"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Prayer Walking" is Secret Crime-Fighting Technique in Jacksonville?

Another confirmation for non-Christians that modern evangelicals have gone off the deep end: my local paper, the Florida Times Union is reporting today that local Christians - along with our Sheriff  - have declared that people doing something called "prayer walking" has actually contributed to a sharp decline in our crime rate here in Jacksonville.

Is this actual news? Or is the Times Union doing an early April Fool's post? Or maybe Sergius Martin-George is writing satire pieces for my local paper?

Some of you may wonder what "prayer walking" is. It is just that: walking around a geographical area and praying. I'm told missionaries do this before they start evangelizing. In fact, the Southern Baptists provide training in how to "prayer walk". Books have been written. Downloadable prayer walking resources are available.

Now, in Jacksonville, prayer walking is reducing crime. From the Times Union article, here is how they do it:
"On Wednesday, Owen, John Twomey and Dwayne Kirby walked up the 500 block of East 59th Street praying over homes. They stopped in front of each one, bowed their heads and took turns saying prayers. “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for today, thank you for your love,” Kirby said in front of one home. 'We pray for house 528, pray that souls will come in, we pray for your protection over this house. We love you.' "
Yes, house 528, we pray for your protection. Unless of course inside the house are non-tithers, a Christian blogger, or militant homosexuals. In that case, God is going to get them.

This raises just a few questions:

Is walking around praying really fighting crime?

 If there is even a hint of truth that prayer walking is helping reduce crime, why not hire more "pray walkers" instead of cops?

Will prayer walking help end world hunger and global warming?

Can we lower gas prices by prayer walking around gas stations?

Should you and I pray walk around our houses so that our T-111 siding will not rot and decay, or that our fridge will last longer?

Should we tell our boss that one of our initiatives to increasing profitability of the company is the employees need to prayer walk around the company headquarters' building?

If this is working, then our city should hire the Southern Baptists to train everyone on how to "prayer walk" so we can fight crime more effectively in Jacksonville.

 Like I said, I'm all for prayer, and if citizens want to organize and prayer walk, that is great. Getting out and walking around - praying or not praying - very well might lower crime, especially if one is praying while carrying a 0.38 caliber gun with a concealed weapon permit.

But when the newspaper reports prayer walking crime fighting measures as news, and the Sheriff begins to insinuate that this is a legitimate crime fighting measure, well, I get a little embarrassed for my city.
"On Wednesday, Sheriff John Rutherford stood in Panama Park and praised the effort, a faith-based initiative that he said is one of a handful of community partnerships with the Sheriff’s Office that helps combat crime.

'I can tell you crime is down in double digits in this neighborhood after this initiative,' Rutherford said."
There is nothing biblical about this, nothing in scripture says that praying for houses is going to lower crime in a neighborhood.

The same logic can be used in building a cement lighthouse downtown: it sure decreased the rate of shipwrecks on our city streets to near zero.

84 comments:

Bennett Willis said...

What is wrong with praying for a house--and the occupants. They are not asking for money. They are not abusing anyone. If prayer has any use, this is a use for it.

Anonymous said...

"What is wrong with praying for a house--and the occupants?"

You mean like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62_uf7F0Rvo

Anonymous said...

Assuming that crime really is down double- digits in that neighborhood, what method do they use to determine if the prayers actually caused the better crime figures?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Bennett - there is nothing wrong with it. Do it.

But to think that it is a crime fighting measure, or that any reduction in crime in our city is in any way whatsoever related to prayer walking is madness and potentially overlooks the real reasons that might actually help us in the future.

If people want to engage in activities that help them feel better about themselves, to make them feel that they are doing something about crime when they are really doing nothing, go for it.

I just get nervous when that gets reported in my newspaper as "news", and the sheriff is quoted as saying this is one of the ways we are fighting crime in the city.

Anonymous said...

You're off in the deep-end. Prayer is powerful and it can be used to accomplish more than you believe.

Find something worthy to write about.

I think your post says more about the condition of your heart and your calloused self righteousness than it does those whom you condemn and criticize.

Anonymous said...

You are the one engaging in activities that help you feel better about yourself...isn't that the whole point of this blog.

