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Prayer of Malice

I pray your brakes go out running down a hill.
I pray a flower pot falls from a windowsill,
And knocks you in the head like I'd like to.
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls.
I pray you're flying high, when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true.
Just know wherever you are honey, I pray for you.
Pray For You, by Jaron and The Long Road to Love

A character is praying to God or to other similar deity known to be benevolent and merciful. However, this devotee is praying for malice, begging God to be petty and cruel. The technical name for this kind of thing is an "imprecatory prayer", though the more colloquial term for this kind of thing is a Curse, especially if this prayer has any kind of supernatural effect.

For example, a Racist Grandma may pray that the Good Lord get all "niggers" killed, a Heteronormative Crusader may pray that the sweet local gay couple will get HIV, anyone may pray that his rich uncle or unliked neighbor will die or get raped or whatever, and so on.

If the character does this in a way that superficially comes across as very sweet and innocent, it may be Sugary Malice as well. Simply praying for victory in a conflict does not count, however.

No Real Life Examples, Please! - keep the real life issues to how they are portrayed in media.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • In Chick Tracts, this is sometimes done by Catholics, non-evangelical Protestants, and so on. Within the context of the Author Tract, this "proves" that only evangelicals are Real Christians.

Newspaper Comics

Film
  • School of Rock did this once. Paraphrased:
    Dewey: God of Rock, let us kick butt at this Battle of the Bands.
  • We Were Soldiers has Hal Moore running into one of his new lieutenants in an empty church, and offers to pray with him. It starts out decently enough.
    Moore: Our Father in Heaven, before we go into battle, every soldier among us will approach you each in his own way. Our enemies too, according to their own understanding, will ask for protection and for victory. And so, we bow before your infinite wisdom. We offer our prayers as best we can. I pray you watch over the young Jack Geoghegan. That I lead into battle. You use me as your instrument in this awful hell of war to watch over them. Especially if they're men like this one beside me, deserving of a future in your blessing and goodwill. Amen.
    Geoghegan: Amen.
    Moore: Oh, yes, and one more thing, dear Lord, about our enemies, ignore their heathen prayers and help us blow those little bastards straight to Hell. Amen.
  • Harry Powell's opening prayer from The Night of the Hunter, which speaks volumes about his character:
    Harry Powell: Well now, what's it to be, Lord? Another widow? How many has it been? Six? Twelve? I disremember. [tipping his hat] You say the word, Lord, I'm on my way... You always send me money to go forth and preach your Word. The widow with a little wad of bills hid away in a sugar bowl. Lord, I am tired. Sometimes I wonder if you really understand. Not that You mind the killin's. Yore Book is full of killin's. But there are things you do hate, Lord: perfume-smellin' things, lacy things, things with curly hair.
  • Polish film Dzień Świra (Day of the Wacko) ends with the mock of a massive prayer (based on the popular Polish XVIII-century religious poem, no less) counting various accidents and unpleasantries praying people want to happen to their neighbours.
  • In Spiderman 3, after Peter exposes him as a fraud and gets him fired from the Daily Bugle, Eddie Brock goes to church to pray for God to kill Peter.
  • Parodied/Lampshaded in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the prayers of Saint Attila in the Book of Armaments about the Holy Hand Grenade says:
    O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy.
  • Jonah Hill prays for Jay Baruchel's death in This Is the End and ultimately suffers an attack of Laser-Guided Karma

