Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reasonable But Beyond Our Sight

It's late at night after the second day of the "prayer school."* On Tuesday we moved on from the basics of prayer to teaching on "spiritual warfare" prayer against evil forces.  Not only did we learn, we also prayed.  We prayed about things I've never spent much time thinking about.  We prayed for divine protection in the realms of the spirit.  We prayed prayers that take the "binding and loosing" authority from Matthew 16:19 quite literally.  I'm still running it all through my theological filters.

Here are a few quick thoughts before I go to bed--thoughts directed at my own skeptical self and at others who doubt the reality of things beyond what we can see with our own eyes. Though some of these things I'm learning here may be hard for me to accept when I get back home, there are reasons to pay attention to spiritual reality and learn how to deal with it:

1.  Anyone who prays is betting that there is a "spiritual reality" beyond what we can discern with our senses.

2.  Anyone who trusts Jesus as his or her savior from sin and its consequences is a believer in spiritual reality.  Otherwise trusting in a 2000-years-ago sacrificial death and resurrection would make no sense.  Christians believe that changes were made in the spiritual realms because of what Jesus did.

3.  The scriptures clearly state that Jesus and his disciples believed in the reality of spiritual beings such as God, angels, the devil and demons.  Can we throw out those beliefs and remain true to the Christian faith?

4.  When we experience unexplainable goodness or, on the other hand, has come up against situations where evil seems to be deeply entrenched, it is not unreasonable to think that we are encountering spiritual realities of goodness or evil.

5.  If God is "personal," that is, if God is anything other than a mindless "force of nature," and if God creates people with personalities, it's not unreasonable to think that God could also have created other personal beings, beings that may, like God himself, not have physical bodies, but, instead, be spiritual in nature.

6.  If prayer makes a difference in the lives of people here on earth, why couldn't it also make a difference among those who we cannot see?

I'm asking these questions because we're learning at this "prayer school" about prayer that deals with things far beyond the things we think about on an every day basis.  This world view takes the Bible seriously.  I'm still working this through, still praying and discerning, but I'm not ready to throw it out.

Of course, as we were warned in a presentation before Tuesday's main teaching, it's easy to put too much emphasis on angels and demons.  It's only part of the story.  But, if the scriptures and Jesus are correct, it's not a reality that we ought to ignore.

What do you think?  Comment below or email me anytime.

*see yesterday's post

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