We have a cat at the vet which we took in on Thursday. He is my all time favorite pet. The vet said he found some anti-freeze. We agreed to pay an phenomenal amount to get the antidote. I visited him twice on Thursday and once on my way home yesterday. The old part of me did kick in I must confess. I wasn't an atheist in a fox hole, but just reverted back to an old habit. I prayed. I want my little buddy to live. Maybe I should have not taken him to the vet and just prayed, but I don't see any Christians doing that beside the Christian Scientist and they don't appear to be outstripping the medical world in saving lives. Anyway I prayed that he would suddenly without warning be entirely back to himself and be home today. The people in the hospital would be flabbergasted and say so. Now I will not be satisfied with him slowly getting better and coming home in a few days (but I will be glad) because that would mean he got better by the medicine. If he dies I will be quite bummed. But I will be comforted that he was in my life.
So will my prayer work?
The preacher tells me
(God) will not be offended if you test him in your prayers. When you have the all-knowing, all-powerful Ruler of the Universe looking out for you in perfect love, doesn't it make sense to rely on his will instead of your own puny resources?
My apologies to the vet. She seems quite good. The preacher does get exuberant at times.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, ... you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Upfront I will say that if any Christian publicly prayed for a mountain to throw itself into the sea, all atheist would convert.
Prayer is a key element in the Christian's life. When a prayer is "answered" positively it is an ecstatic high that keeps them on cloud nine for a good long time. But often prayers are not answered.
So pastor tell me why and what I should do?
Your prayers will get answered if
- you have a humble heart and turn away from your wicked ways (2 Chronicle 7:14) [Not entire sure what you mean here, but can you give me this one?]
- when you pray you really, really mean it (Jeremiah 29:13) [I sincerely mean it]
- and you got to really, really believe it (Mark 11:24) [can you make me a robot? this brain you gave me just runs rampant]
- oh, don't forget to be righteousness (James 5:16) [not sure what you mean again, crap]
- and obey and please him (1 John 3:22) [do I make you happy Jesus, I cannot tell cause I cannot see you. I need some visual clues please. If my prayer is not answered should I conclude you are not pleased with me?]
- and it is really important to realize it has got to be something he is willing to do (1 John 5:14; Ezekiel 20:3) [You like cats right, this is a particularly good one...you must know that]
- and for Christ sake you got to be with people who also please him(Deu 3:26) [Hmmm...Human Ape, please be good today, OK?]
Now just to be clear your prayers will not get answered
- if you didn't listen before and even though you are now ready he is resentful and needs some time away for you to think (Deu 1:45;1 Sam 14:37) [you know I don't hear voices in my head so please speak up. Can we call this a push since you got to admit you do speak so softly?]
- and you better not be caring around in your heart a secret sin and you know what it is so he doesn't have to explain (Psalm 66:18) [How hard should I think on this one? Do I just have to assume I have one? I have low self-esteem so I bet there is one. I repent. OK?]
- if you were indifferent before and now you need his help you are screwed (Proverbs 1:28) [I have hardly been indifferent. I have been a nut case for you for many decades.]
- did you not help a poor person when you had a chance? (Proverbs 21:13) [I did contribute to the Haiti effort]
- did you ignore his law? (Proverbs 28:9) [I say I didn't ignore it. Follow it is different right?]
- you have blood on our hands that he didn't command you to shed (Isaiah 1:15) [Kewl. A clear shot here. I haven't killed anyone yet or been told by god to kill someone and didn't follow through.]
- and you better not have committed any iniquities (Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4) [This must be the law stuff again. I repent again. OK?]
- remember the time he called you for you and you did not listen. guess what now bitch? (Zech 7:13) [Again, please speak up]
- when you said your prayer did you had a shred of doubt. (James 1:6-7) [Dear Lord, please make me your robot]
- did you want a gift for yourself? you are simply too god damn selfish (James 4:3) [Oh fuck. I want my cat to be back to his old self again. But my wife wants it too. Can this be for her?]
The sermon ends with this:
Everything in this world that we put our faith in has the potential to fail. God does not. He is consistently reliable, even if we do not agree with his decisions. He always leads us in the right direction if we give in to his will. It's not about me, it's not about you. It's about God and his will. The sooner we learn that, the sooner our prayers will touch the heart of the One to whom nothing is impossible.
I came to a point in coming out of Christianity where I concluded he will do as he pleases. The rules and regs are too complex and fuzzy. Also, I don't need to pray for others because if he is all powerful, all-knowing and loving he will not be sitting up there with his thumb up his ass waiting for me to pray for someone. How cruel would that be if that was the case?
But the preacher says he never lets you down. How in the hell would you ever really know that? Really the Christian to his God is quite the dysfunctional relationship. Your father is always right and you are always wrong. You are nothing but a fuck up. Get used to it.
How intelligent is a designer to create things that are contrary to his will and instead of being mad at himself he takes it out on the kids?