Saturday, September 15, 2012

More on Prayer

(INSERTION) I'm somewhat ashamed of this post. I obviously wasn't thinking that clearly. I stand by some of it, but some of it has to be addressed (END INSERTION)

This week I was forwarded an announcement of a prayer conference/seminar that's happening in my area. Now besides the tone of the brochure itself, which was as sad an example of Christian grandstanding and namedropping as I've ever seen (here's the brochure, have a look at the blurb about the speaker. See if you agree with me. It seems to be all about who she's associated with and what "Apostolic" councils she's on) , it's the focus of the whole thing makes me wonder.

The focus of the conference is 'Strategic Prayer.'  Alright, I'm going to have to be careful what I say. I just recently posted a "howto" on praying for healing and some of it has an if not strategic, then at least a tactical element to it. Why would strategic prayer be any different. Well it's just this. Prayer is something we do with our friend, our Father. The strategy would seem to be on his end, not ours. Strategic prayer gives me the impression of an exercise in which we try to get around him by making darn sure we only ask for the right stuff at the right time with the right words... Well if you can't take it further on to "... with the right circles and diagrams traced on the floor at the zenith of the waning crescent moon..." I know I can. It looks to me like Christian magic.

I'm actually all wrong in my impression. I'm making a semantic error here. My impression is actually about tactics, not strategy. Yes, there is an element of Christian magic (you might say wacky tactics) in some of our prayers that I would like address. But strategy is an overarching direction, a focus, that could legitimately be communicated by a prayer leader in the context of a meeting. Heck, I do it all the time.

So on sober second thought, I'll have to do some research on the strategy that will be apparently be presented at this conference, the "seven mountains." I've heard of it off and on for a few years now, and what I heard did not impress me much, but I'll have a look.

Praying is where encounter God and he lets us in on what he's doing and we add our prayer to action, not that he needs our help, but he graciously lets us get involved. "Daddy, can I try?" It's not primarily  about strategy, but rather intimacy.


What I'm doing here is actually promoting one strategy over another. The strategy of listening first appeals to me a whole lot more than taking on the seven mountains.

But, you might say, if you're into the strategic prayer thing, "what about binding demons over my home town?" or "What about conquering the seven mountains?' to which I can only answer, if God has led you  into praying that way, go ahead. But if you're going to teach prayer, try to stay within models found in scripture, especially the one given by Jesus. "When you pray, pray like this..."

Still fuzzy about tactics and strategy here. Binding demons is a tactic; conquering the the seven mountains is a strategy. I still think that both tactics and strategy should arise from the life, practise and teaching of Jesus primarily and everything else is open to question.

I'm sure I don't have the whole picture. But after reading that brochure, I'll pass for now.

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