Dear Pop Theology-
I keep seeing Christian pages post this video, but I was wondering, does this bottle prayer thing match up with what the Bible says?
Praying for an Answer
Well, what about it, Pop? Could you give us any reasons why this might not be a biblical way to learn about prayer?
Lemme lay it down for ya homies:
1. No one has the right to put words in God’s mouth. When you hear someone say, “God says _____,” the only thing that blank can safely be filled in with is Scripture. Otherwise, you’re turning God into a ventriloquist’s dummy and making Him say what you want Him to say. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22, Ezekiel 22:28, Jeremiah 14:13-16).
The truth is, things DON’T always become clear to us on this side of Heaven. Talk to a woman whose husband has abandoned her, or someone in chronic pain, or a parent who has lost a child in an accident. There are things in this life that are painful, dark, and confusing, and no where in Scripture does it say that God owes us an explanation for them or that things will “become clear.”
Did you notice the gentleman in the video didn’t use a single Bible verse to back up his “God says____,” or “Things will become clear,” statements? That’s because he can’t. Scripture doesn’t teach this. It’s just his opinion.
What Scripture DOES promise Christians is that, even in the darkest times, Christ will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), that God can use even the worst difficulties for the good (Romans 8:28), that even our Master learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8), and that when we trust God (regardless of whether or not we get what we want), He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
2. Where does Scripture say that “in order for Him to really begin to do the work that YOU want done” you have to “take the limitations off”? It doesn’t. Prayer isn’t about us maneuvering and manipulating God to get Him to do what we want Him to do. Prayer is about US getting on the same page with GOD’S agenda. Us submitting to His will. Us trusting Him regardless of the outcome. It’s not about the work that we have to do (and no matter how holy it might sound, all the “ya gotta…ya gotta…ya gotta” stuff in this video is work) to force God’s hand. The gentleman in the video makes it sound like everything rests on YOU and that if you’ll just pray hard enough, long enough, and with enough faith, everything will work out the way you want it to.
And if things don’t work out, guess whose fault it is? Yours. Because you didn’t have enough faith, or you didn’t pray long enough, or whatever. That’s a Word of Faith false teaching. It is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible says that God is in the Heavens and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3), that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, not the same as ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), and that when we pray, we don’t have to feel anxious. Prayer is to produce peace (Philippians 4:6-7), not worry over whether we’ve said the right things or said them long enough (Matthew 6:7-8). Even our perfect, sinless, holy Jesus, when He prayed in Gethsemane before going to the cross, said “NOT My will, but Yours, be done.” (Matthew 26:39).
3. Watch this video again, paying attention to HOW the liquid in the bottle becomes clear. Who, in this analogy, initiates the action? You. Who does all the work? You. (You take off the lid, you put the bottle in the sink, you turn on the water, you make sure the bottle is in the right place, you readjust the bottle to make sure you’re getting the result you want, you decide when it’s clear enough.) So who gets the glory if everything works out the way you want it to? You.
God says He will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 48:11), and that HE is the one who wills and works for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Ladies, if you want to know how to pray, a video like this featuring a guy who dares to speak for God outside of, and in conflict with, Scripture and doesn’t offer a single Bible verse to teach you about one of the most important aspects of the Christian life is not the way to go.
Don’t believe somebody just because what he says makes you feel good and he has a cool visual aid. Instead, if we want to know how to pray, we need to go straight to the horse’s mouth. That’s what the disciples did when they wanted to know how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), and here’s what Jesus told them in Matthew 6:7-13:
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
If that was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us. Ya feel me?