Thursday, December 9, 2010

Answered Prayers?

Before I get rolling, I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm picking on their religion.....which I am....but try not to get that idea. Thing is, I hear lots of people say that they pray for this and that and how God answers those prayers. Furthermore they are appropriately thankful and like to spread the news, via conversation, Twitter, Facebook or whatever.

I'd like to say that it's probably not a good idea to spread the news about your answered prayers. I see it as making God come off looking petty, random, and unworthy of any thanks at all. Lots of people are very serious about their religion, no matter what that religion is, and I understand prayer is a big aspect of that faith.  The angle I'm going to come from is Christianity, since most people who read this, are likely to live in the USA. If not, then imagine I'm talking about the God of your choice.....should be easy to imagine.

I've seen and heard people pray for, or ask to have prayed for, the following things over the past couple of months;

* Get a new job
* Get a raise
* For protection on a trip
* Help on scholastic endeavors
* Relationship help
* For help finding a mate

Also, we all know that prayers are always being asked for, for the following;

* Personal health
* Matters of the health of children
* Health of a friend or relative
* Protection of a friend or loved one at war
* Help to those who are victims of a disaster

The latter are very prayer worthy. And any God worth praying to should at least take those into consideration. I submit to you that the former reasons shouldn't really be put out for public consumption, basically because they are things you may have control over yourself and it's pretty selfish to ask God to help you with a blown radiator hose when there is a child dying of starvation, AIDS, or cancer every minute or so. When a person posts that they want to thank God for finding that "special someone" out there, I can't help but think that it was a wasted prayer. What if God said, "OK, I'll answer your next prayer." and you ask to not get a ticket for running a red light?

I realize that the Bible says that you should bring all your stuff to God (not really sure what the Koran or Jedi handbook says on the matter), but praising God for helping you out on trivial matters when we all know damn well there are parents crying, begging, and praying over a dying child, or a soldier praying over a wounded friend, and those prayers probably won't be answered. Perhaps in some cases they are, but not anywhere close to a majority. I'm not saying don't pray for little things. I'm just saying that, in the grand scheme of things, it's silly to advertise an answered prayer over something insignificant, when there are so many people who are praying in earnest over matters of life, death, and health.

Maybe if you got a new job, you had a good interview and have done well enough at other jobs that you deserve a better gig. Maybe if you got that raise, you worked hard and deserved it. Perhaps you studied and worked hard and that's why you passed algebra. I'd say if you met a potential mate, that you were probably deserving of finding that mate due to your own character as a human being. If those little things are actually intervened on, for you, by God, what are we to make of the people who are praying for uncontrollable life altering circumstances? Are those things God doesn't feel like getting into? Is it too tough for God to make the heart disease of a 40 year old not kill him/her, leaving behind a wife/husband and kids?

Really, you all know it's none of my business what, when, where, and to whom anyone prays. I just want to make people aware that it really seems to cheapen the process. Most of you guys know I'm not all. Again, is there a God? I don't know. But I do know that if God is helping Joe Blow hit the Pick 3, and some child is abducted and tortured, but no prayers get answered in that horrific scenario, I don't have any use for that God. Plus, if 5 billion believers in the world are praying all the time and God is also listening to the thoughts of the total world population (over 6 billion), then why tie him up with little things and draw his attention away from stuff that matters? I'm not making fun of anyone for praying or believing that God has answered some of the things I'm talking about. So, if anyone believes I'm writing about anyone specific, that's not the case. This is truly a post that is just my thinking out loud in a very general manner.

For full disclosure, there were some things I prayed for very hard. Like, when my grandmother (the most wonderful, caring, giving, and selfless person I've ever known) was dying. I can say without flinching that there was an instance of unexplainable progress in her situation, though it was only temporary.

There have been studies done on prayer. Does it work? Is it nonsense? I don't know the answer to that, and this stuff that I'm writing is not asking anyone to NOT pray. Just to use some discretion in announcing an answered prayer. Anyhow, here are a few links to some of the research done on prayer. Interesting stuff.

The above links come out in favor of using prayer to help out in matters of health, and I'm not surprised. The mind is powerful and if there is a God, well......why wouldn't it work?

Now troubles are many
There as
Deep as a well
I can swear there ain't no Heaven
But I pray there ain't no hell
Swear there ain't no Heaven
And I'll pray there ain't no hell
But I'll never know by livin'
Only my dyin' will tell, yes only my
Dyin' will tell, oh yeah
Only my dyin' will tell
Blood, Sweat, & Tears

***This blog is dedicated to my wonderful wife, who, I'm sure, prays for me daily. Hope it works***

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