Date: October 05, 2019 11:01AM
As many of you know, I was raised Catholic in a mixed Catholic/Protestant household. I was taught to view prayer (when used as a request for benefit from a higher power) as something that might or might not be granted. I have seen it as being similar to a child requesting something from a parent. The parent loves the child, and will therefore try to grant the request if at all possible. But the parent has a greater knowledge than the child has, and may deny the request based on various factors.
However in talking with a new friend, it is clear that she has a very different view of prayer -- that if you pray for something worthy with sufficient faith, the prayer will be granted. My new friend does really admirable charity work that she pays for largely out of her own pocket. In the past, this has sent her deeply into debt. She has an upcoming charitable project that is projected to send her deep into the hole once again. Yet she feels if she pursues this project "in faith," that the money will somehow appear.
When I listened to her telling me about this, I felt my jaw metaphorically drop. Inside, I was thinking, how did that work out for you before? And, why would you expect anything different this time based on your previous experience?
I am far too practical to pursue something thinking that "God will provide." Sometimes needed money or goods do appear (for which I am grateful,) but I never count on that. I figure I was given a brain for a reason, and I had better use it to come up with a solid plan to provide for myself.
I will be happy to share some ideas with her for fundraising, but can't contribute anything myself because the money simply isn't there.
On this board, I've often seen examples of TBMs who also use prayer as a blunt instrument. But I've never seen it in my own personal experience of mainstream Christianity. The closest that I've seen are fictional movies or TV shows where a nun or a priest thinks that "God will provide" -- and the scriptwriter obligingly writes a suitably happy ending to their troubles. But in real life, no.