Should we pray for those who do evil in the world? Should they be prayed for in ways that acknowledge their undeniable wrongdoing? Miles Lowell Yates addresses these questions in the following edited prayer entitled “For all who do evil in the world.” Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1914, Yates served as a rector and a religion professor before he became Chaplain at the General Theological Seminary in 1940.
Almighty God, look in mercy upon those whose sins afflict the world with evil: whose self-will or pride of life, whose greed for gain or place or pleasure or dominion, whose malice or injustice, whose callousness or cruelty, work hurt or harm or havoc on the earth.
Dispose and enable them, O God, to follow the sense of right which they may cherish secretly; set straight in them the thoughts and the desires which have been twisted by misfortune or bad environment and influence; grant that their evil may be overcome with good; and help society to remedy the wrongs which breed corruption, that wholesome solidarity may win its way among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington