“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7
I am studying some very interesting research on prayer.
You have most likely heard the saying “Be careful what you pray for!” (I could give some humorous examples that illustrate this.)
Many of the people I know claim it is not possible to accidentally (much less on purpose!) harm someone with prayers.
Yet the Bible does not say this. (In fact, the Bible is full of examples of people “cursing in the name of the Lord.”)
Consider the rather obvious fact that in order to pray for a person to heal, the disease itself must be cursed.
Looking down on someone else while “praying for them,” is a curse.
Many people accidentally CURSE others with their prayers by reinforcing the unwanted condition – with mental pictures and with feelings of doubt, fear, and dread.
(“Don’t die! God, don’t let them DIE!” Or they completely misunderstand and misuse the saying of Jesus “Thy will be done,” so they pray “God, if IT’S not AGAINST YOUR WILL…” and they pollute their prayer with the doubt as to whether or not the thing they pray for will be able to happen. Or rather they pollute their prayers with the certainty that it will NOT happen. And they think they are being “spiritual” by doing so. Notice that the people flocked to Jesus because instead of speaking with doubt and uncertainty, He spoke with AUTHORITY, and not like the “teachers of the Law.”)
Many people who are praying for a spouse or loved one pollute their prayers with fears and mental images of the person leaving them. They do not know that the “groans that words cannot express” combined with the sloppy mental images are a powerful prayer for “what they DON’T want to have happen.”
Many well-meaning people accidentally pray for their loved ones to get sicker and sicker instead of better and better.
But you might say “God could never fulfill that type of prayer! God knows what I mean…”
Sorry, but the research on prayer suggests otherwise. Those same people are completely unaware as to what they themselves actually mean with their thoughts – they do not understand that their doubts and fears are powerful thoughts.
The research on prayer suggests that these negative prayers DO have a negative effect on those we are close to.
So does the Bible.
This is why Jesus put much emphasis on what you think in your heart and mind, not just “what you say out loud.”
And it is not just “what you think,” but also HOW you think it – how you represent those thoughts in your mind, how you speak to yourself and others, and “what you choose to do as a result.”