The Pen

SBC President Says God Will Make You Promises in Prayer

No, this isn’t a repeat from earlier in the week when the CEO of the SBC Executive Board asked for new revelation from God. That was Frank Page, and this time it’s the President of the Southern Baptist Convention who’s telling people that God will speak to them in prayer.



This is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He doesn’t know how prayer works. Perhaps Pastor Gaines should look up the Baptist Catechism, question 105…

105. Q. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up our desires to God (Ps. 62:8), by the assistance of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26), for things agreeable to his will (1 Jn. 5:14; Rom. 8:27), in the name of Christ (Jn. 16:23), believing (Mt. 21:22; James 1:6), with confession of our sins (Ps. 32:5, 6; Dan. 9:4), and thankful acknowledgments of his mercies (Ph. 4:6).

Three prominent charismatic Southern Baptists, all of whom believe God speaks in prayer – JD Greear, Ronnie Floyd and Steve Gaines (left to right).

Do you notice that Baptists (and the Bible) teach that prayer is the means by which we speak to God and not the means by which God speaks to us? Expecting to hear back from God in prayer is actually called “prophecy” or “direct, divine, revelation” and is practiced by Eastern mystics and Montanists, and not by orthodox Christians.

Furthermore, what’s the “God will give you a promise,” business? What kind of fortune cookie, Pollyanna nonsense is this? God already has given you promises…lots of them…in the Bible.

Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6. Notice, Jesus petitioned God the Father. God the Father did not speak to Jesus. Jesus did not say, “Now assume the lotus position, put up your spiritual antennas, tune to God’s frequency and listen for the still, small voice.” Rather, Jesus taught us that prayer is the means by which we petition God, and Hebrews 1:1-2 teaches us that it’s by the Scripture that God speaks to us.

The fact is, nowhere – absolutely nowhere – in Scripture are Christians told that God will speak to them in prayer, let alone make promises to them outside of the Bible. That is charismatic nonsense, novel and new to a few isolated ancient heresies, medieval Catholicism, and the three charismatic waves of the last 100 years.

The fact is, Steve Gaines just made a promise about God giving promises that is not, ironically enough, promised in the Bible. Which he might know…if he read his Bible. Baptists should not be charismatics. In fact, Christians should not be charismatics. It’s incompatible with the historic, catholic faith.