Angry Prayer

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Psalm 109:1-21

But you, O Lord . . . (v. 21)

Wow! In my angriest moments dealing with my selfish, thoughtless, irresponsible fellow human beings, I don’t think I would have said the things David said about his enemies, let alone written them down as a prayer! Psalm 109 is one of a handful of psalms known as “imprecatory psalms.” Imprecatory means to invoke evil or curses upon another. Spoken with the right tone, the word itself should merit a good tongue-washing with a bar of soap.

David doesn’t hold back. He asks God to pass judgment and find his enemy guilty. He prays for his enemy’s possessions to be confiscated (v. 11), his name obliterated (v. 13), and his memory erased off the earth (v. 15). He even hopes his wife and children end up as homeless beggars (vv. 9-10).

For David there are two types of people: the wicked and the righteous. For the wicked, he spared no mercy. So great was his passion for God.

As the psalm progresses the vehement poison seems to drain from his lips. David’s tone softens and his eyes turn upwards. “But you, O Lord . . .” He returns us back into the presence of God and reminds us again of God’s tender, faithful, and powerful love. Despite his many foes and vengeful prayer, David knows it is only God who protects us in the end.


Deliver us from evil, O Lord. For yours is the kingdom and power and glory forever. Amen.