Getting Close to God?
They became popular about ten years ago, and the fad has worn off, but Prayer Labyrinths still can be found. I stumbled across this one at a Presbyterian church in Taos, New Mexico. It is not surprising to find one here. Taos is void of Christian influence with a rough estimate of only 5% of the population calling themselves Christians. It is a mission field.
The Prayer Labyrinth finds its roots in Greek mythology and paganism. The premise behind a prayer labyrinth is to enter from one point, symbolizing leaving the world, or leaving self, and making your way toward inner peace, or peace with God. Then, slowly make your way back to the point of entry (now the exit) and back into the world.
What's wrong with walking through a prayer labyrinth? In and of itself, nothing. Under grace a Christian can hop on one leg through one if he wants to. Granted, there is not a lot of instruction in Scripture on how to pray, but we are never instructed to empty our minds, leave the world, or get in tune with one's self.
It is not a stretch to say the prayer labyrinth is unbiblical. It smacks of eastern mysticism, transcendental meditation, and even out of body experiences. These are not Christian practices, and never have been. Believers are not to participate in the darkness of the world, but are to "shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).
A prayer labyrinth carries the idea of emptying our minds as we move toward the center, but Christians are never instructed to empty our minds, rather we are to "set our minds on the things above" (Colossians 3:2). We are to "renew" our minds, not empty them (Romans 12:2). And how are we to be renewed? Through "knowledge" (Colossians 3:10). Knowledge comes from the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It does not come from prayer walking through a labyrinth.
Do you want to get close to God? Read His word. Do you want to hear God speak? Read His word out loud.