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I have been given literature from an organisation called "House of Prayer" which seems to imply that we should pray down blessings on our local communities, people in their jobs and in their relationships so that they might be more open to the Gospel. I find this difficult to reconcile with Biblical teachings on evangelism, that we will experience enmity in the world, and that the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit... As I understand it the Bible teaches that we proclaim the Gospel of man's sinfulness and salvation through Christ Jesus. It seems to me that this teaching is mixing up Old Testament blessings with New Testament evangelism. What do other people think?

A quote from this literature (in relation to Israel) was

We declare prosperity to all who dwell and work in the Holy Land, and decree that Almighty God will restore to each one the years that the locusts have eaten. They shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord their God.

I don't see this in New Testament theology and practice.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Lee Woofenden, Nathaniel, bruised reed, Flimzy, Mr. Bultitude Jun 20 '16 at 16:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Are you asking about the belief in use of prayer, or asking about whether it is an appropriate form of prayer? Which Christian denomination's belief on prayer are you seeking? – KorvinStarmast Jun 20 '16 at 12:27
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    This question would be improved by citing which verses in the NT and OT that you feel are in contradiction. – KorvinStarmast Jun 20 '16 at 12:40
  • Not the use of prayer, but the assumption that as Christians we have the power and authority to pray down blessings on the unsaved. I can pray for opportunities to witness, I can pray that that God the Holy Spirit will work on a person's unbelief, – user11454 Jun 20 '16 at 12:58
  • You should explain what you mean by prayer, power and authority,in your question. You should quote the literature you received to explain this question. I believe that prayer works more like the second sentence of your comment than the first. If someone believes that in using prayer they are exercising personal power over others (which seems to be what you are alluding to) then I can't provide an answer. My understanding and belief is that a request via prayer is an appeal to, and a request for, the exercise of divine power/action on our or someone else's behalf. – KorvinStarmast Jun 20 '16 at 13:26
  • Sorry, not used to this, my quote from this literature (in relation to Israel) was, "We declare prosperity to all who dwell and work in the Holy Land, and decree that Almighty God will restore to each one the years that the locusts have eaten. They shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord their God." I don't see this in New Testament theology and practice. – user11454 Jun 20 '16 at 13:27
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The short answer is "yes it is appropriate to ask in prayer for hearts to open themselves to the Gospel" ... because it never hurts to ask. Prayers of request/supplication are a tradition that well precedes Christianity.

With that short answer given, simply asking for that boon from God does not fulfill the role of evangelizing. To spread the Gospel by evangelization requires interaction ~ to include setting a good example.

A quote attributed to St Francis of Assisi recommends that Christians walk the walk, rather than simply talk the talk.

And let them show their love by the works they do for each other, according as the Apostle says: "let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." ~ Francis of Assisi, Rule of 1221, Rule 11

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