How to Pray “Against” an Evil Ruler

This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Daniel 4:31-32


Heavenly Father, up till now I’ve struggled to pray the imprecatory Psalms—portions of your Word calling down harsh judgment on evil-makers and evil rulers (Psalms like 5, 6, 35, 69, 109). They seemed a bit self-righteous to me.

I now realize that’s not the case at all. To pray “your Kingdom, your will be done on earth, as in heaven,” presupposes a love for righteousness, and a healthy portion of righteous indignation. Father, it’s all about your glory and honor, not our fiefdoms and comfort.

Witnessing the atrocities, barbarism, and savagery in Ukraine—including the Russian bombing of a maternity ward and hospital—here’s my prayer on this March Thursday. Father, as you did with evil King Nebuchadnezzar, take away Putin’s authority and power. Drive him far away. Plant his face so low to the earth he eats grass like an ox and is drenched with dew (Dan. 4:33). Put an end to his evil-making against your image bearers and Jesus’ church, in Ukraine and Russia.

Father, either bring him to yourself, put him down, or take him out. You are “sovereign over all kingdoms.” You alone are God, You alone are worthy of our adoration, affection, and allegiance. For your glory, in Jesus’ name, So Very Amen.