How To Pray About A Demon-Driven Dictator (Part 1 of 2)

In the way I’ve always prayed for demon-driven dictators and all manner of other dangerous people, I’ve been praying about Vladimir Putin.

It usually goes something like this:

Lord, SAVE him.

If he won’t be saved, STOP him.

And if he won’t be stopped, SEND him away!

Obviously, our first priority is that Putin would come to a saving relationship with Jesus. No one, including an evil tyrant such as the Russian president, is beyond the reach of God’s generous grace, and we want him to experience that grace and be transformed into the person he was created to be! So, SAVE HIM, Lord!

Yet we know that heaven’s redemptive work is not forced on anyone. The miracle must be received, forgiveness and transformation must be embraced. Vladimir Putin and everyone else in the world has to choose to reach out God who is reaching out to them in order to be saved from their evil ways.

This why I say, “If he won’t be saved,” then stop him! Despite the Spirit’s relentless overtures, if Mr. Putin turns his back to the truth, then we must pray that that same Spirit would stop him from slaughtering Ukrainians, and anyone else for that matter.

Who knows what form that might take. The Maker has a multitude of tools in his belt to somehow wall off genocidal maniacs. He might replace him with someone with a conscience or silence him by public censure. If Putin rejects the offer of grace, I’m praying that he will be stopped in his tracks from perpetrating any more atrocities in Ukraine or anywhere else! STOP HIM, Lord!

Yet if he won’t be saved and he won’t be stopped, my prayer is that he would be sent away!

Whatever “sent away” looks like, whatever form it might take, I want him to go away! How God would decide to make that happen is above my pay grade. I suppose the mildest arrangement would be for him to be deposed and exiled someplace he can’t hurt anyone anymore. Beyond that, and the most drastic expression that I can imagine of sending him away is for divine justice to take him out by somehow being rendered incapable of waging war against his neighbors, or, yes, by having him assassinated!

FYI, when I pray this way, I always find myself balking a little and offering the caveat that such a course is not my responsibility, but God’s. I’m convinced and comforted that many, if not most of our prayers go up to him in the revised version. We offer our requests and he responds in the way he deems wisest and best for the greater good. At times like this I lean into the proviso: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done!”

I’ll say it again, though it’s above my pay grade to pronounce judgment on anyone, including demon-driven dictators, it’s not unprecedented. The Bible includes prayers of judgment on those who murder and maim their fellow humans. The experts call them “Imprecatory Psalms.” Here are some of them for your reading pleasure: Psalm 5, 10, 17, 35, 52, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, and 140. I’ll unpack one or two of these in Part 2.

So, if Vladimir Putin refuses to be saved and won’t be stopped, I pray that he will be SENT AWAY one way or another!

Let’s review how one might pray about Putin and others of his ilk:  

Lord, SAVE him.

If he won’t be saved, STOP him.

And if he won’t be stopped, SEND him away!

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