Sunday 13 June 2010

Rediscovering the Prayer of You - Darin Hufford and comments to Jack Fortenberry on the 3rd protagonist

There are 3 protaganists in your Christian story and your church's story. It's not quite the simple 2 protagonist tale you bargained for. This is more than born out in Darin Hufford's experiences on prayer below, first posted on the Free Believer's Website.

But first this is part of the email I sent to Jack Fortenberry on Facebook 10 June at 11:45 as a direct result of Darin's article.

This may or may not have impacted you fully already. It came out of the Time Appointed by Roy Dungar...a man with engineering for a brain...I think not unlike guys are very interesting once you've got light...because you have this clinical precision which doesn't let people get away with fuzziness. As I put on my status this morning, Roy gives a rundown on Song of Solomon as NOT 2 protagonists but 3!!!! The third wants to seduce us away from the One True thing...this life expressed by a hind skipping upon the mountaintops, and also by "the Bride coming out of the Wilderness leaning on her beloved".

So this is what I haven't put on my blog yet.Came out of this when I was reading Darin Hufford's great post on prayer. It's this!

Song of Songs and the parable of the Field that was sown, then resown by "an Enemy" at night show us these things:
1God knew the church would be a mess through history
2 He "meant" the church to be a mess...why?....
3 Because His way of producing mature lovers in the Spirit is to "allow " us to be seduced (if possible) by this 3rd religious agent in the Song of Songs, this Galations "bewitching" force, this Great Harlot of Revelation, or Abraham's big mistake...Ishmael...the child of the bondservant had to be cast out
4 This "experience" makes us mature,razor sharp,in terms of what is truly our Beloved and what is fake
5. It accounts for the Arc sweep of Church history. The Church born out of Judaism still had enough Judaism in her that she must be left to die, until a pure strand originating through Luther, be raised up brighter and brighter until at last a pure Bride appear raised uniquely in the Revelation of Jesus Christ and Him alone, to cast out the bondwoman completely.

Rediscovering the Prayer of You - Darin Hufford
When I first became a Christian I fell head over heels in love with God. I would spend hours talking to Him and praising Him. The lines of communication between He and I were always wide open. The word, "Amen" didn't mean, "Over and out," it meant "So be it." There was never a point when I wasn't listening for Him or speaking to Him. It was perhaps the most wonderful and simple relationship I had ever experienced in my life. It was pure, unscripted, from the heart and completely raw.

Then one day I was in a local bookstore and I found a book on prayer that I had heard a lot about from friends. As I was standing at the counter purchasing it, I remember hearing Him try to stop me within my heart. For some reason, I closed myself off to Him and got the book anyway - rationalizing that if it's on prayer, how could it hurt. That day marked the ending of my pure and unpolluted relationship with the Father. All that I had was taken from me within the first chapter of this famous and well respected book. Everything that came so naturally and without force was literally blown away like dust in the wind. For the next ten years I would do nothing but fight to find my way back to the place of my youth where my connection with Him was so wholesome and untainted. There were times in that darkness where I wondered if what I remembered having with the Father wasn't just a figment of my imagination. I wondered it if really happened like I had remembered it or if perhaps I had dreamed it long ago.

I truly felt like I had been violated by the author of this particular book. It was as though he molested my spirit. He stole my innocence and purity and replaced it with heartlessness and death. It would be almost fifteen years before I would find relief from that religious oppression that hovered over my head. Today I guard my relationship with the Father with everything that I have. Its power has proven to be beyond my imagination and yet it amazingly remains as delicate and fragile as a flower.

I believe that the concept of prayer that is taught in today's Christianity is not prayer at all. In fact, I believe that it has become something so sinister and self serving that it borders all out blasphemy. I wonder sometimes if people in this generation ever stop to really listen to themselves when they talk to God. Do they hear how deceptive and manipulative they've become over the years or are they spiritually oblivious to it? I wonder if people actually hear the barefaced manipulation that is woven throughout those scripted formulas they've been taught to recite to the Father to get what they want.

