Myanmar Update as of 3-23-21
Having seen the violence, cruelty, and brutal deaths of many innocent, helpless, and unarmed civilians in the streets of Myanmar, we don’t even know how to pray. Many have been slaughtered, a good number of people missing, and a couple thousands arrested. The ones being arrested are not criminals. They are benevolent leaders, caring doctors and nurses, hard-working teachers, social workers, and journalists, etc.). It should have been the other way around. The ones whose only job is to protect the civilians in the first place launch the inhumane treat-
ments and massacre. Destroying lives in the streets cannot quench their hunger; they go further and break into homes, shoot with guns or smite with iron rod anyone who comes on their way. They seize anything worthwhile from the house they break in. They did even shoot down a pregnant woman in the head whose only crime is helping the helpless. It is very much like our city wall is falling down towards us. We the citizens have no security at all, but are living in fear day and night.
How we can pray for these wicked people? How can we pray for them effectively when we cannot love them? It is Jesus who said “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”
How can we love our enemies who spill innocent blood in the streets and who unjustly and brutally take the lives of our beloved? There are basically two things we can do for them:- Love and pray for them for forgiveness and invoke God’s justice upon them. Whether we can love them or not, we are commanded to pray for them. Jesus prayed for those who mocked him, spite on him, bit him, and hanged him on the cross, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Stephen, being filled with the Holy Spirit, prayed with a loud voice for those who stoned him to death, saying, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60). We don’t know whether their prayers were answered. What we know for sure is that we are commanded to pray for our enemies.
As the Lord has forgiven us, so we also must forgive others (Col 3:13). Not because they repent nor apologize for their brutality, but as the Lord has forgiven us, we must also forgive them and pray for them for forgiveness. If God can forgive people like us, He can definitely forgive them and save them too.
The other thing we must do is pray for God’s judgment to come upon them. We see praying for the wicked several times in Psalms (7; 12; 35; 55; 58; 59; 69; 109, etc.). Scholars call them ‘imprecatory prayers.’ An imprecatory prayer is a prayer to invoke evil upon or curse one’s enemies. It is asking the God of justice to deal with the unjust. In order that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, there must be justice. In order to establish justice on earth, the just God who knows and sees all must bring it. Otherwise, there will never be justice on earth and there will be no point of having a righteous God. At the end, the righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth” (Ps 58:10-11). At the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will see the execution of justice on earth. Then we will proclaim ‘Alleluia,’ because God delivers His people from their enemies (v 1), avenges His enemies (v 3), and permanently crushes man’s rebellion (vv 3-4). Let us pray for the wicked that God would either forgive them or bring justice upon them. If we do this, we shall be rejoicing and shouting ‘alleluia’.