Should we pray for God not to be merciful?


My co-worker goes online and reads the horrible news that happens around the world. When someone has done something horrible to a child or any other bad thing has happened (e.g., drunk driver killes someone) she states, “God, don’t be merciful on this person.” Is this right?


It’s spiritually dangerous to pray that God withhold his mercy from a sinner. The Gospels are chock-full of Christ’s admonitions against unmercifulness. There is the parable of the unmerciful servant, in which the man whose huge debt is forgiven refuses to extend the same mercy to someone who owes him a small amount (Matt. 18:23-35). There is also this warning:

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get (Matt. 7:2).

Recommended reading:

Forgiveness is for Giving by Rosalind Moss
Sinner Come Home by Kristine Franklin
The Limits of Forgiveness by Jimmy Akin

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