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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spam (not the meat) (11/03/11)

TITLE: Spamming God
By
11/14/11


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Spamming God
I wonder if God ever feels spammed. There is a church not far where I live that has a prayer team. They boast that they have more than one hundred people in what they call a prayer chain that can be activated in minutes to pray in case a need arises. The concept must be that there is strength in numbers. The greater the number of people who pray the more likely it is that God will respond and grant the blessing. I know of no evidence that would indicate that this concept is valid.

I know that there are some very good people who believe that Jesus encouraged group prayer in Matthew 18:19-20. “Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them. The fact is that the above statement was made in the context of individual disagreements and has nothing whatsoever to do with group prayer. Further evidence of this is the next verse which was Peter’s infamous question concerning forgiveness. “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”

Spamming doesn’t work. It is illegal in some places, and I just can’t believe that the Holy Spirit likes to be spammed or that the Creator of the World can be intimidated into action by a group of people regardless of the size of the group and even if all the group members are believers.

I’m not sure that the New Testament writers—with the possible exception of Paul—understood that the modus operandi of the religion of Jesus is a personal relationship. All of these people were born and raised in the Hebrew tradition, which was—at least in the Old Testament—a group experience. The concept of an individual relationship with God was foreign to the Jews, and it is perfectly understandable if these very talented men of God did not fully comprehend the power that the Holy Spirit can offer to individual believers. But the fact is, God is much more likely to respond to an individual who talks to him friend, the Holy Spirit than he is to a group that treats God as though he is a surrogate for Santa Clause. The Holy Spirit exist for the sole purpose of assisting believers. Wouldn’t you rather talk one on one with someone you know and have respect for and with whom you have a relationship than with a group—especially when the group is trying to apply pressure. We don’t have to beg to get the Holy Spirit to act in our behalf, and there is nothing to be gained by begging as a group.

Am I saying that all group prayer is wrong? No. Of course not. But we have to remember that the Holy Spirit exists as a helping agent. The progress of society is our responsibility and spamming God is a diversion—an attempt by a group of people with different levels of commitment to transfer responsibility.
Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law (Mark 1:29-31), and according to Mark no one prayed. They didn’t have to. Jesus was Peter’s friend, and friends help friends when they can.


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This article has been read 152 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Curtis11/19/11
You raise some very interesting points in this. The title is very apt, and I'm sure that some prayers, uttered without sincerity of heart, would be comparable to spam.

My main issue with this piece of writing is that it comes across as being judgmental and self-righteous. I don't believe you are intentionally doing so, but some of the wording you have used accuses and appears to judge - and I believe that you have a very valid message!

We need prophets/speakers of the Word to keep us constantly reviewing our beliefs/why we do certain things - are we following God's Word, or the idea/s of a pastor or speaker? BUT to be well received, you must present your message out of love for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you really, truly desire to be heard, ask God for the right way to present your message. I hope this has been written with the same kind of respect and love that I am speaking of! Well done for having the courage to write this possibly controversial entry.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/19/11
This is interesting. I'm not sure everyone will agree with you but I think it's good to have different ideas out there that make people think and ponder their beliefs. You definitely covered the topic in a fresh way. Often, I think some prayer chains are nothing but a way to deliver gossip but I have also felt the effects of several people praying for me.
Robert Johnson11/21/11
I agree with the previous two writers on their analysis, but wanted to bring it down to a personel level as this is where we most often feel convicted. I really admired your passion in the delivery, but not sure I agree that all group prayer is spamming God. For example, several years ago, some very close friends of our were confronted with the possibility that their eight year old boy had intestinal cancer. In their distress, they called on their brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for him. With much heart felt sadness for this potential loss, my wife and I literally cried out to the Lord for this young man and his family as I'm sure others on the prayer chain did as well. Well, the result was the doctors being dumbfounded by their gross misinterpretation of the lab results and a miraculous non existence of cancer. Now, granted, we did not do anything other than heartfelt group prayer. God, through his divine power heard the cries of his people and delivered this young man. Or, perhaps the doctors really did blow it!! However, I choose to believe the former. Anyway, I am in total agreement with your thesis if you are calling out "Wednesday Night at 6:00 PM prayer/healing service" where Pastor Billy Bob is guiding the Holy Spirit's actions of healing, but not on your blanket dismissal of corporate prayer. But a big definite thank-you for the reminder for all of us not to be flipant in calling on our awesome God. Thanks!
Theresa Santy 11/21/11
Oh man, so controversial! But yes, it is disheartening when we see something precious being cheapened. The only experience I've ever had with chain prayer has been positively glorious. I've never seen this other side, but I have no doubt it exists.

Still, I can't imagine our all-powerful God would feel 'bullied' by excessive prayer. He knows who He is, and what He's about to do. It is His plan, after all.

Anyway, you know when you've written a great piece when you stir up emotions such as these.
annie keys11/25/11
That was certainly a different 'take' than the other entries that I've read. Must give it top ratings for 'out of the box'.

On a personal note, I've found that prayer rarely changes God's mind---ok, maybe never instead of rarely--(rolling my eyeballs).

However, prayer does change ME; which, perhaps is the whole point of the discipline of prayer? You certainly set the stage for some introspective thought. Good job on that. I like it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
Congratulations for ranking 9th in level 3!