BOOTCAMP EMOTIONS (Part 3): Practical Ways To Guard Your Heart Against Emotional Entanglements (2)

(…continued from last post)

(3)Don’t Pray With – Or For – The Person. Rather, Pray About The Person.

I know this sounds very strange, but since I am predominantly talking to Christians, this has to be said – and it is so important that I am dedicating this whole post to it.

When you begin to get emotionally involved with an individual, you should pray about him/her. However, do not pray for the person – except God strongly lays it in your heart to; and do not pray with the person, except in a group or crisis/emergency scenario.

I completely believe that, while most people will concur that prayer is a very powerful force, they grossly underestimate just how powerful it is – or its binding force between individuals.

Prayer is so powerful that, when people pray together consistently, there is a strong connection with each other that is difficult to break. (That’s why in these last days, one of the greatest forces which the enemy will do all he can to destroy will be prayer in the family unit – especially between the husband and wife.)

When people pray consistently for another, there is a strong connection as well – and these strong connections are not always a good thing.

As crazy as it sounds, even though we say “In the name of Jesus”, and claim we are praying to God, prayer can be used to generate negative forces, and used as a form of manipulation.

Adding “In the name of Jesus” does not make a prayer ‘good’.

In an earlier post on emotional healing, I talked about someone. We were not in the same locality, and even though we communicated via calls and messages, I missed him when we were apart.

The one way I could feel really close to him was by praying for him deeply, intensely and emotionally.

Because I felt he was ‘mine’, I prayed for him like a wife would – with all my heart, and soul, and emotions. I prayed so much for him, I became ‘joined’ to him…

…and that experience taught me a lesson.

The Bible says the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. It is true. I realised that powerful emotions combined with powerful prayers can cause powerful results – that might not be of God.

It also made me imagine that a few people might have gotten married because their spouses intensely/strongly desired them, and powerfully/intensely prayed them into marriage – and they were unaware, ignorant, or didn’t have the spiritual capacity to resist.

It might be ignorantly done in ‘love’ or ‘care’, but no matter how much you couch it, such prayer – where you strongly impose your will/desire on another – is witchcraft.

Not every prayer is good prayer.

The few times we had prayed together was intense. When we were apart, I prayed constantly for him with my very being – even after we started having issues.

Then one day, I heard the Lord say, “Stop praying for XYZ.”

I thought, ‘Nah. This is not God. Prayer is a good thing. God cannot tell me to stop ‘praying.’ After all, it’s not a ‘sin’.’

I kept on praying – and I heard God say again, “Stop praying for XYZ.”

I didn’t and I couldn’t, because I honestly didn’t believe prayer could be ‘bad’ – but, also, if I stopped, I wouldn’t have him ‘near’ me.

After a long while, where it seemed God was telling me to let go, I decided to stop praying.

The sense of loss was UnBeLievAble.

Not too long after, he called and said, “Deborah, can you pray for me?”

I said, “Okay.” I got back home and began to pray for him – and it was as if we were ‘re-joined’ in the spirit.

It was like coming home to me.

This time, no matter what I ‘thought’ God was saying, I continued praying – and, unknowingly, tying our souls together.

Then, the church I just started attending organized a fast for the whole month of February, breaking each day by 6pm. I had never done such a fast before. My longest prior to that time had been one day – 12pm – but I decided to join in.

From the very first day, there was a strong sense of clarity that God wanted me to stop praying for XYZ – and even though I tried to hold on, I couldn’t.

The fast had weakened my will.

In the middle of the fast, exactly on the fifteenth day, I finally let go. I stopped praying for him – and it was as if there was a splitting apart in the spirit. The binding force between us was broken – and I was alone/separated.

That experience was scary and eye-opening.

After that, I stopped praying emotionally for – or with – anyone I got attracted to. I would pray about them: “Lord, I think I’m liking this person” or “Lord, I am really attracted to this person”, but I was talking to God about it without emotionally involving the other individual. (I really wish I could explain better).

There were actually times God told me to specifically pray for them, and I would confirm and reconfirm to be sure – then pray only about the area He laid on my heart.

I would pray as a sister – safely behind firmly locked emotional gates – until I felt released to stop praying, or until the emotions faded and I could interact freely again.

I think that was why God trusted me to pray for them. He knew I had learnt the hard way not to let my emotions influence my prayers – and possibly ‘jeopardize’ His work in that person’s life.

Someone might say, “Praying with a person, I understand. But praying for someone I like…? What’s wrong with that?”

Praying with a person – especially consistently – creates a powerfully strong bond.

Praying for a person usually arises from a sense of responsibilty/care/concern. While it isn’t bad in itself, your motive is the key factor.

Are you genuinely concerned for the person? Before you say yes, ask yourself these questions honestly:

(1) If he/she didn’t reciprocate your feelings; or if he/she moved on and got involved with someone else – would you still pray in such intensity for that person?

That’s when you know you truly care – and it’s not because you are hoping to be his/her spouse.

(2) Also, is control your underlying motive? Honestly, are you trying to control his/her desires and choices by your prayers?

These questions are not limited to romantic relationships alone. Strong emotions color prayers – negatively or positively.

I believe deeply emotional prayers should be done in a ‘spiritually legalized’ setting – spouse for/with spouse, parents (spiritual/biological) with/for children and vice versa, intercessors standing in the gap, burden-bearers carrying God-given burdens, shepherds over their God-given flock, etc.

Even in such cases, motive and understanding of spiritual things are important.

Emotionally attached individuals praying deeply intense prayers for each other outside a ‘spiritually legalized’ setting is unadvisable for your emotional safety – and sets you up to be a witch or bewitched.

Even when you both are in agreement and courting, your emotions should still be under control – and under the Spirit of God.

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