The Backbone of Return to Sender Prayers

Return to sender prayers are common among protestants. You’ll not come across such prayer points in the Catholic church. We cannot afford to underestimate the reasons behind the Catholic Church’s stand.

However, some Catholics have unknowingly copy-pasted these prayers for use during their private or family prayer sessions.

Before we get to their effects, let’s point out their existence in the Bible. 

Return to Sender Prayers in the Bible

I call the book of Psalms a beginner’s prayer guide. You’ll find beautiful Psalms and very harsh Psalms. According to the available records, David wrote a good number of Psalms. We mostly pray Psalms with David in mind. Other Bible bigwigs also prayed like David, especially when they were in distress.

Considering the position God gave David, we must have some level of trust for what he tells us. He still speaks to us through the Bible. 

For purposes of return to sender prayers, let’s shut our ears to Psalms of praise and worship, mercy, and thanksgiving for now. When you take a tour through Psalms, you will come across return to sender prayers, but I will only use two chapters to explain my point.

Psalms 35 and Psalms 109

Both these Psalms are Psalms of David. David asks God to acquit him from his enemies, who rejoiced over his downfall. He proceeds to instruct God to punish them. In case you don’t have ample time to refer to the Bible, this excerpt is hands-on for a better understanding of these prayers that we can easily salivate for in anticipation of quick results. 

Psalms 109: 6-15

Why Psalms 109 is a no-go zone

How Psalms 109 has Abetted Return to Sender Prayers

Choose some corrupt judge to try my enemy, and let one of his own enemies accuse him.

May he be tried and found guilty; may even his prayer be considered a crime!

May his life soon be ended; may someone else take his job!

May his children become orphans, and his wife a widow!

May his children be homeless beggars; may they be driven from the ruins they live in!

May his creditors take away all his property, and may strangers get everything he worked for.

May no one ever be kind to him or care for the orphans he leaves behind.

May all his descendants die, and may his name be forgotten in the next generation.

May the LORD remember the evil of his ancestors and never forgive his mother’s sins.

May the LORD always remember their sins, but may they themselves be completely forgotten.

Why David Prayed Against His Enemies

During hardships, we’re likely to take note of every emotional hurt. David was mortal like all of us. A closer glance at the prayer suggests he prayed with bitterness. Whatever would happen to his enemies was not of his concern. If anything, he wanted God to grind them to completion together with their descendants.

I’m honestly guilty of the same wish upon my enemies until I got an insight concerning these Psalms.

Return to sender prayers are prayers of self-righteous minds. For God to make David a king, He saw an ability in David that He couldn’t find in anyone else. Leadership automatically instills some authority. With that preference in the Lord’s eyes, David could confidently ask for anything!

Did David know whether he was praying right or wrong?

No!

David prayed innocently. God is not fond of spanking his children immediately they make mistakes although He did that on some occasions. God handles every case independently.

The human mind is a bit selfish; “I take the first position. Everyone else follows” is the attitude most of us have. Meanwhile, God was thinking of how to rectify the numerous mistakes the apples of His eye made in the olden days. Before we know what God did, let me answer a common question among Catholics.

Why do Return to Sender Prayers exist in the Bible?

Return to sender prayers were written in the Bible because one thing leads to another, for the glory of God. The interconnection of experiences determines what tomorrow will become.

The light we enjoy today came from the mistakes David and other lovers of God did. 

The story of Joseph (Potiphar’s servant) taught his brothers a lesson.

God used Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to prove to Nebuchadnezzar that He (God) has the power to do anything. Remember Nebuchadnezzar learned quite some lessons after his failed wickedness.

Paul and Silas shocked the prison wardens when their intensive prayers opened the prison gates.

Job’s turnaround story particularly touched his three friends. They had no more room to tell him to ditch God, but rather follow Job’s footsteps.

This must have been the look on Daniel’s enemies’ faces. “You mean the lions did not munch him? His God must be too powerful!”

The list is endless!

God allows unjust suffering on his chosen servants to transform His stubborn children. David was in a state of martyrdom as he prayed these Psalms. 

Why You should not Pray like David

Transfer the same concept to the return to sender prayers of David. Picturing his mortal state, he was not 100% perfect. Like Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, and other fine-looking stars in the Bible, David made mistakes. His scandal with Bathsheba is the only one that stuck in the minds of most Christians. I bet if everything was directly written in the Bible, we would have volumes of the Holy Book.

It’s not easy to realize some of David’s prayers weren’t right.

