Religion - Printable Version
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Religion - Mary - 08-29-2009 12:49 AM
Not really sure where to post this! Just wanted to share some thoughts and observations and hope others might like to comment.
For many years I had the joy and blessing to work in a Christian school for children with disability. All children were welcome - their family's belief was not an issue, so we welcomed children who were from Muslim, Hindu, and African traditional religion, as well as non -believers, Catholics and all denominations.
Over the years I observed that interesting similarities in the Muslim, Hindu and African practices:
To protect the child from evil spirits, the African religious practice was to bind the each of the child wrists, ankles and belly with animal gut or string. I was told these are areas of the body which are easily "breached" by evil spirits.
Hindus also put ties on the child's wrists and ankles, usually with a red or orange thread, also to ward off evil spirits.
Muslims put binding on the child's wrists and ankles. Often this is in the form of jewelery and for one child I was told that the jewelery had to be black. Sometimes for Muslim children I would just see thread tied around their wrists and ankles, but all of them always had a small mystery object that was wrapped tightly with black tape, pinned to their vest. I was told that this is a secret object known only by the priest and blessed by the priest, that was of special significance to the child, and that would ward of evil. Some families took a trip to Mecca to obtain a special amulet for their child.The Muslim children also wore a small penknife pinned to their vest, especially the girls, to protect them. The little girl who wore the black jewelery, also had to wear a black head band when her seizures worsened. This was to protect her from more evil spirits entering her head.
A Hindu family bought a new car - for a week they drove around with orange swastikas ( I was surprised, but not really surprised)on the 4 corners, roof, wheels and bonnet of the car, as well as small flags on each corner. This was to protect the car from evil spirits and keep them safe while driving.
Praise God that we do not have to live in fear, and that we are not bound by unknown evil.
RE: Religion - heb13-13 - 08-29-2009 12:36 PM
(08-29-2009 12:49 AM)Mary Wrote: Not really sure where to post this! Just wanted to share some thoughts and observations and hope others might like to comment.
Yes, praise God!
Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Our focus should always be on Jesus Christ. He will keep us in perfect peace, regardless what is happening in the world around us.
RE: Religion - sheep wrecked - 08-29-2009 02:57 PM
This is a very interesting topic
Religious practices to ward off demons and promote protection really cross most religions, including Christianity.
In the RCC, the cross is the tallisman. Also the St Christopher statue is placed in cars for protection and safety.
In the charismatic/pentecostal movement, one "pleads the blood" of Jesus to ward off evil and claim protection. I have also seen the laying on of hands on cars, boats, bikes, etc along with this practice of pleading the blood to protect and deliver.
I often wonder if prayer for protection does not fit into this scenario as well? I find it curious that no where in the Bible are we instructed to pray for protection, that I am aware of.
So where do all these concepts come from?
RE: Religion - Mary - 08-29-2009 05:38 PM
(08-29-2009 02:57 PM)sheep wrecked Wrote:
What it also makes me think of is using prayer as a sort of "magic spell". to get God to do what we want. There are the obvious Catholic prayers to "saints" like St. Jude that must be published in the newspaper (??) but I am also wary of the mindset that says if we pray in "this" or "that " particular way, or say "these words", or fast for a week then God will do what we want.
RE: Religion - heb13-13 - 08-29-2009 11:43 PM
Yeah, that's pretty bad. "Christians" have their "magic" chantings that are supposed to ward of evil, especially when punctuated with Jesus name.
No thought for a life of holiness and righteousness, just plead the blood, pray for a hedge of protection and tell the Lord to INTERVENE!!!
Satan just laughs.
RE: Religion - sheep wrecked - 08-30-2009 03:45 PM
(08-29-2009 11:43 PM)heb13-13 Wrote: Yeah, that's pretty bad. "Christians" have their "magic" chantings that are supposed to ward of evil, especially when punctuated with Jesus name.
Back in the day, when this was part of my practice as well, it amazes me that the lives of the disciples are all but swept under the rug - especially Paul. He recounts how much trouble, peril, and suffering he was in during his lifetime serving Christ, yet he never asked for protection, claimed the blood or placed a hedge. I don't think satan was laughing at him for all his trouble, because Paul gave God the glory for his suffering and counted it joy - which probably did not make the devil any too happy
2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2Co 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
2Co 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2Co 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2Co 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
2Co 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
2Co 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2Co 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
2Co 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
2Co 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2Co 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
RE: Religion - Izzy - 09-06-2009 12:44 AM
We have to be vigilant to be in the faith and in the way we conduct our prayer life. I believe that’s what you are saying here and I agree! That said, shouldn’t we be reluctant to be critical of how others pray (unless they are specifically praying against the revealed Will of God)? After all, only God sees the heart of the supplicant. And, per Romans, when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit intercedes for us. Isn’t it better for people to be reaching out to God than to discourage and stifle them?