Thy Peace said...

I found one thing recently about news papers that is very disturbing. Most of the "news" is not news but propaganda. There are various actors pushing their agenda via the news. I think Noam Chomsky was correct all along. Keep up the good work WD.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how much safer Jacksonville is becoming?

http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/florida/jacksonville.html

2012 Crime (Projected Data)* Incidents

Aggravated Assault 3,800
Arson 0
Burglary 11,763
Forcible Rape 150
Larceny and Theft 29,299
Motor Vehicle Theft 3,258
Murder and Manslaughter 128
Robbery 2,997
Crime Rate (Total Incidents) 51,563
Property Crime 44,298
Violent Crime 7,074

Straight Path said...

I believe it is a great idea to pray for neighborhood homes and their inhabitants. I live in the Dallas, Texas area. These prayer warriors can pray for protection for my family and me anytime they choose.

God IS going to discipline homosexuality whether the homosexuals are militant or NON-militant. According to Scripture, He will also give homosexuals over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1).

Thy Peace, I agree with you that a lot of news today is nothing but propaganda. Many editors cater to interest groups that just seek to further their agenda.

Victorious said...

Adopt a Street Prayer Walking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-MzLYKaUbY

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace: I am very skeptical of these public displays of Christian activity.

Another activity that I see that makes my skin crawl, is "foot washing".

Steve Gaines washed the feet of three black pastors last month. Publicly on stage, while gawkers got up close with the video and still cameras to capture the moment.

I ask this: do any of these activities such as prayer walking and foot washing: are these things that these people do in private, out of the spotlight? Does Steve Gaines wash the feet of his children or wife or even his fellow ministers in private, with a tub of water and three white towels? Of course not.

Do these prayer walkers, pray walk by themselves when no other Christians know?

It seems to me to be Christian activity that does no good for anything, but for Christians to do in the presence of other Christians to prove to each other how godly they are.

Just call me Doubting Thomas.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

What if I prayer walk on my treadmill, while visualizing the houses in Jacksonville. Does that count?

Can I prayer walk while using Google maps "street view" and do a virtual prayer walk?

Straight Path said...

WD:

As these prayer warriors walk the streets and pray, they need to fast IN PRIVATE. Fasting is mentioned in Scripture and is only between God and the person fasting. Christians that fast shouldn’t really tell anyone they are skipping a meal or fasting for a few days.

I agree that if these prayer walkers do not have the right intentions or sincere motives in their “ministry” then their hearts are simply not in the right place. They are phonies. In addition, if these men (and women?) don’t really care about the communities they are praying for and just want the spotlight, then their “ministry” is for show and doesn’t reap the same results as it would otherwise.

Who knows? Maybe half of the prayer walkers are genuine and half are “snakes.” I don’t know. My earlier comments were directed to honorable prayer warriors who have a desire to please God.

I pray for my neighbors ALL THE TIME but only God in heaven knows this because most of the time I am praying only to Him. If I pray past midnight, I usually phone Life Outreach International at 1-800-947-5433 and ask a prayer warrior to agree with me.

Victorious said...

Matt 6:5 "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."

I guess we can't know if their motives are pure, but surely their prayers would be equally effective from their private prayer room. On the other hand, is it a witness to the world?

I'm thinking out loud here....

Anonymous said...

"These prayer warriors can pray for protection for my family and me anytime they choose."

Which Warriors?

Do these Count?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBBMEczYBSs

"God IS going to discipline homosexuality whether the homosexuals are militant or NON-militant. According to Scripture, He will also give homosexuals over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1)."

You mean like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qxjocm5fCc

Straight Path said...

I am busy and don't have the time nor desire to watch a bunch of youtube videos. So I'll pass. Anonymous, if you want to communicate about my earlier postings, then do so IN WRITING.

Moreover, why don't you choose a screen name instead of "Anonymous?" Several "Anonymouses" on one thread makes it much harder for readers to differentiate.

cranston said...

@Straight Path
What have homosexuals got to do with anything in this post?

There are many other sins besetting your nation - avarice, pride, arrogance, materialism. Fix them up first and your situation will improve immeasurably. Your nation's fixation with people's sexuality is perplexing to say the least. They're not hurting you.

