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Effective Prayer Principles (Read 2808 times)
Berserk2
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Effective Prayer Principles
May 31st, 2013 at 12:24am
 
While I was in senior year in Princeton Seminary, my family in Winnipeg, Canada heard that a Christian faith healer, Rev. Good, was coming to town and decided to go and see him. No Pentecostal or charismatic church would host this guy; so he had to hold his services at Lighthouse Mission, a very seedy place that smelled of urine. When I was just 16, I got to preach my first sermon there. What no one told me is that the homeless men who attended had to stay through the song service to get fed, but could leave before the sermon. So when I got up to preach, about 100 men walked out to go to their meal across the street. I was crushed! But a few stayed; so I preached a sermon that assumed that truth is measured in decibels. After the service, one drunk came forward for prayer, knelt down, and seemed to fall asleep. I knelt beside him and wanted to say something helpful to get his attention. So I said, “Mr., just 'cause you're a bum doesn't mean God doesn't love you!” This got his attention instantly: “Who are you calling a bum!” When he recovered from my politically incorrect label, he asked for prayer, and I complied.  OK, so my style needed work.


Fast forward to Rev. Good. For reasons I still don't understand, my Dad, Mom, and brother Doug went to Lighthouse Mission to hear him. When I flew home for Christmas, I was told what happened in the meeting. Rev. Good picked Mom out of the crowd and rightly declared that she was in pain from calcium deposits in her shoulder. He pronouced her divinely healed—and she was! Then he pointed to Doug and announced: “You have kidney pain.” Doug, a new Med Student at the time, was about to deny this, when Rev. Good added, “The symptom is a chronic stabbing pain in the small of your back! But the Lord has just healed you.” Acccurate again—and Doug's pain vanished! Then Mom looked me in the eye and told me Rev. Good clairvoyantly said something about me! This claim worried me because Mom had been scolding me for becoming too liberal at seminary—and now I was going to hear what God thought about my backslidden condition!  After the service, Rev. Good went to his car with Mom in hot pursuit. He turned to her, thought a moment, and then said, “Lady, you're worried about your son back in the USA. You think he's getting too liberal!” Long pause! I was sweating because he had shown incredible clairvoyance to her and Doug.  Rev. Good finally smiled and said, “Well, he's not getting too liberal; so don't worry about it!” I sighed deeply. Later on that visit I said something that Mom construed as too liberal.  I protested, “But Mom, you've just heard directly from God's mouthpiece that I'm not too liberal!” She smiled sweetly, saying, “Oh, what does he know?”


Here's the real reason why I'm posting this story. During the meeting, Rev. Good remarked that he was retiring from the healing ministry. The hours of prayer it took to keep his gift active were now becoming too much of a strain for him. I now wonder if there would be lot more miracles if we prayed a lot longer than we do with a greater focus. It struck me that Rev. Good seemed far more gifted than more famous faith healers who drew big crowds in large arenas. Apparently, there's little relationship between miracles and fanfare. Or is there an inverse relationship?
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Rondele
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Re: Effective Prayer Principles
Reply #1 - May 31st, 2013 at 2:30pm
 
I vote for inverse.  Sometimes I think there is very little evidence for healing to happen because of the intensity of prayer.

I think healing follows a protocol that so far has escaped our knowledge or attention.

Probably the best we can do is just have faith that whatever happens....healing or not...is pretty much out of our control.

R
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Rondele
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Re: Effective Prayer Principles
Reply #2 - Jun 2nd, 2013 at 11:51am
 
Don-

Do you think there's any real difference between praying for healing and praying for protection?

I'm thinking of those monster tornadoes in Oklahoma, esp in Moore where approx 24 people died including children.

I'm sure there was lots of praying going on, after all it's in the heart of the Bible Belt, but lots of innocent lives were taken not to mention horrific damages and loss of homes.

All of which makes me wonder even more about the efficacy of prayer for healing or protection.

R
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Berserk2
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Re: Effective Prayer Principles
Reply #3 - Jun 12th, 2013 at 3:33pm
 
Rondele, questions noted and will be addressed when I return from annual conference (4 days).

Let me share a story about prayer that fills me with awe and wonderment about how we unwittingly sabotage our prayer efforts.

Catherine Marshall has written several books on prayer and spirituality.  Her granddaughter was born with a fatal illness and was placed in CM's care, waiting to die.  CM had fervently prayed for the baby; and so had experienced prayer groups. 

One day a young stranger came to visit.  He was a naive freshman Bible school student and had heard of the baby girl's plight.  He asked CM if he could prayer for the baby.  CM thought to herself: "My prayer groups and I have prayed extensively for healing--and nothing happened.  I've written books on the subject and I'm sure I know a lot more about prayer than this naive young man!"  But how to you refuse a request  to pray for a dying baby?  So she reluctantly consented.  The young man aproached the crib and picked up the baby.  With joy and a sense of grateful privilege on his face, he offered the baby to Christ's tander care and prayed for his healing.  The baby quickly rallied and was completely healed! 

CM's problem was that she was unconsciously relying on her prayer expertise and was "trying" to secure a healing.  Trying is unavoidably an expression of doubt.  The young Bible school student was too inexperienced to know what he didn't know.  He simply picked up the baby and exulted in the possibility of healing as he prayed with a joy and gratitude that a discouraged CM was currently incapable of generating.  So it matters who does the praying and with what mindset!
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Bardo
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Re: Effective Prayer Principles
Reply #4 - Jun 13th, 2013 at 2:16pm
 
Perhaps Edgar Cayce is a good example of a low fanfare healer who was highly effective. He would not let himself stop, even when it was clear that his efforts were killing him. Aparently your rev. Good know when to take the hint!
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