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June 19, 2006

The MMS prayer

"God make me straight, I used to pray nightly. It's what every dissatisfied gay Christian wants more than anything. I would wake up the next day and sometimes get as far as lunchtime thinking maybe that was the day I'd wake up healed. But always it would end in disillusionment, the same feelings coming back, and I knew I wasn't changed inside." --from the article "Out and Cowed: Exgay in the UK"
This is a common "prayer" or goal of some homosexuals when conflicted about their sexuality. Examples here, here, here and here. I call it the MMS (make me straight) prayer. Does God answer the MMS prayer? If not, why not? The stories of many of those in so called ex-exgay groups admit that the answer to that prayer didn't come from God, but from themselves. And they decided the answer to the prayer was that God was ok with their homosexuality or God had made them gay. After years of trying to make himself straight, gay activist Jamie Nabozny said in a "coming out" manual,
"I walked as far as I could into a field. I was crying, praying, and hollering at God. I said, 'I've read the Bible, I've prayed, I go to church three times a week. Every time I have a homosexual thought I rebuke it in the name of God and yet still I'm gay. Either youre not there, or you don't give a damn that I'm gay.' It took me a little while but then I realized God was OK with it. The God I really believed in was not a God that hated or condemned people." [Resource Guide to Coming Out, pg 33]

Truth or fiction?
The main problem with the MMS prayer seems to be focus. Prayer has never been about getting God to give us what we want (sugar daddy complex), but aligning ourselves with His will. As Jesus prayed, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. According to the Bible, there is a wrong way to pray and a right way to pray. I believe the MMS prayer is definitely in the wrong way category.
And then there's this issue about how long do we wait for God to answer before we decide that's enough...and then answer our own prayers. Again, the bulk of the failed exgays admit that they really didn't hear from God, but rather came up with their own conclusions after "years of praying."

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:21,22.
There have been many people in the Bible who have waited on God for years for the manifestation of a prayer. Abraham didn't see the manifestation come to pass until he was almost 100 years old. Still, the Bible says he was "fully persuaded that God would do what he promised" (Romans 4:12).

Just because a person prays "to be straight" or to be "changed to a heterosexual" is no indication that (1)God is obligated to answer such a prayer and (2)the answer arbitrarily defaults to "born gay". In James 4:3, we are told that when we pray selfish, carnal prayers which are out of line with the will of God, we are praying "amiss". In other words, God does not want just your sexuality, he wants ALL of you. He has always been concerned with the TOTAL restoration of man, not just compartments of life. There are plenty of heterosexuals who continue to commit sexual sins. So being changed from gay to "straight" is no prize. As a matter of fact it is a downright undesirable goal. God's will is not to change sexual preferences, but life preferences. Therefore, the goal of a prayer should never be MMS, but MMW (make me whole).

This is vividly demonstrated in the 5th chapter of John where Jesus encounters a man who had been "lame" for 38 years. Read about it.

5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole
The man answered Jesus with an excuse about why he couldn't get in the water. But he didnt understand the will of God. God's will was to make him whole (complete). That meant able to function as a man in life, not just give him strength to beat somebody into the water.

For David Rattigan and other ex-exgays disgruntled because God didn't answer your MMS prayer: you cannot seek God on your own terms. This is what has created a misguided sense of alienation from God in you who claim to have tried prayer to be straight but found it useless. Although your sincerity may be true, the manner in which one approaches God is important. Although this misdirected blame for personal failure invariably ends up at the doorsteps of some exgay ministry, it only serves to create another unresolved problem for you.

Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Heb 11:6
My strong suggestion is that you go back to God and offer him all of you. Your prayer should not be MMS but MMW. If I were you I would say "Lord take all of me, I'm yours completely. Wash me completely and renew a right spirit within me".

Your other option is to keep answering your own prayers and pretend like God said it to you.

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