>A Prayer That God Will Not Answer

>Here is the prayer of someone praying for Jim DeMint, the Republican Senator from South Carolina:

“. . .God, . . . I need You to smite this character Jim DeMint (R-SC).

. . .

That’s why I’m hoping You’ll listen to this one prayer and smite this man. I’m not asking for much. Just a little gay scandal. Perhaps he could be caught with another man like Rekers? Or maybe a mistress like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford? Or a very expensive sex worker like Eliot Spitzer?

Really, God, it could be anything at all that would make the hypocrisy and hate of this man evident to everyone. A kinda the Emperor Has No Clothes moment. Maybe he could caught streaking, God? We have never really had that scandal and I suppose the “family values” but secretly gay is getting kinda cliche. But God, when DeMint takes his clothes off, can it be somewhere really public so someone can catch it on their phone and send it to the press and if it were like at a national monument or something so the press could talk about his desecration of all that Americans hold sacred?

Because God, really, things are getting quite grim and hopeless down here. And we need a scandal.

There are many reasons why this person is asking God to strike Jim DeMint, most of them deal with gay marriage and homosexuality. You can read the reasons here.

However, I can guarantee that this is not the kind of prayer God answers. This is a type of prayer that comes from a hateful heart, a prayer requesting that evil be done against a human being.

In the Hebrew Bible, when God spoke to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah, God’s words contradict every thing this person is asking in prayer. The Lord said:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”
(Jeremiah 29:11-13).

You may not agree with the politics of Jim DeMint, but there is no reason for anyone to pray such a vindictive prayer. May the Lord never answer this prayer.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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5 Responses to >A Prayer That God Will Not Answer

  1. Terry says:

    >It reminds me of the prayer on Facebook a few months ago in which people were praying for God to "take" their "favorite" president. It would be much better to pray for our leaders to have wisdom and courage, since those are a couple of things that God seems to desire in leaders.

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  2. >Terry,I agree with you. If a person is a person of prayer, then that person should pray for those who are in government. They need wisdom and guidance to make the kinds of decisions that will affect all of us.Claude Mariottini

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  3. Frank Luke says:

    >I was in seminary during the 9/11 attacks. In Studies in Numbers class that morning, the professor declared it would be a time of prayer and asked each of us to pray around the table. One of my classmates said, "Please excuse me from praying aloud. I'm so mad right now, I can only pray imprecatory prayers. And I'm still figuring out where those fit in the Christian walk."I had great respect for him at that moment.

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  4. >Frank,Thank you for your insightful comment. Many times we feel like that. Many Christians still struggle with imprecatory prayers.A few years ago, I preached a sermon on Psalm 137:9: “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!” In my sermon I said that at times we feel praying that kind of prayer, but the prayer of the psalmist is the kind of prayer Christians should avoid praying. Jesus teaches us a better way to pray (Matthew 5:43-45). It is hard, but it is a better way.By the way, I may write a post in the near future on imprecatory prayers. May I quote your email?Claude Mariottini

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  5. Frank Luke says:

    >Dr. Mariottini,You may certainly quote my email.Frank Luke

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