Anonymous said...

Being I've been a victim of home invasion I would be immediately suspicious of anyone walking the streets and standing in front of my home - I'd be reporting the people to the officials. It's going one on one to transform ones heart - not street walking!

Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating subject to me, because there are so many questions I have about how prayer works or doesn't work.

What bugs me and probably many others is people attributing some outcome to God doing it (because they prayed) when they can know no such thing. How do they figure out if it was God and their prayer that actually caused something to happen? They can believe that all they want, but that doesn't make it true.

I doubt there will be any double-blind, controlling- for- variables scientific studies done on prayer walking to prove anything one way or the other. But until that study is done, people can claim God did this or that, but that does not mean it is the truth. We hear these claims all the time and usually nod and smile because we don't want to be rude, a wet blanket, etc. But it's still annoying, because it's accepted without ever having to back these claims up with proof.

There's a small church I used to attend near our development that started doing prayer walks in my neighborhood a few months ago. I think maybe they just do it once a month, not sure. It's on Sunday afternoons after church. Seemed pretty weird to me, but I happened to be out front once, so I said hello and they came over and talked for awhile. It was pleasant. To me, even if you know they are walking around praying (weird), the fact that good, decent people in small groups (2 or 3 together) are walking around your neighborhood being friendly, is a nice thing. No problem with that. The more calm, friendly, decent people outside in a neighborhood changes the atmosphere and maybe could make the bad guys feel a little less comfortable than they are when everybody's inside not paying attention. Of course I don't know how often the Florida prayer groups walk through. If it's just once a month, probably not much of an impact with that.

Lynn

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Lynne - thanks for a reasonable comment. I do find it "weird" that people would take their time in groups to walk down a street and pray for people or for homes and their occupants. But if they want to do that, fine. But when they start taking credit for their prayers as being a credible force of crime prevention, cited by the sheriff as one of the city's crime fighting initiatives, it is more than "weird".

If we assume that their prayer walks are reducing crime, whom do we thank? Them for prayer walking? God for listening to the prayer walkers' prayers?

And the quote here is double-weird:

“Our vision statement is that Jacksonville will be a blessed, peaceful, prosperous community evidenced by strong families, high employment, high graduation rates, low crime and low poverty,” he said. “The main effort to do that is by prayer-walking our city, asking God to bless us.”

The "main effort" to be a blessed community, to have high graduation rates, low crime, low poverty?

Prayer walking.

Or maybe tithing, if you believe Perry Noble.

Anonymous said...

"Another activity that I see that makes my skin crawl, is "foot washing"."

"Steve Gaines washed the feet of three black pastors last month. Publicly on stage, while gawkers got up close with the video and still cameras to capture the moment."

Naw, that's not true? is it?

http://www.kewego.com/video/1e000063eb7s.html

and that's DR Steve Gaines

Thy Peace said...

What prayer really is ... Emmanuel - Enid > Sermons > Paul Burleson > The Practice of Real Prayer in the New Covenant. I would encourage anyone to listen to the sermon for it gives a surprisingly a different view but more correct in my opinion. This is to do with "being" than "doing" of the new covenant.

Anonymous said...

"But when they start taking credit for their prayers as being a credible force of crime prevention,"

Prayer Walking equivalent to Neighborhood Watch?
Extra Eyes in the street, whoops, their closed.

Are the armed?

Anonymous said...

Southern Baptists are training people how to prayer walk?

Well, you walk. And you pray while you walk. Done!

Baptists, continually finding ways to make the simple complicated.

Sergius Martin-George said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Tom. You know, there's good news and bad news when it comes to writing "evangelical" satire: the good news is that it's a target-rich environment with lots of low-hanging fruit (double-metaphor point score!). The bad news is that one is often scooped by reality, as is the case here.

And for the record: no, I don't have any objection to praying for one's neighbors or their safety.

Anonymous said...

Well...It doesn't hurt. It might be even more effective than neighborhood watch walks. Anything that get's people out and noticing things has gotta help. Perhaps you just missed the point of the article.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I didn't miss the point. The point was not that neighborhood walks reduces crime, but that prayer walking is one of our crime fighting techniques.

