Pray can I ask?


GOD: Right Terry, there is a question that you are almost too scared to ask us; why not bite the bullet and get it over with?
TERRY: OK! My question is this: If a child is being raped by an adult, and in fear and pain prays to you to stop this horrible experience, why don't you step in and stop it? Why don't you answer their prayer?
GOD: Great, you have expressed things as you suppose them to be, but your understanding is clouded by your illusions.
TERRY: Don't let us worry about my illusions why not protect a needy child? It seems to me that you just do not answer these desperate but reasonable prayers.
GOD: Look, for a start why blame us? We never intended humans to descend to such brutish behaviour. Even these victims go through life asking why did We let this happen to them? We never 'let these things happen'. We could put a stop to human brutality by simply leaving you all to die out. We don't need to destroy, or recreate the earth in a cataclysmic fashion. As things stand we are fully engaged trying to show you humans how to survive on the planet that you are so determinedly ruining.
If you think we are responsible for the problem you have outlined (dare we call it sinful action) then may we suggest you look elsewhere and think again!
TERRY: Do you mean I should look at what others have written on your behalf, in the bible?
GOD: If you haven't found your answer by now in the bible, why keep reading? For a start, what did your rough calculation tell you?
TERRY: Oh do you mean that from your perspective you can at any instant see thousands of severe child abuse cases occurring to say nothing of the millions of people praying for intervention because of immediate physical danger.
GOD: That is right, what to you seems an extreme isolated case is in fact a continuing stream of evil reality. Surely you would expect us to provide permanent solutions rather a continuous stream of isolated miracles.
TERRY: Yes, but I can't see what you are doing to alleviate pain.
GOD: Well if you are so blind, why not look at the insights of others. Tell your readers what your wife thinks.
TERRY: Well she was told that you have provided a mechanism where people who are assaulted and in pain become detached and much less conscious of the immediate pain.
GOD: Do you believe that, or do you think that it is just a trendy excuse dreamt up by Christian counsellors?
TERRY: My experiences in road accidents and the dental chair come to mind and I can agree that this is a real enough phenomenon. By the way, thanks for your protection on the roads.
GOD: Yes, our deal is worth mentioning here. Tell your readers about it.
TERRY: OK. You prevent me from injuring myself and others on the roads, and for my part, I will always drive with due care and attention, obeying all the traffic rules.
GOD: That is a good example of how prayer should work. Do you think that your prayer will always keep you safe?
TERRY: Thatís not the point of the prayer; all I ask is that your "will be done" and I will concentrate on doing it.
GOD: Do you think you need to repeat this prayer?
TERRY: Not to you; but just so that I always keep other people in mind.
GOD: We don't hear as much from you as we would like, don't you think you should spend more time praying for others?
TERRY: You said it, I suppose I should.
GOD: Let us reason together. If your prayers are simply to train your mind, why pray for others at all?
TERRY: As you said earlier, you created life. I need to always remember that I am not alone and I should share my love and concern with others. To work your will, requires our active consent. We can share our love and concern through prayers to you.
GOD: Good karma eh?
TERRY: Hey remember I'm a Christian, not a Buddhist.
GOD: Too often those labels give no indication of the nature and true understanding of the person involved, always look beyond the label, look for the true substance.
Now share what you learned from Jono.
TERRY: Well he was leading us in prayer, in church (all holy like) when I suddenly realised what he was really saying.
GOD: Go on.
TERRY: Jono prayed: "Lord don't take away an affliction from me until I have learned all from it that you would have me learn." It was a good prayer, but it makes you seem stern and unyielding, like a school master.
GOD: Not at all, more like a trusted and loving parent.
TERRY: Oh of course ... "Our father which art in heaven ..." So prayer also trains us to turn to you; even when faced with extreme and unpleasant events.
GOD: Yes, you ought to listen more to Jono, he has good insights. We encourage you to see us as a good and loving parent; it's all in the bible. As we have said previously we find the 'Father Christmas' label a bit light on.
What did Michael tell you the other day?
TERRY: He was trying to twist the bible to say: "many are called but few listen."
GOD: Yes that is an excellent variation; it is a pity that it is too late for us to include it in the bible. If only you humans could stop what you are doing, clear your minds of prejudices and change your prayers into two way conversations. That really would improve your world. The earth would still be the same, with natural disasters; but its inhabitants would be so much more fulfilled and happy.
What did Chris tell you the other day?
TERRY: First he confirmed that during a severe accident his sense of time slowed down and he was left quite free of pain. Then he recalled hearing about an interview with Mother Teresa who was asked how she prayed.
GOD: What did she say?
TERRY: She said that she just waited and listened to you.
GOD: Yes she did, it was easy for us to talk to her. What happened after that?
TERRY: The interviewer asked her what you said to her.
GOD: And?
TERRY: She replied that you never said anything you just listened to her.
GOD: Great; now that you can hear us through other people we needn't continue this interview.

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