By Lois Putnam
On a recent Sunday morning a vivacious older lady stood in front of a congregation, of what can only be termed a solid gospel preaching, mission minded church, and announced to the women that all should sign up for its newest Bible study program that would begin shortly. Touting both Set Apart, and Living a Praying Life she stated that the author –Jennifer Kennedy Dean–was also part of the National Day of Prayer.
At my seat –I was writing down the information–for I knew my immediate assignment as a discerning Christian was, as Acts 17:11 instructs, to look into Dean to see if all she’s taught and written stands up to scripture. In short, “Should one glean or be learning from this writer Jennifer Kennedy Dean?”
So that very afternoon I began my investigation. And it wasn’t long into my research that I found “red flags flying!” So what was it that made me know that Dean, and her numerous books were something that I should not be buying into, nor following? Let me explain!
Dean’s “The Praying Life Foundation” Web Page
I. Dean’s All About “Listening Prayer” Article
Checking out Dean’s web page: “The Praying Life Foundation”–her bio, blog, articles, store, and more– soon gave me pause. For under Dean’s store was a section titled “Free.” Clicking onto that I found many Dean articles. Immediately, my eye caught the title: “Listening Prayer.” Knowing that this was a meditative practice that uses a mantra or repetitive phrase to clear one’s mind so one can “hear God’s voice” as one sits in silence I read the five pages carefully.
http://www.prayinglife.org/free/ Scroll down to find article.
Did Dean support this unscriptural prayer method? Indeed, Dean did! For Dean began her article by saying, “Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer. In listening prayer spoken prayer is born.” And Dean champions going into “the silence”* when she says of the Lord, “He wants us to know his secrets, but his secrets come wrapped in silence.” (p.1)
* The Silence: “Absence of normal thought.” (A Time of Departing: Glossary-p.205) Click here to continue reading.
(Lois Putnam is a Lighthouse Trails author with two booklets released thus far.)