You Need to Pray Imprecatory Psalms with Humble Faith

| | |

Sharing is caring!

Have you heard of Imprecatory Psalms? What are they? They are honest heartfelt cries and complaints. Want to know more? Come over and join us as we take a closer look.

Imprecatory is not a word we use very often.

To imprecate means “to invoke or call down (evil or curses) upon a person.”

There are about 20 “Imprecatory Psalms” . . . writings where the authors declared their frustration and righteous anger at the lies being spread and attacks being made against them.

Psalm 109 is one of David’s “imprecatory Psalms.” It was written at a time when he was more than just a little frustrated with enemies who were attacking him through slander and lies…

O God, whom I praise,
    don’t stand silent and aloof
while the wicked slander me
    and tell lies about me.
They surround me with hateful words
    and fight against me for no reason.
I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations
    even as I am praying for them!
They repay evil for good,
    and hatred for my love.

Psalm 109:1–5

You can almost feel his pain. It’s a special kind of pain when we are being slandered with false accusations and smeared with falsehoods intending to defeat and destroy us.

And through our anger and frustration, the enemy of our souls loves to use these situations to encourage us to retaliate . . . “to call down evil or curses” upon them.

Jesus faced all of the same frustrations and challenges we face and this is what He told His followers to do when people turned against them…

I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! (Matthew 5:44)

And through Peter, God says, “Give it to me.”

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)

The enemy tells us to get mad and get even but the Lord tells us to get on our knees and pray.

The thing that struck me as I read through these Imprecatory Psalms is that they aren’t sugar-coated half-hearted prayers asking God to simply change the hearts and behaviors of these enemies . . . they are prayers of righteous indignation. They humbly and honestly give the situation to the Father and ask Him to deal with them and judge them according to His perfect will.

The Life Application Bible Notes say it like this . . . “David was not taking vengeance into his own hands; he was asking that God be swift in His promised judgment of evil people.”

Imprecatory Psalms speak honest feelings with humble faith to the Great, I AM. They boldly say, “This is unfair, Lord.”

Remember that although David’s words sound severe, he was taking his frustration and anger to God. Rather than dealing with it himself, David trusted the Holy Righteous Judge to deal justly with sin and evil.

And we need to know that we can too.

We’re tempted to vehemently complain to friends and family when someone has lied or spread gossip about us. We want to react to evil with an equal or greater response but God says “Bring it to me.”

He knows. He has seen and heard it all and He tells us to lay it down before me. He is able to comfort, strengthen, and help us.

David also wrote…

The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:17–18
Have you heard of Imprecatory Psalms? What are they? They are honest heartfelt cries and complaints. Want to know more? Come over and join us as we take a closer look.

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Go to God with
Imprecatory Psalms and Prayers

Father God, in this social media age, it’s so tempting to publicly shame those who offend, betray, or harm us. Everyone does it, so it almost feels okay. And it will certainly make us feel better, won’t it?

No. I know You’re right and You are righteous. You know the truth in every situation and You know the motivation behind that truth. So, You invite me to give it all to You. You ask me to trust that You are perfect with love and fairness.

You promise that You are with me and that I can rest in Your loving care. I will trust that You are at work in all things. You are at work in those who hurt me. You are at work in me. And You are at work in the circumstances that surround this situation. Although, I don’t understand right now; someday all that is important will be made clear.

By Your grace and with Your help, I will cast my cares upon You and rest in Your love. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I am Yours forever. By Your grace and with Your Spirit’s help, I will give you thanks and praise now and forevermore. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray. Amen.

Have you heard of Imprecatory Psalms? What are they? They are honest heartfelt cries and complaints. Want to know more? Come over and join us as we take a closer look.

I’ll admit, that there have been times when I wanted to proclaim my pain with bold self-righteousness so that I could publicly shame those who had hurt me. I wish I could say I’ve been perfect about only crying out to the Lord and leaving it to Him and letting Him take care of it. I’m definitely not batting a thousand.

But I’ve also learned an important truth…

The times I have taken my honest feelings to God and given my painful circumstances to Him, His protection guarded us and spared us in ways that filled us with humble and awestruck gratitude.

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
    praising Him to everyone.
For He stands beside the needy,
    ready to save them from those who condemn them.

Psalm 109:30–31

May we trust the One who is loving and faithful with our honest emotions trusting Him to be with us and help us when people lie about us and betray us.

We would love to pray for you.
You can leave your prayer requests here

and even take a few minutes to pray over the list left by our friends.

Never Miss an Update

Leave your email address and I’ll send you a short email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to alert you to each new devotion. Plus you’ll receive a copy of 30 Ways to Bless Your Marriage and Keep the Spark Burning

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi” and share your thoughts in the comments below.

And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…

Thanks again for visiting! Don’t forget to check out the links below to find additional posts that will bless you…

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Annette Ococi Anie. says:

    This reminds me of how I at one time confronted a fellow chorister who was slandering my name at church. I later on regretted it had to go to a priest for confession. I promised God never to stoop so low by confronting those who hurt me. How I wished I had left it all to God. I forgave this person and we actually get along well these days. I’m so thankful to God who gave me the strength to forgive and When I hugged her some day at Church I felt a sense of relief. Lesson I learnt is to always entrust God with all our troubles let’s not be moved by impulse. The Lord be with you dear readers .

