what is it?

nik-wallendaI had no clue there was a man crossing the Grand Canyon via high wire on Sunday evening.  Color me out of touch?   I heard he made it.  Before I confirmed there were, I figured there were people out there praying for his safe passage across.  My husband and daughter let me know that yes, there were people doing just that.  Here’s a Christian Post article detailing that, as well as Nik Wallenda’s personal ‘prayer walk’ across the canyon:  Nik Wallenda Constantly Prayed to Jesus……    Lest you think I would have preferred him falling into the canyon, that is incorrect.

Yet it does spur my curiosity regarding prayer.  Did God answer the prayers of folks praying for this person to do this, in my opinion, ridiculous feat?  What about the parents in Chicago who pray daily their children will be safe?  Quite a few Chicago kids have been shot and killed recently.   Here’s an interesting blog I came across by utilizing GOOGLE:  In Newtown’s shadow, Chicago’s bleak gun toll goes on. It seems to me the majority of these kids are much more innocently going about their business than the guy on the tight rope.  How in the world could it possibly be that God would prefer the tight rope artist get across, yet the kids get shot down?  I can’t fathom it to be true.

Another question?  What does God think about cars?  Obviously, automobiles are not healthy to the environment, i.e. his creation.  So if both of my family’s break down in the near future and I pray for a new vehicle, will God provide?  Or will he say, “Nope, I’m against cars, work it out yourself”?  Maybe he’ll gift me with a bicycle?  Or I’ll feel a strong surge to only accept employment within walking distance from my home?

I have to believe the world today is pretty far from God’s ideal creation.  So does he bless the coal miner?  Even if he’s working for a capitalistic jerk of a company CEO, concerned only with money?  Even if coal mining is reeking havoc on Eastern Kentucky?  Even if years of coal dust in one’s lungs leads to massive health issues?  Sure, it’s a controversial issue.  But is the coal situation in Eastern Kentucky all part of God’s grandiose plan?

twp-osage_smallMy parents live in an Oklahoma county that is entirely an Indian reservation. Did God answer the prayers of the original European descendant settlers who moved the Indians there?

I saw a pick up truck today with a Confederate flag license plate.  If the owner’s child is seriously ill, will God answer his prayers for renewed health?  Or does the guy need to work through his issues first?  What if he pulls into a church on Sunday, filled with people with the same ideals?  Is God along for morning worship?

I’m not inclined to believe we have to be perfect before God accepts us.  And I realize that coal mining, Confederate flags and the environment are issues many differ on.  Yet I can’t help but wonder if we’re so very far off what God originally envisioned in this world that we cannot possibly expect him to care about our piddly little requests revolving around material things.  I’ve prayed about my husband’s computer when it was on the fritz.  Yet when I really consider my motives, I realize I didn’t want him to be grumpy, which I knew he would be if he couldn’t get it to work right.  I’ve prayed for ease, for comfortability, when I shouldn’t be concerned about things that don’t matter. What if we only concerned ourselves with God’s Kingdom and what will last?  I’m fairly certain my minivan will not be an integral part of God’s Kingdom come.

I realize there are books written regarding why bad things happen to good people.  There are many theories as to why God allows earthquakes and tsunamis and terrorist attacks.  And when I consider my opinions on these very topics, I’m curious as to what part my prayers actually play.  Sure, I prayed my Oklahoma loved ones would be safe in the recent devastating tornadoes, and they were.  But surely to goodness, there were others praying only to find out later their family members and/or friends were tragically killed.

Which brings me to the question.  What is prayer?  Is it asking for what I want?  Is it asking for what I need?  Is it simply conversing with God?  What is it?

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