The dark side of prayer is from man’s perspective–not God’s. God is the God of Light and no darkness dwells in Him.
1 John 1:5 (NKJV) This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Just to be clear, He isn’t moved by anything. His position towards man’s prayers is repeated throughout His word. The previous post lists a handful of scriptures and pointed out the type of prayer that God accepts and why He accepts them. If you read this post without first reading the prior one, you may walk away like I do when I smell cooked spinach (It’s a personal thing; don’t get offended. And please don’t pray for me about my relationship with cooked spinach).
Does it shock you that God intentionally does not accept all prayers? I’m not saying that He can’t hear them or is unaware of them. That’s ridiculous, of course. He knows all. Although God hears all, He doesn’t listen (there’s a difference) for they are not acceptable. A prayer comes from either a heart relying on the mercy of God in Christ or something else, or a hybrid of the two—Jesus plus something else. You can even use the popular tag line at the end of your prayer—“In Jesus’ Name” and be left in the dark.
Yep, that’s right. Even praying “in His Name” doesn’t make a prayer acceptable. Wow! And many people think that if they just sign-off on the end with that tag line that God will unconditionally receive and more-likely answer their request. You know better than that, right? You would never use “in His Name” like a membership card into the YMCA, right? If so, you’ve missed the meaning of that phrase. There will be A LOT of people on Judgment Day that will find out that using this tag line isn’t the door to the heart of God. Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Religious phrases, even using Biblical phrases, are not keys to heaven’s throne room.
Matthew 7:21–23 (NKJV) 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
A person can do many “Christian” duties in the name of God. They can call Jesus, “Lord” or “Master” or “Savior,” and even proclaim (prophesy) His gospel, but unless they are born of God by His Spirit, they are not His. Pretty harsh words, but true. All of the so-called prayers that those people were throwing up to heaven were never accepted. Jesus didn’t know them, so He certainly did not know their prayers. Wow, that crashes a lot of warm fuzzy theology.
Once we accept this truth about God’s righteousness in prayer the truth doesn’t hurt our knuckle heads so much when it hits us. Once we ground our theology in this truth about a right-standing with God, the rest begins to fall into place.
Let’s test our knuckle heads and see if get offended:
These may be lessons or warnings, depending on whether you are relying on Jesus Christ or something/someone else.
- Throw out anything that you have leaned on/relied on to get God to listen and answer your prayers. I’ll keep repeating: you cannot add to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Your religious devotion won’t earn you His ear. Religious trinkets, relics, Bible memorization, dead saints, neither repeating your request nor using “the right” biblical phrases will bend God’s ear and favor in your direction. Nope; nada; won’t happen.
- Faith in Jesus Christ is not only the exclusive way, it is the power of God unto salvation, rescue, deliverance, and answers to our needs.
- Someone is shouting at their computer monitor, “What about the person who has not heard of Jesus Christ? Who has not heard that it He is the only way?”
Answer: I’m not writing this post to those people. I’m writing this to you. You do know the Gospel. You do know what Jesus said in John 14:6. You are without excuse.
And: Your question, though it is a good one, it is not the purpose of this blog. There are plenty of books, and maybe blogs, that will answer your question, it’s just not the intent of this blog.
Are there serious implications from having a theology that God accepts all prayers from everyone? Yes, very serious implications. Having an erroneous view that God accepts the prayers of everyone—which would include those of every religion as well as from those whom society calls evil and wicked—is heretical, poison to the soul, and without any logical merit.
How you would support / justify this idea from Scripture? Where in the Bible does God give the idea of universal salvation—everyone is unconditionally accepted by God? Such a theology blasphemies the person of Christ and everything He came for, accomplished, and taught. Everything! This belief is an enemy of the cross. To hold the belief that anyone can access the Throne of Grace on their own terms means that Jesus Christ either lied or was crazy when He said that “… no one comes to the Father accept through me.”
Dismissing this truth, that I’m referring to as “the dark side of prayer,” says:
- Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension were not necessary. He came in vain. His incarnation was unnecessary and for naught. Jesus is just one of many ways to the heart of God.
- God’s actions contradict His holiness and justice; God denies His own nature.
- There is no unique power and privilege of prayer.
- That Psalm 34 and I Peter 3, and the other scriptures are wrong. Dead wrong. David and Peter were not directed by the Holy Spirit to write those passages, therefore they are not truth. If their writings are mere personal opinions and religiously narrow-minded, then we presume other parts, possible all of the Bible, is bunk.
WAIT!! Do you see how logic is thrown out the window when you step away from the fundamental teachings of Christianity? What other implications come to mind when you dismiss the necessity of Jesus Christ as the one and only mediator between man and God? Does this change your view of prayer? Does this affect your view of God? How should this affect the Christian’s attitude / view of prayer? Something to pray about, right?