Sunday, June 12, 2011
The Power of Prayer (Chapter V) ; Raining Frogs and Final Thoughts
When I first set my goal to blog this year the topic I wanted to tackle the most was the power of prayer. Or the lack thereof. I think prayer is the number one driving force that fuels Christian arrogance to new heights. The notion that your personal God loves you so much that he will give you, the believer, a healthy baby,a sunny day,an unseemly cure for an ailment,or that wonderful generous offer on that house in such a terrible market. While,yet, so many of the same exact prayer requests go unfulfilled for many other believers. The believer will sit in the same pews with his/her fellow church goers and claim certain prayer success stories and also claim numerous blessings all the while the others in the same church...the fellow believers of the same sheet of music will go without. Is this taboo to notice this? It seems to me that if I were a believer in this prayer system I would find it very curious as to why some of my fellow Christians ask for the exact same requests only to have them unfulfilled by the same God. Does God like/love you more than others? Surely not! But it appears so....lets add fuel to the arrogant fire.
One of the most bizarre in the elements of the power of prayer is this bronze age belief that still survives in the year 2011 that the Almighty dictates weather patterns around the world. Need rain!?! Simply pray...and the rains will come. Oh my!
OK, I just planted my crops for the year. I desperately need rain. I go to the nearest high school,kidnap a suspected virgin, drive to the nearest volcano and toss her into a lava pit. I need to appease the gods to ensure my family will have enough to eat this winter. And I will just simply do what ancient civilizations used to do to ensure rain. Or, I can just pray...get it?
And yet at least two governors in the United States have declared "days of prayer" for the needing of rain in the last four years. (Gov.Sonny Perdue,GA;2007, and Gov.Rick Perry,TX;2011)
Governor Rick Perry of Texas recently declared Easter weekend as "Days of Prayer for Rain"
"I,Rick Perry,Governor of Texas,under the authority invested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the state of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three day period from Friday,April 22,2011 to Sunday,April 24,2011 as Days of Prayer for Rain in the state of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and restoration of our normal and robust way of life"
Proof that rational,reasonable intelligence is not a requirement for political office in the United States. Does Gov.Perry also believe that spitting on a flesh wound would help cure it? Do toads or small dwarfs living in our bodies cause cancer? What other iron age philosophy does he subscribe to?
To me, prayer causing rain or a heat wave to cease has the same implications and a second side of the coin. If you think that God is causing and dictating weather patterns around the world then you have no problem acknowledging his handy work in tsunamis,tornadoes and earthquakes that kill thousands of people every year. Yet no believer will acknowledge the negatives of the Almighty. You deny "God's wrath" in devastating hurricanes and tsunamis (Unless your name is Falwell or Pat Robertson),and you deny still borns,and miscarriages as God's handy work but at the same time give him credit for much needed rain and a beautiful healthy new baby boy/girl. Of course to make complete sense of this all one has to do is understand there is nothing in the power of prayer.Problem solved.
To quote a scene in the movie "Religulous" with Bill Maher:
Bill Maher: You know you live your life in the same sorta mundane coincidences as everybody in the world. It's not like,you know,if it rained frogs,I'd say you'd have a point.But it rains and it stops raining...
Steve Burg:Well, when was the last time you asked for rain and it started to rain within ten seconds?
Bill Maher:I don't know,I don't ever ask for rain. But, if I asked for it really bad and it started to rain. I wouldn't think it was because I asked for it...I would think that it sometimes rains!
Steve Burg: God is not that busy where He can't spend time listening to you when you really want to talk to him. Anytime.
Bill Maher: If Santa Claus can hit every house in the world....
Steve Burg: Well..I don't believe in Santa Claus.
Bill Maher: Of course not! That's ridiculous! That's one man flying all around the world and dropping presents down a chimney. That's ridiculous! But one man hearing everybody murmuring to him at the same time....That I get!
When all else seems to fail,when all is lost and in the dire desperation we encounter....We turn to prayer. We pray knowing we live in an uncaring world. An unforgiving,hateful,cruel world.We watch children die of cancer,witness mass killings throughout our histories.The meaning of life seems less meaningful without "Big Brother" to watch over us. I personally feel that our prayers do not reach the height of our ceilings. The thinking and belief system surrounding the prayer concept is simply wishful. I do not wish to change the minds of the believer.We are very fortunate to live very fortunate lives. Prayer has not made it this way. You may pray until your hearts content. I will NOT pray....and the results of the circumstances in which the way our lives will play out; Will be exactly the same.