The Problem I Have With Prayer

The Problem I Have With Prayer January 24, 2023

Image by CNN

Let’s talk about the incident with Damar Hamlin the other night when the Buffalo Bills player suffered a cardiac event after colliding with another player. His heart stopped, he was resuscitated, and now he is recovering.

People on the field knelt to pray. People prayed in the stands and people prayed in their homes as they watched the player driven away in an ambulance. “I pray that he’s okay,” was probably the most common phrase heard that night.

My assessment of what happened is that we consider these players to be invincible. We see injuries happen every time they play football, but when a serious accident happens, it sobers us up, just like when we see a serious accident on the side of the road.

I understand how it brings people together and gets their mind off of their own concerns and onto the concerns of another person. The same thing happened when my brother-in-law had a heart incident a few years back, except that he didn’t make it.

I can have compassion for Damar, and I do. I have sympathy for his fellow teammates and family and friends and what they are going through. It must be something like when I had my stroke a year ago, and my wife had to face the reality of my mortality.

We have been very open with the fact, that since my stroke happened, we have not prayed once for me to be healed. My doctor told me in a religiously named hospital, “You can believe whatever you want, but your recovery will be based on whether or not you do the work.”

And he was right. I did the work, I’m getting better, and I’ve also healed other internal wounds by knowing this and not depending on something supernatural.

Yet, people still give God the credit for the work I did. If you’ve ever involved in stroke recovery, you know what I mean. It, hard, discouraging, sometimes impossible work, and I did it!

One reason Damar survived was because, plans and provisions were made, and knowledgeable, trained people recessitated him quickly. Well educated and trained doctors and therapists will help him do the rest of the work necessary to recover.

It literally doesn’t make sense anymore to pray for people the way I used to. Because if God doesn’t notice when a football player has a heart incident in the middle of a football game, then he’s not paying attention. If he can do something to bring him back to life, and doesn’t until millions of people pray, then he’s an a******.

Please don’t even start the conversation like “our ways are not His ways” or “He works in mysterious ways.” I’m getting a colonoscopy Tuesday and I’m depending on well trained, educated professionals to examine my colon. I’m not even interested in “mysterious ways.” I just don’t believe it anymore!

I’ve seen too much heartache and death and sickness and sadness that God didn’t seem to care about. I met a girl that was trafficked by her father for many years who asked, “Why didn’t God help me when I begged him to?” I’m not going to excuse it away anymore.

I see prayer these days as connection. It feels like connection to the universe and connection with other people. I believe much more in energy than a God that is helping some people find their car keys and helping famous football players, but not my brother-in-law!

If you mention anything about “God’s plan” or God being in control, I will block you. If you tell me God used the event to bring people together, then I will assume that means God caused it and that raises all kinds of other issues.

This is all my opinion, you do you.

Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Be at peace.

Karl Forehand


Image by CNN

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