Prayer Warriors?

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Prayer Warriors?
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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 4:24am

In the course of reading a Vanity Fair article about Sarah Palin, I came across this term. The passage below reminded me of previous discussion here about secularism. Is anyone here familiar with the idea of "Prayer Warriors" and Domionist theology?

"The term “prayer warrior” describes a person who offers a specific kind of supplication: asking God to direct an unseen battle between forces of light and darkness—literal angels and demons—that some Christians believe is occurring all around us. A leading member of Wasilla’s Church on the Rock, the non-denominational evangelical congregation where Palin sometimes attends worship, confirmed this understanding of the term. When Palin thanks prayer warriors for keeping her covered, she is thanking them for calling on angels to shield her from demonic attacks.

On the night of the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden, Palin received an e-mail marked “URGENT … Urgent for Sarah to read … ” The e-mail came from pastor Lou Engle, a prominent right-wing activist who identifies himself as a prayer warrior and is a central figure in dominionist theology. (Dominionists believe that, until Jesus Christ returns to earth, society should be governed exclusively by God’s law as revealed through a literal reading of Scripture.)

In the e-mail, Engle compared Palin to the biblical Queen Esther. ���This is an Esther moment in your life,” he wrote. “Esther hid her identity until Mordecai challenged her to risk everything for such a time as this. Your identity is ‘Sarah Barracuda.’ Esther removed corruption from the Persian government and Haman fell. She didn’t have experience, she had grace and favor. Sarah, don’t hide your identity tonight.”"

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/10/sarah-palin-201010?currentPage=4


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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
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Registered: 04-02-2009
Sat, 09-04-2010 - 8:48am

Scary.

 

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"Of
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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 10:05am

Ahhh....religion. I thought that it was weird that Palin got protection from a witch hunter (while she was actually in a church). Strange religion (starts about 7 minutes in in the video).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4HIc-yfgM

~Opal~
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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 10:25am

I can see why someone that was not a Christian would find the concept of Prayer Warriors as a little strange. Personally, I use the term but don't have the same definition as is in this article.

My question is, though - why does it matter? These examples are part of her personal faith - and she has every right to believe these things, and find strength and encouragement where she can.

I'll be one of the first in line to criticize Palin for a whole host of things she has *actually* done, said, or not done and not said. But picking apart the particulars of her faith doesn't accomplish anything, and distracts from very real issues. Seems petty to me.

And, surely, I can't be the only one who has heard enough about what happened on the McCain/Palin campaign trail? Feeds into the notion that criticism of her is just a bias, when it just keeps going on and on ... and makes legitimate criticism of less credible.

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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 10:29am

I asked because I had never heard the term before, not to pick her apart. Also, I am actually a Christian and it still sounds really strange to me. I would grateful to hear how your perception of the term differs from that given in the article.

The disturbing part, however, is the stuff about working towards a theocracy. She is certainly free to believe whatever she wants, but if part of her belief is that we should have a theocracy while we wait for the second coming, and that we should support a greater Israel for the sake of the second coming, then it is highly relevant to any run for office she may embark on and not just a matter of her personal faith.

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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell




Edited 9/4/2010 10:30 am ET by rollmops2009
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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 11:18am


It may not be a popular view, but I don't think she's looking for any type of office. I think she's had it with that. Would you want to run for office again, if you were attacked as she was and constantly is? She can make more impact out of office.


You make a good point re: religion, and this is why people can get so up in arms about the lack of information presented from the administration about Obama and his religious views and his connections with Reverend Wright. After all, he is POTUS. Palin? She is a speech giver right now!

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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 12:02pm

Whew - this is a lot of theology for a Saturday morning, but since you asked ...

Prayer Warriors for me are those close friends who share a similar belief system who I turn to in times of need or praise. It's a specific group of people - in fact, I have a friend "group" on FB called prayer warriors. I don't imagine that they are doing actually warfare on my behalf, but I do ask them to pray for me, or a situation, or for someone specific. It's a support system. Very specifically, it's friends who intercede on my behalf. The belief that there is actual warfare happening, and that there are actual warriors tends to be very charismatic (like Assembly of God) notion. I'm not charismatic, though I believe Sarah Palin is.

As far as the idea of a theocracy and dominionist theology - I'm no expert. Not many people are, it would seem. While it's been 20 years since I took Theology, Apologetics, Hermeneutics and Defense of the Christian Faith - it doesn't seem to be a widely held belief as this article would describe it (establishing a government that is not a Democracy, and ignores the laws of the land in favor of God's law.) But then most Christian's don't spend a lot of time discussing whether they are Premillenialists or Postmillenialists.

I could see much left to misinterpretation - where do you draw the line between serving in the government & being led by your beliefs/convictions and an "infiltration" with the purpose of overthrowing the government? If you disagree with the beliefs it would be easy to misinterpret statements as one motive over the other, or give them power that they just don't have.

Most of the sites I found are complicated and convoluted (this one doesn't seem to get to a point http://www.theocracywatch.org/ ) but this one seemed a rather simple Biblical explanation on why most Christians don't subscribe to dominion theology: http://www.biblicist.org/bible/dominion.shtml

After reading some of the information out there on dominion theology - it seems that the fear of the Religious Far Right (and Sarah Palin in particular) actually doing this is akin to believing that Obama and the far left liberals are really infiltrating the government to toss out our democracy and bring about a communist utopia.

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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 12:15pm

Thanks for taking the time to post that. I agree that domionist theology is not widespread, but when I googled "prayer warrior," I got several sites talking about end times, greater Israel and all the rest (as well as several that didn't talk of such things). That is why I was wondering how closely connected the two concepts are.

In your experience of prayer warriors, is a belief in actual warfare between angels and demons common?


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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 12:31pm

If she had so much power of prayer behind her, then why didn't she win?

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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 12:42pm

Oops, responded to myself on that other post - glad you got it ;)

I think it depends very much on the congregation. (This will all be a horrible generalization, I'm aware of that going in, lol) More charismatic denominations envision actual warfare and their prayers having power over the outcome of these battles. These will also be the type of churches that tend to believe in gifts - like speaking in tongues and slaying in the spirit.

I think that most of the churches/denominations on the end of the spectrum where I fall (at least, the women who I have in my prayer warrior "group" and are of different denominations) would define it the way I do. We would also have a different definition of "gifts" - and all sorts of other things.

FWIW, I'm an Evangelical Presbyterian. Presbyterian just refers to the way the church governing body is organized. We believe that there are certain "Essentials" of the Christian faith - the big things that most churches that call themselves Christian agree on. Then there are many "Non-Essentials" - like how you worship, what kind of music you play in church, if you have female pastors, etc. - that don't effect whether or not you are a Christian, and should be left up to personal conviction. Christians as a group tend to get bogged down in arguments over the non-essentials - when in the end, if you believe that your prayers are effecting an actual battle going on that you can't see, or if you believe that women shouldn't be pastors - is a personal choice that doesn't affect whether or not you are a Christian.

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Sat, 09-04-2010 - 12:45pm
I don't understand all the details/intricacies of various Christian sects, and this thread is yet one more reason why I believe in separation of church and state. Palin's church seems strange to me, but I'm sure that mine would seem strange to her. Beck's belief that social justice is "evil" and to be avoided confuses me as it seems to contradict what I've thought most Christians would embrace.
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