I got this in the mail the other day from Ravi Zacharias' International Ministry. I get these e-mails Mon-Fri and they're usually pretty interesting write ups about something going on in the world and how that might relate to a person's individual faith. This one hit close to home.
"I sat with a man in my car, talking about a series of heartbreaks he had experienced. "There were just a few things I had wanted in life," he said. "None of them have turned out the way I had prayed. I wanted my parents to live until I was at least able to stand on my own and they could watch my children grow up. It didn't happen. I wanted my marriage to succeed, and it didn't. I wanted my children to grow up grateful for what God had given them. That didn't happen. I wanted my business to prosper, and it didn't. Not only have my prayers amounted to nothing; the exact opposite has happened. Don't even ask me if you can pray for me. I am left with no trust of any kind in such things."
mmmmm, a tuffie!
So the title of the e-mail was "Why Pray?" and I think that's a pretty solid question. I mean, if we're all at the whim of God, wether we want His will to happen or not, it's going to happen. Right? I would be lying through my teeth if I said I hadn't thought about this very question, every day, for the past 2 years. I can relate to that man because I have ALWAYS prayed for health and strength so that I could always be able to help people that I saw were in need. I still got cancer. A worthless, suck-my life-away-because-non-lethal-treatments-weren't-working-and-the-lethal-treatments-that-did-sucked-my-life-away cancer.
I bet you thought I was going to give you an answer, yea? I'm not. Why? because there are smarter men than me that have spent more time than I've been alive that already have. They also have peers that believe the opposite and they both use the same sources. It's a slippery slope and I'm not of the state of mind to make strong argument.
Take a look at how Jesus tells us to pray in Matthews Gospel:
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
We've got 4 parts as I see it: 1)Praise God. 2 )Take care of me 3) help me let you love me 4)Praise God. 3 out of 4 are about submission to God's will.
1 - In human history the first time we had an atheist government we had rulers like Stalin, Hitler, and Lenin.
2 - This is funny and frightening
I just don't think we should be in charge of our own morality...
3 - Would we know Good if not for Evil? If there was ONLY Good, how would we CHOSE it?
4 - Jack Bauer is not as smart as he thinks he is. He's just written that way. And Edgar shouldn't've died...
5 - Does an animal that goes through medical testing understand the biology behind what the scientists are doing? Know that it's suffering will help others?
6 - When compared to an omnipotent God, are we any different than the animal?