Molested Mindsets

It has been said that when a person is molested as a child, they are twice as likely to become a molester themselves when they grow up. There is a mentality of molestation that many people take on and live their lives by from the moment someone abuses them in that way. I personally believe that this generation has been spiritually molested by religions heartless desire for control. Just as the step by step teachings on prayer that I read, took my innocence away and left me empty and hallow; I believe that thousands of Christians have been emotionally stripped in very much the same way. We've been violated by an unfeeling and heartless set of rules and religious methods that are not only void of real intimacy with the Father, but are designed to drain away and bleed out any future possibility of intimacy. This is exactly what takes place in the heart of someone who has been molested.

Molestation is when someone penetrates another person for their own personal gratification and with no intent for relationship. It's physical penetration without relational penetration. It's a mindset that TAKES for one's self, without the intent of giving. Many people who have been molested as children grow up and become adults with a "Molested mindset." They're repulsed by the idea of relationship and intimacy with anyone. They often use people to receive whatever personal gratification they want at the time. Ironically, this is the same mentality that the person who violated them years ago, lives by.
Darin's 90s band
So what does this have to do with prayer?

This same mindset has followed us into our prayer lives. In short, we have become "God molesters." We find ways to penetrate the throne room of God so we can get what we want, but we have absolutely no desire for personal relationship with Him. We find ways to physically penetrate the Throne of God, without actually relationally penetrating Him. Our main focus today is how to make it work, or how to get the answers we want. Intimacy has little or nothing to do with it. In this generation we care very little about anything other than results. Almost all of the popular teachings I've heard on how to pray are centered on getting God to give up the goods. We're taught how to approach him, how to manipulate Him, how to seduce Him and how to convince Him to give us what we want. We've even been taught to obligate Him and make Him feel like He doesn't have a choice in the matter. It's amazing how similar our tactics are to the planned patterns of a child molester.

Something is deeply wrong with this generation when we are actually studying, "What God has to do for us" because of some technicality in Scripture. When we start taking things that bloom from real relationship and using them as tools to manipulate God, we are a generation of God molesters. A child molester will do and say anything he has too, to get a child to believe in him. He will take the very things that bloom from real relationship and mimic them in an effort to seduce the child into letting him have his way. He'll say he loves the child, or he'll never leave the child. He makes the child feel secure and safe with him. All these things are counterfeits that come from the fruit of real intimacy but are acted out to get the child to drop his defenses. A molester will use anything to get what he wants, and we have become no different today.

My heart grieves when I hear people using things that spring from intimacy as tools to get what they want. We've been taught to use the Name of Jesus to make things happen on our behalf. His Name has become nothing but a spiritual bobby pin to pick a lock in the invisible realm or a clove of garlic to ward off all the vampires. We reduce the things that transpire through the fruit of closeness and relationship to a pair of bat wings in a witches brew.Picture :Darin Hufford now

Beautiful things like faith are captured and cultivated for no other purpose than to get a desired set of results. We've become a generation of lawyers who are experts in using God's words against Him. In the end, we seem to have convinced ourselves that the end justifies the means. If the outcome if favorable and positive on our behalf, it was a success.

So we approach God with something we want, and we go through our spiritual tool belt and follow the formula to a "t". We use the Name of Jesus, we use faith, we claim it, we stand on His words, we anoint it with oil and rebuke the Devil. Suddenly IT WORKS. We got the job, we got the car, the promotion came through, we got the raise; IT WORKED!!! But we are no closer to the Heart of God than we were the day before. Closeness was NOT the aim. In the end, we just found ways to penetrate the throne of God to get what we wanted, but we had no intentions of having relationship. It was physical penetration without relational penetration.

No longer do two or three gather in His name for the purpose of relationship with one another. We do it to fulfill a quota that will then obligate Him to respond in our favor. Even our worship is laced and poisoned with manipulation. It seems that today, almost everything we do has an underlined reason behind it that has nothing to do with intimacy with the Father. Even things such as abstaining from sin, can be traced back to some form of spiritual manipulation to get Him to give us something. Make no mistake about it; this is a "God Molesting Mentality!" He feels it the same way a child feels it when they are betrayed by someone they love. It's heartbreaking to Him.