Our children have made requests of us, sometimes multiple times for added emphasis! Others observing them may believe they’re insincere or annoying, and sometimes they ARE - but we usually know when our kids are playing us. Sometimes they have a real need that they just don’t have the maturity to express in what we would consider a more appropriate manner. We still want them to come to us with those requests though, don’t we? We know that as they mature they will learn to change. God allows the weeds to grow with the good grain and lets us know if the weeds are pulled some of the good crop may be destroyed. Besides at some stages of growth it’s pretty hard for us human gardeners to tell which shoot will be a weed and which will be a flower.
As far as praying for protection, I see nothing amiss about taking the need for protection for others or ourselves to our heavenly Father. The desire to feel safe and protected is a very basic human need that many of us may not have met in this human existence. Protection in the sense we’re talking about here has synonyms like: security, refuge, safety, guard, defense, shield, and bulwark. (Sounds like the Psalms doesn’t it?) We’re told to take all our requests to the Lord, to cast all our cares on God.
The Psalmist asks to be delivered from the evil man, preserved from the violent man. Jesus taught his disciples to pray saying lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Faithful Paul said in 2nd Timothy the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work - while someone like me generally prays “please deliver me from every evil work.” Some of the synonyms for deliver are to set-free, liberate, disburden, deliver, extricate, rescue, save, emancipate, redeem, ransom; bring off, bring through, snatch from the jaws of death, come to the rescue. Doesn’t it seem that asking to be delivered is conceptually like asking to be protected?
Regarding hedges, there are a number of references in the Bible to hedges being protective or being broken, ergo not protective, in addition to the well-known verses in Job. Importantly, Israel was “hedged in” by God. Vineyards which of course were valuable, were commonly “hedged in” by stone and/or mud walls and sometimes thorns were also placed on top of them to help keep out wild beasts. In Matthew & Mark a parable of Jesus regarding the certain householder who planted a vineyard and hedged it round about is told. Many people, including me, view a number of these “hedging in” verses as referencing God’s protective nature; and as related to the setting apart of God’s own people. I don’t find it problematic from a Christian standpoint to ask the Lord to hedge others in, especially my children. And I pray He will hedge each of you in, front and back, round about
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…1 Tim 2:1-5
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24.
RE: Religion - sheep wrecked - 09-06-2009 05:51 PM
(09-06-2009 12:44 AM)Izzy Wrote: We have to be vigilant to be in the faith and in the way we conduct our prayer life. I believe that’s what you are saying here and I agree! That said, shouldn’t we be reluctant to be critical of how others pray (unless they are specifically praying against the revealed Will of God)? After all, only God sees the heart of the supplicant. And, per Romans, when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit intercedes for us. Isn’t it better for people to be reaching out to God than to discourage and stifle them?
I am not sure that Romans 8 is referring to a "prayer life". I think the NT shows that prayer is much simpler, and less complex than we tend to make it. I fear that for many, prayer is the "magic talisman" used to "get" from God. I do not see that God moves because we pray, but because it is His will.
The context of Romans 8 show that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in regard to our infirmities which the Spirit intercedes for. What are those infirmities - verse 24 and 25 show that this is the hope we must have in Christ and having the patience to live our lives in that hope - which in our flesh we cannot do, but only by the Spirit in us.
Rom 8:24 For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Rom 8:26 And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered;
Rom 8:27 and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Rom 8:28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
Rom 8:30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Quote:Our children have made requests of us, sometimes multiple times for added emphasis! Others observing them may believe they’re insincere or annoying, and sometimes they ARE - but we usually know when our kids are playing us. Sometimes they have a real need that they just don’t have the maturity to express in what we would consider a more appropriate manner. We still want them to come to us with those requests though, don’t we? We know that as they mature they will learn to change. God allows the weeds to grow with the good grain and lets us know if the weeds are pulled some of the good crop may be destroyed. Besides at some stages of growth it’s pretty hard for us human gardeners to tell which shoot will be a weed and which will be a flower.[/color]
I am a bit confused - I am not sure what you mean by weeds growing in with good grain in regard to prayer or giving to others? I think that Jesus was referring to the tares sown into the wheat that concern unbelievers sown in with believers - and until the last day when Christ sends His angels with the sickle to destroy, we will not know exactly who do not belong to God.
I am also curious as to our kids asking for stuff compared to asking God. Jesus said that our Father knows what we need before we ask, so don't worry about it. Maybe I am simplifying things too much? I see petitions to God as us laying our lives at His feet that His will be done. We tend to see with tunnel vision, not the big picture like God does. I sometimes wonder if the verses that are instructive about prayer have to do with spiritual things, not worldly things - but that is just my little old opinion
Quote:As far as praying for protection, I see nothing amiss about taking the need for protection for others or ourselves to our heavenly Father. The desire to feel safe and protected is a very basic human need that many of us may not have met in this human existence. Protection in the sense we’re talking about here has synonyms like: security, refuge, safety, guard, defense, shield, and bulwark. (Sounds like the Psalms doesn’t it?) We’re told to take all our requests to the Lord, to cast all our cares on God.
