Ask Him Again

kneelingprayer1

Today on Facebook, I saw a “share” that my granddaughter (a Christian) had posted for her “friends.” It was a composition entitled Ask Him Again.

As soon as I read the first few words …

I know, I know, you’ve already asked Him a million times, I see those eyes rolling. But today, ask Him a million and one. Yes. ask Him AGAIN.

My immediate reaction was … WHY?

WHY must a believer “ask Him again”?

And again.

And again.

Even up to a “million and one” times!

Is God too busy to take care of the request when you ask the first time? Or is he so occupied with running the universe that it’s necessary to shuffle you into a queue? Or maybe he had an earache that day and his hearing is off?

Of course, believers will have 1001 reasons why their god is making them “wait” when, in fact, they are simply trying to mitigate the silence that ALWAYS accompanies prayer requests.

I’m reprinting some excerpts from the post simply to illustrate the desperation that comes with “waiting” for the reply that will never come.

I know, I know, you’ve already asked Him a million times, I see those eyes rolling.
But today, ask Him a million and one.
Yes.
Ask Him AGAIN.
Ask Him again for that child to come home.
That marriage to be healed.
That mountain to move.

Ask Him again for that friendship to mend.
That work to begin.
That end-of-tunnel light to appear.

[…]

Ask Him again for what you need.
For what you want.
For joy in the sorrow.
Help in the struggle.
A sip of living-water in the heat of your schedule…
and the time to just sit at the well, amen?

Ask Him again.

[…]

Ask Him again for all that seems lost and all that seems nowhere even near the city of possible…
and ask Him believing He can.

Yes.

Ask Him again.

While persistence may be a virtue, it’s important to keep the following in mind:  

[P]ersistence should not be mixed up with perseveration, which is following the same method again and again, even if the method clearly doesn’t work for you. It is important to keep trying, but it is equally important to not do this “blindly” and in a “rote/mechanical” manner; that will only ensure a pattern of failure. (insbright.com)

66 thoughts on “Ask Him Again

  1. It’s almost a pity that some people do get what they ask for which leads others to think in terms of miracles rather than pure chance and statistics. For those that ask for an end to wars or at least to stop the death of so many innocents, I don’t think even pure chance will answer the call.
    Hugs

    Liked by 9 people

  2. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for [or expecting) a different result.” – attributed (probably incorrectly) to Albert Einstein.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Given that God has A Plan which was set in motion at The Beginning of Time (or, since He exists outside time, in the Eternal Now) I have no idea why any Omni-Deity would need for anyone to pray to Him for something that is part of His Plan to begin with? Narcissism? Sheer cussedness? Maybe he is John Zande’s Omnimalevolent God and He likes to see us grovel?

    Liked by 9 people

    • “Politicians say it at the end of every speech as if it were some sort of verbal tick that they can’t get rid of…. They should admit that ‘God Bless America’ is really just some sort of an empty slogan, with no real meaning except for something vague like ‘good luck.’ ‘Good luck, America, you’re on your own,’ which is a little bit closer to the truth.” — George Carlin, It’s Bad for Ya, 2008
      Seidel, Andrew L. The Founding Myth (p. 289). Sterling. Kindle Edition.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Of course God is going to change His plan for some persistant girl who wants a pony, or a certain boyfriend, or a certain prom dress that her mother cannot afford. If she shows Him how much she lioves Him and really beseeches Him and gives up eating broccoli which is really truly her favourite vegetable God will see how much she wants that thing, and he will say, “You cannot have this thing because you want it more than you want to belong to me, so forget it, little girl. Ask me for something like a butterfly in your muffin, or a spider in your whey. This things you can have because you don’t covet them…

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Why? Because you may stop. and if you stop, you may ask “why not?”

    I think this is two about things. One is that someone else said to do this and since I am good, I will not only do it, I will share (publicize) with my friends so that may do it too.

    The second thing is that it is about me. Prayer is about the praying person. Maybe it keeps them believing, maybe is physiologically good for them. And as for why keep doing it?

    Cuz we ALL know you ain’t gunna get and answer. But for the sake of religion, we all must “pray, pay, and obey.”

    Now go do 10 Hail Marys, three Our Fathers, one Apostles Creed, and “good” Act of Contrition.” 🙂 And light a candle.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. It’s pathetic….this type of nonsensical thinking…
    I saw something the other day that made a valid point for those that believe. If they really trusted god and his overall plan for everyone and everything, they wouldn’t be praying at all, but simply trust him.

    Liked by 7 people

    • It is about dependence. We are taught, in my case, from early childhood to believe the dogma. The message is always to reinforce the need for acceptance and belief in the whole message. The pastor/preacher/priest is blessed and ordained to provide you with everything you need to know about the unknowable never seen heard or felt Almighty.

