I’ve been wanted to write about this for a while now, as much as salvation is confused by charlatans and wolves in the church, prayer is as well. It’s all packaged together in the same lie, that to get saved all you have to do is say the sinner’s prayer, then everything in your life will be perfect. You’ll be healthy, wealthy, and full of joy! What a selling pitch, I would suggest these pastors missed their marks as car salesmen but they’re making a bundle already.
This is disturbing, as we see statistics showing as many people leaving charismatic churches as there are coming in. Once the people coming in realize that their financial troubles never went away, their health is still bad, their marriage is still falling apart, they have no peace or joy, they leave. The sad part is that most of those disenfranchised by the lies peddled in modern churches leave the faith altogether, most becoming agnostics.
How can this be, when the truth is so clear in the Word of God? Most of these churches do not push scriptural knowledge, the pastors come in on Sunday with one or two short verses and a bunch of feel-good mush in between. This is why the music is so important, you have to pump the music and get the masses to an emotional state. Then you scratch their itching ears with personal stories, and everyone goes home feeling happy right? That’s not what the statistics show.
When you spend hours each week praying for more money, bigger and better stuff, adoration from your spouse and children, respect from your family and coworkers, and yet nothing changes, you begin to wonder. If anyone is reading this right now and finds themselves in this very discouraging place let me give you one scripture that destroys the ‘name it and claim it’ TV evangelistic philosophy.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
You see, these men are promising things that they have no authority to offer. When they don’t come true, when you stay poor and sick, they tell you it’s because you don’t have enough faith. Thus, they hang heavy burdens on you, burdens they are unwilling to help carry. Christ said His yoke is not heavy.
Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, not once does He suggest to His disciples that they should name it and claim it. He gives another example when He, Himself, is praying to the Father before His crucifixion. He says Your will, not mine. Is this what is being taught? Pray for Gods will, even if it means pain, suffering, or death? What does Paul tell us, that when he prayed for the thorn in his flesh to go away it did? Did he pray for health and wealth? Just the opposite, in fact, he tells us that he thanked God for his many afflictions, and worked with his hands to provide for himself rather then taking money from believers.
Friends, please do not be fooled by the promise of wealth, or health. We are promised in the Bible healing, when our bodies are glofied and we live in a sinless world with no curse. There are those who God chooses to heal, but it’s for His glory not some egomaniac on TV. Pray for the sick, pray for yourself when you are sick, there’s nothing wrong with that, unless you hope to heal someone so you can look spiritual. God searches the heart of man. It always comes back to the heart.
If you’ve been told that saying a quick prayer when you were a teenager was a get out of hell free card, let me implore you…work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Where there is a conversion there is evidence of that conversion. If you have been saved you will bear fruit, you will HATE the sin you use to love. You will LOVE the God you use to ignore. A prayer can not save you. You’re confidence in that prayer can not save you. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.