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Home » CHFWeb Forum » BibleIssues » speaking life into things
speaking life into things [message #798636] Wed, 23 April 2014 08:26 Go to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4194
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
This is a new concept for me...it was mentioned in a group in the context of a vague prayer request and the person's desire not to speak life into whatever it was the prayer was about (health issue she's concerned over). Others said that "not speaking life into" the something was wise.

Now when Maxy was struggling there that last year, and I was frightened as to the depths and passways he was taking, and was confessing to people that I felt unsuccessful any longer to pray (I felt broken, unheard, scared and hopeless - my faith in God was there, but my belief in prayer all but disappeared and I believe/d perhaps I didn't understand prayer after all. edited to add: I had always believed in the "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” And I prayed, unspecifically as to "how" but very specifically into their returning to their family both in affection and in person, as well as for their spiritual protection and awareness...neither, it seemed, would be granted). I would get two camps of replys - mainly that I had to "speak the truth" basically a name it and claim it victory for him type thing (at least that was how I translated it in my head)...and the other was the inability to believe that things were as dire as I was stressing them to be...that my fear/worry was really more about me than anything real (a reliant on the prodigal son is bound to come home concept). After Max's death, one of my then closest IRL friends (of whom I have very few) and a member of the church posited that I didn't pray right and that's why Maxy was lost to us (in all ways that mattered). That was so out of the norm for this fellow that it took a lot out of me to remain pleasant. But, deep down, it was what I have been blaming myself for failing in since we lost Olivia to estrangement two years prior. It was what I saw myself failing in in saving my son. So, as much as it was an affront...it is what I continue to have guilt in.

So, I'm hearing this phrase and wonder:

1) What does the bible say about such things: speaking them into existence, and
2) Is it then possible that in my exhaustion of prayer and loss of hope, my going to others and sharing my fear/concern so specifically about my children so that they might have prayers said for them ... did it more or less work against them/me in some weird biblical way I don't understand? Did I have a hand in what was their will by cementing it spiritually by speaking something into life?

[Updated on: Wed, 23 April 2014 08:32]


Peace
Re: speaking life into things [message #798639 is a reply to message #798636 ] Wed, 23 April 2014 09:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PamE
Messages: 3849
Registered: April 2005
Location: AZ (but it's a DRY heat!)
Senior Member
I have no scripture to back this up, but I have never believed or really understood where the "name it and claim" it mentality comes from.

It doesn't make sense to me from the positive side of things, to say "I say this good thing is going to happen" and voila, it does. I don't understand it from the negative side of things, either. "Oh, I said this bad thing would happen" and voila, it does.

To me it looks like arrogance and imo is vastly different from having faith. Along the same sort of lines, I don't believe that if I say the wrong thing to someone, or don't speak at all regarding the gospel that they will not go to heaven. I believe that I will have missed out on the blessing of sharing it... but it won't have any affect on their eternity.

In other words, in short, I don't think that God is going to look at something I do or don't do, say or don't say and then work accordingly in someone else's life, kwim?

All that rambling and I'm still not being very clear. Confused It hurts me that this is hurting you. Sad


I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. ~Phil 3:13-14~
Re: speaking life into things [message #798640 is a reply to message #798636 ] Wed, 23 April 2014 09:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

I have to agree with Pam...that mentality gives magical powers to our words. I see nothing in scripture that ascribes that sort of power to human words.

Offhand, I think the verse I'd offer up to you for encouragement would be Romans 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

God the Holy Spirit works in our lives to make our prayers acceptable to God the Father...even our deepest prayers are not dependent on our words. When words fail us, the Spirit intercedes for us.

God knows our hearts, and the Spirit indwells us. I see nothing in scripture that would leave room for our broken words to override God's will in any situation.

That sort of magic has no basis in scripture.

Probably folks take that from Prov. 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits" I think interpreting that verse as ascribing magical powers to the tongue is a mistaken interpretation. Passages like James 3:5ff give a broader understanding.

