A Story About Prayer

The following is a story I recently heard.  I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it illustrates a point about how Christians in general, and I in particularly, misunderstand prayer and have a weak view and practice of prayer.

A bar was built next door to a church.  It wasn’t a nice comfortable pub, but a rowdy place often with massive parties late into the night, drunken brawls which spilled out onto church grounds and morning trash which also littered the church’s property.  Legally there was nothing the church could do and the bar owner was hostile to every attempt to reason with him, declaring himself to be an atheist and the church a pack of deluded fools.  The pastor called the church to pray for God’s intervention.  The church did.  Daily, weekly, monthly, in public and in private the church prayed that God would “do something” to solve this problem.  After a time a tornado hit the town.  It so happened that the bar was completely destroyed while the church was left without significant damage.  The bar owner filed a lawsuit against the church.  The church said, “We didn’t do anything, we’re innocent.”  The judge commented, “This is a strange case.  I have before me an atheist who apparently believes in the power of prayer and a church which does not.”

3 thoughts on “A Story About Prayer

  1. That is very funny. However for those who believe god has created them is foolish to believe that prayer in asking for things work. Before the world was created god was working, and did not need peoples prayers “to do anything”, but now for some reason people think god needs their prayers now “to do something”. Its like a puppet telling the puppet master what to do.

  2. I think perhaps you misunderstand the point and purpose of prayer. We are told in the Bible to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Furthermore we are told both descriptively and proscriptively that God does indeed answer these prayers.

    That’s really the audacity of the Christian religion. To think that there is an Omnipotent Creator of the Cosmos who cares about one individual person in one city in one state in one country on one continent on one planet in one stellar system on the fringe of one galactic spiral arm which is but one galaxy among millions in the universe which may in turn be merely one universe among an infinite amount…

    “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4).

    That’s what someone needs to try to wrap their mind around. Prayer is a direct line to the Omnipotent Creator of the Cosmos. It’s not at all that God has need of us for anything, but that He chooses to work through prayer because of His great care for us.

    The enormity of it is not that we can make God do anything (a patently foolish idea) but that the Divine should care for carbon based life forms on an insignificant planet in a remote portion of a galaxy …

    Wow. That’s what humbles me when I approach the throne of God in prayer.

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