Questions About Prayer
(Sent to the Towanda Daily Review on 6/11/96, printed on 6/20.)
Editor: I would like to thank Warren Roberts (Review, 6/11/96) for his public appeal to save me "from the darkness of the ungodly." In his letter-to-the-editor, he invited Christians to join in earnest prayer so that "John (me) would turn his face toward the Light of the world."
However, I have several questions. I assume that his offer invites Christians to petition their god to stop me from doing whatever it is that I do that so irritates them. Optimistically, there could be thousands, maybe millions, praying; pessimistically, only Mr. Roberts. In any event, whatever it is that irritates them must be really irritating them because they now plan to petition their highest authority to get me to mend my ways.
I am honored that they consider my writings so dangerous that they would request a diversion of heavenly intervention to me rather than to the sick, the starving, the lonely, or any number of other causes so much more worthy than me -- for instance, starving children. There are other wrongs, but I will concentrate here.
I would assume that Christians are vehemently opposed to the senseless suffering and death of children anywhere in the world from starvation. Therefore, why do they not pray for their relief? But I am sure their response would be, "We do pray for them." Yet children still starve.
Does this mean that God hears the prayers and chooses to let children starve? Does it mean that God will only save starving children after some threshold of prayer is reached? If God exists and can prevent these starvations simply by divine redistribution of existing food supplies, yet still allows them, then the goodness of your God needs some serious reexamining. If the starvations continue because of a prayer threshold problem, why are good Christians wasting their time praying for me instead of concentrating on more serious matters?
It is possible that prayers are an unlimited resource that can be directed for both me and the starving children. Yet children still starve.
To all those intent on saving me -- it is obvious that you are squandering valuable prayers on me because children still starve. If your beliefs are true, then you have some difficult questions to answer on judgement day.
John L. Ferri