Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When Praying Becomes Cursing

The instructions were simple. "Use BLB to compare and contrast the words translated as “bless” and “curse” in James 3:9." I expected the answer to be simple and easy. After all, I'd written the question. 

This morning, I clicked on the link for "bless" and found exactly what I expected: "to celebrate with praises". 

When I clicked on the link for "curse," the Vine's definition stopped me in my tracks. "To pray against or wish evil against another person."(1)

Those words were like a dagger straight to my heart. I literally gasped. That's the way the Word of God is supposed to work. Sharper than a two-edged sword. Cutting straight to the evil in our hearts.

I hadn't wished evil against another person, but I had prayed against them. Just yesterday. I'd rehearsed the wrong they were doing and prayed that God would stop them in their tracks... A few more strong suggestions followed.

Not once did I pray for redemption.

"And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!" James 3:10 NLT

I didn't use "curse words" and I certainly didn't intend to pray evil against them. Strictly speaking, however, my prayer was worded in such a way that I cursed the one whose behavior concerns me so.

I've repented.

I've prayed the biggest prayer I can think of this morning. Blessings, not curses. I still want to see God change the situation, to stop this wrong behavior, but I also want Him to bring good from evil and draw the wayward one to Himself. To bring redemption. 

I've prayed a very different prayer today. I hope it's one God wants to answer in a way that changes the situation so that it glorifies Him.

These days, there's more "tongue-trouble" than I've ever seen before. We speak with venom against anyone with whom we disagree. I suspect our prayers (not just my prayers) reflect the same attitudes. We end up praying curses instead of blessings.

This should not be.

I've repented. I hope you'll join me.

Whether we're speaking/praying about elected officials or the neighbor down the street, let's stop cursing them with words and prayers. Instead, begin to pray for blessings of conviction, repentance, deliverance, healing, wisdom. 
This ministry of prayer and outreach (digital and in-person) is only possible because of the generosity of your support. If you'd like to help, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When No More Proof is Needed
(1) "G2672 - kataraomai - Strong's Greek Lexicon (NASB)." Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 1 Feb, 2017.