To Pray or Not to Pray~ Is that the question?

 
vocatvs atoue non vocatvs Deus aderit
( Bidden or not bidden, God is present. )
 
     I have seen an interesting trend among Christians that alarms and saddens me. I understand that people do get bogged down in everyday trials and tribulations sometimes- that is unavoidable. We are living in vicarious times and problems are bound to get the best of us occasionally. What concerns me though is that many of our sisters and brothers make the assumption that everything they do is sanctioned by God and that he will follow you to the end of the earth. This may or may not be true depending on the status of your heart and what kind of a life you’re leading. Do you desire Him above all else or has he become your "sidekick"?
      Some years ago I wrote a short article titled, "The Man in the Caboose". Without giving you the entire writ, it was in essence about the way people are insistent about running their own life- insisting on taking the main controls and treating God like the man in the caboose. (Only around for emergencies and handy for blaming when everything goes wrong.) You see, this attitude assumes that God only jumps in when we get out of control when, as a matter of fact, our control is illusory and we haven’t allowed Him to intervene in our affairs. Prayer is a supplication for God’s intervention in our affairs, attitude and circumstances. 
     Quite a few years ago I picked up a book when it was new (it was published in 1985) titled The Seduction of Christianity and subtitled "Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days". In it, Mr Hunt and Mr McMahon give a compelling argument against the increasing acceptance of positive and possibility thinking, healing of memories, self-help philosophies and holistic medicine among Bible believing Christians today and how this deception is the beginning of the Apostasy written about in the Bible. They expound on the dangers in accepting these wide-spread beliefs which are presented as though they are a supplement to your faith rather than a contradiction to the clearly stated precedents set down in black and white in the Bible. Nothing about the apostasy appears evil. It appears to offer solutions, often, to problems of which may not be obviously offered in the Bible. (This is why it’s so important to study the word more and more. Those solutions are always there! )
     Some very good points and exposés in the book are as follows:
          "Not only liberals but conservatives as well are being seduced in overwhelming numbers…What the secular world calls "mind power" many Christians confuse for "faith"."
          "Psychological methodologies…such as Scientology, The Forum (formerly EST ), Lifespring, and Silva Mind Control… the ability to exert "mind over matter". Also TM= Transcendental Meditation
          "Humility is out and self-esteem is in."
          "Not just individual Christians, but churches also now pursue success, and the larger the church the more successful it is considered to be."
          "Napoleon Hill’s books are offered at Christian bookstores across the country and recommended by numerous Christian leaders."
          "Yet it is Hill’s teachings about the mind that are far more dangerous than his emphasis on wealth."
          "…They recommend him and his books highly, which contain occultism that they apparently overlooked."
          Hill states:
                "…I discovered there is a group of strange beings who maintain a school of wisdom….The school has masters who can disembody themselves and travel instantly to any place they choose….to give knowledge directly, by voice."
          "The "Supreme Secret" they authorized Hill to "reveal" to the world has been preserved in occult tradition for thousands of years and reminds one of the serpent’s offer of godhood to Eve: "Anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve."
          "This is the sorcerer’s counterfeit faith and is the basis for what the secular world calls PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)."
          "Far from having the gracious and loving but sovereign God as its object of trust, "power of belief" enables those who have been initiated into its secrets to command forces to obey their thoughts."
          "Anyone who imagines that because he thinks certain thoughts or speak certain words God must respond to him in a certain way, has slipped into sorcery, and, if not playing God, is at the very least attempting to manipulate God."
          "The only supernatural powers that Christians are to exhibit are called "gifts of the Spirit." (through the Holy Spirit) 
          "We are not condemning everything else a Christian leader writes or speaks simply because he quotes Napoleon Hill. Yet it is because Hill is mixed in with so much good that his concepts are accepted. This is why we must contend for the purity of the Word of God without addition of the deadly deceptions that slide in unless we are on our guard."
 
