The Christian's Tool For The Reduction Of Evil

J. D. Conley
November 1, 2015

We are living in a violent world. Whether the world is as saturated with violence to the extent it was in the ante-diluvian period, is anyone's guess (Genesis 6:5, 11-13). The sad fact is, it was bad then and it is bad now. It might be argued that since there are more people on earth today, than in Noah's day, then there is more violence and evil. But even if it was worse in Noah's day does not mitigate the fact we are living in violent and evil times, (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19).

What can the Christian do about it? Let me suggest one way in which evil can be reduced. Even though we serve a just and equitable God, Christians nonetheless must implore Him to exact justice. David prayed: "Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man..." (Psalm 140:4). Notice that David did not expect God to protect him from violence and evil without first asking Him. David specifically asked God to "keep" i.e., protect him. Christians too must pray in this vein and be specific in their prayers to God. Could it be that our prayers are too general and generic? Since we acknowledge and respect God's omniscience so much, have our prayers become less thoughtful, less specific, not as deliberate? Perhaps if we used the tool of prayer more precisely than we do, there would be less evil in the world. Paul told the Philippians, "but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). Couple that with what James says about prayer: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss" (James 4:3).

Our prayers should have a pointed purpose. One purpose is to specifically implore God to bring about a reduction of evil. In verse 8, David prays: "Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device...." David prays for something Christians rarely do, which is the failure of the wicked. How often do Christians pray, either publicly or privately, for the wicked to fail? Why is it rarely done? If it was good and proper for David to pray for this, why not us? James says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

But how righteous are we when we fail to pray for the defeat of evil purposes? Also, why should we expect the wicked to fail, when we don't ask God for them to fail? But our goal is not just for the wicked to fail, but that after they do, they will abandon their evil ways and turn to God. May we use the vital tool of prayer to reduce the amount of evil in this present world. But as we pray for the wicked to fail, let us also pray for their conversion to Christianity.