But aside from any further quoting of verses, absolutely NO! I absolutely do NOT believe that speaking of your son's struggles, nor asking prayer for him in any particular words could even possibly be the cause for anything that happened. Not at all!

God is sovereign, and circumstances are not controlled by the speech in our weakness and need for prayer. We are not that powerful, and God is not that fickle!


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: speaking life into things [message #798659 is a reply to message #798640 ] Wed, 23 April 2014 13:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9599
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
That idea reminds me more of the aberrant teaching of "the secret" and "the law of attraction." Not biblical. Magical is a good word for it.


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: speaking life into things [message #798664 is a reply to message #798636 ] Wed, 23 April 2014 14:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
janetR  is currently offline janetR
Messages: 1937
Registered: March 2010
Location: TX
Senior Member
This kind of doubting oneself leaves me very frustrated at the predominant American evangelical view of prayer. During nearly every prayer meeting I am part of I hear things like "We believe that You will do this, God" or "We do not accept this." While in Africa many many mothers cradle their children dead from starvation and pastors remain in prison in Muslim countries and children of parents with passionate faith remain estranged from their faith and/or their family. Well I don't accept those things either and yet there they are. God is a God of miracles, but when He does them they are called miracles, not ordinaries.

I believe that a prayer of faith is a prayer of faith not that God will answer yes, but that God is good, and that He is able, and that He loves us with passion. The big picture is His to see, not ours.

Jamie, I am crying for you right now. Your precious Maxwell is in the hands of a good God and there are things that have no answer this side of heaven. I don't fault you in the least for asking and wondering and traveling down every "what if" path that might have been possible. But like the others I do not believe that any certain method of prayer or specific words cause one prayer to be more effective than another.

Here is the grain of truth that I think is in what these people teach which makes people accept the whole false package: words are powerful. Words of "life" are words that build others up; they are words that we speak to each other which can cause a smile, can turn a day around, can give a sick person energy to withstand their treatment for one more day. But then people extrapolate this common human experience onto ideas and things like serious disease or they speak as if they have inside information into the plans of God Himself.

If "words of life" could always have the effects attributed to them, I am certain that there would be a fraction of the sickness and death and sadness in this world. Despite the accusations of those who say someone did not pray right, it just ain't so and their prayers should have eradicated the pain if what these people teach were truth.

[Edited to take out the name I included without thinking.]

[Updated on: Fri, 25 April 2014 00:22]


JanetR
daughter of the King since 1980
wife to dh since 1981
mom to five of the most incredible adults on the planet, one wonderful 18yo, and grandma to two bouncy grandsons
Re: speaking life into things [message #798672 is a reply to message #798664 ] Wed, 23 April 2014 18:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LauraBeth  is currently offline LauraBeth
Messages: 245
Registered: January 2010
Location: Arizona
Senior Member
Fervently affirming everything that Lisa and Janet said. There is NO Biblical basis for the idea that OUR words have power to create reality--God is the only one in the universe who has ever had that power.

We had two couples we were friends with who, when each of the wives was diagnosed with cancer, dove headlong into the movement that espouses the idea that we can speak life or death into someone by our words, and it was poisonous and destructive to them and all their relationships. Both couples cut ties with people who encouraged them to consider things that might happen *if* the wife died, because that was "speaking death" into her. As a result, two children are left VERY angry with God, because nobody was allowed to talk to them about "what does it mean if God allows Mom to die", so they were totally unprepared for that. (Both women died.) And a whole lot of people are left very confused, because they were taught by these couples that, by "speaking life" into the women, they were actually influencing the state of the cancer in them.

In my opinion, thinking that my words have power to create reality is tantamount to claiming that I am God, and is heresy. I can certainly be gravely mistaken in what I say, and my words have power to hurt deeply. But my words do not trump the sovereignty of God.

