Tag Archive | Salvation

Which Category Do You Fall Into?

Have you ever seriously contemplated whether or not you are saved?

Are you sure of it?

The last category below is the most dangerous.  I pray none of you will be found to be in that category, the one referenced by this passage in Matthew.

Matthew 7:22-23 (ESV)

22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Every living person, without exception, can be assigned to one of these categories. The categories are:

1) those who are saved and know it,

2) those who are saved but do not know it,

3) those (like the man I mentioned above) who are unsaved and know it, and

4) those who are unsaved but do not know it.


Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? (Crucial Questions Series) by R. C. Sproul


Even Judas Served Jesus

A comment on an old post yesterday questioned whether or not Judas served Jesus.  I thought it might be helpful to share some of it here as to whether or not Judas served Jesus.  Now granted we all know Judas was not ultimately serving the Lord; however, according to all anyone could see Judas served the Lord even better than the average believer today does.  But ultimately it isn’t a matter of service but a matter of the heart.  But for the Grace of the Lord we would all be a Judas even while we serve the Lord.


The general misconception that most Christians have about Judas is that he was noticeably different from the other disciples.  See we have a hard time seeing Judas as he was when he walked with Jesus.  Jesus chose Judas and knew what Judas was and what he would do.  However, the disciples had no clue about Judas.  Judas was an accepted member of the disciples.  Not only that, he was given an honored position by the disciples to be in charge of the moneybag.  You don’t give that job to a known thief.

John 12:6 (ESV) He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

We must remember this was written after the fact of the betrayal and suicide of Judas.  Judas was not known to be stealing beforehand by the disciples or, believe me, they would have dealt with it.  These were men who argued over being at the right hand of the Lord in the kingdom.  They would have had no problem pointing out Judas if it was known what he was doing.

Remember also at the Last Supper that the disciples had no clue who was going to betray Christ.

John 13:21-30 (ESV)

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.
23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus,
24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.
25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.
29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.
30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Notice none of the disciples had a clue who would betray Jesus – “uncertain of whom he spoke.” Even when Jesus gave the morsel to Judas and told him to go quickly and do what he was going to do, the disciples had no clue.  The idea that Judas would betray Jesus was foreign to them just as the thought that they would deny Jesus was equally foreign.  Our hearts can and will deceive us.

We as Christians do ourselves a disservice when we think of Judas as embodying evil and being a totally selfish, self-centered evil person and the other disciples as serving Jesus.  The other disciples where totally selfish, self-centered evil people just like Judas, except for the grace of God every one of them could have done the same as Judas did.   There is nothing to separate us from being a Judas except for the Mercy and Grace of the Lord.

As a disciple of Jesus this is what Judas did:

  • He followed Jesus. (Matthew 8:21)

  • He had no home to sleep in because he followed Jesus.  (Matthew 8:18-22)

  • He listened to Jesus speaking and teaching, both public and private.  (Matthew 5:1)

  • He was with Jesus when He calmed the storm.  (Matthew 8:23-27)

  • He ate with sinners and tax collectors, just as Jesus did. (Matthew 9:10, Mark 2:15)

  • He saw Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead. (Matthew 9:18-26)

  • He was given authority over unclean spirits and to heal every disease and affliction. (Matthew 10:1)

  • He was sent out by Jesus to preach, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:5-8)

  • Rebuked by the Pharisees. (Matthew 12:1-2, Matthew 15:2, Mark 2:23-24)

  • He helped feed the people when Jesus fed the 5,000. (Matthew 14:19)

  • He saw Jesus walking upon the sea. (Matthew 14:26)

  • He wasn’t the only disciple who complained about Mary at Bethany and the extravagance of her gift. (Matthew 26:7-9, John 12:4-6)

  • He may have participated in the first Lord’s Supper of the bread and the cup, albeit unworthily. (Luke 22:17-23)

  • Notice though that Judas was never rebuked by the Lord unlike Peter who was often rebuked.  (Mark 8:33)

Who of us have done so much?  Service is not the issue; the heart is.

Matthew 7:22-23 (ESV)

22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

So see the whole point of this passage is that these rejected people truly thought they were serving the Lord.

I think it is more helpful to believers to understand that we might be doing everything seemingly “right” and serving the Lord in multitudes of ways. Yet when the final end comes be told to depart from the Lord because He doesn’t know us.

While it is true that the Bible states that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), the Bible also states that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and will deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9).  We may deceive ourselves into thinking that we are serving the Lord when in fact we are serving ourselves or another.

