Prayer? I Don’t Think So

So, it’s happened again, another mass shooting.  It’s even more tragic because most of the victims were small children.  It’s just a horrible, horrible tragedy.  The parents of the children will never be the same, and right at Christmastime, so that Christmas will never be the same for them either.  The kids who lost friends and teacher and the first responders on the scene, none of them will ever be the same.

Along with the speculation as to why and how, and how to prevent such tragedies, all over the mainstream media and social media are calls to prayer, there have been, and continue to be, multiple candle-light prayer vigils and church prayer gatherings.  Again, as in other situations like this one, I ask why?

prayerforSandyhookvictimsWhen I was a believer, I never really considered the contradiction in praying to God after tragedy struck; when things got bad, or bad things happened, or someone was sick, or someone had died, I prayed to God–the God, who the Bible teaches is all knowing, all powerful, and able to do anything he desires.  Now I think if God is all that, then he could prevent these things in the first place.  To me, praying to god after horror strikes is like asking your abuser to comfort you after he has punched you in the face.

In the case of the Sandy Hook shootings, all these people are reaching out in prayer, to a God that they believe could have stopped one sick young man from gaining access to innocent children and slaughtering them, and yet didn’t.  So now everyone should pray to this God for comfort for those who are suffering?  It’s such a strange phenomenon, isn’t it?

In my mind, it’s one of three things:  1) There is a God who could have prevented this tragedy from happening and didn’t, for whatever cruel and sick reason. 2) There is God, but he is incapable of preventing tragedies such as this one, which would also make him incapable of bringing comfort to those who are suffering, or 3) There is no God who personally intervenes on humanity’s behalf, bad shit happens, and we need to do tangible acts to help ease suffering and heartache.

I pick three.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ubi dubium
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 06:39:43

    Something I really don’t understand is prayer vigils. If their god is supposedly listening to all prayers, and already knows everything, why should it make any difference whether people pray individually, or whether they gather someplace cold and pray together for a long time? With candles? Does god listen better if you have a candle, or pray all night? (Or how about the magic beads the catholics pray with? Do they imagine god will say “I was going to answer your prayer and save some of those kids, but you forgot to twiddle your magic beads the right way?)

    Now gathering together as a community to help each other deal with grief, that I get. I just don’t see the point of “prayer vigils”.

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Dec 18, 2012 @ 07:35:50

      All very good questions, but you see, you are being rational…and…well, prayer? Not so rational. It’s all very strange, and yet it continues and probably will forever.
      “’I was going to answer your prayer and save some of those kids, but you forgot to twiddle your magic beads the right way…'” LOL!

      Reply

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