the big screen. We etch out time to sit in our own homes and watch evil prevail on television. Because of this, we often find ourselves numb to the actual presence of evil when we see it on the news or right before our very eyes. We must learn to recognize evil and hate it.
Pray against it. Matthew 6:13 is a great example of praying for escape. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Our pride often tricks us into thinking we can deal with evil on our own. We can’t, and if we try we will fail. We must pray to our Heavenly Father and ask for deliverance.
Expose it. Ephesians 5:11 says “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Our current culture is one that teaches complete tolerance. We are expected to accept and tolerate any and all behavior, even if the behavior directly violates God’s Word. While we are expected, as Christians, to respond to sin with a certain level of grace and love, evil should in no way, under any circumstance be tolerated. It should be exposed and we should take no part in it.
Speak truth over it. Jesus should always be our ultimate example of how to live our lives. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-14 we are given a wonderful example of Jesus responding to evil. In these verses we read about Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Imagine being face to face with Satan, the author of evil. How did Jesus respond? He quoted Scripture. Jesus is showing us the utmost importance of knowing God’s Word and being able to speak truth in the face of evil!
Let God handle it. Wars are waged to fight against leaders of evil nations, and there are punishments in place to deal with evil individuals. We should be thankful for the laws of our land and the protection provided by federal and local law enforcement, but we must also remember our responsibilities as individuals.
Father God, we praise you for your love and faithfulness towards your children. We praise you for being a perfect, holy, trustworthy God that is bigger than all the evil we experience here on earth. We ask that you give us eyes to see when evil is before us, hearts to hate evil and the desire to flee from its presence. We ask that you would not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil and draw us closer to yourself. We ask for the long-expected Jesus to come quickly and make all things new. We ask these things His precious name. Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from “How Should You Respond to Evil?” by Beth Ann Baus. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.