25 August 2009

"Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock."

So I was reading at Shakesville, and ran into something that interested me greatly

Town Hall reports that Crist was speaking to a group of real estate agents, and credited prayer notes in the Western Wall in Jerusalem with preventing his state from being hit by hurricanes during his time as governor.

Crist told of how he visited the Wall in 2007, and placed a note saying: "Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie."

"Time goes on -- May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December -- no hurricanes," Crist said. "Thank God."
Now, the way I see it, there are a few problems with this.

1) Some of those months aren't hurricane months. Praying for no hurricanes in January is like praying for no rain on the moon.
2) Suggesting that your prayer is the reason that God didn't send hurricanes is the utmost in arrogance. Perhaps God spared the people the hurricane despite being unimpressed with you. Or perhaps IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU AT ALL! Sheesh.
3) "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6.

Look, I have no trouble with the idea of praying to protect someone or somewhere. God knows I do it enough myself. But taking credit for everything going right then? Even suggesting it had to do with your prayers, blows my mind.

Of course, my God is not Crist's God. My God isn't some omnipotent, omniscient, spiteful, being in the sky. I shudder at the thought. What a horrible feeling it must be to wonder why God is mad at you every time something goes wrong! Or do they think that God is only spiteful to others, and that when bad things happen to them, it's because of Satan (whom, btw, I don't believe exists - I'm not even certain of evil, but that's another post)?

Reminds me of an Onion headline I love: "Little Boy Receives Answer to Prayer for Cancer Cure: God says, "No""

I came to a startling conclusion some time back. I tend to pray for things like grace, strength, courage, patience, healing, etc. I don't pray for stuff. Never tangibles. Anyway, I've discovered that when I ask for those types of things, I get presented with situations in which I can work on those things. So... I am not praying for strength any more. Seems that when I do, I get situations in which to be strong. No thanks. I'm going to pray for the grace to tastefully deal with my lottery winnings, and the patience to schedule my life around the demands of my many, many new friends. :)