I agree, doesn't hurt. Muslims walking and praying and Jews doing prayer walks, or atheists doing walks wouldn't hurt either.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I think prayer walking at 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights in the high crime neighborhoods of Jacksonville would definitely help.

David said...

Tom, it is interesting that you don't seem to approve of much: prayer, giving to expand the Kingdom, pastors, church, or just whatever else sticks in your crawl. Is there anything you approve of? I guess that I am against all the things that I don't want to do as well. I guess you have this blog to help you and others like you feel better about whining about issues instead of actually being some "light" in a dark world. You must have some unresolved "bullying" issues from your childhood, and I advise you to seek professional help (but please don't see a pastor since you have no respect for them).

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi David - you're wrong. I approve of prayer, of giving to churches or any other charity of one's choice, I approve of pastors and churches. I attend church, and have pastors as friends.

What you call "whining" I call shedding light on issues in Christianity that need to be exposed and discussed.

And yep, I shine my light every single day.

No bullying issues from my childhood.

Perhaps you have some unresolved issues in your Christian walk because it seems you are a bit thin-skinned when it comes to someone expressing critical views of matters related to your faith. Might want to see your pastor about that.

:)

Anonymous said...

Maybe for Christians to get out of the pews and into the neighborhoods and connect with people, they need (not trying to be offensive, but) a "gimmick." If they are praying over houses, they feel like they are "doing" something, rather than just walking the streets. Maybe it would be the same if they were told to just relax, enjoy your walk, speak with people, be seen, give out some chocolate chip cookies or something-trying to let people know "I'm here, I know you're here, I want to somehow connect with you and send good will your way."

I think the point must be to try to care about people where they are-not to invite them to your church, talk religion with them-in other words, no hidden agenda. Just a group of people who want to make a difference in some small way in their town. Nothing wrong with that.

If it was truly about prayer-don't you think bunches of people have been praying for their whole lives for God to make things better? Does he only do something if you're standing right in front of the person's house? So I think it's the real people connecting with real people that might make a difference.

Lynn

David said...

Dog if you don't want to be seen as as a little boy then maybe do some more positive stories instead of just barking up the "wrong" tree. You remind me of little bratty dog on the beach this week that barked all the way down the beach at people and other big dogs, which if any choose to do so, could stomp that little creature into the ground.

Me thinks you are not so big....

Anonymous said...

i think you might be wrong watchdog. what is wrong with prayer walking?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi David - glad to help you out here. Your statements of displeasure toward me and my blog and my views, are what the blog is here for. To give people like me and you a voice for what they find objectionable in modern Christianity. Seems that you detest this blog, and me, and what I say, so I am glad to give you a place to voice your objection.

Now, is your name calling and not-so-veiled threat your way of "expanding the Kingdom" (your words). :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Would someone please prayer walk my street, so I can feel protected against the vitriol of David.

:)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 6:06 - absolutely nothing wrong with prayer walking.

But thinking it is causing God to lower crime rates in Jacksonville, well, it ain't true.

55 years a Baptist mostly SBC said...

Being on the streets in the evening, and, to a lesser extent, in the daytime, is a great crime fighting technique, with one caveat: Doing it in the wrong neighborhood at night with the "wrong" color skin, may actually increase the crime by being an attractive victim!

Otherwise, it is nice to live in a neighborhood where there are lots of people out on the street. Tends to reduce crime.

But if praying reduced crime, there would be no arson of churches, burglary of churches, or ripping off of churches by overpaid "men (living off) of God".

Thy Peace said...

I do not understand the need to pray for "houses". People who live in them yes, but houses, cars, bricks, shoes ... No.

Anonymous said...

30 Now I urge you, brethren , by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit , to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea , and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the   saints ; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. Romans 15

Prayer changes people's minds and stops crime...or God inspired Paul to record a request that was a fallacy.

David said...