      I think prayer is beneficial along the same lines that meditation is beneficial. Fears are alleviated. Things we cannot possibly affect are placed in the hands of the omniscient benevolent Master. A prayer of thanksgiving is then given, as though the request was already in hand. Then the waiting begins and we spend a few weeks being especially careful to not offend anyone. Even spiders and roaches get a pass. For a while. Then the soul-searching and self-reproach begin. The preacher, ever-so-carefully suggests ways to increase one’s faith and to eliminate the unknown sin you must have committed. So. Another valley to cross. Another mountain to climb. Sisyphus-like repetition. It is a good thing for some. For others, there is a limit. Just one too many prayers and one too many questions go without an answer.

      “It is pointless to ask from the gods what one is fully able to attain for oneself.”
      Epicurus (or his follower Lucretius)

      Liked by 6 people

      • I see it as a form of spiritual abuse to suggest someone’s prayer is not answered in a certain way because of an unknown sin. Who on earth is qualified to make this kind of judgment into someone else’s life?

        People should run from these types of churches IMO.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Agreed. But what else is a minister of the gospel going to tell a youngish believer who has not yet learned to not ask the hard questions? It is not possible to get an honest answer. How would the minister know possibly know why a prayer was never answered? The answer cannot reflect negatively on the Almighty, so the fault must lie with the petitioner. Lack of faith and un-repented sin are the goto answers. “God’s ways are mysterious ways.” “Have the patience of Job.” “Remember the rebellion of Jonah.” The euphemisms are endless. There are 31,102 possible answers to any question. (Depending on your particular translation.)

          Truly religion is an enigma. People should run from churches IMO.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. Doesn’t the problem arise if we look at prayer as simply a way of getting a bunch of stuff from God like He’s Santa in the sky?

    Is this really the central or only purpose of prayer? But, Nan, I’m picturing my own granddaughters. It’s the way a young person or someone young in the Christian faith might think. Even worse than this is the person who thinks it’s all their fault if prayer wasn’t answered in a specific way due to a lack of faith on their part and then falls into condemnation and despair.

    The hard issue for me is human suffering. For instance, sometimes people are healed even in seemingly miraculous ways, but other times not. We don’t always know the reason why.

    For me, I envision prayer and meditation more for my benefit as a way of centering and connecting with God, practicing thankfulness. It’s like being open and practicing the presence of God.

    I think more that I want my life to be centered on being like Christ and prayer is one path to that. I hope that if I ask for things this is already consistent with the will of God.

    And, I feel like Mary is right, we do just need to trust Him.

    Maybe you should address this with your granddaughter in a way that doesn’t seem like you are putting down her faith. A delicate situation, I’m guessing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My family knows where I stand re: faith/religion/Christianity so any words from me would most likely create a greater schism than currently exists as related to spiritual matters.

      As for trusting “Him,” for most of the people that visit my blog, there is no “Him.” There may be those with “spiritual leanings,” but this is far, far different than believing in a supernatural entity that exists somewhere in the great beyond.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Well, I prayed one million and one times for God to make me immortal, Emperor of the World, and an irresistible love charm for sexy women world-wide. And guess what? It worked!! I woke up one day and ALL those things came true for me!!! They did. Really. No, I’m not kidding. They did. Really, prayer works if you keep at it!! It does. Really. I mean it. It really does. (Believe me yet?)

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Nan, I am all for praying, yet thee are two thoughts that come to mind. Maybe the answer to the prayer is “no.” Or, what I like to tell folks, maybe the answer is “I gave you this wonderful brain to solve many of your problems, please use it rather than ask me.” I personally find groups that shun medical advances for care, wanting to pray for recovery instead. I have always found that shortsighted, but also arrogant. How does that person know how God will deliver his miracle. It may be the miracle is the skilled surgeon and team that have done the operation 1,000 times. I would pray for the surgeons to be skilled and able to handle matters. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I recognize that for many there is comfort in prayer. But to ask again … and again … and again in hopes that circumstances and/or events will turn out differently (or better) is, IMO, a very big waste of time. While the person is ‘waiting on God,” they could be doing things themselves to direct (or change) the course of events in the direction they desire.

      Liked by 4 people

      • You agree with Epicurus. I think you are on the right path. The wisdom of the ancients remains the foundation of science. And religion. We are still working with and improving Democritus’ theory of atoms and voids.