I remember reading in the Bible about a time when Jesus pulled up into a town on a boat and everyone came running to Him begging Him to just touch the edge of his garment. It said that "all who touched it were healed." I refer to this verse as the day Jesus was gang raped. Can you imagine how He must have felt that day? Not a single person was there for relationship. No one wanted Jesus for Jesus. It was the garment they were fascinated with. In fact, when they killed Him they even cast lots to see who got to take it home. Relationship was the last thing on their mind. When I see this spirit in today's Church it grieves my very soul. Prayer in today's generation is nothing but an excuse to rape and pillage heaven.

When I speak my wife's name, it has meaning. It vibrates my soul and resonates within my heart. The very sound of her name causes a mist of her presence to surround me. I can literally catch the sent of her breath and feel her hair in my hands when I speak her name. Before I knew her, "Angie" was just another name. It meant nothing to me. After I became one with her, her name began to take on an entirely different meaning. Today it explodes with the essence of Angie when it comes from my lips. The power of her name comes through my intimate knowledge of her as a person. It is not the name, in and of itself that is powerful to me; it's the relationship behind the name that makes it live in my spirit. The same is true with the Name of Jesus. I think it's pretty pathetic when the Name of Jesus means more to demon spirits than it does to us.

It would be wrong for you to read this article and come away with the notion that the name of Angie has power in it when YOU speak it just because you read about it here. Until you have experienced her heart; her name is none of your business! In the same way, when you have experienced the Heart of God in relationship and intimacy, His Son's spirit will vibrate within you. It's what the Bible refers to in Romans as "The Spirit of Sonship that cries Abba Father." That Spirit is NOT a tool or a technicality; it's a position of closeness and intimacy.

I feel that prayer has gone from a conversation in the midst of relationship to a formula that has been concocted for the purpose of manipulation. Perhaps the most well known teaching on prayer today is called, "The prayer of Jabez." Millions of Christians are encouraged to recite this simple prayer that a man prayed over three thousand years ago, with the promise that "It will work."

This reminds me of a bill board that I once saw in Florida while driving down the freeway. It said, "Prayer Works." I have found this to be the very bottom of the barrel concern of every modern day Christian. Does it work? How can we make it work? My question is this: Is prayer something that was intended to "work" or was it intended for another purpose? When I kiss my wife a m I concerned with whether or not "it works" or am I doing it because my love for her has culminated to a point where I need physical confirmation? To say that "Prayer works" is to suggest that the only reason for prayer is to get something personally from it that we didn't already have. It has nothing to do with relationship or intimacy. It's purely selfish.

I know that this article sounds almost belligerent at some points and perhaps downright confrontational at others, but I sincerely want this generation of Christians to know the Father personally. If you don't know Him; all is lost. What's the point? He created you and me for relationship. That's the first thing on His heart when he thinks of you. Everything else is secondary. The purpose of this article is not to condemn you or make you feel bad. I want to encourage you to seek Him on a different level than what you have been taught. Find Him in your own way. Don't worry about how to pray or what to say and in what order. Just talk with Him because you want to get to know Him.

Believe it or not; God does NOT want you to pray the prayer of Jabez! God wants you to pray THE PRAYER OF YOU.


Jon Sidnell said...

This resonates in all kinds of ways. It makes sense of all kinds of grace-stuff I've been learning over these last few years. It makes sense of the third-level, Christ-in-me-as-me stuff that's been dancing around the periphery of my vision for the last couple of years.

But most importantly, it resonates in my heart and reminds me of what I used to have and what I've allowed to wither and almost die over the years. It makes me realise what Jesus was saying to the Ephesian church in Revelation - it's not their actions that were wrong, it was their heart, their love, their desire for Him.

Time to return to eternal life, which is nothing less and nothing more than knowing Him and the Father who sent Him!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Amazing comment...feel like sharing it.Exactly what Darin was after I think.