A Scenario

Consider this scenario and give me your reaction.

Someone in church stands up and claims

“Pray such and such scripture for 21 days and see what God will do”.

What is this?   Word of Faith?    Witchcraft in the church?

An applicable method of praying scripture?    A promise?

What happens if it appears God does nothing at the 22nd day?    Isn’t it true we don’t know all, see all that He does?    But, can He be expected to perform in such a way?

What say you?

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18 thoughts on “A Scenario

  1. I guess God COULD lead a congregation to pray a certain Scripture for a period of time, and link a promise to the action.
    BUT if nothing (at all) happens after that periode, it should give an understanding that it was not God speaking through that person. No vain excuses should be accepted.
    It does remind somewhat of the Word of Faith techniques, steps and keys…
    On the other hand, Na’aman was told to dip 7 times in Jordan, and the result really DID come. Why would God instruct Na’aman to do that? Why should the Israelites walk around the walls of Jericho a certain number of times?
    All I am saying is that it COULD be God instructing a church to focus on a certain portion of Scripture, and to pray it out for some time. But a “prophetic utterance” (leading) like this should be judged by the others, and not be despised.

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  2. Morgan, I’m sorry but I beg to differ on not despising the “prophetic utterance” thing.

    M’Kayla, that is just too, too close to Word of Faith error. WoF teaches “using” or “speaking God’s word over…” whatever. When I was WoF I always had this sick feeling deep down that said, “This is totally wrong. You cannot command God to DO anything just because you’re ‘speaking His Word’ over it.”

    But THAT was THE teaching (courtesy of Kenneth Copeland et al) who taught, “God’s Word doesn’t lie! It HAS to perform that for which it was sent!”

    It’s just too much like casting a spell.. And on a humorous note, it also reminds me of those ridiculous e-mails that say, “Pray this prayer, then send this to 11 people in 11 minutes and you will receive a blessing in 4 hours or blah, blah, blah….”

    P-LEASE!!!!! Any e-mails that make it to my box with that garbagiola get deleted almost instantaneously.

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  3. This nothing but humanistic garbage that is an insult to our holy and righteous God. This probably comes from the concept that it takes 21 days to start a new habit. Well, I won’t put any limits on my God to answer my prayers – He is God and His will is perfect and His timing is perfect.

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    • He is Sovereign. To me, the comment “see what God will do” hints that (1) He will do something, and (2) He is required to act. That is word of faith which is the occult. It is a trap to cause hurt – rejection and disappointment – to God’s people.

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      • It also gives the weak an incentive to seek “signs and wonders”. After the 21 days, people may start claiming “miraculous breakthrough” upon finding a quarter on the sidewalk or recovering from a stuffy nose, simply to add validity to their “righteous works”.

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  4. mkayla: IF the call to pray a certain Scripture over a period of time is presented to the group as being a Word from God, i.e. direction from Him, I believe it could be right to title it as prophetic, in a sense. Part of prophecy is fore-telling and forth-telling of God’s will. If it’s just presented as a ‘good idea’, nobody would call it prophetic. (Whether or not it truly IS prophetic, should be tested and tried. Time will tell..) Am I wrong?

    annunk: I totally share your skepticism against such statements. Have been through stuff like that myself. My main point was to say that it actually COULD(!) be God leading a group of believers to pray over a certain Scripture, and that it indeed COULD give results. God is God, and WHO are we to say that He can not lead in ways that seem strange to us? The Bible is full of examples of God leading his people in unusual ways.

    Regarding the Word of Faith error, I agree that it is very grave and serious. The worst stuff there is horrible indeed. But let us also realise that although faith is given by grace, it also has a connection to God’s Word and God’s promises. The Word then working as a means of grace. Faith rests and acts on what God has said. And at times faith does speak. Mark 11:23-24 IS in the Bible still. Just because of the WoF error, we do not need to end up in the very opposite ditch. Then we are just as bad! The same holds true for all of the weird stuff (including some of the prophetic), going on at IHOP, Bethel & TACF. If we deny everything supernatural, including close fellowship with God, prophecy, healing etc., we may loose out on some very important aspects of the life God has for each one of us. The options are not merely extreme WoF/hyper-charismaticism OR dry traditionalism and denominationalism. There is a middle ground with true reverence for His Word, a close walk with Him and a power that genuinely comes from His Spirit.