        “It is advantageous for the ministers of religion that the people should not comprehend what they are taught. It is impossible for us to examine what we do not comprehend.”
        Jean Meslier, RC Priest in 1700s
        baron d’ Paul Henri Thiry Holbach. Superstition In All Ages (1732) / Common Sense
        (There was a reason that mass was conducted in Latin with the knowledge that few, if any, of the congregants could understand it, and that owning a bible in any language was an offense against the church and state.)

        “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.”
        Robert M. Persig

        I throw that Persig quote in just to be mean.
        Prayer has never moved the needle. If anyone can show that a prayer has been answered I would like to know.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Many will CLAIM that prayers have been answered, disregarding the fact that time and circumstances often work together to generate positive results/events to unfortunate conditions.

          Liked by 2 people

    • But, what if you looked at love and worship just as a perfectly natural response in your life to who God is as opposed to this dictate “do this or else?”

      This is the central problem. People have different experiences of the church (religion) and how this impacts their view of God.

      And, we really can’t pull other folks to where we’re at either.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Becky: While I disagree with your faith and your position, I just want to say that your comments on this thread are thoughtful and a positive alternative view of prayer and faith. So kudos for that!

        Liked by 5 people

        • I agree, Brian. Although I rarely agree with Becky’s perspective on most things, she does present her views politely and without “torching” others.

          Unfortunately, as is obvious when visiting the blogs of many other believers, very few of them follow her example.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Thanks, Brian and Nan. I also very much appreciate the push back and conversation as well. It’s helped me to consider and to think more deeply both in political and spiritual matters here. Always a good thing. Well, soon it’s off to Alaska. Talk with everyone later.

          Liked by 3 people

      • That’s a good point, Becky, but even the scripture speaks about repetitive prayer. Negatively.

        I spent years in Christian churches. I know why our knees are called ‘prayer bones .’ I know what it’s like to be talked down to because I’ve never heard ‘that still small voice’ that only true believers can hear. “Your prayers are in vain because you ask amiss,” or something close to that. I have never heard an honest answer from heavens ambassadors. You would think that they would have better answers, seeing as they speak on His behalf.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Ah…but we are told that EVERYONE hears said voice, even ancient primeval hunters who had never even considered monotheism, so YOU are to blame because you are willfully deaf, you SINNER!

          Either that, or you are not one of The Elect and the Loving Gawd pre-selected you at the beginning of time for damnation.

          /sarc.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Hello Becky. I hope you have a great trip and enjoy your time with family. But I wanted to ask you a question on the topic of what Silver apple queen wrote and your reply. You ask what if the love and worship ( of god ) is perfectly natural … but I ask what the other side of the coin is. Basicly the god of the Christian bible is saying worship me, love me, do as I command and take me into your life as your master … or else suffer eternal punishment of torment in hell. Believers of this religion believe god created everything, including the punishment of hell. How is it not abusive to say do whatever I tell you and demand or I will torture you? No negotiation, no equal say or right to disagree. My way or you suffer the punishment I designed for you. God did not need to make an eternal torture, he could have simply ended a person’s existence, but even that implies a reward vs punishment depending on how you please him? I have seen that world up close and the way most religions describe god is as an abusive parent / husband ready to smite and hurt if he doesn’t get pleased enough as he wishes. Talk more when you get back. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The really sad thing about this is, that there are people in real need and in their desperation sincerely ask help from all sorts of gods. Do these gods ever help? How could we even start to verify, that a particular form of help came from entities, that are invisible, do not smell, or sound like anything. That are absolutely indistinguishable from imaginary stuff. Some people may get help and attribute the help they got to their particular gods, but it only means those gods had some hidden reason not to help all the other people in the most pitifull situations who did not get the help – No matter how many times they asked.

    If there actually is some god, that likes to play this “ask again” game, that god is a moron and a selfish immoral moron at that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • God is the fall-guy for the priests.
      They create the scripture that makes Him the source of all things.

      They collect the money that’s necessary to carry out His plan.

      If anything goes wrong with the plan or if a prayer fails, you take it up with Him, if you dare.

      No god preceded the people who created it. (I’m on my phone so I cannot cite the author of that jewel. )

      Liked by 5 people

      • Indeed, and the really, REALLY sad thing is that the priesthood of all gods is just as deluded about the issue as the average Joe.

        When I was in the university the most frequent users of psychological help for students were the students of theology. The explanation was, that many of them came from “true believer” backrounds and then for the first time in their lives they had to actually study the Bible. They had heard from the book and “studied” in the cherry picking manner of believers, but Execetics does not allow for that play. We were friends with the Exetics teacher there and he was the kindest old man you could imagine, so I assume he laid his students down softly. But his subject was what the book actually says. To stomach it may require an exeptionally strong mental stamina (as he had), or the empathetic disposition of a sociopath.

