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Some Thoughts on Prayer

WHAT IS GOD'S ROLE?  WHAT IS OURS?

There's a story of a man who was at his house when heavy rains poured down, the river crested, and the town flooded.  As he stood on his front porch, the neighborhood completely under water, two men came by in a rowboat.  "Can we take you to safety?" one called out.

The man shook his head.  "No, thank you.  I have faith in the Lord and He will save me."

A little later, the waters had risen and the man was on the roof of his porch when several folks happened along in a motorboat.  "Say, there, would you like to come with us?" one of them called.

"No, thank you," the man replied.  "I have faith in the Lord, and He will save me."

The waters continued to rise with alarming speed, and the man soon found himself on the roof of his house.  A helicopter came by and hovered overhead as the pilot broadcasted, "Let me drop a line and get you out of there."

"No, thank you," the man called back.  "I have faith in the Lord, and He will save me."

The man perished in the flood and went to Heaven, where he was met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter.  Extremely saddened and upset, the man requested to talk to God.  His request was granted.

"Heavenly Father," the man cried, "I had faith in you to save me from the flood, and you didn't come through for me!"


Astonished, God replied, "What are you talking about?  I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"

There's a lot of wisdom in that tale.

Many folks are of the mind that if they want something, all they need do is pray for it.  And that's ALL they do, just pray.  They pray for a better job to come along.  They pray for more money.  They pray for a mate.  Then they sit back, put their feet up, and do absolutely nothing.  After all, God will provide for them if they pray hard enough and long enough.

Now, I may be as far from a religious expert as you can get, but I don't think it works that way!  Rewards come as a result of hard work, and of striving for a specific goal.  Just the desire to succeed isn't enough, nor is dreaming.  And nor is prayer alone.  Prayer is supposed to be for guidance and a helping hand from God when the road gets rough or things don't look promising.  It is not meant as a substitute for applying yourself.  The Lord helps those who help themselves.

I recently read that God provides food for every baby bird, but He doesn't toss it into the nest.  How true these words are.  The world is rich with everything your heart desires, and every resource you need to survive.  But you have to go out and look for them yourself.  If it's a better job or more money you want, you need to work towards it.  If everything is handed to you, you truly will not appreciate what you have.  Humans are funny that way.  We take things that come too easily to us for granted.


Daily, God gives us signs and shows us the way.  The problem is, in this media-crazed society of ours, most of us don't notice the signs unless we're hit over the head with them.  A sign is meaningless unless you know it's there.  Guardian angels surround us at all times, helping to do God's work by indicating which path to take.  You have to be aware of them, with your eyes and ears and heart.  Sometimes the most obvious things aren't obvious.

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