Praying for justice?

Is it ever proper to pray for justice? On the one hand, justice seems like a proper thing to ask of God; on the other, it seems very unmerciful to ask for divine justice and rather beyond God’s control to ask for earthly justice.

An interesting mystery, whether earthly justice is beyond God’s control or not. On the one hand, Omnipotence is attributed to God, that is, complete power and control over the entire universe at all times. And on the other hand, it seems the free will He gave to human beings necessitated Him to relinquish at least some of that power.

It depends. If there is a court case, then yes it is good to pray that justice prevails.

But, if you are praying for someone to get punished because they “deserve it”, then I think that is wrong.

I heard an interesting commentary on justice on the radio the other day. It was exploring the question of why Jesus had to die in order for us to be saved.

The thought (for those that don’t understand Christianity) would be that God would have to suspend His justice in order to be merciful. After all, if I kill someone and repent, in God’s mercy I am forgiven. But in order to do so, He would have to suspend His justice.

But Christ came and died in payment for all our sins. Therefore justice is satisfied.

I’m probably not explaining it very well, so rather than praying that justice is carried out, pray that God’s will be done.


I would think that it’s always proper to pray for justice, but to keep in mind that justice is not always what we think it is. Mercy and justice aren’t actually opposed. This article does a pretty good job of explaining it I think:

I wouldn’t say it’s relinquished, but rather that since it is His will that we be free that it is not His will that He force us to do what we should actually do - which He is very capable of doing. He’s still omnipotent in every sense of the word, but just doesn’t use that power to directly prevent all evil.

OK - here’s why I think that praying for justice is not always the best thing to do.

Let’s say a woman has an abortion. She has killed her child. What does justice demand in this case? Isn’t it better to pray for her conversion? Isn’t it better to pray for God’s will to be done in her life? Isn’t it better to pray for God’s mercy?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit