Monday, September 8, 2008

Another penetrating comment on prayer

"Monk in Prayer"

The "propserity gospel" that is often preached in today's mega-churches is a very troublesome heresy. My main quarrel with it is a pastoral one. It does not bother me hugely people want great blessings from God. That strikes me as both understandable and normal. Rather, it grieves me when those same people end up feeling forsaken by God when the blessings are not forthcoming. It is unspeakably cruel to teach people that God will shower them with riches and shield them from all adversity if only their faith is strong enough. Then when something terrible happens - a child dies or a dread disease appears - they have no consolation at all:

The childish idea that prayer is a handle by which we can take hold of God and obtain whatever we desire, leads to easy disillusionment with both what we had thought to be God and what we had thought to be prayer.

-- Robert Short

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