For the record Tom, I did not threaten you. On the other hand, you obviously need a lot of prayers because of your careless use of words. I don't at all see you informing or building up the Kingdom of God. You just can't admit you have a huge chip on your shoulder and you are out to bash every pastor and church that you disagree with. Do some things need to be brought to light? Well sure, but you obviously have no training that would make you a good judge at most of what you speak. Most of the time you don't back up your position with a theological position, instead using your obvious biased opinion. You just have no credibility at all.

What you know about the effectiveness of prayer walking couldn't be measured by an electron telescope. Done with you tonight Tom. Keep walking the beach barking at the shadows. You are just an irritating noise and nothing more.

Victorious said...

David said:
I don't at all see you informing or building up the Kingdom of God.

I disagree. He is informing, alerting, warning, and exposing, all of which are beneficial to the well being of the sheep. Jesus said, "Beware...beware..."

Thy Peace said...

Maybe we should compare the track record of WD vs. ALL of the SBC honchos ... That would be very interesting ...

Shall we start with Richard Land?

How about Paige Patterson?

How about Mac Brunson?

How about Steve Gaines?

How about Jack Graham?

How about Darrell Gilyard?

How about Ergun Caner?

How about Frank Page?

WD beats all the above. SBC is riddled with "holy" men full of holes.

Julie Anne said...

"Our vision statement is that Jacksonville will be a blessed, peaceful, prosperous community evidenced by strong families, high employment, high graduation rates, low crime and low poverty,” he said. “The main effort to do that is by prayer-walking our city, asking God to bless us.”

Do these people have anything to do with the prosperity "gospel"? Praying to be blessed? Good employement = $$.

There's nothing wrong with praying, but it seems like their time could be better spent working among the people in the community instead of walking in their neighborhoods praying for houses: providing meals, working with youth/women/homeless in shelters, mentoring, etc, connecting one on one with people who are in need of practical things like good advice, love, an outfit for an interview, a decent meal, etc.

Now, if on their prayer walk they actually stopped to talk to some of these people, that would be great. But I wonder if they might say, "no, I can't talk right now, I'm too busy praying".

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder why David chooses to spend his time arguing on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Good list, Thy Peace. These guys are so full of it, it's unbelievable. And equally unbelievable that we were once sucked in by their nonsense. Thank God for His word to study and the sincerity of guys like Wade B. to learn from.

Anonymous said...

"You are just an irritating noise and nothing more."

Can't you just feel the love and respect between Christian brothers? Sorry, couldn't resist. I do think, generally, it's a lot easier to love those vague, poor sinners out there on their way to frying forever, than it is to love others within your own group.

I've pictured myself up in a secluded mountain cabin just feeling warm and fuzzy about humanity. But in reality, people are darned annoying and quite hard to love sometimes.

To me, WD seems quite effective. He has an ongoing blog with plenty of readers, seemingly; he won his case. So I guess one of the big dogs tried to squash the little, irritating, yapping dog, but it didn't work.

Lynn

Elisabeth D said...

Watchdog said
What if I prayer walk on my treadmill, while visualizing the houses in Jacksonville. Does that count?

Can I prayer walk while using Google maps "street view" and do a virtual prayer walk?

Go for it, Watchdog. I think it's the same thing.

faith said...

Why can't we just be Christians instead of "formulating" every Christian activity out there and making claims like Tony Robbins that this will change your life. Of course prayer changes lives and there is proof but when we start parading ourselves outside among unbelievers we only look like the goody twoshoes and know it alls- "Look at us- we are reducing your crime- you should be so grateful." Why not spend the time getting to know someone - find out about their lives and start being a witness. People today need real mentoring, love and companionship, not silly programs and formulas.

Anonymous said...

I'm usually with you on your posts, when you (rightfully) point up all the foolishness and folderol that is going on in contemporary megachurches. However, I think you aimed at the wrong target with this one. My understanding is that you are a Christian, is that correct? If so then surely you acknowledge that the Bible says that prayer has real power. So I think this is perfectly Scriptural. Neither is it fair to say this is "faith without works." What, if anything, do you think they should be doing instead?

Anonymous said...