        I had some courses in Religion Studies, and as it was compulsory for the Theology students, it was interresting to see some of them get the strangest fitts, when they run into actual scientific perspective to their religious beliefs. Some of them went through the most bizarre rituals of exorcism and whatnot to protect their identities, when the facts were discussed. Mere terminology seemed sometimes to be too much.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I love that you shared these “real world” reactions to TRUE bible study. It’s unfortunate that such eye-opening classes tend to be exclusive to academic studies.

          Like

  11. Gosh, God is everywhere and hidden. Now, that’s a miracle!

    Why would such a god need a prayer at all when he knows already all of your thoughts and desires and actions, now and in the future. No clarification should be needed. So, it is not “I know, I know . . .” but “He already knows, so why should I ask even the first time?”

    Liked by 7 people

    • It’s a nice thought, earthflower, but as a general rule, people tend to pray for things that will benefit them. Yes, they may occasionally offer prayers to help others, but SELF generally ranks first on the list.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I know, that is why these prayers don’t work. Imagine if this ‘God’ was to fulfill each one of our petty, material desires.
        There is a beautiful buddhist prayer, “May all beings be happy, May all beings be safe, May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature, May all beings be free.”

        This immediately puts the mind in the right perspective. Nice, no? 😊

        Liked by 2 people

        • But also utterly impossible, Some people need others’ suffering to be happy. Being rich often means others being poor. The happiness of the parasitic wasp means the infected caterpillar has to be taken over and consumed. The happy lion needs a miserable wilder east.

          I don’t think this is a nice thought at all, because it denies the reality of a complicated, often cruel world.

          Liked by 3 people

          • But we are not animals, are we? If we depend on other people’s suffering to be happy ourselves, that is not much humanity.

            We complain about the condition of the world, and say “We want a better world” YET, we don’t want to change anything about our attitude. Well then…

            Liked by 2 people

            • Not to disagree with your prescription, but:

              1. Who made us this way to begin with? Or, as I like to ask, who is REALLY responsible for sin? And no, free will is not a response in the face of an omniscient, omnipotent god.

              2. Animals still suffer. Why did your good god create so much suffering that is a fundamental part of life? (disease affects animals, too. And animals do suffer, although we try to dismiss their suffering with statements like your “they are JUST animals”. Watching a beloved older dog stop eating as she approached the final weeks of her life makes me say that I am a bit appalled by a God that would create a universe where such suffering is omnipresent. I find it better to simply recognize that suffering is part of life, not something created by an omniscient and omnipotent being that chooses not to, no refuses to, to end such suffering. And you trivialize the prayer life of many people. No, not all people pray for a new car or a pretty dress. Many people pray for their child’s leukemia to go into remission or for their arthritis to allow them a good night’s sleep. Your response seems rather…heartless…to me. Which makes sense for a believer in a “god” who has predestined the vast majority of us for eternal torture and damnation. Because we cannot buy the just so/victim blaming stories that are the core of Christian belief.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Brian, I am not Catholic, and I find nothing inspiring about this religion. Words like ‘sin’, ‘damnation’ and guilt are totally foreign to me, as is the idea that a God outside has ‘created’ man.

              But I didn’t mean to trivialize prayer, of course I know most people pray for serious issues. I also feel, that if the intent behind is pure enough, without self-interest (so to say) it can have powerful results.
              And sometimes, indeed, it doesn’t.

              Sometimes is doesn’t, and even more incredible things result from that.

              But who can know why these things occur? It is certain that when all goes well, we don’t grow much, we don’t learn to go beyond our boundaries, we don’t learn to become more loving (which is ultimately the only important thing).

              Does prayer work? One has to find out by themselves. But prayer never goes outside, it’s an honest conversation with your most intimate self.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Hello earthflower. Yes for some to have happiness however limited they must deny rights or even existence to others. As an older gay man who has had religions / religious people not only try to deny my rights, deny my ability to live, and to harass me at every step for 50 years I can tell you that humanity is not in the godly, it is those willing to accept humanity is not what is written in old ancient holy texts. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • There is much ignorance in the world; it is our greatest enemy. Anyone who cannot accept you as you are, cannot love themselves as they are. It’s their own struggle.
              Hugs!

              Liked by 2 people

        • This prayer has demonstrably never been effective, since there has never been a moment in history when all beings were in fact happy, or all beings were safe, or all beings were free. Not even close.

          To pretend that this prayer is anything other than an empty waste of breath requires the same kind of excuse-making and hand-waving and wishful thinking as claiming efficacy for Christian prayer does.