I echo Janet in saying to you, dear Jamie, that your words did NOT cause Max's death, and could not have prevented it. Your faith, your words, your prayers, were not things that were too inadequate to keep him alive. It is not your fault. It is time to preach the Gospel of grace to yourself--that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus--and to cling to the sovereignty of God. Even if you do not know the whys, you can continue to tell yourself and hold to the fact that God has Max in His hands, and He knows the whys.

I hope you know how much all of us love you, and how we pray for your broken hearts in all this.

Re: speaking life into things [message #798677 is a reply to message #798664 ] Thu, 24 April 2014 02:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

Quote:

I believe that a prayer of faith is a prayer of faith not that God will answer yes, but that God is good, and that He is able, and that He loves us with passion. The big picture is His to see, not ours.



This!!^^^



Quote:

In my opinion, thinking that my words have power to create reality is tantamount to claiming that I am God, and is heresy. I can certainly be gravely mistaken in what I say, and my words have power to hurt deeply. But my words do not trump the sovereignty of God.


and This ^^^


I love this!!!

[Updated on: Thu, 24 April 2014 02:59]


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: speaking life into things [message #798710 is a reply to message #798677 ] Thu, 24 April 2014 07:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Emily
Messages: 1904
Registered: April 2005
Location: Southeast Ohio
Senior Member
Lisa R. wrote on Thu, 24 April 2014 02:57

Quote:

I believe that a prayer of faith is a prayer of faith not that God will answer yes, but that God is good, and that He is able, and that He loves us with passion. The big picture is His to see, not ours.



This!!^^^



Quote:

In my opinion, thinking that my words have power to create reality is tantamount to claiming that I am God, and is heresy. I can certainly be gravely mistaken in what I say, and my words have power to hurt deeply. But my words do not trump the sovereignty of God.


and This ^^^


I love this!!!

Agree 100% with the above quotes that Lisa pulled out - and with everything that Janet and LauraBeth said. What great explanations! I know several - extremely godly and well-esteemed - people who pray in this way and it has always bothered me deeply. You all helped articulate exactly what it is that raises red flags in my spirit.


Emily
Re: speaking life into things [message #798721 is a reply to message #798636 ] Thu, 24 April 2014 11:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Trisha in Hawaii  is currently offline Trisha in Hawaii
Messages: 337
Registered: April 2009
Senior Member
No, no no! God knows our prayers even when we don't have the words to pray. Your prayers or seeming lack there of absolutely did not contribute to Maxy leaving us.

The Accuser would like you to believe so but NO!

I am so sorry anyone even suggested that "praying wrong" was any part of the problem. Our God is bigger than that! And how can there be any wrong way to pour out our hearts to our abba?
T


Aloha ke Akua
Re: speaking life into things [message #798770 is a reply to message #798636 ] Fri, 25 April 2014 04:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4194
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
Thank you - I've read responses yesterday/last night and it's overwhelming...the thoughts, the ideas...the kindness as well.

The experiences shook what I believed about prayer (it was not a ask and you shall receive mindset before, but I did fervently believe that you could approach God for something specific, particularly if it was something that, you know, just seemed to have to be what God would want for the best)...the advice and admonishment I received about prayer while going through the last four or five years have me shook. I feel like such a hypocrite saying I will pray for someone because His response to my prayers ... well, they aren't the ending/answers people want for themselves, obviously. I don't know if I don't know how, if my complete understanding of what prayer is is just wonky/false. Yesterday I kept saying what is known as the Lords Prayer over and over again trying to figure it out...but the whole mustard seed and if you have faith thing, and ask but do not receive...I did have faith, I did ask.


