It’s 2005. What role does prayer play in your life? How and why do you do it?
If you have your answers to these personal questions ready go straight to comment and I am personally extremely interested in the answers. If you want to know more about my interest, read on.
• 64 percent said they pray more than once a day.
• 65 percent said their prayers relate to health.
• 56 percent say they most often pray for family members.
• 3.3 percent said they pray for strangers.
• 41 percent say that their prayers are answered often.
• 74 percent say that when their prayers are not answered the most important reason is that they did not fit into God’s plan.
So I thought I’d bring those questions here.
Yes, these are all personal questions, so if you don’t feel comfortable answering them, do not. And since I’m asking, I’ll offer a little insight into my lack of religion.
Religion is not dead in America, in Mexico, in Belgium, in Senegal or anywhere else in the world. It produces awe, it produces great understanding; it produces community and a sense of collective and individual worth. A lot of good work is done in the name of religion.
For the purposes of my comments I won’t dwell on the negative aspects of what religion has wrought or the merging of politics and religion (See Happy Easter, right?). That will, I’m sure, be taken care of in the comments. And that’s great.
I have never knelt at my bed, pressed my palms with my fingers tight together and asked for or about anything. Therefore I have no concept about why there are millions of children and adults who do.
I have never sat on a mat and knelt and bowed toward Mecca and asked for inspiration and holy direction and directives. I have never paid homage to Vishnu or Ganesh.
I have never ceremonially done anything to ask God for anything. And for me to try would be like asking questions of Santa Claus. However, millions of people have a connection that they need and desire and welcome into their lives. They don’t need me to say it, but I have absolutely nothing against their vision of faith and belief. I have no animosity in my heart or mind against what others hold deeply in theirs.
Sitting through Christian weddings, as well as funerals of people I did not personally know, my main feeling in church is bemusement. Not superiority of any kind, just a complete disconnect from what is being said. People I know, people who are my friends speak of a fidelity to God and devotion and living according to God’s law. I have a friend I’ve known since community college who’s a missionary, who has gone to Israel and Mexico and other places around the world to try and convert men and women and children to Christianity.
And she occasionally asks me about my agnosticism and, though she has said once or twice that I might end up in hell, I don’t hold it against her and in a twist of some kind of irony I don’t condemn her for condemning me to a place I don’t think exists. That’s because she’s willing to put that aside for friendship.
Personally, that’s all I ask. At this point, I’m 33, but probably since I was a sentient being, there wasn’t going to be anything that would make me believe in God. Any god. That’s just the way it is. I don’t make any apologies for who I have always been and I don’t want salvation.
I have no faith.
Though I don’t think one exists, the existence of God is a fascinating question. But I’m not going to try and convince anybody of that because I have no answers. How did humans came to exist? How come we are perhaps the only species to be able to question our existence?
I don’t know but if you believe in God you don’t either. But you do have a tremendous faith in the power of God.
Faith is something you have or you don’t. Just saying “It is God’s will” is beyond my comprehension, but as long as someone does not insist that I believe that, I enjoy knowing they have a strong faith; I enjoy knowing that there are people who have the will power, the purpose and the strength of being to continue to believe.
I would praise every facet of religion if I didn’t see people trying to change society toward their idea of God. Most of these people who work at the national level rather than in their community lack morality. They have belief but they think that alone equals morality. If they are right in that belief, their soul has long ago withered.
People who continually say I’m going to hell become annoying because they are not understanding that I don’t agree. Saying something over and over is not going to convince me of anything except that you are on a power trip. Believe me. I cannot comprehend. It’s not anything of which I’m afraid.
For many hell is a place on earth and improving that is where my interests lie and that goal is also shared by many with a to-the-core belief in God. But not by all.
People who pray do so for a reason, and I remain open-minded enough to be curious.Powered by Sidelines