“Prayer works” and two other terms that return Christians a bad name…
By Carey Nieuwhof
One reason parties stay away from Christianity is not because they dont know any Christians.
Its often because they do.
Our wars and our statements as followers of Jesus have the power to attract or rebuff beings from Christianity.
The number of people who never go to church or follow Jesus stops changing. And their deliberation prevents changing too( Ive outlined15 characteristics of unchurched parties here ).
So what can we do about it?
Well, in addition to being able to modeling meeknes, blessing, truism, adore and so many other things that describe a very early Christ adherents, we Christians can watch our words.
This post was initially inspired by a piece byScott Dannemillerwrote, in which Dannemiller pushed Christians to stop saying thought sanctified whenever something good came their route. Hemakes a thoughtful, insightful debate around that.
In that vein, here are three other things Christians should really stop saying .
1. Prayer Works
Should “weve been” stop saying that prayer designs?
Well, yes and no.
Most people who say devotion labours these days really mean God did what I wanted him to do . As if devotion was a button to be pushed to secrete what is to wanted from the vending machine.
Prayer is not a button to be pushed; its a relationship to be pursued.
Prayer does work, but it acts very differently than united like. It still wreaks 😛 TAGEND
When we cant draw out any direct result from our prayer.
When the opposite of what we prayed for happens.
In those moments when we feel very distant from God.
When we bang down the door of heaven for years and are not sure anything is going on up there at all.
There are tallies of parties inside and outside the church whose tones are crushed since they are prayed( fervently) and 😛 TAGEND
They didnt get the job.
Their mom croaked of cancer.
Their child was born without a heartbeat.
They ended up in a automobile crash that left them permanently disabled.
Prayer doesnt work because I got what I required and they didnt.
The parade of saints across the centuries would have been shocked to discover devotion reduced to God-doing-what-I-asked-him-to-do-when-I-asked-him-to-do-it.God is not a puppy to be trained or a cook in the kitchen who develops food to suit our every impulse. He is sovereign.
As Richard Foster says 😛 TAGEND
For those adventurers in the frontiers of religion, prayer was no little dres tacked on to the periphery of their lives; it was “peoples lives”. It was “the worlds largest” work of their most productive times. Prayernothing draws us closer to the heart of God.
Do stuffs happen supernaturally when we pray? Well, yes they do. But often in ways we cannot understand or even trace out.
I conceive Christians can take succour in the fact that when we pray, we often dont know what to pray for or even how to pray, yet thescriptures tell us the Holy spirit will carry the devotioninto something better than we could phrase in the moment.
So move your center out to God. Pray about the things the scripture says is near Gods heart. And when something starts your behavior, be highly appreciated and furnish it back to the God who gave it to you.
And when thoughts dont extend your way, is quite clear that God is still very much in control and very much loves you.Just because God is silent doesnt symbolize God is absent.
2. God Told Me To
Often, you listen parties( and rectors) say stuffs that start with, God told me to
The longer I follow Jesus, the more reluctant I am to say God told me to do anything specific. Maybe thats an issue I need to work on, but it outpourings from my observation that Ive seen this misappropriation far more than Ive envisioned it employed well or authentically.
In fact, Ive often noticed that the more unconscionable the claim, the more likely someone is to say, God told me to…
When I sounds someone claim God told them to do something, I feel like saying 😛 TAGEND God told you to do that? Really? God himself expressed instantly to you and told you to specifically construct that building for which you have zero money? Or leave that faith that you were in deep is consistent with without resolving events? Or buy that residence thats way out of your cost assortment? Wow ! Are you sure it wasnt the pizza? Or the articulation in your chief that often tells you to do the things you simply feel like doing ? For the record, I believe there are times when God does speak to people today.But tells be realistic. What realized me give this motto on the roll is the amount of periods I have heard the term used to describe a decision that is 😛 TAGEND
Selfishly motivated( come up, declare ityoure apologizing your motivations ).
Contrary to scripture( the scriptures pretty clearly suggest that what youre doing is sinfulor at least isnt wise ).
Designed to shut down debate( does anyone actually think they can win a God was just telling me debate ?).
Im not saying God never tells us anything instantly, but I am suggesting it happens much less than most of us claim.
So whats a better trend?
Say something like, Based on what I know from scripture, I believe this is the best/ boldest/ wisest course of action.
That forms appreciation. And you are able to has only one smart discussion.
And you dont attract the God card to justify something about which Christians and others can have a lawful discussion.
Or, if youre just trying to shut down dialogue, merely be honest. I wanted to do it, so I did it . There. Now you said it and everyone will feel better.
If youre dead honest, you might even realize you made a crazy decision.
3. I Could ReallyFeelGods Presence
Youve discovered this before. We live in an psychological age and weve arrived at a lieu where many of us feel like weve become mini-authorities on when God is present and when God is not.
But analyze that.
The truth is, we tend to feel Gods presence more 😛 TAGEND
When the band played our favorite song.
When the band played five of our favorite songs in a row.
When the chamber was packed.
When the decision led our way.
When we seemed glad during our quiet time.
Is God exclusively present where reference is feel him?
Or better yet, is Gods presence synonymous with our ability to spot it?
Well, of course not.
So why do we insist on speaking like it is?
Nowhere did God promise that the Holy Spirit is a feeling or an emotion.
Jesus did explain to us that the Spirit is a Person and moves freely. The Holy Spirit is bigger than our ardours and not subject to our editorial commentary about whether he is present or not.
I have had moments when I speculate I find the presence of God palpably.
But God is at least as present 😛 TAGEND
On our worst dates as he is on our best days.
When we are unpleasant as whenever it is comfortable.
When we are injuring as when we are healing.
And sometimesthe room was just full, and the band was just really good.
We need to learn to trust in Gods presence particularly in those times we suppose hes absent.
What if Christians started having more intelligent, less consumer-oriented, deeper conversations with people?
What if our relationship with Christ was floored more deep in Gods character and less in the invariably shifting occasions we see around us?
Im pondering the dialogue inside and outside the church would be so much healthier for it.
What do you think?
Any interesting thing Christians should stop saying now? Scroll down and leave a comment!
If you want more on how your church can relate to a continually changing culture, I wrote about it in my brand-new book, Lasting Impact: 7 Potent Dialogues That Going to be able to Your Church Grow.
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About the Author : Carey Nieuwhof is the founding pastor of Connexus Church and the author of several journals, including his latest best-selling run,’ Persistent Impact: 7 Strong Gossips That Will Help Your Church Grow.’ Carey speaks to faith captains around the world about leader and personal increment. Insure more from him at http :// careynieuwhof.com .