“Vibrations” or Prayer?

If there is any unity of expression in the newsletters missionaries are wont to send, it is found either in their requests for prayer or in their thanksgiving for it. All missionaries desire and need prayer for their daily living, for their ministries and for those to whom they minister. So do the rest of us.  None of us is immune from needing a touch from God.  Such being the case, it behooves us to actually pray when we are asked. Not everyone does.

When my dad was admitted to the hospital with a serious condition, many answered affirmatively to my mass e-mail requesting prayer. But some responded by saying, “Tell your dad I’m thinking about him.” Others said, “Tell Uncle Bill I’m sending him hugs.” One even mentioned that positive vibrations were on their way. What about prayer?

If there had not been so many such replies, I would have chalked them up to either the product of spiritual immaturity—or laziness—or of new age philosophy. Having received a double-whammy in prayer training, partly from a Jewish grandmother who prayed about everything and partly from Oswald Chambers in the powerful daily devotional guide My Utmost for His Highest, my conscience bugs me if I ever try to get away with a matter by just thinking about it. Prayer means going to God with an individual or a situation until we get the “mind of Christ” on the matter. That is not to say that our thoughts are of no consequence. The Bible has a lot to say about thoughts both in the way of instruction and admonition.

  • The meditations of our hearts are to be acceptable in His sight (Psa 19:14).
  • Our thoughts are to be pure, lovely, true, of a good report, etc. (Php 4:8).
  • The secret place of the Most High is to be our dwelling place (Psa 91), not the past (Php 3:13), not the former things (Isa 43:18).
  • We are to avoid our own counsel and the imaginations of our hearts (Jer 7:24).
  • We must refrain from reveling in our lusts (Jas 1:14-16).
  • Still, if we think something before Him, He is able to surprise us beyond anything we can conceive (Eph 3:20).

My question is, “Can we project our thoughts toward another to achieve any expected results, positive or otherwise?” Your input is welcome.

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