The other day I received a letter in my email account. It was from someone who had visited my blog and had a question. A friend of his had hired a firm/ministry, (W.I.S.E. - Workplace. Intercessory. Support. Empowerment - found @prayformybusiness.com)(videos here) to provide intercessory prayer and prophecy for his company.
The website does not specify fees for this "service" but the one who wrote to me thought it to be in the $1,500 range for a month. I did not verify this.
Now, those of you who know me here would expect me to rant. Truthfully, it would feel good. But again, I'm not sure anything good comes from a rant. Those who agree with you will agree and those who support this kind of thing will simply tune out.
May I talk to those who are considering this kind of arrangement? Will you give me a few minutes of your time? May I please bring up some issues for you to think about?
I could debate with you many points where this kind of ministry has bought into the latest rhetoric of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). 7 Mountains Mandate, Apostolic Alliances, Prayer Mapping, Covering and the whole 90 yards are touched upon as you browse their site. I have covered many of these in this blog already so I won't do it here. You can follow Labels to read more or just write to me directly.
I ask you to at least consider ONE thought. HOW WILL YOU KNOW IT IS WORKING?
In their own words, they do not promise a rise financially for your company (good thing in the market we are now in!) They state that they don't promise you to necessarily prosper financially but it is insinuated that they will pray for that. (This way they can take credit for it if it does happen but do not have to take credit for anything if it does not)
They say that you should expect other things to get better though. Atmosphere around the office, relationships to be better, more surety about decisions that need to be made and such are promised. BUT - and here is the kicker - IF it does NOT go well for your business, they again make a way out for themselves by claiming that as they begin to pray the enemy may actually come against your business and "stir things up." Things may get worse - not better. This is brilliant actually because they can look at both possibilities to show you that their prayer and prophecy is WORKING - kinda - sorta...sigh...
You will never know if it is working. Any good thing will be because they prayed, any bad thing will be because they prayed. And they get paid to do this. This is the sweetest gig ever!!!
But here is the heartbreaking thing. This is what I wrote to the "friend."
The bad part is that when your business has its normal ups and downs, or your kid gets sick, or an employee cheats you or you loose your health, you will begin to wonder if God loves you. Here you are doing everything you can to prosper (soul as well as financial) and you are failing. God is not keeping up his part of the bargain -that, or you have done something wrong. (Not given enough, not prayed enough, not come under covering enough.) It will be your fault or someone else close to you. It suddenly becomes witchcraft. Your future depends on fulfilling what the gods are asking for. The end result is that you are now mad at God. He let you down. The one Father that truly loves you, who wants to walk through this life with you in both good and bad times, is now your enemy.
How do I know this? I walked through this path myself. I watched my business - then under the Apostles "Covering," - go through it's normal ups and downs. I bought into the "testimonies" of other business men, men who only told the good stuff. (One day I was talking to one of these "blessed" business owners. He admitted to me that it had been a hard year and was now being sued by a client. I was shocked! I had been led to believe that he was having the most amazing year ever.) I just felt that somehow I was doing something wrong. Then I was mad that God was not holding up his part. I tried harder and harder to do everything right.
When I finally walked out I realized that I had been put into a prison of my own imagination. God was not like this. I did not have to do all the stuff to keep my business safe or prospering. He did not promise me a business where nothing went wrong. He promised to be my God in the midst of my business - nothing more. And you know what? It is more than enough. It is wonderful.
And one final thing.....doesn't it make you wonder that if Jesus were to clean the "Temple" of today, he might just smash a few computers for hawking their wares/services online?
Picture from here