Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, September 21, 2009

Step Right Up

The Times is at it again; reporting on Middle America as if it were an especially interesting and enterprising flea in a circus sideshow.

[The Rev. Daniel] Henderson is a peppy, unassuming man in his early 50s, a Jerry Falwell-trained Baptist minister. After serving for many years as the spiritual leader of a megachurch in suburban Minneapolis, he left the pulpit and founded Strategic Renewal, a nonprofit organization that holds “prayer summits” and how-to-worship seminars around the country. (Henderson was also a contributor to the magazine Pray!, which recently went out of business.) “The fact is, most pastors never learn how to really pray,” he explained. “They get to the seminary, and people just assume they know how to pray. But that’s not true. Prayer is a lot more than reciting words. It requires mastering both theory and technique.” [my bolding]

In the afternoon, in a classroom of the tabernacle’s annex, Henderson delivered a workshop on technique to an audience of pastors and seminary students. “Some people think it is better and more meaningful to pray alone, but that’s false,” he told his students. “You improve by praying with others who can mentor you, people who are more expert than you.” According to Henderson, there are rules of effective praying: “Let God begin the conversation. Keep your prayers brief and clear. Repeat simple Scripture-based phrases. Pray standing up to fight torpor. And pray directly facing others, eye to eye, in a loud, clear voice.”

It's not that Henderson didn't ask God to keep his magazine running, it's just that God said no.*

(*from Taxi)


BillCinSD said...

He also must have missed Matthew 6:6

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Mr. Wonderful said...

"And pray directly facing others, eye to eye, in a loud, clear voice.”

Video, please.

This--Henderson; the magazine; his area of specialization; the whole shtik--is pure satire. With Will Ferrell as Henderson, who finds a way (with the Lord's help) to make a buck selling something everybody already has.

Kathy said...

I hope he tells his students "Be careful what your pray for -you might get it!"

Remember The Monkey's Paw!

Susan of Texas said...

Matthew 6:7
"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again." (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (NIV)

I used to think of this first one while reciting the same long prayers every Sunday at mass. It's amazing how much of the Bible is ignored by Biblical literalists.

Cole said...

I always felt prayer was mumbo-jumbo, but at times I could admit that it might function as a sort of DIY psychotherapy for some, provided the acolyte was as honest with him/herself as possible (considering the circumstances), all within the comfort of an Invisible Sky Daddy who loved unconditionally. No harm to others, and possibly some good out of it.

However, it seems that more and more modern day Christians use prayer the same way hopeful teens chant the ritualistic spells found in dog-eared paperbacks with titles such as "Mackick for Young Witches."

Current prayer practices are no more than wishful thinking motivated by envy and desperation--magic spells. At the same time these self-centered people sink further into their delusions, they mock and fear those who actually WORK to make real changes in the real world.


Every new day, sadly, I find it easier to envision Americans as medieval peasants living in a world of frightening superstition.

tigris said...

“Some people think it is better and more meaningful to pray alone, but that’s false,”

"Man, that Jesus guy sure was full of crap!"