Should We Pray for Satan?

Should the Christian pray for Satan?  If anyone stands in need of prayer it is Satan.  He is facing the most awful form of eternal torment for his role in leading humans astray and in fueling the flames of rebellion against the Creator and against his redeemer.  Satan is referred to as the father of lies who speaks in lies and deals out murder.  This lying and murdering comes forth from him because it was his nature from the beginning (John 8:44).  Satan is a creature without hope of reclamation.  There are two reasons that Christians ought not to pray for him.

First, prayers for Satan would prove to be futile in the end.  Satan will remain true to his nature for eternity.  God has not purposed to remedy his condition but, rather, to punish it through the eternal exercise of his justice.  Satan was a murderer and the father of lies from the beginning, and he will prove to be so to the end.  There is an eternal fire of judgment already prepared for Satan, and to that eternal destruction he will most assuredly go (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).  We have the Word of God assuring us of what Martin Luther sang regarding Satan: “Lo, his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him.”  The Word of God will put Satan under Jesus’ feet forever (Hebrews 1:13; 10:12-13).  So, why pray against what God has already revealed as  certain to take place?

Likewise, a second response follows up this line of thinking.  If God has declared that Satan’s doom is sure, then this determination is also the will of God.  Christians dare not pray against the will of God.  Nowhere are Christians instructed to pray for Satan against the will of God.  Instead, Christians are instructed in many strategies by which they can overcome the power and influence of the devil.

Christians are instructed, for instance, to resist the devil so that he will flee (James 4:7).  In context, this instruction means at least that Christians are to draw near to God as a means of resisting demonic influence.  Drawing near in this passage appears to be related to obedience.  Likewise, Christians are instructed to take up faith as a shield in order to extinguish the devil’s fiery missiles (Ephesians 6:16).  And again, Christians are to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.  They are to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ as a means of breaking down the strongholds of Satan (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

These and other strategies are to be employed by the Christian in his fight to remain safe against the attacks of Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9).  As Christians employ these strategies, they demonstrate faith.  They believe what God’s word says about Satan and about their own vulnerability to his attacks.  The safest ground in this fight is ground which Christ has already claimed.  So, the Christian will stay close to Christ, giving Satan no audience.  The Christian must always keep his eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. He cannot afford to glance away from Christ even long enough to say a prayer for Satan; it is too dangerous.  So, stay fixed on Jesus.

One final comment still seems in order.  Though Satan is a defeated enemy, and the matter with him is fixed and firm, that same kind of finality does not exist with human beings trapped under his power or dead to Christ on account of the curse.  Christians are—as your question points out—instructed to pray for their enemies.  Jesus taught that Christians are to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them, thus proving to be children of their heavenly father.  Such instruction is significant in light of John 8:44.  Everyone has a spiritual father.  Love for others—even for enemies—is an indication of heavenly fatherhood.

The Apostle Paul echoes these sentiments, saying, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).  Paul (a former persecutor himself) understood all too well that a persecutor might yet be claimed for the kingdom of Christ.  The faithful witness of those persecuted might prove to be powerful to save human beings who persecute Christians.  Yet, even with his background, and even with his command for Christians to bless their persecutors, Paul still says plainly in this same chapter: “hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.”  So, while Paul may say we ought to pray for those persecuting us, he would still say to hate Satan who is evil. Cling to Christ, who is good.

Instead of praying for Satan, Jesus taught us to pray daily that our heavenly Father would protect us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13). That prayer, then, is the safest and best prayer of all.

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