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The Power of Prayer

By Dave A ~

For many, prayer is a ritual that has long been a necessity for daily living, and the power behind those words spoken to god is apparent. You may have even experienced it yourself. I know I have. Think about it for a second; what was the last miracle you received by the power of prayer? Were you running late for work and couldn't find your car keys? Did you stop and say a quick prayer just before it donned on you that your keys were still in the pocket of that coat you wore to dinner last night? Did you receive a excellent grade on an assignment that you worked really hard on and asked god to let your efforts pay off? How about the time you asked god to guide you through an interview for a job you were educated, prepared, skilled, and experienced for? And finally, what about that outpatient surgery that you or a friend or loved one faced? Did you see the power of prayer as god guided the hands of that surgeon? I know that I've witnessed the undeniable power of prayer for these and similar situations throughout my thirty plus years on Earth. But is that same power just as effective when it comes to life and death? When does the power of prayer simply become god's plan?

Last year, at the age of thirty-two, young boy in my community gain national exposure when his story of his battle with cancer spread across social media. Thousands of people shared their thoughts and prayers for the young boy, and undoubtedly prayed for his recovery each day. Church goers made sure to keep him on prayer lists and the power behind all of these prayers was surely to expedite his healing. Sadly, however, the boy did not overcome the cancer, but rather passed away. Nothing to me is more terrible than the death of a child. I still feel sorrow for the family that endured this loss, but if it helps, we can admit that it was god's plan. God was ready for a new angel in heaven. Just like the twenty other angels that got their wings a few months later when they left heaven-bound from Newtown CT.

Now I'm no expert on prayer, mind you, but rather a reasonably intelligent observer. And from my many observations over the years, I'd say god's plan is far greater than his willingness to answer the prayers of the devout Christians across the world, at least when it comes to life and death. Or perhaps even less extreme situations. Sure, finding those keys so that you can make it to work is important, but is it really as important as the child in Africa who just took his last breath after his long struggle to stay alive, but starvation finally won the battle? What about the unselfish prayer I spoke to god begging him to not allow someone I knew to have an abortion. Or when my family prayed for a loved one who passed away after falling from his rooftop and suffered head trauma? No, these are not the kind of prayers god answers; these are not examples of the power prayer has. These are situations that are all a part of god's plan.

So I decided, though I'm no god, that god's plan just doesn't make sense. There is no remotely good or acceptable reason why god's plan should include the death of a child. There is no reason why god should help you ace a test or score a touchdown while he's overlooking a child who is being molested and beaten. So what makes your prayer any more important? What makes you so confident that god heard your prayer and granted your desires directly? I challenge you all to put aside your prayers of convenience for a few weeks and focus only upon those severe cases of needed prayer. Now I'm not talking about sister Helen from your local baptist church who's got a case of the flu. I'm talking about the terminally ill or on life support after an accident. Pray only for their recovery and witness for yourselves just how powerful prayer can be. I bet you will see that god's so called plan is much more powerful.

And that is why I just can't waste my time and energy praying. And furthermore, why I simply can't believe in an all mighty god that can't even take a moment to heal someone who would have a whole life ahead of them, but hallelujah he will see that you get a nice income tax return! God, I call bullshit!
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