CAN I REALLY PRAY THIS PRAYER?
by Christine Wyrtzen
Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. Psalm 119:78
There are those who have it in for one of God’s servants. They will misconstrue what he says, find ways to make him look bad to others and envy his joy. When he enters a season of God-appointed suffering, there will be private rejoicing in the house of his adversary.
God’s servant, the one who lives honorably before God, can rightfully pray that this kind of person be brought to repentance, to feel ashamed for his twisted heart.
Believe me when I tell you that I have prayed a lot before attempting to write this. If you are God’s child, you have probably suffered this kind of persecution. I don’t want to say anything that would distort your prayers, that would feed your need for revenge. Please ask God to reveal your heart as you read these words and, please, test the spirit of my interpretation.
I have certainly known persecution by those who despise me because I am God’s anointed. It can happen in families (it did for David), and it can happen in friendships. What can be confusing is that the face of someone who claims to love me can also be the one who is seeking to destroy my life when blessing comes my way.
If I internalize the backstabbing as personal, then I will pray the likes of today’s scripture with malice in my heart. I pray for God’s judgment because I feel entitled to better treatment. I will see God as someone who needs to make my enemies pay because they hurt me and my pride.
I do not believe this is the spirit of David’s words. He understands that those who sought to snuff out his life did so because he was God’s friend. The wound was not personal, but against God Himself. David’s words rose out a genuine desire to see his enemies brought to repentance, for their good, not his.
As always, it is the heart that God centers on. Two people can pray the same words but only one has the right heart. If I find myself praying for my enemies to be brought low, I must be asking the Spirit of God to search my heart. Is there revenge or a true desire to see them humble before God for the sake of their salvation? Only I know. Only God knows.
Those who hate me for your sake are really wounding You, Jesus. Deal with my heart so that my prayers are the prayers You would pray for your enemies. Then, bring them to the cross so that they might be saved. In Jesus’ name, Amen