     Many of us, myself included, if we are honest about it- have at one time or another accepted ideas as Christian in our mind when they are, in fact, not sourced from the Bible at all. We came to accept them, more than likely, because we heard those ideas expressed in our VERY OWN CHURCH ! The most dangerous part of all this, in my opinion, is that our very prayers may be used in the fashion of using God to get what we want when we ought to be using prayer to find out God’s will. If we love Him like we ought to, we want to please Him because He knows what is right for us. Prayer is the best way to find out what God’s will is for your life and that is where real power lies ~ not in a false belief in your own abilities. When you see that difficulties have become overwhelming and you are tempted to lift up prayers only against circumstances remember that God always listens to and answers prayer. However, we may not get the answer we wanted but we will definitely get the answer we need.
     There is a new "Nathaniel Hill" on the block, Eckhard Tolle, author of A New Earth and he has a powerful advocate- Oprah Winfrey. I like Oprah, just like every body in America’s households, but the woman embraces every so-called "light-bearer" that comes across her path. (Come on, you know that’s true!) This book touts the same Eastern "theological" techniques that have been supported by churches whose real bible is "The Science of the Mind." One would be smart to question this so-called new consciousness. It is the same old deception wrapped in a new pretty cover with pretty but mostly untrue and un-Christian ways of thinking.
     My most recent encounter with a Christian under serious deception caught me off guard, temporarily, and then I recognized the wrong-thinking and called him on it. This was a man who, among other Christian literary pursuits, operates as a Christian literary agent. In an e-mail to me he wrote: "I and all editors at Christian publishers are frankly suspicious of anyone claiming to have direct communication from God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus. They are typically the worst-written manuscripts we see, so we know they are not Holy Spirit inspired." He wrote this having not read a word of my book or the detailed e-mail proposal I sent him. I don’t trust his sweeping statement, either. I doubt very much that he speaks for the entire Christian publishing industry!
 
     Jesus said," Do you believe in the Son of God? You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." He also said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." Additionally, he said the following:
     "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you."
     "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
     " He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
     "Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or  "There!" do not believe it."
     "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
     "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." (John 11:41-42) (Before raising Lazarus up from the dead.) 
     "Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." John 14:20 (It doesn’t get any more personal than that ! )
     "I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." (prophets and holy men who lived and died before Christ came)
     "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves"
         
          All of this may make a person back off, in confusion, wondering if prayer really does avail anything. Prayer like any other practice can be perfected but the most perfect prayer follows the pattern that Jesus set for His disciples when he said what we call The Lord’s Prayer. He did not ask us to say this identical prayer over and over again, it was laid out like a recipe, or a map or a guideline. First, worship him, then, ask for his will, then, present your needs. In finishing, ask for His protection, guidance and wisdom in your daily walk and acknowledge his sovereignty. By following this pattern you are addressing God in a proper manner, giving Him respect, honor and recognizing His glory. If you pray like this you cannot fall into a pattern of using prayer like a magic wand. We are the friends of God if we recognize and accept what Jesus did for us on the cross. We don’t need to pretend otherwise. Blessings to all the true realists- one and all !  
          
Pour mes amis bien-aime’, mes meilleurs embrasses, Le Chateau Demoiselle ! 
                                                                                                       
    
1 John 4:1-4 
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
 
          Check out my auction photos in the Auction album and: http://castlelady.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!F29367B89E011214!3502.entry
At 4:42 p.m. yesterday ( 6/2/08) this blog reached 14,000 hits and it’s now way past that. Thanks to all visitors, friends and others!
 
 
Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over. – A Mom  
    
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About Evelyn

The Castle Lady Official web site: www.ilovecastles.com other blogs: ilovecastles.blogspot.com evelynsrockpages.blogspot.com evelyns-nailsforlife.blogspot.com
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8 Responses to To Pray or Not to Pray~ Is that the question?

  1. Paul says:

    Evelyn, as usual you\’ve hit home.  I\’m haing quite a time accepting what God\’s given me as boundaries and learning to sit back and enjoy not being in control – letting the future be taken care of by Him.
     
    I\’ll read this closer later – need to get to bed – but it seemed coincidental that I just posted John Denver\’s "Poems Prayers & Promises, so i thought i\’d drop a comment on your blog entry on prayer.

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  2. Joe says:

    Dear Evelyn,
     
    I enjoyed reading your article; thanks for this.What puzzles me is that during every war both parties claim (and pray) that God is on their side.Even weapons are blessed before the soldiers go into battle to slaughter each other.
    I am just a simple, uneducated man but I cannot believe that this is what God has intended.
     
    Hugs & KissesJoey.