I think we have a different perspective on this. To have no fear about life is to be at rest and at peace in Christ. Why should I be concerned for my safety when God controls my life? I don't think I have to ask God to protect me, I am not sure why I should??? His will will be fulfilled in my life no matter what because I belong to Him. Nothing can stop God from doing His purpose.
Asking for protection guarantees nothing, from my perspective. It is up to God to protect according to His will. Sometimes we are and sometimes we are not, no matter how much we pray or believe for it. Life is a realistic example of this, so it seems to me that prayer should be centered in God's will, to know Him, to know His truth, to know His love - these are the things that Paul prayed for. Not once in the NT does anyone pray for protection.
As far as David goes, I think he was praying to be delivered from evil men to do the will of God. He knew that God had chosen him to be the King of Israel and Saul was making his life miserable by trying to hunt him down and kill him. I marvel at David's prayers in his psalms because they were about God fulfilling His promise to David, in spite of the danger and evil surrounding him. God kept David safe because His plan for David was kingship.
Quote:Regarding hedges, there are a number of references in the Bible to hedges being protective or being broken, ergo not protective, in addition to the well-known verses in Job. Importantly, Israel was “hedged in” by God. Vineyards which of course were valuable, were commonly “hedged in” by stone and/or mud walls and sometimes thorns were also placed on top of them to help keep out wild beasts. In Matthew & Mark a parable of Jesus regarding the certain householder who planted a vineyard and hedged it round about is told. Many people, including me, view a number of these “hedging in” verses as referencing God’s protective nature; and as related to the setting apart of God’s own people. I don’t find it problematic from a Christian standpoint to ask the Lord to hedge others in, especially my children. And I pray He will hedge each of you in, front and back, round about
God may have put a hedge around Job, but He also crushed it, as He allowed satan to crush Job. A hedge is simply a way of stating that God protects for His purposes. It is not something we can pray for because God already has our lives laid out well in advance.
Psa 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, And laid thy hand upon me.
Psa 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.
Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall overwhelm me, And the light about me shall be night;
Psa 139:12 Even the darkness hideth not from thee, But the night shineth as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Psa 139:13 For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother's womb.
Psa 139:14 I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.
Psa 139:15 My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.
Psa 37:23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
I don't see that Israel had a hedge either. Certainly God protected them at times, but He also sent the angel of death to destroy them and later He allowed them to be dispersed and taken captive by the nations. The disciples definitely did not have a hedge of protection most of the time - they were beaten, imprisoned, and finally martyred.
When I was in the charismatic movement, the hedge thing was very prominent. I used to pray for a hedge around me, my property, my house, my kids, my finances, my marriage. I also did the "plead the blood thing" as well. I lost everything - that was God's grace and His "hedge" for me
Quote:I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…1 Tim 2:1-5
Those are wonderful verses, but I truly see them as regarding the spiritual, not the physical. Note the bolded phrases - we are to pray that we are given the opportunity to lead others to salvation. That is the context.
1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
1Ti 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,
1Ti 2:6 who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;
1Ti 2:7 whereunto I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1Ti 2:8 I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing.
When Jesus said that our joy would be full, it was not that we would have a bunch of stuff, but that we would have the indwelt Spirit. This is what Paul prayed for in this regard:
Eph 1:15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints,
Eph 1:16 cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;
Eph 1:18 having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might
Eph 1:20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
RE: Religion - Izzy - 09-07-2009 10:00 PM
SW, Thanks for sharing your perspectives, I’ve found it interesting, but I guess we’ll have to disagree somewhat on our perceptions regarding Romans 8 as it concerns prayer and perhaps the nature of prayer in general. While the righteousness of God secures the souls of believers; as humans with many frailties’, learning to walk in the Spirit is no overnight success story. Although our expectations & hope for what is ahead have been raised by coming into relationship with our Lord, we will need much patience for the long road we need to travel.
It appears that I believe “infirmities” should be interpreted more broadly. Once saved, we are aware of the glorious goal ahead, yet in the meantime we Christians have many infirmities that become apparent in daily living and the Holy Spirit helps us by teaching us how to pray & what to pray for. He comforts us, calms our fears and helps us through discouragement and heartaches. The Spirit helps us not to become overwhelmed by life and intercedes before God on our behalf so that the enemy may not prevail.
