Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Good Vibes, Happy Thoughts, Warm Wishes, and “Little” Prayers

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength.   Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him.  Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” – 1 Chronicles 16:28-29

Since the beginning of time Satan has had one motive – to discredit God to man, and discredit man to God.  He spoke to Eve in the garden saying “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4), all but saying that God was a liar.  He spoke to God regarding Job saying “he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:11).  When he can turn even one of us away from God, he wins.
Notice the sly manner in which he does try to discredit God to us.  He never said to Eve that God was a liar.  He implied it.  His ways are of no avail when attempting to discredit us before our maker, so we are the center of his actions.

One of the sly methods I’ve seen lately has to do with discrediting our prayers, and discounting our faith in our prayers.  Here’s what I see – not just on social media, but in many face-to-face conversations.  Someone has a problem, and they ask for prayer, or as it more often is occurring, they as to be “remembered” as they go through the issue.  The responses are alarming!  People send “good vibes”, “happy thoughts your way”, “warmest wishes”, or agree to say a “little” prayer.
This all sounds positive and good, until you look at it from God’s viewpoint.  Where in that does God gain any glory in answering that prayer or transforming that situation?

Someone needs to explain good vibes to me.  How are they sent exactly, and how do they work?  Do you send them through some sort of cosmic channel that I am not tuned into?  Do you blow them like kisses?  I did some research and “good vibes” seem to be rooted in the effects of the moon and sun, and originated with those that practiced astrology. How does God feel about the worship of the effects of the sun and moon?  He says “And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.” (Deuteronomy 4:19).  God forbids it (Deuteronomy 17:3).  It is a form of idolatry.
Here’s another I just don’t understand.  How are your “happy thoughts” going to change my issue?  Can your happy thoughts cause healing?  Can your happy thoughts repair relationships, rectify financial issues, or even better my moods?  How exactly can a thought in your head make anything outside your head better?  I just don’t understand. 

The same is true of wishes.  “I wish you felt better.”  Well that’s nice and all, but there’s no action in wishing that causes me to be better.  I wish I had a million dollars too, but when I check my wallet, not even a dime is added.  Wish me a happy birthday if you want, but I’d much rather you pray that I be given lots and lots of years here, or even pray and thank God that I’m still alive! 
Perhaps the most discrediting thing we can say about prayer is to refer to it as a “quick” or “little” prayer.  I’m going to tell you right now.  If you ask me to “say a quick little prayer” for you – I’m probably not going to do it.  If you don’t feel it’s worth sincere knee-bent prayer, then I don’t see the need for me to waste time on it.  I’ve got plenty to pray about already.  And how does God gain glory from “quick little” prayers?  Does He get just a “little” glory in return?  Everything we can concern ourselves about on this earth is of concern to our Father God.  No matter how great or how small they appear to us, to a God who has no impossibilities, all things are equally important.  Nothing is insignificant. We are instructed in Philippians 4:6 to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”.  In “EVERYTHING BY PRAYER” we relieve our anxieties and worry.  Notice the verse also speaks of thanksgiving.  What are you to be thankful for?  EVERYTHING.

When we offer up good vibes, happy thoughts, wishes and small prayers, we dissipate the glory that is due God, who answers our prayers and works all things for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).  He is due our praise as a sacrifice.  It is our sacrifice because in giving it we are recognizing that there was nothing we could do to change the situation and He did it.  The absence of God in our lives is often in exact proportion to the absence of praise.  James 4:8-10 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”  The double-minded are those that lack faith in their prayers, or consider other sources for the answer.  The prime example is those that ask for prayer over healing, then when it comes, credit the good doctor and the good medicine he gave.  May I just ask you, who formed the mind that gave that doctor the good wisdom to offer you the good medicine and who truly made the contents of each and every pill?  Was it formed by anything that was not created by God? Hmm?  Don’t be double minded.  Be every so conscious that God is at work through many sources to answer every prayer.
God’s word teaches us that he inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3).  Can you see what satan has to gain if we stop giving God the glory, the praise, for the answer to prayers?  Can you see what he gains if we stop praying and taking our problems to God?  Wise up people! He is as active today as He was in the days of Job.  He still seeks to steal, kill and destroy.

So…please keep your good vibes, your happy thoughts, wishes, and “little” prayers.  I know you mean well, but I would prefer to have you sincere prayers to a God who hears, and answers.  And that is all I will offer you in return. 
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:13-16

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