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  3. Gerry says:

    Thank you for posting this Evelyn. We do indeed live in perilous times and even the elect can be deceived if not on guard through prayer and reading God\’s word. The things that Oprah has been sending out over the airwaves is straight from the pit. The devil will come at us as an angel of llight and even us portions of scripture to seduce us as he tried with Jesus in the wilderness.
     
    I don\’t know if you have heard of this man from Puerto Rico who calls himself God and has asked all his followers to tatoo 666 on their bodies. He calls himself the anti-Christ and says there is no sin or hell. He has a growing following and his meeting look and sound like any other evangelical church service. He is a wolf in sheep\’s clothing. The church needs to wake up. I has been too long asleep in the light.
     
    In Christ
    Gerry

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  4. Evelyn says:

    Thank you all for your support on this. It is an issue that has been on my heart for quite some time. I could\’ve written it in an article and sent it off to Charisma or similar but I felt it had to be in this forum where one and all can and should read it. Joey I know all these wars seem so crazy. I hate war, personally, and I really don\’t see that we did any good in Iraq but just remember wars have been going on since before recorded history. Our war should be fighting our oldest enemy but with love. It\’s the only way, it was Jesus way (did he ever physically attack anybody? yes, once, the moneychangers at his church- what does that tell you? XD ) and I believe the only way to conquer hate.
     
                      Thanks for stopping by y\’all !    ;  )      The Castle Lady     hugs!  kisses!

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  5. elytis says:

    (Real) Poetry
     

    IN THE SEA CAVES 

     
    In the sea cavesthere\’s a thirst there\’s a lovethere\’s an ecstasyall hard like shellsyou can hold them in your palm.In the sea cavesfor whole days I gazed into your eyesand I didn\’t know you nor did you know me. Giorgos Seferis

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  6. Evelyn says:

    One point I excised out of my entry, needlessly I think, is that prayer is imperative even to the mundane aspects of life. This is why on-fire Christians are perceived as "crazy". These same Christians do great exploits. It\’s all up to us. Sift what you hear in your church, out on the street, among your friends (the Christians too!) and everywhere you are inundated with communication and information. God made you captain of your own ship but prayer means he can set any storm right.
                                                         Pray, pray, pray !      The Castle Lady   ;  )   

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  7. Gerry says:

    ElytisFor the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,         "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,         AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD." 1 Cor. 1:18-31 (NASV)You can consider yourself to be the wisest and most intellectual person in the world. You have complete knowledge, but if you don\’t know Christ and Him crucified, you know nothing. The riches, wisdom and intellect of this world do not impress God and those who boast in those things even less. What matters most is love. I pray my friend you find that love as there is an anger in your heart that can only be removed by finding that true love and wisdom that can only be found in Christ. This is not from an American, but a Canadian. I for one see America as one of the greatest nations that has ever graced the faith of the earth. Not perfect, but willing to show compassion to others when other nations rejected them. To stand up for the weak when they have been bullied. Always the first to be there when disaster strikes. I pray for that nation everyday. She has given rights and freedoms to her citizens that are the envy of other nations. Truly may God continue to bless America as he has because God blesses those who have compassion on others.

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  8. Evelyn says:

         All that Gerry has written here is directly from the Bible- even paraphrased it reads the same. If you want to argue with it, Elytis, your argument will be against scriptures of the Bible itself. This man is a Canadian minister and one of the most \’virulent for the Faith\’ I\’ve yet read on any blog on the internet- so far. I admire that, because he is a Shepherd not unlike Christ.
          I do not believe you want a battle with the Word of God. He always has the last word. If you have a KJV of the Bible please look up Psalms 8:2 , Luke 17:2 . I wouldn\’t want you to bring a curse upon yourself which would destroy you. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. I should know- I\’ve been chastised more times than I like to think about. You see I was purchased with a great price. The price was Jesus body broken and his blood shed.
                      So was Gerry. You will only win with the "retarded" in Christ. Those are the people who are nominal Christians but follow the Apostological precepts being spouted everywhere and even in some of our churches. This is what my entry was all about- the coming Apostasy. I am a hornblower- telling the fold to come in from the cunning deceptions which the Evil One wishes to devour. I wouldn\’t be much of a sibling in Christ to them if I didn\’t write something to wake them up. If someone comes into the fold which was not before- all the better.
     
                             This is a safe Haven.          ;   )                 The Castle Lady   always hugs and kisses!
                  

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