Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation (2003, Relevant Books), by UK author Pete Greig, is becoming an increasingly popular book among Christian youth. Greig is the founder of an international prayer movement called 24-7 Prayer and Boiler Rooms. In a magazine interview with Greig, he explains that his organization is now in over 65 countries and has partnered with groups such as Salvation Army and YWAM and has established “modern day monasteries based on the example of the ancient Celts.”
While Greig’s book and ministry may, at first glance, appear to be a movement of prayer, research shows that both the book and the movement are heavily influenced by contemplative spirituality and New Age thought. And while youth around the world are taking shifts (to pray) in Greig’s boiler rooms (prayer rooms), they may be getting into something entirely different than biblical prayer. If your youth group is considering incorporating Red Moon Rising and 24-7 Prayer into their agenda, a second look may be worthwhile.
Greig tells his readers to look to Brennan Manning’s book, Abba’s Child, for further reading. It is in Abba’s Child that Manning says Dr. Beatrice Bruteau is a “trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness.” Bruteau is the founder of The School for Contemplation and believes God is within every human being. She wrote the book, What We Can Learn from the East and says:
“We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not “I am a this” or “I have that quality.” Only unlimited, absolute I AM”
Also in Manning’s book, he says: “[I]f I find Christ, I will find my true self and if I find my true self, I will find Christ.” Thomas Merton believed what Bruteau and Manning have stated, that God is already within every human being, we just need to become aware of this. When Greig tells readers to turn to Abba’s Child, he is pointing them towards the mystical, panentheistic views of Thomas Merton.
Red Moon Rising instructs readers on lectio divina, but warns readers that their “inner fundamentalist” voice may be telling them this isn’t biblical – in actuality that may be the voice of the Holy Spirit. The book cites contemplative proponents like Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren and Henri Nouwen and talks about a paradigm and cultural shift that is taking place in the world.
On the 24-7 Prayer website, a section called Labyrinths and Liturgy states: “[I]t’s about time we pooled our resources and created a collection of homegrown liturgies, and make them available for anyone out there who wishes to use them in their prayer rooms or as part of their personal rhythm of prayer.”
Throughout Greig’s site, articles and discussion cover topics such as monks, monasteries, and meditation. One article, titled “The Cross and the Cellar”, is written by Morton Kelsey. Kelsey, an Episcopalian priest was a strong advocate for contemplative spirituality and said: “You can find most of the New Age practices in the depth of Christianity…. I believe that the Holy One lives in every soul (A Time of Departing, p. 67).
The 24-7 Prayer organization has another ministry outlet called “The Order of the Mustard Seed.” Based on an 18th century order, participants are asked to take a vow and then wear a specially made ring. When we study the Mustard Seed website a clear picture begins to unfold, that this vow is a vow to be contemplative. Contemplative and occultic concepts, references, quotes, etc. so fill the pages of this site, that it would take much more than this article to describe it’s depth of deception. In one Mustard Seed article, Greig states his admiration for Henri Nouwen, saying: “I am firmly in the Henri Nouwen fan-club, yearning for greater spiritual depth and getting excited about Rhythms and Rules of Life.” But these rhythms and rules are filled with mysticism and spiritual darkness. “Rules have been the heartbeat of life for many of those we esteem the most,” Greig adds and then lists several contemplatives including Thomas Merton and Mother Teresa(see her address: “Contemplatives in the Heart of the World”). A “Vision Study Guide” gives instruction on the spiritual disciplines including the silence and sacred space.
Unfortunately, as we have shown over the past few years, this “cultural shift” that is occurring within Christendom is one steeped in mysticism and a joining together of all the world’s religious traditions. And when Greig talks about his vision for an army of young people who have a “violent reaction to compromised religion,” this sounds similar to Erwin McManus’ “barbarian way,” Teen Mania’s “battlecry” and Kids in Ministry’s army of children with supernatural proclivities. It is frightening to see a growing trend that sounds more like a preparation for the Crusades than the language of Jesus Christ and the disciples. Couple this with contemplative mysticism, and we may have a combination that will bring about unmentionable results.
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