"Today, I feel the fierce love of all that is God ... so deeply, so strongly and so purely in my heart that it lifts and carries me and sometimes I actually feel weightless in the love that is God because I feel it in all things."
That's how Oprah Winfrey started off a "spiritual practice" video. The brains behind OWN is launching a new TV event called Belief, and the video offers a first look at the series.
"I actually awaken to birds twittering in the morning now—the original tweets—and because I'm not so focused ... because I've reached a point in my life where I actually pay attention to every breath and my spiritual practice is that I awaken and the first thought is 'thank you' and the next thought is 'I'm still here in this body and my heart's desire is to want to live and be in this body full present to everything, to all beings, to all things; to not miss this experience of being here, now in the planet we call earth."
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Here's the question: Is she talking about the same God we serve? Some Christian media sites are positing the video with headlines suggesting Oprah was getting choked up over Jesus. But she doesn't mention Jesus, at least not in this video.
Remember when Oprah Winfrey created a firestorm among believers by suggesting that Jesus is not the only way? Apparently, her drift away from the Way, the Truth and the Life started decades ago when her Baptist pastor referred to God as a jealous God (see Ex. 20:4-5).
Earlier this year, Oprah shared deceptive prayer practices that are leading many astray during a Stanford University Memorial Church service. Oprah led over 1,000 members of Stanford in some sort of New Age meditation exercise.
"Close your eyes for a moment, will you please, and breathe with me," she told them. "And if you will, put your thumb to your middle finger and gather your other fingers around, and let's feel the vibration and pulse of your personal energy as you take three deep breaths with me."
Oprah went on to share with them a secret to prayer, or at least her version of prayer.
"Open your heart and quietly to yourself say the only prayer that's ever needed: Thank you, thank you, thank you," she said. "You're still here. You get another chance this day to do better and be better, another chance to become more of who you were created and what you're created to fulfill. Thank you. Amen."
No mention of the name of Jesus. I'm not picking on Oprah, as some may think. I admire what she has accomplished, the influence to which she has attained, the many thousands of people she has helped, and more. But the bottom line without Jesus it won't count for anything in the end—and I hate to see others led astray despite anyone's kind intentions.
As I've said before, I appreciate the encouragement that Oprah has given many over the years, but her alignment with New Agers like Chopra, the graphic depiction of sexual perversion on her television network, and her open door for heretics like Rob Bell to trash the Bible on her program trouble me. These are not the moves of a woman who knows how to pray and tap into the wisdom of God.
I am impressed to make intercession for Oprah. Think about it. If she would come right out and proclaim to the world that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to heaven, millions could get saved. My prayer for Oprah comes out of Ephesians 1:17-21:
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give Oprah the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of her understanding may be enlightened, that she may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He performed in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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