Greetings Brothers and Sisters of the road.....
Recent tragedies in the news set me to thinking....and that's always a dangerous thing, innit? I started a discussion on facebook about it....got some interesting answers, and it provoked a lot more thought. This oughta set yer mind ta spinnin', whether yer a Christian or not..... Dig it...points to ponder from yer ol' buddy Scotty.....
So.... The tornado is on the way, coming right at you and a classroom full of kids. You have done what you can humanly do. So now, you, as it has been suggested on facebook, Pray. My question is: Why? What is the purpose really? Would one pray and ask for inner strength? Guidance? Forgiveness for those about to die that have not asked? Forgiveness for one's self? I can see that...and understand any or all of those. BUT..... Do you, as most people would be inclined to do, ask for God to save you? Or possibly save the kids? That is my question, my theoretical burr in the saddle. God has already allowed the tornado, He knows your'e there. He knows the future. Can asking for another chance on this earth at that point change anything? Or, is that sort of prayer, even for a devout Christian, somewhat misguided? A wise man once told me that we should only pray for guidance and strength. The rest is up to God, and asking to change destiny on earth is misplaced. I kinda liked that thought.... But that's just me....
There's the rub.... I have seen thousands of prayers, and almost all ask for something besides strength and guidance. Is this wrong? Is it OK? Would it help?
Some of my friends and family responded, and illustrated perfectly the paradox I was asking about..... If God can change something because you asked, then he, by definition, allowed it in the first place. From what I see, most people who pray, ask for things to change, or to change destiny in some way. "Please allow her to live"... "Please take away his pain", 'Please let me get this job".. even asking for a winning lottery number, or whatever. Given the concept of an Omnipotent, and Omnipresent, God, I would think those prayers, while not without purpose here on earth as personal solace of some sort if nothing else, (as my Nephew suggests), would also be a bit misplaced, since God would have to already decided what the course of action is going to be, or at least known what it is going to be. There's the rub.... That's why I was asking what y'all think. Do you pray for the wisdom to understand God's will better, since you can't change it, or do you, in effect, ask God to change his will to fit your own? Or maybe something in the middle?
People invariably then say "God...good. Satan...baaaaad". Blame satan for the bad stuff, honor God for the good. How can we give God credit for all that is good, and none of the blame for all that is bad? Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient? (Latin...look it up if ya don't believe me) If he knows all, sees all, and is all powerful, and can defeat Satan and his minions at any juncture, then we are back to the same circular logic there..... He must have known and allowed..... So let's hold that discussion for another day, because it's a really good one to have....
So, do you think it's OK to pray for whatever you want, or think you need? How about the needs of others (as you see them)? "Find my lost Cousin", is that OK? And can such prayers change the outcome, or just your own personal viewpoint/solace? Some people strongly believe there are distinct rules regarding the prayer, and the format which must be followed (I.E> MUST end with "In Jesus name we ask"), or only asking for wisdom and strength vs. physical change..... I find it interesting where each individual sees the line drawn and how they deal with it.... Or if they think there's no line at all?
I bet my Brother in Law will tell ya.. (and he's a wise man, Kids....) that there are no "rules", just "right"....(kinda like the old Outback commercial). The main thing is to pray, not what you say or how you say it..... Right? (His Dad, Henry, once told me that God knows your heart...how you say it, or what you say, doesn't matter as much as the fact that you are saying it in the first place.) If I understood him correctly, he was telling me that the act of prayer is the important thing, not the actual prayer itself.
So, is prayer actually a way to get God to change His will to your wants? Or should it be used to ask for strength and guidance to accept His will? Does it matter at all?
To that, I'd say... If you want it to matter, then it does. If it makes you feel better, It's worth it. Sometimes Humans need to be in a place of inner peace to figure out what to do, and what not to do. If you can get some measure of inner peace from prayer, or meditation, then whether the peace you seek was Divinely inspired or not, your reflection has served a purpose.
But that's just me, thinkin' out loud. This is a really fun discussion to have with your friends and family, too. Their beliefs, their thought processes, their reasoning, may actually teach ya somethin'...about them, and about yourself.
You got it from Yer ol' buddy Scotty.... -Peace- !