Friday, February 26, 2010

To pray, or not to pray

Soooo, I've been wondering lately about the purpose of prayer. It all started last year when I read "The Shack." Our pastor had been going on and on and on about for months so when it finally became available in our church's library, I snatched it up and eagerly dove in, certain that this would be a life-changing book for me as my pastor had promised. Well, it was life-changing but not in the manner that I had hoped.

For those that have not been "Shacked", I will give you a brief run-down. Basically, the main character's young daughter is kidnapped and murdered. The father meets God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit at the shack where his daughter was brutally killed. Through his time there, he receives healing and peace.

This book stirred up a question that had been brewing for some time. If God has already determined the course of our lives, why pray? As a parent, I constantly ask God to protect mt children from harm, illness, etc. It is reasonable to assume that the fictional father in "The Shack" would have done the same. So, why would God allow such a horrible thing to happen? Why does He allow children to be abused? Neglected? He has the power to snuff out those that harm children in an instant. Why doesn't He?

I believe God is sovereign and that my prayers will not change His mind. I don't think He is sitting there thinking,

"Well, I was going to let that bus hit Jessica's daughter. But because she asked me to watch over her today, I think I'll make the bus driver swerve at the last instant."

Or does He?

Then again, He has known since the beginning of time when we would pray and what we would pray for.

Do you see how confused I am? Anyone else out there pondered this before?

Before you worry that I have stopped praying for my girls, worry not. I take the "better safe than sorry" approach and will continue to cover them in prayer...just in case. :)