Prayer and Steadfast Truth

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H/T:  sermoncentral(dot)com

I appreciated reading Michele Lesley’s post What is Contemplative Prayer?

One big reason I liked the post is because it led me to a comprehensive link on Contemplative prayer vs. Biblical prayer over at Berean Research.

Another reason, was because some individuals who adhere to other “paths,” so to speak, (like Buddhism) tried to convince me that transcendental meditation isn’t really the “emptying” of the mind (however, it really is) and is a healthy way to live. I can understand someone feeling that way. After all, if it calms the person down and helps him or her not to panic in a crisis situation, it is understandable that they would want to recommend what has worked for them.

However, at the Berean Research article (linked above), we are informed that this “emptying of the mind” is not wise and certainly not biblical!

From the site:

Definition of Contemplative Prayer:  A form of Christian mysticism that allegedly brings about a mystical union with God

The mystical “spirituality” that is so popular in evangelical and charismatic circles today is a yearning for an experiential relationship with God that downplays the role of faith and Scripture and that exalts “transcendental” experiences that lift the individual from the earthly mundane into a higher “spiritual” plane. Biblical prayer is talking with God; mystical spirituality prayer is meditation and “centering” and other such things. Biblical Christianity is a patient walk of faith; mystical spirituality is more a flight of fancy. Biblical study is analyzing and meditating upon the literal truth of the Scripture; mystical spirituality focuses on a “deeper meaning”; it is more allegorical and “transcendental” than literal. — David W. Cloud.

Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.

Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

Therein lies the key within the argument!  “…they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.”

If you read the entire article, you will see the difference between “contemplative prayer” vs. biblical prayer.

Here are a few important paragraphs (and Bible verse links) about biblical prayer and why Christians should adhere to them:

Biblical Prayer

Prays according to the Scriptures. Micah 7:7Ps. 4:31 John 5:1415

Prays with both spirit and mind, not one or the other. 1 Cor 14:15

Talks to God the Father (Phil. 4:6) through Jesus Christ (John 16:23) in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Understands that what God has revealed in His Word is sufficient; new revelation is unnecessary. 2 Tim. 3:16–17

Biblical Prayer

Understands that prayer is ultimately a form of worship. It should glorify God alone. John 14:1314

Understands that prayer is an act of reverence, approaching the very throne of God to receive mercy and find grace.Heb. 4:16

Acknowledges and humbles oneself before the holy God of the universe. Prayer should affirm God’s sovereignty and majesty. Matt. 6:9

“Everything in prayer revolves around who God is, what God wants, and how God is to be glorified. That is the sum and substance of proper praying. 10

The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2–4) offers a model of how Christians ought to pray as it “emphasizes the glory and supremacy of God.”11

Purposes to confess sin and acknowledge our position before God as rebellious sinners (e.g., Dan. 9:5–11;Matt. 6:12): “We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.”12

Desires to align and submit our will to God’s. Ps. 86:11Matt. 6:10John 15:7;John 16:231 John 5:14

“While God communicates to us through the Bible, we respond to Him in prayer.”13

Pin by James on Jesus | Prayers, Prayer for family, Prayer quotesHT:  Pinterest

I suggest that every born-again Christian bookmark that Berean Research page!  Lots of additional links that will help you to discern truth vs. error.

These days, there are many churches that are being led by those who choose to go in the direction of contemplative prayer (or even worse – into heresies) which can lead people astray.  It’s sad, but true.

Young Christians (or even older Christians who are sadly biblically illiterate) can be easily led away from the true Gospel of Christ.  The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, the more this will happen.

I suggest reading and studying the book of Jude carefully! It is filled with warnings to believers back when it was written!  It is filled with warnings for all believers throughout the centuries up until this very day!

Jde 1:3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Hat tips to all links.

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