Watching my son sleep
In my arms, as I place him
Into a casket
“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
You can Google why prayers go unanswered and get huge lists as to why God may not have answered your prayer. But doesn’t he have to go against his Word if he doesn’t answer our prayers? Should one go through these long lists before praying to see if they’re qualified at all to pray? It’s such a confusing religion.
Note: My son died at the age of three. He was sick and suffered most of his short life. My family, friends, pastor, and our congregation continually prayed for him… to no avail.
God answers prayer
Why pray for your own disease
And not the whole world
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.John 14:14 NKJV
Why waste a prayer just for yourself when you can cure the entire world – in one stroke? Or maybe you don’t want to cure the world. That’s the question I have for God. The advocates and fundamentalists of the Bible claim that God is omniscient and omnipotent (knows everything and is able to do anything), so why won’t He cure all disease, hunger, and suffering in the world? If he can and won’t, what does that say about God? I’m not here to judge God or any religion. I’m just a critical-thinking human being with lots of flaws enjoying the mysteries of the world. I know not much but love asking the question.
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Theists favorite phrase when…
God doesn’t answer
Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.William Cowper
The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” is not found in the Bible.
God, if there is one, is unknowable. We humans cannot know God. We will never know God’s will. Praying is one of those rituals that has never worked for me. A prayer for my dying child went unanswered even though the entire congregation prayed for him. My pastor, who was an intelligent man, had a set of cliched answers such as, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “God has other plans that we just don’t know about.” Jesus says that as long as we believe, our prayers will be answered. No qualifications, except to believe (and maybe locking yourself in your room and not babbling). Maybe I didn’t believe correctly. Maybe God didn’t want to answer my prayer, which makes him a cruel God in my mind. Unanswered questions. Unanswered prayers. He is indeed mysterious.
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Paul said, “I wish that
Those who are upsetting you…
Would castrate themselves.”
I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!Galatians 5:12 NRSV
The original New Testament of the Bible (which doesn’t exist) was written in Koine Greek (not English) and some Aramaic. The Greek copies that have been found over the years were translated into many other languages: Coptic, Latin, Syriac, Ethiopic, and a whole slew of others. The English translation didn’t happen until the 16th Century. Today, we have many, many versions of the English Bible. You may have grown up with one particular version thinking that it’s the true translation of the original. But, who really knows. So, try reading one of your favorite passages in different versions of the Bible. BibleGateway.com is where I go to quickly change the versions. It’s a treat for me! But, I’m weird that way!
I would they were even cut off which trouble you. King James Version
As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! New International Version
I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! New King James Version
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What are the odds of winning?
So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24 NRSV
If you tell a Christian that your prayer wasn’t answered, they’ll have a reason as to why it wasn’t. Just take a look at this list of “20 Biblical Reasons For Unanswered Prayers” and you’ll see what I mean. I wonder how many followers carry a Prayer Checklist with them to see if they might qualify to be answered? Just a thought. But, if you look at Mark 11:24, Jesus did not have any qualifications or reasons why your prayers won’t be answered. He simply says that all you have to do is “believe” that you have received it, and it will be yours. Ahh, that mystical word that I have a hard time comprehending – “believe.”
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