Prayer requests

I posted a this request on the Facebook “resources on prayer you’d like to see offered” discussion board of the National Prayer Center of the Assemblies of God:

I would like to see you denounce imprecatory prayers and specifically the Facebook page praying for the death of President Obama. If the people signed on to these pages actually believe in the effectiveness of prayer, they are making serious threats on President Obama’s life, and that is disrespect for the law as well as the President. If they believe their action is harmless, they do not believe in prayer or in God. If you permit it to continue without commenting, you are abdicating your leadership role, concurring in the death threat, or denying God’s power.

I received this response, posted to the discussion board:

The National Prayer Center vehemently denounces the expression of prayer for the harming of anyone, and would remove such sentiments from its page as soon as noticed.

This discussion board has only the invitation, my request, and their response since the middle of March, so not much of a discussion is going on there, and the response posted in this quiet corner does not amount to “vehemently denounces.” What I cannot understand is the quantity of mean-spirited and downright hateful rhetoric that is coming from self-proclaimed Christian people, and the silence of the church at large regarding the situation.

Here is the problem:

  • If a church does not believe in the power of prayer and still asks members to invest their time and energy in a useless activity, that church is committing the worst kind of fraud.
  • If a church does believe in prayer and tolerates — or worse encourages — members to pray for harm to people, that church is concurring in the curse.
  • If believers are acting contrary to the understanding of the church and doing in the name of Christ something that the church denounces, that church is ineffective as a spiritual leader.

To be perfectly clear, when I say “a church,” I mean the group of people with whom you gather for worship as well as the larger denominational organization — Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, A of G, Church of God, Church of Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of the Brethren, etc. All of these should be publicly denouncing the use by Christians of imprecatory prayer to curse our nation and our leaders. So far as I have seen, they have not done so.

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