A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" Pagan Christianity "

"Now let us have a little talk with Jesus, and we'll tell him all about our troubles, He will hear your faintest prayer and He will answer by and by...now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning and you know a little fire is burning, you will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right."

These, the words to a long-time popular "christian" song that quartets and choirs love to sing...I used to sing...that I hear often in the mornings when I wake up to local Moody Radio. This song came to mind this past week after listening to "fund raising" in which the announcer, local Moody extension school administrator and a local prayer-chain leader were sitting around the mics, urging people to give financially. But "if you can't give...PRAY."

I had been reminded of this song, as I was "put off" by their discussion on "prayer." The prayer-chain leader, seemingly Really Knows what PRAYER is, and was beginning to speak on the matter, and the other two cut her off abruptly, rudely and continued on with Fund Raising and "Prayer."

Then, the haunting question arose in my mind. What's a "prayer wheel?" (as the song states) It's not preached about in fundamental churches. It's not found in Scriptures. But "we" sing about it. (Remember: Plato said, "Let me make the songs of a nation and I care not who makes its laws." The same is true of "Songs and Doctrine.")

When I posed the question to a trusted friend, he did what I could have done; looked it up in a dictionary. Well, Duh! So, here it is; "Prayer Wheel"=="A cylinder containing or inscribed with prayers or litanies that is revolved on its axis in devotions, especially by Tibetan Buddhists."

There's another song I used to think was "so wonderful." "Let us break bread together on our knees...when I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, Oh, Lord have mercy on me."

What?! "Christians" using prayer wheels? "Christians" bowing to the rising sun?! Embracing eastern mystic, ancestor-worship, reincarnation-type religions?! Worshiping the "host of heaven?"(Deu4:19) Using "vain repetitions of the heathen?"(Mt6:7) Asking for "eleison?"

Now, lest anybody reading this wants to feel "smug" with the thought, "WE don't do this!" ...let me tell you that I have sung these songs in "The Church of Ephesus" in the past, in quartets and whatnot; some of them were very legalist/separatist and KJ-only churches, too. If questions were ever raised about words of songs, the pastor/s would claim, "Poetic license" for the song/s, as they were condoned.

There are other things I've been hearing A LOT lately. Recently there was an appeal to pray for healing for someone, with words like, "we need to get a BLANKET-of-PRAYER around the world for this person." There used to be a person with a "christian" psychology practise in the same building as my business, who used to talk about "praying a WALL- AROUND" the building. Another term that we hear a lot is, "we need to BATHE this [person/situation] in PRAYER."

And most recently someone sent me information about a new political party, whose platform I agreed with, but responded back that while I vote, I do not divert my attentions from the Lord's work, to political activism. And the response included a "prayer" which was actually a "sermon" explaining the rightness of "taking our nation back for God."

This last one is seen often, in many circumstances. "Prayer" is used so that a person can "brag" to those listening how he is doing this or that "for God." Or, if people have been quarreling, they decide to "pray about it" and the prayer becomes a soap box to "spiritualize" the person's own position before the other.

For the most part, I am not faulting people who do these things. They are being done in IGNORANCE. I remember how much "fun" it was to sing "Just a Little Talk with Jesus." And the words "prayer wheel" never even enter the conscious understanding as the tune frolics along. And "Let us Break Bread Together" invokes a real "spirit" of meditation, and it was many years before I realized I was singing to paganism.

What about these other aspects of "prayer" as rendered in the "church" today? We COPY what has been modeled for us, don't we. And we ignorantly follow along, caught up in the "spirit" of it all...FEELING that we are doing the right thing. And...the more prayer, the more "spiritual" is the participant.

But, let's think for a moment. Is God SO IMPOTENT that He requires "blankets" and "walls" of prayer to accomplish His will? Can God's work for a person not be accomplished unless they are BATHED in prayer? Do we follow OCCULT teaching which "releases God's Power through prayer?" That God's "hands are tied" unless we pray?

Here is a description of "my" God:

"Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' (Isa46:9-10)

So, what about PRAYER? Let us realize one thing:

*** Prayer is not so much an ACTIVITY, but a POSITION. ***

The heathen will multiply words, "for they think that they will be heard for their many words"(Mt6:7), with prayer wheels, beads, candles, strips of paper, etc. The heathen (and New Age) will occultishly "call out the spirits" with word formulae, and bid them do their will; often sending the "god-spirit" from within themselves to accomplish whatever is on their minds.

And God is treated the same way. After all, didn't Jesus say, "If you ask ANYTHING...I will do it."(Jn14:14) ...?? No, we must ask "in [Jesus'] name." Well, OK then, isn't that what we do? "In the name of JESUS!" Busy "having church"...not realizing that Believers ARE "the Church." Busy "praying"..."In Jeeeezzzzus name!!!"

No! The name of Jesus is not an "incantation." Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord have we not ??? in Your name...in Your name...in Your name?" ..and then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"(Mt7:21-23) ...not being "in Prayer."

Jesus taught, "when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place."(Mt6:6) "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one...one in Us"(Jn17:23,21) "truly, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ"(1Jn1:3) "Pray without ceasing"(1Ths5:17) "The Spirit bears witness with our spirit...if anyone is in Christ...we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us...He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints."(Rom8:16,2Cor5:17,Rom8:26-27) Thus..."whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON."(Jn14:13)

Amen!


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