    As we say in Norway: “Do not cast the baby out with the bathing water”.

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    • Using only the bible as our reference where are we told to pray this way? If I look to other people or their organizations and do as they say I am now following that person and no longer following Christ. (As to IHOP, Bethel, etc. God does not intermingle with false teachers! And these organizations are responsible for some great deceptions going on.)

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    • Time will tell means it cannot be determined whether or not this is prophetic in nature. We should know whether or not the “word” or “directive” is from the Lord from the outset.

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    • It might also depend on what you mean by “prophetic”. If you mean in the O.T. sense of the word “prophet”, i.e. – the mouthpiece of God, then no. No one today is the mouthpiece of God, because Christ our savior has come not only to fulfill the prophets but also to become our ultimate and true Prophet.

      If you mean in the more general sense, as one who proclaims the Word of God, then we have to see if that “word” does indeed agree with scripture. Does the Bible tell us to pray? Yes. Does it tell us to pray a certain scripture for a certain number of days? No. To call that a “prophetic word” is giving undue “weight” to a human idea and quite a bit presumptious.

      It’s good to pray, and to pray scripture and even to pray for a certain length of time can be beneficial to God’s people. But we have to do it with humility – knowing that we do not know the mind of God, and therefore humbly submit our feeble efforts to know and understand who He is and pray for wisdom.

      I tend to think that people throw around the word “prophetic” to give their words and ideas weight and undue authority, and that’s unfortunate.

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  5. The popular “prosperity” preachers teach, basically, a mixture of humanism and hinduism, in Jesus name.

    Their focus on saying mantras, gives it away, that they view God as an idol who can be manipulated or forced to act by the repeating of mantra-like words from the Bible. The idolater becomes the person “in control”.

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      • Hi sister. I think years ago Dave Hunt made the connection in The Seduction of Christianity.

        The names and words are different, but the “technique” is very similar. The main reason Hindus ARE Hindus is for prosperity. Yet, on average, they are among the poorest in the world.

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  6. Wrote this on my blog, in reference to the same subject:

    Agreed, in the sense that for some it may be harmless, and probably better than not praying at all. It’s not that it’s dangerous, per se, but that it falls far short of how God wants His children to know Him, which is not by formula or repetition.

    Re:

    “Pray such and such scripture for 21 days and see what God will do” .

    Technically, we shouldn’t “pray a scripture”, anyway, but rather ask the Father on the basis of His promises, which sounds like splitting-hairs, but it’s quite different. It’s too mechanical to find a scripture then keep throwing it at God in the hope that “it works”. That’s not relational. Jesus didn’t do that to His Father, neither should we.

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  7. Well, I find it as witchcraft. Where is the trust in God? There is none. There is only a trust in words and a trusting in yourself by even doing the same repetive thing for 21 days. Do anything for 28 days, and it can become a habit. Either good or bad.

    We are told in the Bible to not be like the heathen who uses repetitive prayer. I believe this was something Jesus saw would come through New Age practices even for us today. Sadly, it has invaded the church and seen as some new revelation, when it is not. Jesus spoke against it.

    Even the unsaved could make this look like this “works” if they wanted. Does that mean God is behind it? No. The unsaved would never trust in God for their need. They would trust in their ritual.

    It reminds me of when I was a little girl and we had little tiny troll dolls that came out of the bubblegum machines. It was said if you rub their hair and made a wish it would come true. This 21 day thing is no different than putting your trust in a little doll. God is no more in it than He was in my little doll.

    Why would God even make us wait certain amount of days just becasue someone else told us to? He sees our need even before we do. There is no guarantee we will get everything we want. However, we will get everything we need. And we recieve them when He sees fit. It does not take some magical like 21 day period to receive His blessing. If so, He not only would be a God who could be manipulated, but He would be a god who played games with his children and i do not see God as One who plays games.

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    • Hi RH! 🙂

      Very good points. I find the models of prayer that Jesus taught to be for a reason. And like you, no, I don’t think God plays games and probably does not appreciate it when His children do. Even if out of ignorance, where is this in the word, huh?

      Thanks for dropping by.

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