A very nice post by AJ, on his blog. I recommend it.

Another Jesus Fish in the Sea...

NOTE: I’ve added an update to this post here. (7/30/2011)

“NOTHING FAILS LIKE PRAYER.”
I read this on the bumper of a truck as I drove through the parking lot at work. (The other sticker read: “Real Men Hate Jesus,” so I think there was a theme.) Years ago, this would have made me unbelievably angry and defensive; this particular day, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. This was an obvious case of someone for whom something had gone horribly wrong in his life, whether to himself or someone he cared deeply about. One does not advertise such feelings merely as a result of a distrust of – and disbelief in – the Christian church. This level of antagonism must be precipitated by a morally or emotionally disastrous event. Whatever it was, this man felt betrayed and lied to. The belief that prayer is not only a myth, but…

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3 thoughts on “

  1. the writer said
    “If I pray that someone I love survives cancer, is that definitively a request for the best possible scenario? Possibly survival would entail more suffering and a more debilitating collapse. The very best thing may be that her suffering ends and she is called Home to be with Jesus, and suffer no more”

    guilty I am. when I was in a very rough time, I prayed for God to get me to heaven. I don’t wanna live in this world anymore. what was the writer was trying to say? perhaps that is what he wants to convey?

  2. I replied to the comment on my page, then realized that the comment was posted separately here, so here was my original response (and thanks for the comment!):

    “I have often felt that for anyone I loved who was saved, the best possible scenario would certainly be for them to die, where they could be in heaven in the eternal presence of our Lord. However, I once heard a preacher say that if salvation was God’s only plan for us, then the best thing would be to drown in the baptismal.

    There are many times I have prayed the prayer from the end of Revelation, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” wishing that all the evil and misery in the world could end now, and the glorious appearing and reign of Jesus would put things right The fact that He has not come, and I have not been taken home, indicates that He means for me to do more. It is sometimes a burden – and sometimes overwhelming – but I know that He has lived as a man, and understands the horror, the burden, and the suffering in this world far greater than I. He is Emmanuel, God with us, and so we will have the strength.

    I recently read The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (again), and it really has some good insight into how we can deal with the pain in this world, such as cancer and disease. I don’t completely understand prayer, or why it works, but I know that it does, and it is one of the great gifts that God has humbled Himself to give to us.”

    – Barry

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