Re: "bathed in prayer"

From: Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Apr 03 2005 - 15:34:22 EDT

Randy,

Thanks for getting this discussion back on track with some eminently
sensible suggestions. I was actually interested in pursuing this further
before the thread got hijacked by what I (rightly or wrongly) considered to
be an unnecessary personal attack on me.

I'm truly sorry if my response to Michael has caused anyone offense - but it
seemed at least to me that my position had been mis-represented, and that I
needed publicly to set the record straight.

Concerning the expression "Bathed in prayer", I must say it makes me a
little uneasy - as if we can persuade God to do something we want simply by
upping the quantity of prayer. This doesn't seem to be the way it works, to
me -- often the most dramatic responses to prayer have come at the time when
I've felt most helpless, and only able to offer up a helpless plea.

By contrast, my wife and I have been praying just about every day over a
tragic situation that is engulfing two of our closest friends, with little
avail - one or both of them may end up committing suicide if things don't
improve. We've certainly "bathed them in prayer", and don't intend to give
up (nor do they want us to give up - one of them said "please don't stop").

I don't know what the answer is - prayer isn't a magic button, but as
Christians we are commanded to do it, and so we do, and in doing so get
closer to God.

But I suspect we may be rather suspicious that the "bathing in prayer" will
> also be used as a means of conveying more credibility to the conclusions
> being presented.
>
Perhaps we're bothered not by the presence of prayer, but by the potential
> misuse of prayer as a validation of the conclusions. And by the possibility
> of their using prayer as a call to victory rather than to a fair game.
>

I guess there's a distinction between using the prayer to justify
conclusions presented, or using it to pray for people to get saved. I see no
problem in praying that the Holy Spirit will convict someone and lead them
to faith in Jesus Christ. If someone is truly convicted by the Holy Spirit,
it is God who is the evangelist, not what some creation scientist has had to
say.

Having said that, I would also have to say that I can't feel uneasy if a
Muslim prays fervently to God that people around him will become Muslims, or
about Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Moonies etc praying fervently. I can't
hold with any of these beliefs, but if the person praying is openly and
sincerely petitioning God ... is it not true that God will listen?

Iain
Received on Sun Apr 3 15:36:33 2005

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