In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, many photographs were taken depicting the destruction. Below these photos was a comment that I will take these next two posts to comment on. It was from an atheist man in Sweden who was condemning people for praying for the Haitians. The second part of his comment was:
My thoughts are with the unfortunate people of Haiti and their families.
Think? Uh… pray
I have never understood this statement. Ever.
As believers, we are able, and commanded to, bring our petitions to God for healing, comfort, repentance, and justice. A few of the many texts on this include:
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.– James 5.13-18
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.– 1 Timothy 2.1-4
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!– Matthew 7.7-11
When you pray
In prayer, you are actually petitioning one who is all-loving and far greater than yourself. Even those who deny God must realize that the God they deny (“if He was real”) is all powerful and if they were to pray to Him, He would be able to answer any request.
So I ask, what good does thinking do? Are you, Atheist, so powerful that by your thoughts you can move mountains, feed the hungry, rescue the weary, and change the world? Certainly “thinking” about those in need is a kind gesture, but realistically, there is never progress to be made by mere thoughts. Thus we have been given the gift of prayer that we might petition a holy God to move for us.
Let’s use that power to its potential especially now.