FYI

If you have time the SBC Pastors convention is streaming

http://mediasuite.316networks.com/playerlive.php?e=bsmedima&doResize=false

So far the theme today has been

Persecuted Preachers

Johnny Hunt and WAYNE ROBERTSON

especially from within the church


Notice, Mac Brunson and Steve Gaines are not on the roster.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Oh My

The “Ask Jesus into Your Heart” Debate continues:

David Platt just nailed Steve Gaines in his message today about the How of Salvation.


David Platt gets the full audience of the SBC pastors and Steve Gaines will only be able to reply on youtube?

"who amongst us has the mind of god"

http://www.newbbc.accura.net/Steve%20%26%20David%20Platt%20Invitation.jpg

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Oh My

The “Ask Jesus into Your Heart” Debate continues:

David Platt just nailed Steve Gaines in his message today about the How of Salvation.


David Platt gets the full audience of the SBC pastors and Steve Gaines will only be able to reply on youtube?

"who amongst us has the mind of god"

http://www.newbbc.accura.net/Steve%20%26%20David%20Platt%20Invitation.jpg

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the people praying for themselves inside of those houses. They may be the very reason crime is down!!!

Alex said...

I seem to recall reading somewhere that prayer walking was very effective at Jericho.

Ian said...

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel...

People walking around for whatever reason could contribute to a decline in the weight problem in American society.

faith said...

Anon 10:17
I wonder how Luke 11:2-4 plays into all this. I am not saying that all the people praying may not be sincere but this prayer walk looks like a show; that anyone who is praying in their homes for their neighborhoods is just not as effective as doing a prayer walk.
We also do not see these kind of "formulas" being used in Scripture. We do see, however, a model of prayer being used in Luke 11.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny as here the discussion is the effectiveness of prayer,

while the preachers are bickering over the effectiveness of the sinners prayer

David Plat , relying on the word, tweets

David Platt ‏@plattdavid

"Thankful for the Word today.
Need God's mercy as I preach @SBCPastorsConf at 2:30 CST - Live: http://bit.ly/KfEywt"

Steve Gaines relying on man, tweets

Steve Gaines ‏@bellevuepastor

"Phil Hoskins at SBC Pastor's Conf.:
"You can't fish (for souls), and fight (with other fishermen) at the same time." Amen! "

and the fight for control of SBC continues,

Will Steve Gaines be allowed to lead the SBC convention as he is leading his church
(Bellevue Baptist), into the abyss.

David Platt gives his all (to missions), while Steve Gaines takes it all (for his lavish lifestyle)


Steve & David

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose that if they walk around each crime-infested neighborhood, the whole thing will come tumbling down in a pile of rubble?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for an excellent post and asking the hard questions.

This is just more of the "God as a vending machine" mentality here in America. Put in prayer walking and get lower crime.

This is the latest fad. My daughter's former private school does it before school starts. It is quite organized even with suggestions on prayers, etc.

Some on this thread have it right about this very
public display and comparing it to the Pharisees showing off in public praying.

Of course, praying in public is actually easier than actively loving the unloving in those houses.

I honestly do not think most of American "evangelicalism" has a clue what it means to follow Christ. So they go along with all the circus acts that make a mockery of God.

Anonymous said...

Prayer walking does not seem to have anything to do with prosperity gospel. I guess if the prayer walkers were to knock doors and offer to pray for a $100 prayer plaque or something, then you might have a genuine concern. It does not appear that this groups goal is ministry in the sense of trying to help fill some physical need.

I see no problem with their efforts and they seem sincere. I hope the crime trend continues to go downward.

55 years a Baptist mostly SBC said...

I think it important to recognize that if one believes that praying makes any difference at all in what happens during or after, then one could be called an "open theist", which is another term for heretic to 5-point Calvinists.

Anonymous said...

they do this in omaha nebraska one of the top 4 seeker driven and NAR peddling capitals of the mid-west.

other three are Chicago and Kansas City and Dallas and St. Louis

Anonymous said...

So...the Bible is wrong...prayer really doesn't work or have effect?

Alex said...

'Do you suppose that if they walk around . . . , the whole thing will come tumbling down in a pile of rubble?'

That must be a direct quotation from a skeptic inside Jericho! Nice one, Mr Anon.

Anonymous said...

