If you are one of my usual readers, you know that I don’t normally write posts like the one you are about to read. I usually write about my life as a SAHM, humorous things my kids say/do, craft ideas, etc. This post is written because I believe in the quote, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything” – and I believe if you are going to stand for it, by all means, you can’t just sit back down and give up when you get slapped in the face.
A few days ago I came across a blog making fun of those people who say quick little prayers throughout the day, you know, say you lost your keys and you’re looking for them so you ask for a little help from above and then suddenly you find them? The blog’s author finds these prayers to be selfish and made fun of those who believe God will help them by saying (and I paraphrase here because of the language that was used), “Sure, God will answer your prayers for your lost keys, but he won’t solve world hunger, slavery, disease, etc…” (Again, I paraphrased here.) I wrote a quick comment about the power of belief – that perhaps truly having faith in the idea that there is a god who is listening (and may choose to help you) is what makes the difference to those people. I didn’t expect the comment to then be twisted and turned into the post it did, or the subsequent post about what kind of person I must be (That I am probably one of those religious nuts who thinks anyone in a different religion can’t be saved or isn’t a true believer, and a few other unsavory remarks…).
So I am taking this opportunity to stand for what I believe in, having more time to clarify my original comment.
In going back to the blog’s original argument about “little prayers” being selfish and how foolish it is to believe God might hear them, I have to say that I believe in a loving God, not one to be feared; he is Our Father, after all. God wants us, his children, to pray to Him for the little things (finding car keys, helping our dog get well) as well as the big things (finding a cure to cancer). To quote James 5:13, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” The key here is the prayer must be offered in faith. (Which, perhaps, is part of the problem, as the blog that I commented on is written by an atheist, yet I still did not expect, nor do I feel I deserved the posts she wrote based on my comment and the type of person she believes me to be.)
Just because someone asks God for help for something small doesn’t make that person a selfish individual. Just because you thank God for helping you find your keys, or for getting you home safely on a stormy night, doesn’t make you foolish. They are prayers done in faith, based on what the individual believes. And, just because an individual makes those prayers doesn’t mean that those are the only things they care about, that they don’t also pray for world peace or for a sick child they know. It is impossible to know what another person prays for throughout the day. Assuming that you know what they pray for would be as ignorant as assuming someone who believes there is something to the power of faith is a selfish, myopic, ignorant, and possibly a racist individual (which are just a few things it was implied that I was in one of the posts).
In response to the idea that it is stupid and selfish to think there is a God who might answer those little prayers and not answer prayers for world hunger, an end to violence, etc., I have to say I still choose to believe in God. Just because your prayer isn’t answered in the way you want it to be answered does not mean there is no God. The Bible tells us that God answers prayers in one of three ways:
“Yes” (As in the prayer is answered in the way you desire.)
Ezra 8:23 “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”
“No” (You don’t get what you asked for.)
4.2 Samuel 22:42 “They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but he did not answer.”
“Wait” (Where we must be patient for what we pray for.)
Psalm 89:46 “How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?”
I could continue with stories about the power of faith. But really, I’m not here to try to change anyone’s mind about whether there is a God or not. I just wanted the opportunity to clarify my comment and respond to the posts that centered around it afterwards.
(A special thanks to my brother-in-law, who helped me find the quotes I wanted a lot faster than I could with 2 little ones running around the house!)