A Prayer for Friends Struggling with Evil and God’s Goodness

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. Luke 18:7

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19

Dear heavenly Father, we come to your throne of grace today bringing friends whose stories of abuse, loss and evil make it difficult, if not impossible to trust and love you. We don’t judge them Lord, because many of us still wrestle with the confusing mystery of your absence and silence when the darkest and most destructive things were happening to us.

We praise you for not muting our emotions, despising our doubts, nor being affronted by our struggle to make sense of it all. We come crying out on behalf of our friends, Lord, and for greater healing in our hearts as well.

We know you’re not a God who is indifferent about wickedness nor a passive bystander in the presence of malice. The cross of Jesus is the clearest demonstration of your hatred of evil and your commitment to bring perfect justice. Indeed, in giving Jesus you clearly revealed your holy wrath and anger towards sin and evil—including the evil done to us … and that done by us. The cross is your most certain promise that all things will be made right.

And the cross is also the dearest revelation of your mercy and grace, and your commitment to bring glorious redemption. On the cross, you dealt with Jesus, who never sinned, as though he was sin and evil itself. You did this so that we can be completely forgiven and covered with his righteousness, and one Day be made completely whole (2 Cor. 5:17-21). The cross is your most wonderful promise that we, ourselves, will be made right.

So what are we asking for today, Father? Please bring the truth of the gospel and the power of your Spirit to those who feel like you “keep putting them off” (Luke 18:7). You have never promised to answer all our questions in this life, but you have promised to give sufficient grace until the Day everything will be made right. Supernaturally, bring the grace of Jesus to bear. Mere answers, verses and clichés are not enough.

Also help our friends, and us, know how to “leave room for God’s wrath” (Romans 12:19). We don’t fully understand what that means, Father, but at least it means we must revoke revenge towards our abusers, for vengeance is yours; we must not repay evil for evil, for you alone will give evil everything it has coming to it; and we must not isolate and hoard our pain, we must keep on bringing our anguish and anger to you. You who have paid the great price for our redemption will most certainly repay evil for its wasting destruction. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.