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by Jacob Ninan

Superstitious beliefs in astrology (of various types), auspicious days and times, omens, etc., are easily understood to be abominable in the sight of God. But there are two superstitious beliefs that many believers who are otherwise sincere hold on to without realising that there is anything wrong. In fact they even think of these as high marks of spirituality.

We know that the Bible is the inspired word of God which is able to equip us for every good work by teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us in righteousness (2Ti.3:16,17). But the power of the word of God is not in itself but in God who inspired it. When God speaks to us through His word, His words are spirit and life (Jn.6:63). But if we take hold of a written word of God and use it as if it is some mantra, there is no basis for expecting that it would work. If we use the word of God mechanically without the leading of the Holy Spirit, we must not expect that it has to bear fruit. We must not also expect that the more we quote the word, the more power we will have. It is only the word that proceeds from the mouth of God (which He inspires us with moment by moment through the Holy Spirit) that will accomplish something (Is.55:11;Mt.4:4). We must not also think that having the word abiding in us is the same us remembering it but it is a life that is based on doing it (Jn.13:17).

Another common error is to imagine that there is power in prayer if many people pray or if it is carried on for long times. Many all night prayer sessions and prayer chains are based on this false belief. There are heathen people who keep repeating the names of their gods and chanting prayers monotonously thinking that they gain some power. Jesus said specifically that it is not the length of the prayer that makes it powerful (Mt.6:7). It is the character of the man who prays that makes it effective (Jas.5:15,16). It is prayer which is according to the will of God that will be answered (1Jn.5:14). If we are asking for something that He has not planned for us, we cannot get it even if we get many others to pray for it.

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