Peace
Re: speaking life into things [message #798780 is a reply to message #798636 ] Fri, 25 April 2014 05:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bobbi  is currently offline Bobbi
Messages: 945
Registered: April 2005
Location: TX
Senior Member
Wow! This is where the religion has mislead and misguided so many, that there is such a misunderstanding on teaching and understanding the truth aka the scripture that upsets me and makes me sad. I have lots I would like to say, but am posting from my phone and would prefer to rwply in a private message, as this could likely become a hot topic. Wink


"You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list."~unknown

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
Re: speaking life into things [message #798828 is a reply to message #798780 ] Fri, 25 April 2014 16:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9599
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
In generalities: Prayer is effective, even if God says no.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 April 2014 16:14]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: speaking life into things [message #798847 is a reply to message #798828 ] Sat, 26 April 2014 02:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4194
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
how so?


Peace
Re: speaking life into things [message #798857 is a reply to message #798636 ] Sat, 26 April 2014 03:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

Despite the name it and claim types on tv, I don't see anything in scripture that would lead to an understanding of God as some genie in a lamp, where we just ask and claim something and He's obligated to give it to us.

Yes, there are many passages that say something like, "ask and it will be given to you," or one of my favorites, "delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

ALL(I think) of the passages that say those things are in a context of aligning our hearts with the heart of the Lord. Ps. 37:4 isn't saying that if we want something really badly, just make a point of saying we feel delighted in the Lord and He'll give us that thing. It means that as we focus on the Lord and learn to be delighted IN HIM, the desires of our hearts will so line up with His will that we will have what delights us.

Prayer is not about getting what we want; it's about becoming who the Lord wants us to be.

Part of faith is learning that the Lord is good and the Lord is sovereign, and if He didn't heal Max in this world, and He hasn't provided a job for my dh that meets what I consider to be our needs, then the issue is not a failure of prayer, but a failure to understand the will of the Lord.

We just keep praying and keep "wrestling" with the Lord...and then trust that the answers we receive are best, because He is sovereign and He is good.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: speaking life into things [message #798862 is a reply to message #798636 ] Sat, 26 April 2014 04:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
Messages: 6501
Registered: April 2005
Location: NW rural Illinois
Senior Member

Sweetheart, it really angers me when people who are dealing with grief and loss have guilt heaped on them because of someone's wrong view of prayer. And your prayers (and words you used or didn't use) had nothing to do with Max's death.

While it is true that scripture says there is death and life in the power of the tongue, it doesn't mean that we can speak life INTO something (or someone). It means that our words can bring life (emotional or spiritual) or they can bring death (again, not physical). We can destroy someone in their soul (mind and emotions) with our words or we can build and strengthen them. But I do not have the power to stop physical death by the words I speak. Only God can do that and I have NO CLUE as to why He does what He does. He is God and I am not.

While I also agree that our prayers are very powerful (and NOT because of some formula that we use, but because God gives us that authority), we are always subject to the will and plan of God. And His plan is always good - even if I can't see it this side of eternity.

I'm so sorry you have been struggling with this and having to add this on top of the already murky feelings tied in with your loss because of all the family issues. Praying that the Lord gives rest and peace to your heart and spirit, sweetheart!


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: speaking life into things [message #799093 is a reply to message #798770 ] Wed, 30 April 2014 11:00 Go to previous message
Sue C  is currently offline Sue C
Messages: 2616
Registered: April 2005
Location: midwest
Senior Member
Jamie wrote on Fri, 25 April 2014 04:43

Thank you - I've read responses yesterday/last night and it's overwhelming...the thoughts, the ideas...the kindness as well.

The experiences shook what I believed about prayer (it was not a ask and you shall receive mindset before, but I did fervently believe that you could approach God for something specific, particularly if it was something that, you know, just seemed to have to be what God would want for the best)...the advice and admonishment I received about prayer while going through the last four or five years have me shook. I feel like such a hypocrite saying I will pray for someone because His response to my prayers ... well, they aren't the ending/answers people want for themselves, obviously. I don't know if I don't know how, if my complete understanding of what prayer is is just wonky/false. Yesterday I kept saying what is known as the Lords Prayer over and over again trying to figure it out...but the whole mustard seed and if you have faith thing, and ask but do not receive...I did have faith, I did ask.


I have struggled with prayer, too, Jamie...

~Sue
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