Prayer for some odd reason, perhaps for political and social gain in a lazy and spoilt society, is presented as loving and relaxing.

When Jesus said he came not to give the earth peace but to bring a sword this is surmised not to mean actual physical warfare but using prayer as a weapon.  We may believe that until we remember how many Christians fought in war and how war spread his message all over the world.   The soldiers depended on prayer and then lifted the weapons feeling approved by God.  Their killings became an outgrowth of their prayer, an expression.

So Jesus could have meant warlike prayer in that sense. 

The belief at the time was that religious violence was acceptable for defending the doctrines of religion and that God was a warrior.  The Messiah was expected to take up arms for his people especially those who needed liberation from captivity.  You need to read him the way people then would have understood him for he is not talking to you.

The Psalms contain more stuff about affirming Moses' violent blood-letting law than about love and peace.  The Psalmist prays for the power to overcome his enemies with violence and the sword.  Jesus was using this as his main prayer book.  He chanted the Psalms every Sabbath.

There is Psalm 144 where God is praised for training your hands for war and Ephesians 6 where Paul speaks of armour and the need to combat Satan in a spiritual but real war, this advocates abusive threatening prayer.  A prayer may not be a knife but if you treat it as one even spiritually that shows your violent will.


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