Can I pray for bad things to happen to people I don't like?

Here's the answer:

Jesus taught us to pray that good things, not bad things, happen to our enemies.

Each one of us is a sinner and deserves God’s punishment. But God sent His own perfect Son to die on the cross, taking the punishment of sin for those who believe in Him.

Jesus taught that we should forgive others, just as God has forgiven us (Mark 11:25). So when people do bad things to us, we should not pray that bad things happen to them but good things.

Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor. Hate your enemy.' But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you" (Matthew 5:43-47).

After soldiers pounded nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, He prayed, "Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).

Someday, God will make all wrong things right. He will punish those who don’t turn from their sins to Jesus. Leave justice to God, as the first Bible Truth verse says below. Ask that your enemies would turn from their sins and trust Jesus.

Bible Truth

"Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. My friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, ‘I am the One who judges people. I will pay them back,’ says the Lord" (Romans 12:17–19).

"First, I want all of you to pray for everyone. Ask God to bless them. Give thanks for them. Pray for kings. Pray for all who are in authority. Pray that we will live peaceful and quiet lives. And pray that we will be godly and holy. That is good. It pleases God our Savior. He wants everyone to be saved. He wants them to come to know the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1–4).