September 26, 2009

Random prayer

"The Brooklyn Tabernacle operates a prayer line on which people can call or e-mail requests. The evening I visited, Cymbala read a request from a woman who had recently been evicted. “She’s either from Virginia or her name is Virginia,” he said, squinting at the paper in front of him. “Either way, I want God to help this person and the others who have contacted us for prayer."
Err, so, will it be the whole of Virginia that gets a little heavenly help, or all the Virginia's scattered across the US?

Accepting personal requests, yet being a little sloppy, careless, over the intended recipient strikes me as false advertising. One way or another, Virginia, she of much implied faith, was short changed.
"The tabernacle’s missionary to Haiti then took the stage and launched into a long, bitter account of her difficulties getting her car out of customs in Port au Prince. In heavily accented English she asked the congregation to pray against the Haitian customs assessors. Cymbala stepped in and asked the congregation to pray for a miracle — and to help make it come true by donating $8,000 to liberate the mission’s automobile. I calculated my share at $3 and paid gladly. In the absence of faith, works."
I'll have to take it on faith that the missionary was providing an example of the wrong way to pray. I'm sure the Haitian customers assessors didn't warrant a prayer inviting vengeance or smiting against them.

Journalist Zev Chafets goes in search of the intricacies of good prayer practices ...

The right way to pray


  1. "... she asked the congregation to pray against the Haitian customs assessors."

    Oh my goodness, it's hilarious. I am going to immediately switch the polarity on my prayers and start praying against instead of for.

    It's going to take a little getting used to!

  2. I had thought that praying against things was, well, part of your typical black satanic mass, Dogimo, but apparently not.

    I see a serious problem for god though: are prayers for and against a particular matter tallied, with the popular vote reigning?

    If so, does god have a prayer period, during which, for example, he counts up all the prayers for and against Haitian customs assessors, before smiting or not smiting said customs assessors?

    One could find oneself sending out a heart-felt prayer long after the cut off date for that topic.