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Chain prayer!?? Lucky Charm?
For years people have been receiving and passing on chain letters which promised good luck/happiness/blessings/financial prosperity etc to those who continued the chain and passed it along to a number of other people. There were often warnings of dire consequences for those who broke the chain.
One example of such a chain letter is the following:
WITH LOVE ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
Kiss Someone You Love When You Receive This Letter and Make Magic
This letter is being sent to you for good luck. The original is in New England. It has been around the world nine times. The luck has been sent to you. You will receive good news within 4 days of receiving this letter, providing in turn you send it out. This is no joke. You will receive good luck in the mail. Send no money, as fate has no price. Send copies to people you think need good luck. Do not keep this letter. It must leave your hands within 96 hours.
A Royal Air Force officer received $470,000.00 Joe Elliot, received $40,000.00 and lost it because he broke the chain. While in the Philippines Gene Welch lost his wife six days after receiving this letter. He failed to circulate the letter. However, before her death, he received $7,775,000.00
Please send 20 copies and see what happens within 4 days. The chain comes from Venezuela and was written by Samuel Anthony DeGroup, a missionary from South Africa. Since the copy must take a tour of the world, you must mail 20 copies and send them to friends and associates. After a few days you will get a surprise. This is true even if you are not superstitious.
Do note the following:-
Constantine Olas received the chain in 1958. He asked his secretary to make 10 copies and sent them out. A few days later he won the lottery for 20 million dollars. Carlo Daddo, an office employee received the letter and forgot it was supposed to leave his hands in 96 hours. He lost his job. Later, finding the letter, he sent 20 copies out. In a few days, he got a better job. Nolan Foarhold received the letter and, not believing, he threw the letter away. Nine days later he died.
In 1986 the letter received by a young woman in California was very tattered and barely readable. She promised herself she would retype the letter and send it out. She put it aside to do later. She was suddenly plagued with automobile problems and expensive repair bills. The letter did not leave her hands in 96 hours. She finally retyped the letter and sent it out, as she had promised. She promptly won a new car a few days cater.
Remember, send no money. Do not ignore this. For some strange reason, it works. Good Luck. Please remember you can endure anything life sends your way. Stay positive and have faith in God. Good Luck. Expect a miracle. Remember me always. St Jude. God bless you.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s people around the world received this letter/paper, in its various forms (spelling errors, changes in financial figures, changes in the spelling of names and dates etc). Some of the variants had words such as: ’A Prayer For Luck’ at the beginning. Some included Bible quotes, such as Matthew 21:22. They caused considerable concern. Many people were frightened or disturbed by them. Police, politicians, pastors and preachers, journalists and others, warned people against taking them seriously and advised that they be thrown in the rubbish bin, rather than circulated further. However, some people either wanted to improve their luck and a chance at a fortune, or were afraid of the consequences of breaking the chain or hanging on to the paper too long, and promptly forwarded it to other people - some sent it to friends and relatives, others selected names and addresses from the telephone book.
These chain letters were variously described as ’drivel’, ’a nasty menace’, ’more than a nuisance’, ’an unwanted invasion of privacy’, ’a form of virus infecting people’s minds’, ’garbage’, ’trash’, ’junk mail’. People who believed in the chain letters were described as ’sick’, ’gullible’, ’ignorant’, ’superstitious’.
We now have another form of chain letter - the email chain prayer!
Many Christians are passing on, apparently with little deep thought, so-called ’prayers’ to people in their email address books. When received they simply tag the email and forward it to others - with no personal expressions of interest or concern. Several ’prayer’ variations and versions are now floating around the Internet, including the following two:
When you receive this e-mail just recite the following prayer.
That’s all you have to do. There is nothing attached. This is the power of prayer at work. Just send this to (4) people and see what happens on the fourth day.
Do not break this, please. There is no cost, but lots of rewards.
Let’s continue to pray for one another.
PRAYER: May today there be peace within you. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing that you are a child of God. Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun. It is there for each and every one of you.
Send this to (4) or more people and witness the awesome power of prayer.
