I’m a little hesitant about this post. Ambivalent.
I’ve been reading tweets, getting SMS, seeing blog posts, all praying for Avi Ben Stella. And with no clue as to who he is. But they ask for a prayer and that seems like a small enough request. You don’t need to drag yourself across town to donate blood, dig into your pocket and donate money or sign a petition. All you need to do is close your eyes and send up a prayer to the almighty (if you believe in one) and that is all.
But who is Avi Ben Stella and are strangers around the world really praying for him? Why? And I mean this in the nicest possible way. Simply because I don’t believe people stop to pray for their own misfortunes – praying for others seems even more unlikely.
There’s a hymn called What a friend we have in Jesus that has a line that says ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer.’ How often do we take anything to the Lord in prayer? At this point I am sure 50 of you will point out that you do pray. Fair enough. But there will be 2500 readers who will read this and not comment because they don’t. They don’t take it to the Lord in prayer. They take it to everyone else.
For instance, I am very very nervous about the Brat being school-less since we pulled him out of the shitty school he was in until a few months ago. I prayed one night for guidance as I watched my gentle, smiley son regress into an antisocial child who shied away from strangers and the next morning I had my answer. I alone am responsible for my child’s well being and I fixed the OA with a steely glare, told him I’d had enough of my son’s spirit being broken and we were pulling him out. It’s been 4 months and the old Brat is slowly coming back.
But it’s a long process. We spend hours talking to him, playing with him, teaching him to read and write and we’re making very slow progress. We’re also now panicking because we don’t know how to get him into a new school this year since it’s going to be a lateral entry.
And all I’m doing is panic, panic, panic. You see, even I forgot to take it to the Lord in prayer.
You lose your job – and you panic, call up friends, family, head hunters, trawl the job sites. You fall ill, you start looking for various remedies, seeing every doctor possible and doing everything anyone suggests. But rarely have I heard of anyone stopping to pray or, stopping at prayer. How often do you pray and then believe in it so strongly that you are fearless thereafter? I know I turn to prayer as a last resort and I don’t know whether to be embarassed about that confession or not.
This was not meant to be a preachy post. Just a surprised one. Are people praying for that little boy? Do you pray regularly? Are you able to find it in your heart for a stranger’s little boy? Does it matter if we pray? Are prayers answered? I am so unsure.
I am not asking you to pray here for him today. Partly because I can’t ask anyone else to pray for me and my problems. I believe prayers are heard, if at all, only if you really mean it. And sometimes not even then. Because there is a larger plan and you sometimes have to lose some to just fit in.
That said, I googled it and it seems that this particular prayer request might be a bit of a hoax. Which just makes it worse, doesn’t it?