Joel Osteen has fast become one of the most prominent television preachers in America, and his Lakewood Church is one of the largest in the country. What a shame, because the man “tickles the ears” with a lot of self-improvement and positve thinking fluff. Not much Bible from brother Joel, though perhaps he has contributed to a positive recovery of the mullet. Check out this excerpt of a “prayer” from Osteen at the dedication of the former Compaq Center Arena, new home of Lakewood Church. I’ve seen this on several other sites and I think it says a whole lot about Osteen.
David Price has uncovered this handy little product – the IWJO (“I Watch Joel Osteen”) pin is an effective replacement for the WWJD bracelet craze from a few years ago. Now I think that this is actually just good satire, but it is funny nonetheless. Gosh I sure hope that it is satire.
UPDATE: Apparently IWJO removed the page with the now infamous “Prayer of Blessing.” As I said, it’s available elsewhere. I first saw it in a longer article on iMonk’s blog over the summer. I suggest reading his take, but for the sake of ease, here is the prayer. Notice how Osteen suddenly quits talking to God and presumes to talk to the people for (or as?) God.
“Father, thank you for this beautiful facility, for the opportunity to be here with all my friends. Today we are so humbled at what you have done. And I don’t stand here in my authority or in my own confidence but I stand here in the name of Jesus. I know I didn’t choose you, but you chose each one of us. And Father, I declare right now in the name of Jesus, that every person under the sound of my voice is blessed. I declare that you are blessed with God’s wisdom, that you have clear direction in life, that you are blessed with creativity, with good ideas, with courage, with strength, with ability. I declare that you are blessed with good health, a good family, good friends and a long prosperous life. And I declare that you will be blessed when you go in and you will be blessed when you come out. You will be blessed in the country, you will be blessed in the city. And I declare that whatever you put your hands to will prosper and succeed. I declare that you will lend only and not have to borrow. That you will be the head and not the tail. And I declare that every negative thing that has ever been spoken over you, every curse so to speak, that right now that curse is being broken. And I declare that things that have been in your family line for many generations, it’ll no longer have any effect upon you and your family. Friends, I declare from this day forward you will sense a new sense of freedom, a new sense of joy, a new sense of victory. I declare that you are blessed. How many of you received it? Would you shout, Amen?”