When my dad was sick and in the hospital I prayed hard and often that God would make him well. I’ve done this many times for people I’ve loved and for loved ones of friends. Last night I was thinking about this and had an epiphany. I’ve believed for a long time that God knows when and how we will die. He knows when our work here is done and it is time for us to join Him. This, I believe all Christians can agree upon. So, why do we pray for the ill and infirmed?
By praying that God will spare someone’s life are we not praying that He will alter His plan and, in a sense, telling him that He’s made a mistake? Maybe so. Is it, then, silly to pray for someone’s well being? It makes us feel better to make an appeal for someone’s life but perhaps, even with all the praying in the world, we have no impact on His decision.
I think that maybe when we pray we should only be praying for one of two reasons:
- To ask forgiveness for something that we’ve done. We all do things that we know are wrong but in asking forgiveness and for help in not making the same mistakes again we can strengthen our relationship with God.
- To thank God for what he has given us. I do this every day. The opportunity to see the sunshine, the love of my wife, son, family and friends, the gift of logic and the ability to express myself in writing… these are all things for which I am thankful and I make it a point to let Him know.
I’m no theologian but I am a believer. I have made that clear in my previous writing (See: I Can Handle Death, Danny Fugate Died, etc.) that, while I don’t attend church services, I do have faith in God and a belief that I will be with lost loved ones again. In the words of John Lennon “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” In that song he says that we should imagine there’s no Heaven and no religion too. While I don’t agree with that notion, I do think that if we would hold our differences dear rather than using them as a reason to fight we could “live as one.”
What do you think?