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Posts Tagged ‘prayer exercise’

I recall a sermon in our former church when the pastor mentioned the Nephalim. Cannot remember exactly where we were, I think in the book of James. He mentioned some extra biblical material like the “book of Moses” or something and spoke about the Nephalim as spawn of angels and of men. I thought this was VERY odd. By then we were already uneasy with our former church. This teaching about Nephalim as mating with angels took me back to conversations I had I believe with Jehovah’s Witnesses but it may be Mormons. I know I didn’t agree with the idea that angels have physical bodies and actual offpring, especially with some not of their kind.

The pastor also called people to think of their burdens in a prayer. They were to imagine them, then hold them. At one point in the prayer we were all to release these burdens to Jesus. It reminded me very much of training we had as resident assistants where we wrote something on paper and threw it out. All this was some kind of training exercise intended to get our guard down and a “trust” thing when training for a secular job. In prayer, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. I do not like to have a pastor ask congregations to parrot what he does, or to repeat after him. It bothers me in that people set themselves up for dishonesty to God. Calling the crowd to go follow a series of phrases without knowing where it’s leading, or do a set of actions seems manipulative to me. I do not have a problem with responsive readings and the like. I also don’t like strange activities that feel very much like a “giving my burdens” to God thing where there is a tactile and imagined moment. You have to “picture” your burdens and “picture handing them over” to God. It’s this visualization that can happen where you picture burying your bad habits Dr. Phil style I am not fond of.

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Sadly, I did not record this in my live journal when it happened, but our pastor did pray a very strange way once.  He had us pretend to hold onto our burdens (or was it distractions?) tightly.  We were then to release them at a certain point in the prayer, actually physically do it.  I was very uncomfortable with this.  I found a similar reference to it in an online book linked here… 

http://reinventingjesuschrist.com/ 

Here’s the similar event….

“In his book The Servant Leader, Blanchard and his co-author Phil Hodges placed great emphasis on the need for “solitude” and “silence” in order to “quietly receive what God reveals to you.” Invoking the cross and Psalm 46:10, they advised their readers to “Be still” and to move into the same meditative state of mind I practiced in the New Age.

If you are seated in a comfortable position, place your hands on your knees in a down position. If walking, visualize yourself in this position. In harmony with the position of your hands, mentally put down everything you are concerned about or expending energy in trying to manage or control at the foot of the cross. Be specific—name each burden as you put it down.

When you have exhausted your list, take a couple of deep breaths and turn your hands, physically and mentally, into an up position and quietly receive what God reveals to you.

Have no expectations or agenda for this time with God. Let it be His to fill.”

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