Posted: 11 Mar 2014 10:59 AM PDT
Read: Judges 16:23-31
Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God. (v. 28 NRSV)
Is it possible for someone to pray an authentic prayer that asks for revenge? That is exactly what Samson prayed for. This is a difficult prayer for our ears, one that does not seem to reflect Jesus’ teaching about how we should pray for our enemies. He hardly meant that we should pray for the strength to kill them!
It helps a little bit to notice that Samson wants not only to take revenge on his enemies but also to vindicate God as the one true God. It helps a bit more to notice that Samson has learned something through his sufferings, and is much less arrogant and brash than he once was.
But this is still a difficult prayer. It is, however, an honest prayer.
Samson reveals his own deep need and his own deep connection with God in this prayer. We recognize ourselves in Samson when we realize that situations of grief, of betrayal, of great loss sometimes wring from us prayers of honest pain and anger. God is able to hear and understand our most raw and ragged prayers and accept them in divine love and faithfulness. –Leanne Van Dyk
Prayer: We pray for your help at all times, O Lord, but especially when we are at the end of our own strength, remember and strengthen us then. Amen.
Words of Hope is an international media ministry, founded and owned by classes of the RCA, dedicated to building the church in the hard places. The Words of Hope devotional encourages readers to grow spiritually through daily Bible readings and prayer. To subscribe, please visit: woh.org/word/devotionals/.