During all these eras of leadership, God was thinking of a permanent solution to the numerous mistakes that leaders made.

Activities put down in the Old Testament necessitated some alterations.

The errors of mortal men, including David, created a need for a permanent change. David prayed wrong on occasions such as the one prescribed above.

An Immortal man (Jesus) who lives and rules forever surfaced. The long search ended when Jesus declared it was finished.

How Jesus Nullified Return to Sender Prayers

God did not pick someone from among His disciples again. Instead, He created Jesus from scratch. God persevered the faults of mortal men for thirty more years until Jesus took over.

When God declared we are followers of Jesus, He wanted us to do everything like Jesus. If Jesus does anything like David, we can follow suit, but if He does it differently, then we need to ignore David and emulate Jesus!

These words of Jesus certify these sentiments.

Matthew 11:29; Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. 

At no time did Jesus ever pray like David.

Even during His passion until His death, He forgave His persecutors.

Right from the beginning, the man never had the authority to ask God to reprimand another person. These prayers happened out of ignorance.

“It is finished,” as Jesus stated on the cross symbolized much more than we imagine. Jesus gave up His life to save us. That’s all most Christians associate with His last words.

Underneath this statement, Jesus put an end to the blunders all the Bible major players made during their tenures. He taught us how we should live and pray. “It is finished” indicates that Jesus taught everything. We should, therefore, learn from Jesus, and behave like Him.

How Praying Wrong Affects Christians

You can spend three hours in prayer daily; pray the loudest, and fast often. Unfortunately, if you’re not praying right, it’s all vanity.

God forgave David and the rest for cursing other people in the name of praying. I’m not so sure if God will endure excuses for the same errors after intensively teaching us how to pray and behave, and bringing Jesus on board!

That is food for thought!

Seven Sins that you Commit in the Process of Praying Wrong

  1. Declaring that you’re sinless.
  2. Refusing to forgive.
  3. Harboring bitterness and anger.
  4. Developing a negative attitude towards the other person.
  5. Judging the other person.
  6. Looking forward to the downfall of the other.
  7. Making conclusions based on suspicion or hearsay.

You unknowingly walk out of your prayer room worse than you went in.

Does God Answer Return to Sender Prayers?

Unfortunately, you may not see it, but these prayers gradually affect the lives of the culprits. When you pray and live like Jesus, your inner eyes open. Simultaneously praying and sinning locks the spiritual eyes.

If you try killing a python with sand granules, you’ll only have triggered its venom. It will harm you. Cursing in the pretext of praying is an attack in the waiting. 

Return to sender prayers slowly consume in the wake of expecting blessings

Return to sender prayers slowly consume in the wake of expecting blessings

Sadly, you may never realize that the snake is more powerful than your strategy to hammer it. Praying wrong weakens you spiritually and widens the gap between you and God.

Subsequently, you will not see beyond return to sender prayers. You’ll always be focusing on those you suspect are running after you rather than concentrate on trusting in the Lord’s promises. In short, you’ll find yourself asking God to reprimand your persecutors in 90% of your prayers.

Your relationship with people you have tagged as suspects will dwindle. A state of fear then engulfs you. You can easily retreat into a cocoon with very few people around you.

Proof of Dangers of Cursing People in Prayer

Looking at the unfolding events in the lives of the people you might be tempted to wish the worst, you will realize God still punishes them.

Among God’s choices could be, reversing the same downfall they anticipated on you! What happened to Salome, Herodias’s daughter? Did she expect it? Her spine-chilling death is true to the saying that if you live by the gun, you will die by the gun.

Likewise, if you punish by the curse, you will swallow the bitter pill. 

If you pray for your enemies’ downfall, you will face the same wrath.

These verses cannot lie!

Obadiah 1:15; The day is near when I, the LORD, will judge all nations. Edom, what you have done will be done to you. You will get back what you have given.

Proverbs 22:8; If you sow the seeds of injustice, disaster will spring up, and your oppression of others will end.

If you choose to become your enemy’s rival, both of you are liable to the above effects. Meekness will save you.

Good Catholic Prayer Points

Focus more on yourself and the people you are praying for. If you have to mention the enemy, you should be praying for them like Jesus; not cursing them.

Never ignore Catholic beliefs and practices. As you mingle with friends, you are likely to flow in their criticism of the Catholic Church. In that confusion, you’ll become an easy trap for return to sender prayers. Strive to understand the Catholic faith. You will never regret it.

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