The Time for Prayer

forestfire
Illinois Valley Fire District photo

There currently are a LOT of fires burning in the state where I live (Oregon), as well as in neighboring states (Washington and California). As a result, people in the affected areas post frequently on Facebook with updates, pictures, and other news about the fires in their areas.

Among the many resulting comments to these posts, one word consistently pops up:  “Praying …”

Generally, people are directing their prayers to those who have been affected by the fire — either from having to evacuate (or even lose their homes) or, on a couple of occasions, the death of a firefighter.

While either scenario is terrible and one can’t help but experience empathy, the thought that keeps coming to my mind is … isn’t it a little late?

If you’re going to pray, why don’t you do it before the fire season starts … and then continue to do so throughout the entire summer? Pray that your god God prevents lightning from hitting trees during summer thunderstorms. Pray that your god God influences others not to use mowing and weeding equipment on dry grass and weeds. Or better yet, pray that your god God sends buckets of rain during the rainy season to keep the forests wet and less susceptible to fire.

Once a forest fire has ignited, the scene has been set. There is going to be destruction and sometimes loss of homes — and even lives. So prayers to your god God “after the fact” are pretty much next to useless. It may make you feel better because you’ve expressed your sympathy this way, but such prayers have little effect on the big picture.

Therefore, if you truly believe your god God is all-powerful and hears and answers prayer, wouldn’t the time for prayer be better before rather than after?

P.S. The picture above was taken just recently and was happening about 3 miles from where I live.

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17 thoughts on “The Time for Prayer

  1. I doubt praying to the god God before fires start burning during the fire season would make an iota of difference. But, if one truly believes praying to the omnipotent god, God actually is an effective way of getting things done, then you’re very correct: pray before the disaster comes. Odd thing, prayer. It seems to bring relief to those not really affected by horrid events. “You lost your home and wife in a fire? Oh, how awful. I’ll pray for you. See, that makes ME feel better, and like I’m using my power over the god God to help you, though, in reality, it doesn’t do a fucking thing to actually help YOU in any way at all.” $Amen$

    Liked by 3 people

  2. OMGoodness Nan, deja vu. I can’t believe you’re having to deal with this so close to home, two years in a row.

    Btw, well said. I’m pretty sick of the crap I’m reading about this being “God’s judgement.” and these are the “signs of the end times.” It’s like they actually get excited over disasters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was a Christian I used to think the following was a funny joke:

    A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

    Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

    With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe they just didn’t have enough time to get to it. One has to pray for people who are sick, who might be sick, who are abroad, who are away from home, who are otherwise indisposed, who are relatives, who might be relatives, who other church members know, who are church members, and who might be church members. Then there are the optional prayers for the country, the state, the local government, other positions of power, sports teams (each one individually), technology needing to work properly, and any other thing that happens to come across one’s mind. After that, there are the mandatory prayers for emergencies like having a bad hair day, making it safe to work, food that won’t kill you, and, of course, finding those lost car keys.

    If anyone isn’t uttering all of these prayers, they obviously aren’t a TRUE CHRISTIAN(TM) and therefore don’t deserve to have answered prayers anyways.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The whole “praying” thing has the same circular logic as the Bible thing. The Bible is the word of God because it says it is.

    If you pray for something and it happens, it’s god’s will. If it doesn’t happen, it’s god’s will. Amazing how that works.

    It’s all a George Carlin skit. If god has a plan and you pray, is he supposed to chance his plan? That’s not much of a plan if it changes every time a schmuck who lost his keys can change it.

    So if one believes their god has a plan, why bother praying? Kinda like slipping the judge a fiver to get you out of that speeding ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Scottie, all is well. The fire headed away from us … but we were prepared, just in case. 🙂 Fortunately, it was under control that evening and completely contained the next morning. Burned about 50 acres.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There was a news report about the fires in the NW of the US on our (Australian) News this morning. The US authorities have asked Australia to send fire fighters to help.

    All this just proves that prayer does not work, it is practical help that works. But a sad way to prove it. I love the forests and it is sad to see them burn. More so if people are affected.

    Even sadder is that the religious person will find some way to rationalise the failure of God to act. You know, pick one:
    1) it would of bee worse without prayer;
    2) we did not prayer enough;
    3) God’s punishment for the Gay Marriage business.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I made a similar comment as what you’ve said on this blog in response to someone who posted on my cousin’s blog when he posted a link about fires in Saskatchewan, Canada last year. Essentially asking how come nobody prayed for their to be no fires? lol Oh and I said on somebody else’s Facebook thread when they said they’d pray for the victims of a tornado. I responded with “Well if you want to actually help, instead of praying here’s a link to the American Red Cross donation page.” I was called a lot of names as I recall. 😉

    Like

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