          The person who actually gets off his ass and does something concrete, however small, to help somebody or solve a problem, is more virtuous and effective than the person who spends his whole life mouthing empty phrases at a figment of somebody else’s imagination.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Hahaha! I just realized: Asking million times over something is like a child in the backseat asking “are we there yet?” Again and again and again and again. No wonder no gods answer that type of prayers. Imagine having to listen that go on again and again for ever and ever. Enough to drive anybody mad, or simply silent – forever.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. What it is they say? Something about doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results?

    Cray-zee!

    I tried prayer way back in the day. I tried over and over. No answers to my prayers. Almost as if there are no gods. I began living my life as if there were no gods. Turns out, it’s just like there aren’t any. How ’bout that?

    I knew a kid when I was somewhere around 10-12. He had an imaginary friend. I thought it was kind of funny at first, then it shortly got to where I thought it kind of cute but strange, then it rather quickly got to “this kid is nucking futs!” I pretty much feel the same way about grown ups with imaginary friends.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Shelldigger. I know what you are saying. As a preteen from my earliest memories I begged not to be hit, hurt, or sexually abused, but no hero arrived to stop it. No god I prayed to answered those prayers. Even as my adoptive mother insisted I kneel by my bed while she watched me say prayers to a god I never knew or understood. As puberty took hold I beg those same deities I kept being told about and some more even more remote to take my gay away, to take my sexual feelings away, to stop my body responding in ways that caused me more pain. Vacation summer bible school gave me new gods to pray to and new adults to fear and not be alone with. And when I was a teen I even joined the SDA church to stop the beatings and they taught me that being gay was horribly wrong and an abomination to the god we all had to love, but were silent on why their god let me be so hurt when I was younger. But as much as I prayed none of any of it went away. I carry it all even now today. So how many more times am I to ask and to what god to help with what part? I learned a long time ago no god was going to answer me back, no hero was going to come to save the day, it was up to me and the humans worthy of trust to help solve the problems I faced. Best wishes. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nan,

    In my highly devout 11+ years as a TRUE “born again Christian™” filled with supposedly the Holy Spirit, as vaguely and ambiguous as its nature is defined in the canonical NT, one of the many things that frustrated me incessantly every damn week, month, and year, was how UNWILLING Christ’s flock/congregation were to GET OFF their damn knees, quit singing, raising arms, “fellowshipping,” praying every EFFIN Sunday and/or Wednesday in the “safe zone” of the church away from the evil domain of Satan out there (the world)… and not lift a finger to put EVERYTHING they talk, pray about, and do with each other INSIDE the church into action OUTSIDE the property—where Scripturally it says ‘is the biggest need!‘ IOW Nan, a ton of lip-service and no walkin’ tha talk. 😡

    After 11+ years and then some 11-12 more deconverting, I came to a massive truth:

    All the hullabaloo “Christians™” have EVER made about this Savior Son, Holy Spirit, and all-knowing, all-powerful, etc, etc, et al of a God, Yahweh, or Allah is all empty. A scam simply reinforced repeatedly by other gullible victims—the Placebo-effect fueled by Theatrical Performances of the crowd/congregation—and there is no “Supreme Divine God” in control. If there was so many trillions upon trillions of prayers your young (naïve) granddaughter toss out along with trillions more (to the 100th power!) from other Christian victims would NOT go unanswered and unfulfilled for over 2-5 millenia and counting! 🤦‍♂️

    Whether some or most Christians™ think/feel I am wrong, then they need to do a HELL OF A LOT MORE ACTING, DOING, DYING (bearing the Cross) and a shitload less on their knees! 😆 If I can be so candid. 😈

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hello Professor. What you wrote has real world consequences. Some time ago your phone calls and the time we spend talking did far more for me to heal and get on an even keel than all the prayers I did in my earliest years. Yes, the memes say prayer is the way to pretend to do something, with out any effort. Best wishes. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Scottie! Hope you and R are well. ❤️

        Thank you for your kind words. They too help me remain focused, positive, but also grounded in reality too. It thrills me to hear this sort of feedback! Many thanks! 🙂

        We need to catch-up soon don’t we? That is, live on the phone of course. This week is VERY busy for me for a number of reasons; fyi. But in 2-3 hopefully my “life” with family will slow a bit, for a short time. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Well, with all those Christians always on Him for favours I guess He’s under constant DDoS attack. So you have to keep trying again later.

    What’s always confused me is why they keep asking Him for stuff. I mean He’s omniscient, all-loving and the entire universe is an expression of His divine will. Surely he knows what you need better than you do and you’ve already got it. So how about you just devote your prayers to appreciation for what He’s given you.

    Liked by 1 person

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