Literature
  • "Holy Willie's Prayer" by Robert Burns.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, there's a fairly sympathetic/understandable example with Arya Stark. Before she goes to sleep, she recites to herself a mantra which lists the names of her enemies, all of whom she plans to kill, and at one point, when she has an opportunity to engage in prayer, she recites the same list. She's a very angry ten year old, but you can't really blame her given all she goes through. Eventually she finds herself in service to an assassin cult who worship the God of Death.
    • And her sister Sansa is in the sept praying with many others before the upcoming siege of Kings Landing. When the High Septon starts calling on the gods to protect King Joffrey who executed her father and has her beaten and tormented in petty ways, the normally mild-mannered Sansa walks out. Let his sword break and his shield shatter. Let his courage fail and every man desert him.
  • The War Prayer by Mark Twain. After the congregation of a church prays for victory in a war, an aged stranger enters the church, claiming to be a messenger from God, and recites the unstated portion of their prayer, which calls for suffering upon suffering to be heaped upon their enemy.
  • In the Cambridge Latin Course, one scene shows a thief stealing an offering made to the gods, only to find that it's inscribed with a prayer for the death of all thieves. In terror, he throws his booty back and runs away.
    • This was actually a common practice in the Roman Empire; people would throw "curse tablets" into holy shrines imploring the gods to visit various misfortunes on those who'd wronged them.
  • "Prayer of the Selfish Child" by Shel Silverstein, ending:
    And if I die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my toys to break
    So no other kids can use 'em...
  • This is one of the main elements of the plot in Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion. However, as it turns out, successfully praying for someone else's death will except in very unusual circumstances kill you too, and the gods will only answer your prayer if the person whose death you want actually deserves it.
  • In Speaker for the Dead, Ender says Quim prays every day for him to die.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Some of the Psalms in The Bible fit into this category. Elijah pretty much does this frequently, what with basically asking for a bunch of bears to maul bullies and all. Actually, most examples listed under Holy Hand Grenade could be considered this, as they are frequently summoned by prayers.
  • It Can't Happen Here: Before being executed at Trianon, Falck cries out a vengeful prayer against his oppressors.
    "Father, Thou hast forgiven so long! Forgive them not but curse them, for they know what they do!"

Live-Action TV

  • In a family-friendly example from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Volley Dad," one of the nuns in Maddie's Catholic school prays that their volley ball team will viciously crush the opposing team.
    Nun: Okay, we are gonna stomp these losers right into the ground! Let us pray. Lord, please help us stomp these losers into the ground. Amen.
  • Back when Stephen and Steven were still on The Daily Show, an "Even Stevens" segment had them debating whether Islam or Christianity was the one true religion. Needless to say, prayers of "Smite mine enemy" were evoked on both sides.
  • In Game of Thrones, Catelyn Stark admits that she once prayed to the gods for her husband Ned's bastard son Jon to die. She hated herself for being horrible enough to wish a child dead, but she was also too bitter to change. She thinks that all of the misery she and those close to her suffer throughout the series (it's a lot) is divine punishment.
  • Top Gear: As Hammond and May are loading May's car on a raft to cross an African river, Vitriolic Best Bud Clarkson stands on the other side and prays "Dear God, make it tip upside-down..."

Music
  • The song "Prayer to God" by Shellac, about a man praying fervently for his ex-girlfriend and her lover to die.
  • "I Pray for You" by Jaron and the Long Road to Love. The whole song is basically this.
  • "Catherine" by PJ Harvey is about a woman fervently praying for the titular Catherine's death and damnation.

Tabletop Games
  • Magic: The Gathering: As the leader of the theocratical white Phyrexian faction, Elesh Norn delivers friendly sermons like "May our blessings sever the tongues of the forsaken".
    • Although, considering their civilisation bases itself on Body Horror as the concept of perfection, it is just as likely that this is a well intentioned prayer.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Pretty much every prayer is this, given the setting. Prayers to Khorne usually consist of finding more blood-filled things to kill, prayers to the Emperor of killing the enemy dead.
    That thou wouldst bring them only death,
    That thou shouldst spare none,
    That thou shouldst pardon none
    We beseech thee, destroy them.
    From the Fede Imperialis, also known as the Battle Prayer of the Adepta Sororitas.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • In one of The Simpsons episodes where Sideshow Bob's after Bart, Bart prays to God to kill him.
    Bart: ...and please, God, kill Sideshow Bob!
    Marge: Bart, no! You can't ask God to kill someone!
    Homer: Yeah! You do your own dirty work!
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo's song "Hellfire" includes a prayer to the Virgin Mary for Esmeralda to burn in hell or else become his.
    Protect me, Maria! Don't let this siren cast her spell!
    Don't let her fire sear my flesh and bone!
    Destroy Esmerelda, and let her taste the fires of Hell —
    Or else let her be mine and mine alone!


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