Monday, September 10, 2012

Pondering Prayer.

Over the weekend I had a crisis of faith. A crisis deeply rooted in my religious upbringing. And while I'm not yet ready to share it all here I will spill a bit of the ticker currently racing through my mind. I noticed two consecutive updates a Facebook friend posted about two of her friends. One friend had been seriously injured in an accident and against all odds was graciously spared any permanent physical damage, the post said "Thank you for praying, Prayer Warriors!" then more about the miracle of his survival. The other post was an update and request for continuous prayer for a friend whose missing daughter's body had been found. When crisis is averted and fingers swiped in relief across foreheads, we praise prayer. When tragedy occurs and all hope feels lost, what then? I'm just sick about this. It takes me back to months (and years) before my Mom died and praying so hard for her to get better, feeling so isolated from a Savior when things instead got worse and then really disconnected when she died. I really thought my prayers would be answered because why would a life without my Mom be something God would allow? After the accident, I know people were praying for our family to heal and feel comforted. But I also know the pain of her absence is still so, so raw, so vivid, so fresh. And I often wonder how much of that prayer helped us, or did it just help the people praying for us- help them find solace from our pain. It is difficult for me to hear the word 'miracle' right now, easier to assume 'luck'. I struggle when people attribute 'blessed' to a happy/comfortable situation. I am happy for the friend who is safely home, enjoying family and comfort. And I am heartbroken for this family who has lost their precious daughter after months of agony. I guess I'm just wondering about those Prayer Warriors right now...

1 comment:

  1. I wonder the same. ALL THE TIME.

    I was raised in an ultra religious (almost cultishly closed circle) group...where everything that happened was "God's will". And "the prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much". But they also believed that every second of our lives was chosen by God, and he knew exactly what would happen in our lives until our last breath. Huh? What's the purpose of prayer, if everything is already decided? Is it just to make us feel better about our situation?

    Growing up, if someone's life was spared, it was because of prayer. If someone died, even tragically, it was because "God knew it was their time to go".

    Gabe + I talk about this a lot, especially on a small scale, the every day things I see Christians say on Facebook or Twitter. For example...if I study hard and pray, pray, pray to do well on an exam...and I get an A, that's often credited to God. However, if I get a D...that's my own fault, because I should have studied harder.

    How can it be both ways? Do you think sometimes in life, crap happens? (Forgive the sentiment.) And sometimes, when good things happen it's "luck", or maybe because we worked our buns off to make it happen?

    I guess I have a hard time believing that there's a Man in the sky that's controlling us all like little marionette puppets. I believe in God, but I also believe in our own free will. And I also believe that sometimes, bad things just happen in life. I believe in a loving, gracious God...but I also struggle with the things I see happening to those around me that are not loving or gracious at all. How can those things be?

    Sigh. I have no answers. I know that prayer sometimes makes me feel better...or feel heard by someone bigger than me. But the entire thing confuses me to no end.

    Just wanted to're not alone!