Crying for Justice: Why We Should Pray the Imprecatory Psalms (Trevor Laurence)

Pleas for justice in the book of Psalms—the imprecatory psalms—can make some Christians uncomfortable. They’re often passed over in the psalter during worship. How do petitions for justice map onto the mission of Jesus? How are imprecatory prayers compatible with commands to love our neighbors?

Though the psalms contain many cries for vengeance, they also continually call readers back to a standard of holiness. Trevor Laurence discusses imprecatory psalms, the power of words to express profound pain to God, and how we can instinctively discern God and the world as we struggle through life.

Show notes:

  • 0:26 How should Christians reconcile imprecatory psalm?
  • 4:00 Logic in the request for vengeance and vindication
  • 6:40 Callback to the covenant justice of God
  • 8:36 Rhetorical violence
  • 9:10 Deadly false accusations and the power of words
  • 12:30 What we’re missing in our worship
  • 15:36 Profound pedagogies of prayer
  • 17:11 Imagination and embodied experience
  • 20:35 Ritual epistemology 
  • 21:34 If Trevor could design a church service
  • 25:32  Policy and advocacy in the church
  • 28:22 Liturgy: patterns that govern your life

Show notes by Dominique LaCroix

Image created by Rubner Durais

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