Should Christians pray the imprecatory Psalms?  [Editor’s note: The imprecatory Psalms are ones in which the Psalmist, usually David, calls on God to judge or to defeat his enemies.  For example, look at Psalm 69 or 109.]


Christians will have a range of responses to this.  I believe that what we pray is a personal matter.  Let me put it this way:  David prayed these prayers and there is no biblical evidence that God was angry at these prayers or that these prayers were sinful.  God wants us to open our hearts to him in prayer, even if what we share includes our being angry at God or at those who oppose us.
Is it appropriate for us to pray that God judge our enemies?  Is it a good thing for us to do this?  To the first question, based on the imprecatory psalms, I say definitely yes.  About the second question, honestly, I am not sure.  Let me put it this way.  Speaking for myself, and for myself only, I would not pray this sort of prayer.  But I would not judge or even criticize someone who did.  I would ask anyone praying this sort of prayer to not do so in public, group prayer, because it might be a stumbling block for some believers.  However, it may be appropriate for their individual pray to God.
It may be helpful to note that there are imprecatory-like prayers in the New Testament as well.  For example, there is Revelation 6:9-11.  This provides more support for the idea that it is appropriate to pray the imprecatory psalms.
John Oakes

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