Except for the Grace of God we might all turn out to be a Judas.

Those in Matthew 7:22-23 we can’t assume that those individuals have intentionally been deceptive.  That they even know they are not serving the Lord.  There are many, many individuals whose testimony points to serving the Lord in all ways possible and giving all they own to serve the Lord yet at some point the Lord opens their eyes to see that they were far from Him.

Biblical example being Paul who did all he possibly could to serve God prior to being stopped on the Damascus Road.  Paul was not putting on a show but serving at 110%.  Yet he was deceived.  It wasn’t until the Lord opened Paul’s eyes that he could see how wrong he was.

There are pastors, deacons and missionaries who can attest to the fact that they served the Lord as fully as they knew how but until the Lord opened their eyes and changed their hearts they were lost.

Here is the testimony of a preacher’s wife and missionary who did not question her salvation until years after serving on the mission field and being a pastor’s wife.  She is one of many that did have her eyes opened to the truth to see that her service was as filthy rags to the Lord.  Many, many today have not had their eyes opened to the truth yet.

Charo Washer – video

Charo Washer – PDF

This is given from the perspective of having her eyes opened to the truth.  However, if you had questioned her years before she would have insisted she was serving the Lord in the best way she could and that she was saved.  She was not intentionally deceiving.  We can easily deceive ourselves and others.

That is why reading or listening to things such as the following are so helpful.  There are many walking around with deceived hearts.

Ten Tests of True Christianity

How are You Serving God

Ten “Christians” God Will Not Allow Into Heaven

Six Signs of a False Conversion

We must give the Lord our all.   But many are deceived and think they have.  That is why we are told to test ourselves.

2 Corinthians 13:5-7 (ESV)

5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.

We don’t know our hearts perfectly.

1 Corinthians 8:2-3 (ESV)

2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Here in the South many, many people are serving the Lord daily by being pastors, teachers, deacons and even missionaries while the Lord doesn’t know them.  They have been deceived by someone or even by themselves into thinking they have given the Lord their all.


Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? (Crucial Questions Series)

Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? (Crucial Questions Series) was free yesterday and I downloaded it to read it last night.  (It is no longer free. 🙁 )The subject is not really on sharing the gospel for Salvation, but is actually discussing how you can think you are saved and yet not be. It is based off of a passage in Matthew.

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It is a small booklet of 76 pages. Not to hard to read in one evening. You can buy the booklet from Ligonier for as little as $5.60. They might be helpful little books to give out as Christmas presents or for church ministry opportunities.  I didn’t find a bulk pricing, but it might be possible.

The booklet is along the lines of a couple of posts that have been on this website for years.  Useful for those times when everyone you meet says they are a Christian because they – made a profession, were baptized, are a good person, joined a church, etc.

Ten Tests of True Christianity

Ten “Christians” God Will Not Allow Into Heaven

Six Signs of a False Conversion


Free Kindle Sproul Book

Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? (Crucial Questions Series) [Kindle Edition] R.C. Sproul – Free for a limited time

Many people in the church today are plagued by doubts about their salvation. Satan whispers that it is impossible that sinners such as they could be in a state of grace, and some churches compound the problem by teaching that it is possible for believers to lose their salvation.

But assurance of salvation is possible in this life. Indeed, as Dr. R.C. Sproul argues in this Crucial Questions booklet, it is the duty of Christians to make their calling sure (2 Peter 1:10). To help believers reach this goal, Dr. Sproul defines assurance, shows how we can get it, reveals the blessings it confers, and warns of the dangers of false assurance. Here is assistance for those who struggle to know where they stand with Jesus Christ.

{The free kindle books are available a short time, they are done sorta like a sale and end quickly so you can’t wait a couple of days to “purchase” the free book. If you don’t actually have a kindle you can get the Kindle for PC which will allow you to read kindle books for free.  There are also kindle versions for a blackberry and for an iPhone.}


Praying For Our Children

If your prayers for your children were the deciding factor in their salvation have you prayed enough?

Psalms 66:19-20 (ESV)
19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Proverbs 15:29 (ESV) The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Matthew 21:22 (ESV) And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

1 Peter 3:12 (ESV) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Notice also the verses that qualify the prayers answered as being those of the righteous.  So are we praying enough and living righteous enough for the Lord to answer our prayers for our children?

Thank goodness that our children’s salvation is not dependent on us but on the Lord.


Mercy Owed to None – J.I. Packer

“[God] shows his freedom and lordship by discriminating between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel while others do not hear it, and moving some of those who hear it to repentance while leaving others in their unbelief, thus teaching his saints that he owes mercy to none and that it is entirely of his grace, not at all through their own effort, that they themselves have found life.”