I believe all our requests and cares need to be laid before the Lord, physical and spiritual. We might start with a wish-list, but bringing it before God helps us to learn humility as we learn to acknowledge it is God who provides everything. Yes, God knows what’s on our minds and hearts before we ask, however I believe the asking puts us in a position to be “teachable” because we’re bringing everything that matters to us before Him. As we practice this attitude we learn more of what is likely to be in God’s will and what isn’t. It puts us in an actively- relational position with our Heavenly Father and, as the Spirit continues to teach us, we begin to realize that a good relationship isn’t one-sided, so we also begin to listen. Our walk strengthens; we spend more time in the Spirit and within God’s will and so on. This isn’t easy for most of us, especially if we’ve had to be the take charge person, the provider. Regardless of whether you believe prayer moves God, prayer changes us
I have also thought that some prayer is of the “magical” thinking variety, but God knows which of those praying are His and if that’s where their level of maturity is, maybe God wants to hear from them all the more.
Regarding your belief that God doesn’t move because we pray, but because it is His will – we both know that can be an exceedingly long discussion point. I’ve seen some specifically answered prayers…prayers that didn’t appear on their surface to be spiritual in nature yet were answered in the affirmative. So was it God’s will that caused the pray-er to make those particular requests? Or was it due to the pray-er’s heartfelt requests that God in his loving-kindness moved? I believe it is some combination of the two. The pray-er was my son as a young child. Why would God choose to answer seemingly unimportant requests when there are what we’d all consider to be much more important things to pray about? Why did He “grant” these prayers and not others? I don’t know. I do know it changed the way I thought of and approached prayer as well as my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
You say “Why should I be concerned for my safety when God controls my life?” I’d like to say I’ve attained that level of serenity, but truthfully I haven’t , so I have to talk to God about situations as they arise, the physical and the spiritual, and ask that I be equipped with the full armor of God. Also I don’t believe that every event is pre-destined so prayer is very important to me.
This is going so long that I have to stop & call it a night. In fact I'm going to apologize in advance for not editing in case I've left in errors. Tomorrow is another work-day.
RE: Religion - sheep wrecked - 09-08-2009 12:31 PM
I don't think the Bible is as "black and white" on the issue of prayer as we want it to be. If God is going to bring healing, protection, deliverance - He gives it according to His grace and mercy, not because we asked. We ask because we are submitted to His will and we ask because He has instructed us do to so, because it glorifies Him. Praying does not have a warranty or guarantee other than His grace and mercy to endure through sickness, pain, and suffering. What God "guarantees" are spiritual blessings such as wisdom and knowledge of His Word, guidance through His Word, knowing the love of God, the renewal and transformation of our hearts and mind, the strength and ability to do what God has purposed for us, etc. As the Lord told Paul, His mercy is sufficient. Paul was not healed.
Prayer is supposed to be communication with God to lay our petitions at His feet as a sign of submission to His will and for Him to deal with. My understanding from what I see people say is that unless those petitions are given to God, He will do nothing. I suppose that is one extreme, but a common misconception. How often God gives what we do not ask for, and does not give what we do ask for. So is the petition all that important or is it a way of submitting to God's will and allowing Him free reign in our lives?
Do you not agree that people get too caught up in begging God and then are disappointed in not receiving think that God does not care, or does not listen? I think this is dangerous fall-out from what I hear so many teach on prayer. We cannot make God do anything, nor can we convince Him - no matter how much pain we are in.
An interesting thing happened in our community a couple of years ago. It made national news. A van of kids got hit on the road returning to the university and several were killed including a girl from another state. One of the girls was severely injured and in a coma - the injuries were so bad to her face she was unrecognizable. The girls photos were similar - same body build, hair color, etc. The injured girl was from our hometown, so the churches began a major prayer chain to pray for her healing. For several weeks, 1000s of people were praying for this girl to be healed. Eventually she comes out of the coma but starts saying things to her parents that didn't make sense. Soon, they discovered that it was not their daughter, but the daughter of the family who had been grieving their daughter's death for several weeks. So the girl being prayed for here was dead already, while no one was really praying for the girl in the coma.
You can tell me that God "knew" which girl needed prayers and that the prayers were "transferred". I am not denying that God did not know the difference What I am stating is that prayer is seen as "magic", in that if prayers are for one person, they don't just "transfer" to another. If you are praying for healing for let's say, your Grandmother in the hospital, the person is the next room is not going to "benefit" from it.
In this case, my opinion is that God knew who was going to die and who was going to be healed - outside of all the prayers in the world - which really made no difference to the outcome. That people cried with tears and pain, made no difference in the end. What were tears of grief in one family, turned to joy. What were tears of joy in another family, turned to grief. Can you imagine believing God was healing your daughter on the bed in front of you, but she was already dead weeks ago?
This is why I believe the teachings on prayer are dangerous and way off the mark. God is seen as some giant ATM machine and the proper passcode is needed to achieve what He will dispense. From this type of prayer, the church at large is now dredging up the new agey, comtemplative prayer, charismatic type stuff that is only further corruption.
See this thread: