Sunday, March 11, 2007


Read an article about prayer the other day. (Work-related hazard).

The writer was chiding Christians who pray fervently for trivial things, like a parking space at a busy supermarket. He said such prayers, and the ensuing praise when they are 'answered', are symptomatic of poor theology. Do we believe that God is prone to clicking his fingers and creating a parking space just because we ask? And, if that is what we believe, how do we justify the fact that the same God didn't do anything when someone else prayed that their friend wouldn't die of cancer. Or when so many prayed for an end to the Holocaust. Etc.

I get his point. I've been irritated with the 'parking space' Christians too.

But I've also done 'parking prayers'. (Actually, when I'm driving, my attitude is one of constant, fervent prayer that there will be no bloodshed.)

I know that prayer isn't about getting what I want. It's more profound than that.... But if my response to pathetic, trivial needs did not include reference to God, wouldn't that demonstrate an even more shallow theology? Doesn't thanking him for daily 'blessings' and blaming him for daily irritations demonstrate an awareness of his proximity?

Prayer is a deeply significant part of my life. But so much of it remains a mystery to me. And this guy got me thinking......

Whaddy'all reckon?

1 comment:

Jonathan Potts said...

I don't think there's any particular harm in praying for something trivial, as long as you don't take it too seriously. There's nothing wrong in my mind with a slightly tongue-in-cheek "God, I know this is trivial but it would be really nice of you could somehow make it so that ... (trivial thing)". As long as you don't take such things too seriously or base your ideas about God on whether he answers them or not. That is when your theology gets on bad grounds - thinking that God is there to look after all your whims and desires.