Labyrinths and New Age Occult Prayer Walks

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THREE STAGES OF AN OCCULT PRAYER WALK

The prayer Labyrinth path has three stages - the inward journey, the center, and the outward journey.

1. The first stage is the "inward journey." In the first stage or journey of the prayer walk within the Labyrinth, one forgets about their particular roles in life such as mother, father, wife, husband, teacher, carpenter, and enters the path meditating on the words “I am.” Psychologist Helen Schucman wrote "The Course in Miracles" in 1965. She said the material came from an "inner voice." The book is full of Gnostic heresies. The course teaches such things as, "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. God's Name is holy but no holier than yours. To call upon His Name is to call upon your own." This demonic "you are a god or another I Am" teaching is consistent within New Age circles.

Oldest Dateable Labyrinth

Using a prayer mantra or Sanskrit is paganistic. Christians don't use chanting or repetitious prayers to get God to hear them.  The Apostle John did not teach Labyrinth prayer walks. He taught disciples to pray with confidence according to Christ's will. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14).

Jesus taught against prayer mantras. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye, therefore, like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8).

This type of meditation is wrongly used to empty the mind of all negative thoughts that would hinder their approach to God. Along the path, the secret meaning of life is discovered. As Christians, we know there is only one “I Am that I Am” and that is Christ Jesus the only begotten son of the living God. We are not to empty the mind but to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).

2. The second stage is “the center.” Here you "achieve emptiness within." To the New Age practitioner, this is the place of "inner silence, stillness, waiting’s, and expecting nothing but the infilling of love." The center of the Labyrinth is for meditative prayer, stillness, and peace. Again, the goal is to connect with the divine. “Union” with the divine universe is the very definition of Yoga. New Age teachers know "centering" is a tool to discover the divine self. At the center, they believe for divine revelation. What they find are demonic familiar spirits.

People are deceived into thinking the Labyrinth path leads them closer to Christ. Christians should understand that revelation is given by the will of the Holy Spirit only, not by meditation Labyrinths. You can't make the Holy Spirit give you anything through occult rituals or Labyrinth prayer walking. The Apostle Paul wrote, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1-3).

3. The third stage is the "outward journey." The theme of the outward journey is a relationship with self and others and the divine union with the universe, to feel at one with God, neighbor, self, and nature. (All the oneness terminology is Hinduism.) Along the outward journey, one travels out of the Labyrinth to share his or her newly discovered spiritual mysteries.

Labyrinths and New Age Occult Prayer Walks"The Society" also teaches Prayer Labyrinths as a “sacred geometry” that helps open the heart. Again, a Christian does not need a geometric walking path to open their heart to Christ. Some Labyrinths are very sophisticated with four quadrants representing the four seasons, four pathways, and even four directions. Christians should know they can never find true transformation in the center of a prayer Labyrinth no matter how intricate the design.

The only way to transformation is repenting of your sin, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and renewing your mind with the Word of God. Scriptures lay out the plan of salvation."The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:8-10).These New Age Labyrinth groups are deceived by trying to "develop new ways of worshipping that connect more effectively with the growing numbers of people disaffected by the church." Labyrinth walking does not come out of the teachings of Christ but out of paganism. History supports its use coming from ancient Babylonia. The clay tablet above is an image of a Babylonia Labyrinth dating 2000-1700 BC.

Yoga class on Grace Cathedral's LabyrinthPrayer and meditation Labyrinths are all across the country like Grace Cathedral (Episcopal) in San Francisco; Trinity Episcopalian in Santa Barbara, CA; Christ the King Lutheran in Torrance, CA; St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston; the Church of St. Andrew in Marblehead, MA; Resurrection Lutheran in Dublin, CA; Peace Lutheran in Austin, TX; Holy Trinity Lutheran in Hickory, NC; and Peace Lutheran in Danville, CA, among other congregations. They are also being promoted within the Emergent Church and New Age groups.

A Christian does not need a prayer Labyrinth for prayer answers or to find God. Scripture declares, “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

As already said, there is nothing wrong with walking down the street of your city in prayer. Using a prayer Labyrinth is very different. Hinduism teaches that life is on a path and to some, the Labyrinth is a model of that path. So for New Age practitioners a Labyrinth meditation walk is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with an enlightened awareness of who you are. The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Nowhere in Scripture did the apostles teach disciples to find themselves in a prayer Labyrinth. Jesus instructed his disciples to die to self-saying, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Religious, even occult rituals, like Labyrinth prayer walking, will not lead you closer to Christ. Nor will they help you receive spiritual enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. These demonic rituals only serve to promote New Age occult mysticism.

Yes, prayer is part of the Christian faith. It is communication with the Father through the Son. Prayer is personal and intimate and part of every Christian’s faith. Scripture says, "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).