The Problem with Prayer
Let’s Talk Prayer
So my mother is sick- and I’m not talking cough cough here’s some Robitussin and some Campbell soup. I’m talking frequent visits to the hospital, can’t leave the house, eats food from a blender kind of sick. The kind of sick that cashiers at Walgreens ask you for money to help find the cure. Yeah, that kind of sick. She no longer leaves the house aside from doctor’s visits or hospital visits and can no longer take care of her herself or her household. Now tonight, I had about fourteen people come to my mother’s house for an hour and a half long prayer session. They all marched in like the Christian soldiers they are and started praying immediately. This was that kind of prayer that vibrates through the house: voices carrying upstairs into the attic and straight out of the roof as they ascend to heaven.
Now, don’t get me wrong, although I don’t identify as a Christian, I am definitely a lover and believer of God and all the amazing wonderful Blessings that God brings. That being said, I have an issue with prayer. Here are FOURTEEN people standing in my kitchen: arms spread wide, lifting my mother, her illness, and our whole family in prayer. Fourteen people who walked through this door and greeted her, not as a stranger but as a friend, a co worker, a neighbor. Fourteen people who knew my mother from various locations, before she got sick. Yet, the only time I see any of these people are on nights like tonight when they lift her up in prayer for an hour and a half and head on on their merry ways saying “God bless you and all the people that help to care for you.”
The Problem with Prayer Lies in This
The problem with prayer is that whole “I’m praying for you/let me come pray for you” bit. Not because people are physically doing the prayer, not because of who they are praying to, and not even because I have fourteen people crowding my kitchen at 8pm.
The problem I have is that this is ALL people do.
When you are sick, when you are well, when things go wrong, people pray. And let me tell you: prayer is the bees knees because God is the bees knees (…and the rest of the body. Not that God is a bee I’m just saying God is awesome) but that’s not the only thing in our wheelhouse to do. Whether you believe in my God or your God when you are praying you are praying to good. You are channeling your version of good epitomized and asking that good to reign down blessings on you or whomever you are praying for. Now very RARELY do people pray and act. My God comes from the Christian Bible and in this Bible there are like a gazillion examples of people who are blessed by God. Moses with the freeing of the Israelites, David with the killing of Goliath, Rachel in finally getting pregnant- the list goes on and on. But in these Biblical examples and all the other ones, these people don’t just pray they fucking DO. They got down and dirty and did shit to help their situations or to help the people that they wanted God to bless. Could you imagine where the Israelites would have been if Moses stayed in his fucking farm land when he saw that bush burning and just prayed?
But he didn’t, he got up and did something.
Back to my house. Here, I have fourteen people in my house who see the condition that my mother is in and not a one has taken her to a doctors visit, cooked her a meal, done her hair, even purchased her a pen from the dollar store. Nothing but a prayer.
With Prayer There Must Be Action
Don’t sit around just praying for yourself. And don’t you dare get in your car travel all the way to someone’s house just to pray. Prayer is a connection to good. It is you asking the greatest power of good to aid in a situation. And that greatest power of good can be telling you, hey- I want YOU to be the one to help! That power of good can be out there delegating and has decided that it wants YOU to use whatever tool you have to solve the problem. Moses was a great leader so when he prayed for the safety and well being of the Israelites he got off his ass and helped lead them to safety.
I’m not saying all Christians and people who pray should be it here parting Red Seas and making commandments but shit, action speaks louder than words! When you ask ANYONE for something you still gotta do shit. You can’t ask the guy at the bank for a loan and not have a plan of how you’re gunna give him his money back. You can’t ask for a cuter hairstyle without going to the salon or buying the hair dye from Hair Stop. No matter what you are asking of someone you still have to have SOME action behind the ask. Sooooo why do some of us think it’s okay to go to the source of all things good and just…ask? No action-not a step!
All I’m saying is, if you’re going through it, do your prayer but also, do something else. It doesn’t take much to go to the grocery store or help someone mail a letter. The littlest things make a huge difference.
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