It seems more and more that there are popular teachers giving instruction on how to hear from God when we pray. If you’ve followed my blog for almost any period of time, you know that I feel this is a very dangerous practice and one that Christians should avoid. Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries is the latest proponent of this practice that has come to my attention.
A friend and fellow servant of Christ wrote briefly about Lysa TerKeurst’s teaching on listening prayer. I wanted to share that with you (with his permission).
Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries has a women’s study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. She teaches how to hear the voice of God and build personal, two-way conversations with God. You can check out the video and her PDF document: How to Hear Gods Voice at: http://lysaterkeurst.com/what-happens-when-women-say-yes-to-god/.
In my opinion, she is teaching Contemplative Spirituality / Mysticism. Listening prayer, also known as spiritual formation practice, contemplative prayer, centering prayer, etc., seeks to entice others and lure evangelicals into ancient Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox contemplative practices in order to draw closer to God, experience His presence, and hear His voice apart from Scripture. In order to embrace this mystical form of spirituality, contemplatives are willing to compromise at virtually every turn. Central doctrines such as Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura are shrugged off as secondary. Methods never found in the Bible as the true means of spiritual growth and of knowing God, are emphasized.
Nowhere in scripture are we told to listen for God through internal impressions or voices. Nowhere in scripture are we taught how to listen for God. Nowhere in scripture is there any example or evidence that God spoke internally or inaudibly to any of the disciples or anyone else for that matter. Every time God spoke in the Bible, it was in an audible voice. Nowhere in scripture are we told to silence our minds and enter solitude in order to listen for God to speak to us. Prayer is never seen in the Bible as being a two-way conversation. God has not left us to fish around in the world of spirits and subjective experiences to know Him and speak to Him. The Bible promises us that He hears us. It doesn’t give us a set of techniques to hear inner voices and call these techniques prayer.
…God has spoken to us in His Word (Hebrews 1:1-2). He has graciously, clearly, and perfectly spoken in His Word. We have no need to be still and wait for His voice. He has not stuttered, stammered, or whispered. If we want to hear from God [audibly], we simply need to open our Bible and read out loud.
He goes on to talk about how those in Christian leadership are to honor their responsibility to protect the flock.
We have a responsibility before God to protect the sheep, to warn, to watch, and to oversee, realizing that perverse men are just waiting to rise up and wolves are just waiting to come in and tear up the sheep. We also have a responsibility to teach the truth. God’s people need to be warned about false doctrine and religious apostasy, such as what is being taught by Lysa TerKeurst.
It is my prayer and desire for all Christians everywhere to be discerning when they read and listen to popular teachers, blog posts, and even their own pastors.
The Berean Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.