Recently I was thinking of the brief discussion I had on this very blog with Dalia regarding prayer. Some of her words called Richard Dawkins to mind.
Now, I don’t mean that as an insult. Dalia is respectful of my beliefs. However I sensed her skepticism. Meanwhile, Dawkins takes his skepticism to a disrespectful extreme.
Lest you have been out of the loop, Dawkins is a scientist author Professional Athiest.
I once tried to read a book of his. I say “tried” because as I stood there in Indigo, after about a minute, I had to put the book down. I couldn’t get past Dawkins’ attitude. In my opinion, his concept of God is grossly inaccurate. Moreover, it’s completely contrary to mine, if not that of virtually every Christian that I know.
From what I read, I gather that Richard Dawkins thinks people believe that God is supposed to be some sort of Sugar Daddy In The Sky. Humans should be able to ask Him for something, and get whatever they want. (“Ask and ye shall receive…”, anyone?) Therefore, because this world is fraught with wars, tragedies, imperfections, and unanswered cries for help, He cannot possibly exist.
Such notions connect to my concept of prayer. I think a lot of people believe that a person prays solely because s/he wants something from God. And so, a person may pray because she wants a high mark on an exam or to have a relative spared from the ravages of disease. If said prayers are not answered, then, supposedly, that shows God’s fallibility. Or, perhaps, He just doesn’t love the pray-er enough to let the prayer (wish) come true. The next thing you know, the pray-er(s) either
1. Curse God. “I follow you. Therefore, you’re supposed to help me!!And since you haven’t, then you can $%*& off!”
2. Catch a case of the blues. “God must not love me. There must be something wrong with the way I’ve been praying or how I’ve been living. Because if there wasn’t a problem, He would give me exactly what I asked for.”
As far as I’m concerned, when people pray, they need to think of their motives. Consider what I scrawled down about a week ago:
We pray, not to get our way. Rather, so that whatever the way is, God would guide it.
Or, more specifically, that God would be present. When trials come, it isn’t always easy to see that God is guiding our circumstances.
When praying, we are appealing to the One who holds the universe in His hands. And I am not ignorant concerning the idea of praying for something in faith. Yet when you go deep into Christianity, you learn that a life of devotion to God is not about what He can do for you.
The wonder of His ways is infinite. And I am in awe of God almost incessantly. But that’s not the point.
Or is it?
I am very much in love, spiritually. Still, I feel I am at a loss when it comes to explaining the nuances of what I believe…