Monday, September 09, 2013

Prayer Chains

Elijah heckled the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 19): Your gods are asleep.  Or on vacation.  They can't heeeeear you.  Better speak up.

That's how we often treat prayer chains.  God doesn't know what's going on, so we need to tell Him.  Or God doesn't care very much, so we will arm-twist Him into doing what we demand.  Doesn't "storm the gates of heaven" sound a little like the storming of the Bastille -- crowds overpowering an enemy?

When we join in prayer (at the altar or via prayer chains), the point is not to make God do what we want.  In times of national disaster, or at times of cancer diagnoses, or when there's been a nasty accident, we pray for the sake of faith.   We pray that none of us would be scandalized in the Faith because of the circumstances of our own lives: "If this is happening to me, surely God has abandoned me."  We pray likewise that none of us is scandalized by the tragedies of our brothers and sisters: "What kind of a God allows this to happen?"

We pray that we trust the Lord.
We pray that suffering does not turn us from Him.
We pray that He uses events (good or bad) to draw us closer to Him.

Oh, yeah -- and we also pray that temporal suffering be alleviated if it be His will.

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