I know I reference a lot of articles in my posts, but things I read trigger multiple thoughts that I feel compelled to share. Like this one.
Article title: “Family shares cautionary tale of addiction’s downward spiral.”
Sounds neutral enough, right? I mean, we all know the harmfulness of addiction. But wait … here’s the leading sentence:
Whitney Ferguson begged God to take away her addiction.
Before the 25-year-old Knappa native died December 11 while undergoing detox in West Hollywood for heroin and methamphetamine use, she prayed for the strength to overcome the drug dependency that had derailed her life.
Her mother commented:
She was always trying, it seemed like, to stop. As a parent, you keep believing, you keep praying …
You keep praying.
There’s no denying the story behind the article is tragic in that it describes all the terrible stuff drug addiction does to a person and how this girl went through “hell” trying to kick the habit. (I have little doubt some of you reading this know first-hand what drug addiction can do to a person AND a family.)
But what is truly tragic is believing prayer will change circumstances. It does not. It won’t. At the most, all prayer does is offer comfort to the person doing the praying.
In fact, when someone says prayer works, they are actually saying “My deity alters reality when I ask for it.” (Credit SiriusBizinus).
I know many Christians reading this will offer numerous examples why they believe prayers are answered. But the question always follows: What about all those OTHER times when nothing changed, even after the fervent prayer of the righteous (James 5:16, NRSV)?