    1. Oh, Annette, I think many of us can relate to having done similar things. I’m so very thankful for God’s patience, love, and willing instruction. His ways are better than ours and He allows us to learn His truths in ways that help us in the future. I’m so thankful for the Spirit’s help to remind me of God’s better way and for friends, like you, to encourage me along the way. God bless you!

  2. Oh my Deb! This really hit me in the heart. I was so glad you gave the meaning of imprecatory. I had not heard that word before, but according to the meaning, I sure have done that before. Calling down or praying to God to not stand aloof during the times when I have had things said about me that are not true. When you said that we could almost feel his pain; Yes indeed, I can. I have felt that same pain. It is not easy. I am thankful for the Psalms you quoted in this post. I have read them before, but now I will give more thought to the meaning of them. I am so thankful that you explain them so well and teach us like you do. I have been going through much of this same thing lately. I have learned that even though it is difficult, God does have a plan for not only me but for those who hurt me so deeply. He loves them just as much as he loves me. It is not easy, and I have days that I am so confused and don’t understand why. Truthfully, lots of those days. Just reading the posts here and seeing that others are going through things too, and the encouragement from them and you and your wisdom helps to carry me through those days. God is good and so good to me. He has gotten me through much in my life, so, I KNOW he will get me through this. I do feel stronger each day. Isn’t it wonderful to know how much our God loves us? He is always here with us and loves us and gets us where we need to be.
    Thank you for this post today and all of the posts you send. You are a blessing to us all.
    Prayers for you and Rev.

    1. Sue, the way you share your faith and hope encourages us all. Thank you! I believe that’s why the Lord wants us to walk together as a family of faith. When we feel alone it’s such a blessing to know that we aren’t alone. Thank you, sweet friend, for encouraging us and blessing us by sharing the way the Lord is walking this journey with you! Blessings and hugs!

  3. Martha Orlando says:

    As hard as it may seem to us, the only right thing to do is give it all to God. We know that ultimately, He will right all wrongs. Let us continue to pray, Deb. Blessings!

    1. Amen, Martha! He holds our hope for the future and when we join Him in His kingdom, none of these things will matter any more. Blessings and hugs!

  4. Thank you for this devotional today! We’ve been dealing with some very difficult circumstances in our small family that have shattered and separated us! Many days it all seems unfair! Yet I know God is in control and has a plan so in the pruning season of waiting, it may not be unfair but necessary! I appreciate your words and guidance to pray these imprecatory

    1. I’m sorry, Linda. Those closest to us have the ability to hurt us the most. You are right, God is in control and He is with you. We are praying for you and your family as you go through this difficult time. God bless you!

      1. Thank you, I truly appreciate your prayers!

    2. Linda,
      How well I can identify with you. My heart goes out to you and your family situation. I will pray for you. You are so right to let God handle this. He knows the outcome of all things and you can rest assured that he has your best interest at heart. As one of my Sunday school class members always reminds us, “stay focused on the light!” Jesus is our light and salvation!
      Prayers and hugs are sent your way.

      1. I sorry that you also have been hurt by those you love! Thank you for your prayers!

  5. Ana Cordova says:

    Thank you Deb for this powerful subject that we all can relate to. Boy oh boy I have been hurt many times by family and friends. I found myself telling other family members of how I have been betrayed. It helped for a short time but the thoughts keep lingering as I kept talking to others about it. So I took it to God so he could be the judge to those who have hurt me. I now live more in Peace knowing God will handle it and I pray for those who have hurt me. Thank you dear Lord for being my armor and giving peace and grace to forgive the people that have hurt me. So I will always walk with Our Lord to guide and rebuke my enemies from my life. Blessings Deb and everyone who follows this beautiful blog.

    1. I think so many of us can relate to your comment, Ana. It’s so tempting to want to confront those who hurt us and defend ourselves to others but that rarely helps anyone or anything. I too have learned that giving it to God and trusting Him to give me peace is best. It’s not easy but it with His help it is a possible blessing. God’s blessings!

  6. JoyceThomas says:

    I have been hurt so many times than I can remember. I’ve never understood why people tell lies about you by saying you said or did something you didn’t. The fustration when I’ve acutally confronted people and they look me in the eye and say I did say or do the things I did not, hurts so deeply. Thank you for this post.

    1. I’m sorry, Joyce! I’ve never understood people’s need to gossip and hurt others in that way. Asking God to heal your heart and surround you with His love. God bless you!

      1. JoyceThomas says:

        Thank you and God Bless you ????

  7. Cheri Mello says:

    Thank You FOR SHARING ????????♥️Deb , I Didn’t Know That is What Imprecatory Psalms WERE. Very Informative ???? G-d♥️Bless

  8. Hi Deb, the NIV in Genesis 12:3 says
    “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
    So it doesn’t seem wrong for David to ask God to curse his enemies who seem to plot against him with no cause. Although I can’t be 100% sure, it is only in the New Testament that we read Love your enemies, pray for your enemies.
    I have been reading about imprecatory psalms and some people seem to feel they should not be used, but that would probably apply to a lot in the Old Testament and definitely a dangerous path to decide which Bible parts to accept. Angela x

    1. Thanks for adding this, Angela! I truly appreciate it! I believe God wants us to be honest with Him … that includes taking our struggles with our enemies to Him and asking Him to intervene on our behalf. Thanks again. God bless you!