J.I. Packer, Knowing God


Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children – Jim Elliff

All Christian parents wish that God would show us something to do that would secure our child’s salvation, and then “we’ll do it with all our might” because we love our child so much. Yet, God has not made salvation the effect of somebody else’s faith; our son or daughter must come to Christ on his or her own. John shows us that all Christians are born into God’s family “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, [that is, somebody else’s will] but of God.” (John 1:13)

Although salvation is the work of God and not something that we can do for our child, there is hope. Consider the following:

1. A true burden in prayer for your child is a gift from God. A persistent burden may indicate that God intends to give your child eternal life because authentic prayer always begins with God. Though we cannot be absolutely certain that we know all that God is doing, we should be optimistic if the burden continues.

2. The miracle of the new birth is no less possible to God if our child is attentive to Him or running away from Him. Our child is like all other children when it comes to God’s grace. He is dead spiritually whether he is in church or not, whether he listened well to the truths we tried to teach him or did not, whether he has some interest in God now or has none at all. He may be converted in the pig pen or the pew and we do not know in this case what is preferred by God.

3. God does hear our prayers. Though God has taught us that He chooses all who are His before the foundation of the world, He also taught us that we should pray, and not only pray, but expect the answer to our prayers. It is true that God is sovereign and it is just as true that He answers prayer. In fact, He could not answer prayer if He were not in control of all things.

4. We may have hope because of God’s election of those who will come to Him. Every child is on his way to hell unless God stops him. God’s election is our friend. We would have no hope for our child’s salvation without it, because no child would turn to Christ if left in the state of depravity (Romans 3:9-11). But given God’s election of people for Himself, we can be encouraged.

5. Your child has some clear knowledge of what it means to be a true Christian. The Spirit certainly may bring this to bear at any time if this is His chosen method. Though it is no less a miracle for a knowledgeable child to be converted than a child with little knowledge; God always uses the gospel seed in every conversion.

6. Your own disobedience in the past will not ultimately keep your child from becoming a believer. It is pointless to berate yourself for any wrong behavior on your part as if it were the reason your child is without Christ. This does not mean that we as parents should not repent and do better, and even admit wrong to our children. But the reason your child is without Christ is related to his or her own sin. Every parent is sinful and inconsistent. This has never been a barrier to God if He desires to save your child. Illustrations abound of children who come from far less godly families who are nonetheless converted to Christ. In fact, this may have been the case in your own experience.

7. Some children may need the experience of being away from parental care in order to face up to their own need for Christ. The sense of need for many may be discovered only in the context of difficulties. We should not be surprised if it takes some solo flying before a child learns that he or she really needs another as his pilot.

8. Remember that there are lots of people who have come to appreciate their history prior to coming to Christ. I’m not saying that these people would not have wanted conversion earlier, but that the pain of the their pre-conversion history has left them with compassion, understanding, knowledge, testimony, and a burden that they would perhaps not have had any other way. They’ve seen God’s wisdom in the timing of their conversion. This may well be so with your child. Paul said that there was a reason he was chosen to be converted even though he was a murderer, blasphemer and violent aggressor—so that people will see and have hope that God can save anyone.

9. You cannot save your child yourself no matter how hard you try. You are in a position of trust alone. This is good because it is the only way to please God (Heb. 11:6). Your rest in God, while simultaneously praying to the God who answers prayer, will be an encouragement to others in the same situation It will also help you respond to your child more positively, and will make your life far more joyful than your anxiety ever could.

10. Finally, remember that God has a purpose in all He does. We will one day rejoice that God has done a perfect job of ruling His universe. When we acknowledge this and put God even above our children, we will actually demonstrate to our child the way a Christian is to live.

*Read an expanded version of this article by clicking here.

Copyright © 2003 Jim Elliff Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright. Other uses require written permission.



Ya’ll Come

I live here in the South, in rural Alabama.  We Southerners are a slightly different bunch than many people.  We have our good points and our bad points.  But we also have some different mannerisms that intrigue those from outside.

One mannerism, or phrase often said, when leaving from visiting another’s house or when your company is leaving is the following:

Ya’ll Come.”

Here’s a clip of Porter Wagner singing “Ya’ll Come” for those that don’t know what I’m talking about.

Actually makes me sad thinking about it, because it is something that is going by the wayside.  Only the older folks still do that, but I don’t know, maybe I should start it up again.  I can just see my grandmother standing wiping her hands on her apron and saying “Ya’ll come to see us, ya’ hear.”

