Someone remind me... does praying a hedge of thorns mean praying for something bad to happen to shove the whisperer back under the great man's umbrella, or is it more of a general protection thing?
Bill Gothard gave a series of lectures where he talked about how men can protect the fidelity of their marriage. In these lectures, a concept came up that revolved around Ez. 22:30.
" 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
Other scriptural references would be-
Hosea 2:6-7 (King James Version)
6Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
II Corinthians 12:7
"7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
Bill Gothard teaches that Satan can gain "jurisdictional authority" over a person's soul. When a father or husband, as the authority and spiritual protector of the family, fears that this (Satan attempting to get ja) has happened or may happen, the man is instructed to "pray a hedge of thorns" around his wife/family/son/daughter. In doing so, Gothard teaches that the man will have created a "stronghold for Christ".
As a child within the hedge, you are supposedly protected from Satan's influence, so long as you keep a pure heart and follow, with every obedience, the true will of your parent and Lord. If, as a child, you purpose to step outside the hedge, by thoughts or action, you have opened your soul up to Satan and should not be allowed back inside the hedge without proper and due accounting.
In the beginning, Gothard preached this as a way to keep unfaithful spouses from straying. By praying the hedge of thorns around your spouse, God would keep the Satanic thoughts of infidelity and adultry from being able to breach your marriage. As time progressed, it was suggested that parents pray a hedge of thorns around children who strayed. This was to be done, both, as a means of protecting the children still at home and to keep out the child who had strayed until they "properly repented".
It's all out of context and misguided.