A PRAYER WHEEL
Let’s see the devil stop this one!
Here’s what the wheel is all about. When you receive this, say a prayer for the person that sent it to you. This is so powerful.
Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one. There are no costs, but wonderful rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another. Amen.
Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this right now. I am asking You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence in Your ability to work through them. Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, patience and strength as they learn submission to Your leading. Where there is spiritual stagnation, I ask You to renew them by revealing Your nearness, and by drawing them into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear, reveal Your love, and release to them Your courage. Where there is a sin blocking them, reveal it, and break its hold over my friend’s life. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders, and friends to support, and ncourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognise the evil forces around them, And reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it.
I ask You to do these things in Jesus’ name. Amen
Christians, especially, need to think through such forwarded emails and do what was advised about the earlier chain letters. We suggest you put them in the trash bin - delete them - ignore them - don’t forward them (especially automatically) or pass them on.
Please consider carefully:
1. The content of prayer. Check some of the prayers in the Bible, especially the Psalms, as well as others e.g. private: 1 Kings3:5-10; Daniel 9:4-19; Matthew 6:5-15. public: 1 Chronicles 29:10-20; Ezra 9:5-15; Luke 11:2-4, 18:10-14.
2. The nature and purpose of prayer. Prayer is not some selfish wish list that treats God as a Santa Claus, nor is it vain repetition or a means of impressing others with pious jargon (James 4:1-3; Matthew 6:5-8). While Christians can acknowledge the simple personal belief of others, to regard twirling wheels, flapping banners, and the like as valid or effective prayer is not a generally accepted understanding of prayer in the Bible or most of the Christian Church. Far more important than the words of prayers (written or spoken) are the intentions and attitudes of those doing the praying. God even promises his Holy Spirit to help us when words can’t express our real deep prayerful desires and intentions (Romans 8:26-27). Effective prayer is a personal involvement in expressing care and concerns for others and seeking that needs are met in harmony with the purposes, will and mind of God. Praying in the name of Jesus is not some magical tag on the end of a string of words to turn them into a prayer than God must answer - it means to be in tune with all that the name of Christ stands for.
The first of the email prayers printed in this article is not a uniquely Christian prayer. It is a vague expression of thought that is fairly typical of general New Age sentiment. To suggest that sending this out to others is ’the power f prayer at work’ and that one should ’not break this, please. There is no cost, but lots of rewards’ reduces prayer to a superstitious talisman or lucky charm - ’write this and improve your health, happiness, luck, success’ etc.
The second email prayer is aimed more at Christians (especially those of certain persuasions). It uses the ’right’ trigger points (words) to impress and get people involved.
As in the first prayer, there is a suggestion that these words have their own power - so much so that the Enemy will be powerless: Let’s see the devil stop this one! You won’t find Bible prayers (or prayers from historical prayer books) prefaced with such comments.
Calling this prayer a ’Prayer Wheel’ makes it sound far more like a Tibetan Buddhist practice than a Christian form of personal prayer expressing genuine interest and concern for friends. It does not reflect a Christian perception of real prayer.
Some of the sentiments and expressions in this prayer are good, acceptable, and Christian, but just sending it off through email mailing lists of friends and contacts cheapens it as a real prayer.
If you have sent this on to those on your email list, did you actually stop and pray these words for each and every person on your mailing list, praying for them intelligently and caringly with a knowledge of their needs and circumstances?
Christians need to rediscover the meaning, as well as the power, of real prayer.
At best, email prayers are lazy technological ’instant’ expressions seeking to minimise personal effort and time. At worst they have turned prayer into a superstitious ’lucky charm’ that implies (or even states) that the power and blessing come from uttering/writing/emailing the words, rather than from a powerful, intimately caring and loving God, who wants his children to keep in touch with him, so he can share with them what’s best for them.
These email prayers reveal a need for sound teaching on prayer in the churches, and the rediscovering of helpful books that will enable Christians to pray more intelligently, more caringly, and more effectively.
(From TACL Vol 21 #4 Aug 2000)