I might have ranted about this before; but this time I have a specific bit of drivel that has got me fired up. I'm often seeing posts (generally passed on from others so far removed that the original source is totally occluded) that read something like "Say this prayer and in two hours God will do...." You've seen them, I'm sure. They're the 21st century version of the chain letter.
I take a couple issues with this:
- First of all, I believe that God answers prayers of those who are His. That's straight from the Bible. He is under no obligation to answer those of a random person who passes on what another has written, often with not a thought, let alone a real prayer.
- A prayer is something heartfelt. Though they may be read from written material, those are all too often words from a page, nothing more. There is no heart connection to God.
- Most egregiously, the person posting is invoking God's name and reputation; promising, on His behalf, that He will do some specific thing. That is, I believe, a form of taking God's name in vain, which--in case you've forgotten--is part of the 10 commandments.
Some of these folks come from backgrounds about which I have no idea. Maybe they were not taught any better; in this day, that's certainly understandable. Others, and these bother me more, were raised where the truth was taught. They are without excuse.
I have thought about responding to these things with an all capitalized "YOU OUGHT TO KNOW BETTER;" but as of yet have not done so. It gets more tempting all the time.
So folks, if you are one to post such things, think about what you're doing. Don't presume to speak for God unless you've truly studied His word and have a grasp of what prayer and answered prayer is all about (hint--it's not about what you want; it's about what He wants for you). If you make a statement based on Scripture, good for you. If you're posting because you like passing on nice-sounding things, think about what you're doing.