I have a better idea. Drive around these areas and you can have more houses and businesses covered. If you really want to increase the effects rent a helicopter and fly low and really see the difference.

Anonymous said...

Are they prayer walking in Chicago? I'm constantly hearing about their awful murder rate. If it really does work, shouldn't the prayer walkers go there and help Chicago?

Has crime gone down in another place where nobody prayer walked?

What if you had the same people or similar people walk, talk with people, etc.-do everything but leave out the prayer part-would the results be different? If so, maybe we could conclude that it's the actual praying onsite that causes crime to go down.

Here's one thing I always wonder-why doesn't God cause the crime rate to go down BEFORE people pray?

Lynn

Anonymouse said...

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ ?

Anonymous said...

"other three are Chicago and Kansas City and Dallas and St. Louis"

That's four.

Anonymous said...

http://www.brnow.org/News/May-2012/N-C-couple-in-Brazil-sees-prayerwalking-open-doors

Straight Path said...

I disagree with all of you who think that prayer-walking (if the Christian prayer warriors are sincere) will not lower crime or render positive effects in neighborhoods.

To the Anonymous poster that questioned why I mentioned "militant homosexuals" in my response to WD, it is because WD mentioned it in his original post. Btw, I am so sick and tired of Christians sounding pro-homosexual.

We are coming to the end of time. Some Christians believe the following verse means the AntiChrist will be a homosexual.

"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all" (Daniel 11:37).


A Christian brother who I love dearly sent me the following email the other day. I will copy and paste it:


"I sent out an email this morning against homosexuality to my church and spiritual friends. One of them had made a statement supporting same-sex benefits, so I had to address the matter. Here's the article I wrote:

The practice of homosexuality is immoral and the Word of God condemns it outright. A church brother and I were discussing end time events and he mentioned that the state of the world economy is ushering in end time events. I disagreed that this would be the catalyst, but that what will bring the wrath of God down on this nation's endorsement of homosexuality by passing laws that support such a lifestyle. He disagreed and said it is wrong to deny benefits to a person who had a twenty year life with their dead partner.

Do you know what the Trojan Horse of homosexuality is? The sentimental feeling that those who have chosen a same sex immoral lifestyle should get the same benefits that heterosexuals enjoy. The Defense of Marriage Act is under attack for this very reason. However, church members do not understand that this is not just a moral issue, but one related to letting our emotions get in the way of common sense.

The people of Lot's time had twenty to fifty year homosexual relationships, but when God rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, did He separate out those who had those were in those immoral relationships? No, they all were burnt up, but his wife said "Aw, shouldn't those loving same sex couples have been spared?" Should those who are looking for the Second Coming of Christ take a position that is against the Word of God's clear position against homosexuality? Listen to God's response to that question from the devotional That I May Know Him by Ellen G. White:

What men may say, what their opinion of us may be, amounts to very little. The question that concerns us is, What is God's measure­ment of my character? . . . He who sustains another man in a wrong course of action is not on God's side, but on the enemy's. "So did not I," Nehemiah says, "because of the fear of God" (Neh. 5:15). Every soul is to gird himself for the spiritual conflict before us. The world's plans, the world's customs, the world's conniving, are not for us. We are to say, "So did not I, because of the fear of God." Selfishness, dis­honesty, craftiness, are trying to intrude into hearts. Let us not give them room.

Let's not give them room by feeling sorry for someone who has decided that years of living against God's will justifies the position that the government should make laws to support their choice of lifestyle; and it is a choice by the way."

Joseph

Anonymouse said...

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/06/22/churches-respond-impotently-to-atheist-billboard/ I know this will be blocked as spam but it is on topic. I'm happy if only you read it Dog. I expect you to have an epiphany some day. Wishing you a nice day.

55 years a Baptist mostly SBC said...

Anon 6-19 2:06 pm

The Calvinistas teach that everything is all totally controlled by God's plan from before creation and that God does not change from his preset plan, regardless of what humans do. Therefore, a non-"elect" person can never come to Christ and become "elect". So God does not change what he has planned regardless of prayers by humans.

If one believes that the actions of God change because of prayer, then one believes that God is open to change, hence the charge of "open theism" which to Calvinistas is a heresy.

