Michael Daly CJ Blog

A Companion of Jesus

Fire from Heaven

I was recently in a church service where words of encouragement were shared. However one of the testimonies concerned me and I was uneasy in spirit.

A brother started to tell us that some Christians had prayed in Tonbridge for a certain shop to be closed down and it happened. When a friend’s wife started to work in another shop which again was selling questionable items (whatever that meant?) he decided to pray for it to be closed down… as it (too) was not right! It closed shortly after the prayer onslaught.

My concern was that I found this testimony neither encouraging nor Godly. I was reminded in my spirit of the story in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 9 where the two disciples James and John, wanted to call down fire on the Samaritan village and shut it down for good and how Jesus rebuked them.

It seemed that what was being told was seen as a testimony of God’s power through prayer, but I do not think we should jump to such a conclusion just because the shop was closed after such a prayer.

 

Whatever the shops were selling, it undoubtedly caused some Christians great concern. Was it selling occult material or pornography? I can only think that these areas were the likely candidates’ for these prayer warriors to get so fired up. But, was it right to pray for such an outcome, was it God’s will and was it God who closed them down?

Let us for a moment suggest that these shops were selling occult or pornographic wares. The closure of the shop does not change the hearts of the sellers or the buyers. All that closing a shop does is cause the sellers to lose an income and very likely set up somewhere else if they have any finances left and for the shoppers to go elsewhere, to purchase the same merchandise. It doesn’t change hearts nor bring people closer to Christ. I see no grace or love in such prayer. To pray to shut down a business because we judge it as un-Godly is a very dangerous place. To call down fire from heaven to destroy those who reject Christ is not righteous, Jesus did not come to destroy peoples lives but to save them. His salvation is very different to ours.

In the warfare which we are fighting as Christians, we have the protection of armour as mentioned in Ephesians 6. All but one of the pieces is for defence. The Sword of the Spirit is our only offensive weapon and by this we may pull down strongholds and demolish arguments. But we are not to waging war on flesh and blood (that is we don’t attack people or their livelihoods, no matter what we may know or think of them and their wares). God alone has the power to change hearts and lives, we are sent to preach the good news to all.

If there is a shop near you that offends, then go to the shop and tell them the good news of Jesus. (By choosing not to pray for the shop or business to be closed, does not imply that you agree with what the shop or business is selling or doing. You simply choose to act out of love and not of power).

Pray, indeed pray for those who work there and those who frequent these places. Cover them in the love of God and ask God to bless them. This is I believe God’s way. Bless those who curse you and cause offence, bless them and do not curse them with your prayer.

Michael Daly. CJ

March 2009

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March 9, 2009 - Posted by | Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. That is very true. It reminds me of somebody that I know . ..no need to ask why or how. They are quite a famous person in London and in their spare time they are also an escort. I say that in the widest possible terms because they don’t actually escort people but indulge in a “very liberal and open lifestyle” that is quite shocking to a Calvinistic style Britain but would probably get just a shrug of the shoulders in libertine Amsterdam. The point is however that they are one of the kindest most humane individuals I know; They do not come from any creed except perhaps a Zen type version of reality but despite their wayward lifestyle on the side . . they are in my opinion far closer to Jesus than many “good people” I have met.
    A former director of mine for example in British Rail was a lay member of The Church of England. He was well respected and attended his church on a regular basis . . .he was one of the most unchristian souls I have ever come across! Indeed once I remarked that he couldn’t do what he was about to do because he was a Christian and a friend said that just meant he was going to crucify us! How they loved to be admired and bathed in the light of Christ . .just as if it was their own. Power and admiration made them useless to grace and humility. In short I found their smugness before the Crucified Lord as quite disgusting!
    So as St Paul reminds us what we think of as bad may in effect be good and what we think as often good may really be evil.
    The idea that we should pray for the end of bad things is a duty BUT the idea that WE are able to direct such prayers is a blasphemy and little short of idol service in magic. We are never able to direct our prayers towards this or that alone. We rely on Divine Providence and whilst we may ask for grace we may not inflict it upon others at our will. Good intentions alone will simply pave the road to our ruin!

    Comment by Pablo Magnifico | October 14, 2010 | Reply


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