Selfer's Prayer and Chart
The Selfer's Prayer
Father, I admit that I'm a selfer, and have been
struggling in my own resources to live the Christian life.
I confess that my life is a failure and a mess.
I now give up my life and affirm with You my
death with Christ. I also affirm that I have risen with
Christ and am seated in Him in the heavenly places.
I give you complete control of myself and
everything I'm hanging onto to meet my needs.
Do with me whatever you choose.
I now thank you that Christ is my life.
This prayer and chart were widely distributed in mandatory workshops on how to implement death to self using the 'Selfer's Prayer'. It is an adaptation of material taught by Charles Solomon in his Handbook to Happiness.
It was initially introduced in the Assembly as the answer to trauma-related issues - depression, intrusive thoughts and nightmares, problems with trust - that were not responding to the general teaching on 'death to self'.
Betty often exhorted, in Sisters Meetings, Workers' Meetings, meetingsfor wives, "If you were in your casket you would be dead to your feelings, your plans, your wishes. Self is very, very tenacious and strong, and only death will deal with it. Crawl in your casket, and be at rest, and be entreated."
She soon realized that the Selfer's Prayer could be a powerful tool to bring this about. The 'selfer' teaching became a key practical component of Assembly thought control, building on the 'death to self' theology to accomplish a radical change in outlook and attitudes.
The bottom half of the page, "Overcoming Is a Choice", shows in black and white the 'Final Solution' to the self problem.
At all 'Points of Conflict' (i.e. all those times where one had to deny one's true self and one's personal relationship to God to submit to Assembly requirements and counsel), failure to choose correctly would lead to 'Death' (no matter that you were a born-again believer).
Another powerful tool was the 'Cycle of Training'.
Anonymous on the Assemblyboard 12/15/2002:
In a nutshell, this prayer was to be memorized by everyone in the Worker’s Meetings. Then the leadership (and their wives) had to memorize it as well. Soon everyone in each Assembly was to memorize it.
It was to be used in the following ways: When someone sinned outwardly or in their thoughts, they were to pray it. If someone higher up in the hierarchical ladder told you to pray it, then you were to follow through. Incidentally, I would never have been allowed to entreat someone of higher rank than myself to pray this prayer. It was always a top-down method of control. In addition, anytime a Head Steward or Worker said you were in sin, you needed to pray it.
It was a method of control targeted primarily at the sisters. Angry Many of them were in such bondage that they couldn't question any ministry or direction given without being directed to say the Selfer’s Prayer. When I was in the SFV Assembly, I then found it impossible to talk to many sisters, because they sisters started looking to the leadership as their fathers. If their own fathers were in fellowship, they had many now at this point.
Nate-Dogg, an AK, had this to say on the Assemblyboard, "We were exhorted to literally repeat the Selfers Prayer every time we felt self getting on the throne, and this was at 12 years of age! I dont know if AKs have a full idea of how much this teaching has damaged and straightjacketed them-- I am only beginning to come to some understanding."
Anonymous, 12/13/05 "So, after confessing our sin, and calling on Jesus' Name, by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, we must now go further, and admit to being a "Selfer?"
I guess my first question would be, "How is a person to live their life without using their own resources?" If the preceding is even possible, how does one go about living life using resources other than one's own? I am reminded that we have a Great High Priest, Whom we can approach in time of need, and obtain grace to help.
Does this prayer mean to suggest that we sin against God when we struggle to get our chores done so we are not late for a church meeting? If we are pressed for time, should we waste what little we have by calling on God for a fresh anointing of Grace and supernatural aid, or should we get busy using our own elbow grease? I think the answer is rather obvious.
The bit about being a failure and a mess, and reaffirming our regeneration in Christ is no big deal....it's rather truthful for all of us. Certainly Mr. Geftakys, if one-tenth of the stories about him on this website are true, is a dramatic example of a failure and a mess!
The part that is most disturbing to me is the next bit: "I give you complete control of myself and everything I'm hanging onto to meet my needs. Do with me whatever you choose." If a person can be persuaded to earnestly pray this and believe it, they make themselves dangerously vulnerable to those who would prey upon them in God's name.
I'm sure Mr. Geftakys' teaching on pastoral authority, coupled with this twisted application of self denial, resulted in many people being trapped, not only by this false idea, but by their own integrity! After all, they repeatedly promised God that they would give Him "complete control" over EVERYTHING!
In the final analysis, a person diligently following the Selfer's Prayer, would in fact be trading their freedom for slavery! Giving complete control to God, in the context of the Geftakys Assembly, means nothing less than giving complete control of one's person and possessions to Assembly functionaries.
When the inevitable struggle with such control ensues, the only solution is to reaffirm personal "failure," re-relinquish freedom, and willingly allow others to assume control of their lives. This helps me quite a bit, as up until now I was unaware of this aspect of Assembly doctrine."
Eulaha L., 12/23/05 "Just reading that prayer reminds me of the millions of times I was forced to pray it, when I didn't do my stewardships "with excellence", whenever I got upset, whenever I questioned the leadership, etc. I wonder how many times George and Betty prayed the prayer?"
Anonymous, 2/13/2006 "Yes...the "selfer's prayer". The day I found out I had an incurable disease, I called one of the "comforters" (remember using that term with the pillow illustration at a Sisters' Meeting?) in "leadership" and thought I might get some advice and prayer after the devastating news. Instead, I was told to pray the "selfer's prayer". There were a lot of weird things I was told to do while "in fellowship", but this one was a real head-scratcher. "