So your prayer was predestined and also predestined to have no effect, according to the Calvinistas.

Anonymous said...

To think prayer walking could even cause the crime rate to drop is foolish.

To think blogging to warn about the faults and sins of others is wisdom.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of this David Platt worship.

He does not give his all to missions and neither do you.

At least Steve Gaines does not hide his desire for wealth and I respect that in him.

Solomon, David, Job, and Abraham were wealthy men.

God blesses some of us with the ability to gain wealth.

55 years a Baptist mostly SBC said...

Strong Calvinism believes that God has a plan for everything that occurs and that that plan existed before creation, so that EVERYTHING that happens is predestined, even that you would pray and expect God to answer. But according to them, He does not.

So, if you believe that God responds to prayer (other than exactly what he had planned an infinity ago), the strong Calvinists will call you an "open theist" because God changes his plan (based on our prayers). Now I believe that God does respond to us and that not every storm, quake, bridge failure, murder, etc. is in God's detailed plan as an inevitability.

BTW, strong Calvinists consider "open theism" a heresy, as I consider them making God the author of evil a heresy.

An Attorney (same as earlier) said...

MPORTANT NOTE: Someone made a false report to Symantec that the WD's site is a malicious phishing site. The site was briefly on their list of such sites prior to a fuller investigation, which apparently cleared the site. However, if you use Symantec and happened to update the list in your system during the time the WD's site was on the list, you may get a warning. You can do a manual update of the lists easily, just by clicking on the icon for your security system.

If you use some other security provider and find yourself blocked, please notify the WD and your security provider.

Anonymous said...

Update often WD?

WishIhadknown said...

Were there skeptics in Jericho? I don’t think so:
Joshua 2 8-11: 8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

WishIhadknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WishIhadknown said...

On this issue I kind of feel the same way as I do about rosaries, burning incense, prayer clothes and a host of other things. It seems to be more about spirituality and sentimentality than it is about the spiritual. At the same time it does no harm and does promote the good so it’s hard to be too critical.

My question is, and I do like questions because I hope that promote true and honest discussion, if a group of atheists canvassed the neighborhood would they obtain the same results? Generally speaking criminals do not like crowds so the public presence of such a large group of people may prompt the criminals to relocate elsewhere.

WishIhadknown said...

“Solomon, David, Job, and Abraham were wealthy men.”

Not a very good comparison, these men earned it in commerce or were kings. Steve Gaines does it by preaching condemnation and threatening people with the wrath and judgment of God. You obviously missed his comment about owning very little too.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of this Steve Gaines worship also.

Steve Gaines also went on to be interviewed at the SBC convention and put this video on the internet:

http://vimeo.com/44400540

Steve Gaines even made a special sermon to show how hard he was going to make "salvation:" to counter the easy believism that David Platt was commenting on:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bellevue-baptist-church-dr./id187637964#

Here's how the 262 kids get "saved" at Bellevue Baptist Church under Steve Gaines leadership:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqU7VZB1yrs&list=UUtnE74oCh24MUBY6DAOZsUA

They got it right , right?

Anonymous said...

Clearly the fact that people are out in the neighborhood is the reason crime has lowered. If more people are watching, then fewer crimes are likely to occur. Leave them alone. If it helps the neighborhood, let them do and think as they please. So what if they think homosexuality is wrong, clearly individual backgrounds, stances, and opinions didnt initiate this and it certainly isnt stopping it. You should want more churches and christians to be like this.

Anonymous said...

Let's remember Jesus' words: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged" (Matthew 7:1).

We argue over doctrine and denominations because we assume we know more, or we know better. That’s presumption, and presumption grows out of an ego, which elevates itself above others. The enemy to be defeated is the false self—the self defined and driven by egotism. So, I refuse to judge another person.

Once we chose to withhold judgment, we will experience an inner freedom because judging others is a heavy burden. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free to walk in humility, which next to love, is the most-important virtue for holiness.

I confess that I do not always choose to withhold judgment, but I am always convicted by Christ’s example. For he shows that there is a way of life—real life—where we do not have live as someone else’s judge, another person’s critic, or the world’s watchdog.