Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Which way to pray?

When do you conceed from praying for a physical miracle to an "easy", God-infused death?

I believe in miracles. I've seen them. I've prayed for them.  I've even experienced them.

I've also been with people as they die and with their loved ones as they mourn and sometimes death seems to be the miracle, the answer to prayer.  As a chaplain in seminary, I dealt with a lot of death.  Each night I was on call (save 2 of the 14) I responded to 3+ deaths. I ministered to parents who had just said goodbye to a barely born baby, and to the elderly who had lived a long life and the life-spectrum in between.

I've witnessed living and dying, healing and suffering.  My theology says that sickness and suffering are not of God--instead they are a by-product of sin--they are the work of the enemy.  So I struggle when people are prayed for, but not healed.  Now, having said that, I do not believe God is absent from suffering (in fact, as we know from the cross and Christ's suffering, he suffers with us).  

I think there are answers from God that come in a form other than "cures".  God's healing touches more than just body--it touches mind, soul, emotions and relationships too.  

So then what do you pray for?

"God's will"?

Sure, but we are also told to pray and ask specifically--so what then?

When we quit praying for physical healing--are we conceding that god can't or won't do such miracles?  

And when we pray for God-infused peaceful death, are we simply acknowledging that there is more to life than this moment, but that the eternal is incredibly valuable and important? 

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