Wayne Holland: Irrational Universe

 

The Doubting Prayer

—January 21, 2014 ...

 

A man of faith never prays.

 

Have you ever thought about prayer? I mean, really thought about it? I am of course suggesting a consideration of it in a more cerebral sense, and not so emotional (or devotional).

If we consider it from an emotional standpoint, we can fully understand why people pray sometimes, as, for example, if their child is sick.

But if we set the emotional element aside for a moment ...

From a purely intellectual perspective, prayer appears as a sort of contradiction. On the one hand, we have a person of faith (at least ostensibly), calling on their God to do something for them.

But hold the phone a second. A person of faith? If so, then only by process of elimination, since it goes without saying that a doubter (a non-believer) would likely not pray at all. So, therefore, if someone is praying, they must ipso facto be a believer.

But ... not really.

There is a very important element in this equation that is being overlooked:

If they were truly believers they would not be praying at all!

The fact that they do lift up their voices to God is actually more of an indication of doubt than faith. At very least, they are in doubt of God's competence, or, in more modern parlance, his management skills.

Yes, they might indeed believe in God, that He is good and all-powerful and that He will answer their prayers, but they show serious doubts about God by praying to Him in the first place.

Whether they care to admit it or not, when a person cries out to God for some form of aid or assistance or comfort, or whatever, they are in essence demonstrating an egregious lack of faith in Him. It is almost as if we proclaim to the world that we do not believe that God is in fact trustworthy!

Imagine, for example, a wife asking her husband if he deposited the money that she asked him to. Does not the posing of this question indicate that she feels that her husband—at least at times—is not the most dependable person in the world? She may love him dearly, but yet she knows that there is a certain flaw in his character that makes him forget things from time to time.

Even Jesus touched on this subject:

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Luke 12:27-31)

Jesus very clearly states that God is active in the world, taking care of His creation, and tells his listeners flat out not to seek what they would eat, or drink or to be of doubtful mind, because "your Father knoweth that ye have need".

You don't have to ask God to do anything.

The very act of doing so is a clear intimation that you do not know that He is already in the act of taking care of things, or that you do not really believe that He is. Yes, you doubt His management skills.

As an outsider, it looks unmistakably clear that the so-called believers are not heeding these words of Jesus. From the way that they pray so much it appears that they are extremely doubtful of mind, very concerned about what is happening to them, or what might happen to them.

A man of faith never prays!

Only those who have doubts and fears (i.e., insecurities) pray.

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