So “Ya’ll come to see us, too.”

But I do remember as a child when someone was leaving and they said “Ya’ll Come.”  My evil little heart would think what would they do if I did.  I can’t believe I would think that, because I know most of them would have all been perfectly willing to take me right along with them.  But even as a child, I knew that a general “Ya’ll Come” wasn’t the same as a personal invitation.  Nothing like my moma calling me by name and saying get in the car.  Or being mailed an invitation to a party with my name on it.

Is the gospel call a “Ya’ll Come” or is it a more personal invitation?

It is a personal invitation.  We are each one called by name; from the foundation of the earth we were called by name to inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:34).

Isaiah 43:1-3

1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  ESV

Ephesians 1:3-5

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

5  he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, …  ESV

Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.  Zaccheaus is called by name.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” ESV

Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-18.  Mary was called by her name not just a general call.

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). ESV

Saul/Paul in Acts 9:1-18.  Saul called by name.

Acts 9:4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” ESV

Have you been called by name?

Aren’t you glad that the Lord calls us directly and specifically and not just a general easily ignored –

“Ya’ll Come back, ya’ hear!”


Such Were Some of You

As discussed in yesterday’s post most of us would have the title of liar, adulterer, and murder plus many, many more titles. 

That isn’t a good thing considering God’s Word says that such that are immoral, adulterers, thieves and greedy will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ESV 

So those who have divorced and remarried can’t inherit the Kingdom of God, right?  Only if you take those two verses and ignore the following verse.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ESV

Those who have been called by the Lord were such sinners.  We now though are washed (cleansed, purified), sanctified (set apart, holy), and justified (made right with God). 

By our establishing our own holiness and right actions?  NOPE!

By the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Commentary

“Such were some of you, but you are not what you were. You are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. Note, The wickedness of men before conversion is no bar to their regeneration and reconciliation to God. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can purge away all guilt and defilement. Here is a rhetorical change of the natural order: You are sanctified, you are justified. Sanctification is mentioned before justification: and yet the name of Christ, by which we are justified, is placed before the Spirit of God, by whom we are sanctified. Our justification is owing to the merit of Christ; our sanctification to the operation of the Spirit: but both go together. Note, None are cleansed from the guilt of sin, and reconciled to God through Christ, but those who are also sanctified by his Spirit.”

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

So we see clearly that an adulterer can be saved. 

Just as an idolater or a thief can be saved.


Should We Be Praying For More Than an Unbeliever’s Salvation? (Part 2)

In the New Testament, we get introduced to another reason to pray for unbelievers.  Prayer for their salvation and prayers for workers to go out into the harvest.

So now the general idea of prayer for unbelievers falls into the following categories:

  • Prayer to preserve an unbeliever from their due judgment and wrath from God.

  • Prayer for the unbeliever, particularly those who are especially evil, to be judge by God and receive their just rewards.

  • Prayers for physical healing.

  • Prayer for salvation for the unbeliever and for believing workers to go into the harvest.

So what are the prayers for unbelievers in the New Testament?

We pray for our enemies.

Matthew 5:44 (ESV) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The model prayer includes forgiving others.

Matthew 6:9-15 (ESV)
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Luke 11:2-4 (ESV)
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Prayer for workers to go out to the harvest.

Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Luke 10:2 (ESV) And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Prayer for those who abuse us.

Luke 6:27-28 (ESV)
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

Jesus’ prayer that does not include the world but only believers.

John 17:9 (ESV) I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

Jesus Prayer of Father forgive them.

Luke 23:34 (ESV) And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Stephen’s prayer.

Acts 7:60 (ESV) And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Prayer for Physical Healing.

Acts 28:8 (ESV) It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.  

Prayer for Salvation and Restoration.

Romans 10:1 (ESV) Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

2 Corinthians 13:9 (ESV) Your restoration is what we pray for.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

2  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,

4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God again points out He does not listen to the prayers of those who do evil.

1 Peter 3:12 (ESV) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

John 9:31 (ESV) We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.

Asking wrongly. While true this verse is directed to believers it is a principle we should remember when praying for anyone.

James 4:3 (ESV) You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Surprisingly there are also imprecatory prayers in the NT.  I would have thought they were only in the OT.  (Imprecatory means curses or prayers for punishment.)

2 Timothy 4:14 (ESV)  Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

But ultimately every single prayer uttered, whether for a believer or an unbeliever, has one goal – To Glorify The Lord.

John 14:13-15 (ESV)

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.