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WHAT’S PRAYER GOT TO DO WITH IT?

DEAR READERS:  These are desperate times, and because I increasingly wonder what or where God is in the mighty scheme of things (does he care, is he on vacation, or is he just late to the party?), I’ve decided to harangue God more than I usually do via persistent phone calls—so far my calls have gone straight to voicemail. What follows is the second installment of a “voicemail message to God” which is a very short essay on a universal question I wish God would answer about life: “What’s Prayer Got to Do with It?”

Praying for things Meme

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of Jehovah at 1-800-PRA-TOME. I am experiencing a high call volume at this time—especially from the United States—but I will return your call as soon as is heavenly possible.  Please note that I operate on a triage system (‘the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition’). Leave your name, number, and your prayer request, and I will get back to you at some point.  May I bless you!”

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HELLO, GOD.  IT’S ME, ELEANOR.  Looks like I’ve missed you again. Where are you, Jehovah-Jireh (my provider)?  I need to talk to you about something really, really important!   It’s about prayer and its efficacy—whose prayers you answer and why.  It’s about why conversational prayer always seems to be one way:  I talk, but you don’t say a word.  Oh, I know there are people who say you talk back to them (like you drop in for tea every Tuesday morning exactly at 10 o’clock), but have you noticed that they tend to be nuttier than a fruitcake?

I think most things I’ve been taught about prayer are all wrong.  I’ve had preachers tell me that you, God, are in control of all things, but I can change your mind by how specific my prayers are—the more specific I am, the more specific your answers will be to me.  (As if you are a divine waiter and I just need to bark: “Garçon! A raspberry LaCroix, straight up, with a splash of vodka and a twist of lime, mon dieu!”)   I used to know a preacher who prayed whether to put on shorts or long pants on any given day, whether to carry an umbrella that day, if he should part his hair on the left or the right, or if he should fast or gorge on the leftover pizza in the refrigerator.  (As if you hadn’t given us brains, weathermen, or the Keto Diet.)  I’ve known preachers who prayed for parishioners to win the lottery, just so long as they tithed 10% of their winnings, of course. (As if you were the Big Kahuna casino boss in the sky just waiting to “bless” your followers with ill-gotten gains.)

I can’t tell you how many fat-ass Christians I have known who prayed for a parking space up close to the front of the mall so that they wouldn’t have to engage in some much-needed exercise.  Can I say that if that is truly the level of prayers you’re answering these days, then I need a new God.  Just sayin’!

Jesus take the wheel prayer meme

Anyway, I know you answer my prayers (sometimes).  (Barack Obama didn’t get assassinated, served two terms, and had a scandal-free administration, didn’t he?  On the other hand, Hillary lost and Satan’s spawn became our President.  What happened there?  Wrong number?)  But recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of crazy people crowing about how great they are because you answered their prayers regarding Earth-shattering events that destroyed others.

Case in point:  Pat Robertson and Hurricane Florence.

In case you weren’t home at the time when Robertson did his warlock incantation in your name, he said:

“I don’t want that thing [Hurricane Florence] to come in,” Robertson said. “I don’t want it to hurt Regent [Robertson’s University], I don’t want it to hurt CBN [Robertson’s Television Network], I don’t want it to tear up the beautiful campus, I don’t want it to tear these trees down, I don’t want to see any damage, I don’t want a bunch of glass flowing, and I don’t want [damage] all over this area that is counting on us to pray for them.

“We declare in the name of the Lord that you shall go no farther, you shall do no damage in this area. We declare a shield of protection all over Tidewater and we declare a shield of protection over those innocent people in the path of this hurricane. In Jesus’ holy name, be out to sea!”

…and the next day, North Carolina and South Carolina said:  WTF, God—we prayed, too!?!

Florence Final Landing Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

Then Pat Robertson said:

“We asked the Lord to take it [hurricane Florence] out of here [Virginia] and he did,” Robertson boasted. “It’s like a shield that God has put around us [the coastal region of Virginia].”

“God’s people prayed,” he opined. “This is a miracle, ladies and gentlemen.”

“We’ve had a hand of protection over this area, and when we pray, God does miracles.”

As a Christian I was horrified by Robertson’s claim to a prayer hotline to you, oh God, and that you would do what he had demanded at the expense of other human beings.   Then I thought I heard a faint word in the wind (“Bullshit!”) when I was walking yesterday, and wondered if that was a message from you, and I remembered a Mark Twain quote when thinking about eighty-eight-year-old Robertson that day:

“I’ve never wished a man dead,

But I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

Robertson sleep by God Meme

Of course, I remembered that you don’t like “ugly,” so I quickly asked forgiveness (did you get that text message?)  I turned my meditation from wishing an old man dead to how many so-called Christians don’t believe in science, climate change, global warming, and the fact that the sea level is rising along with a growing population along our coastlines which gave me a very unoriginal “aha” moment about the Earth:  We’re so screwed!

Extreme Weather Sites Paresh Nath The Khaleej Times UAE

Cartoon used by permission: Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE

Anyway, I’ve got to run.  I’ve got a first-world problem that needs tending to:  The grass seed I put down several weeks ago is not germinating, and my lawn looks like a weed farm that is moonlighting as a swamp.  (I thought about praying and asking you to heal the soil in my yard and give me a putting-green lawn, but then I remembered prayer doesn’t work that way, and you’re not a divine Mexican gardener on my staff named “Jesús” who is at my beck and call.)

Please call me back about this prayer thing.  I know you know that you’re my G-O-D no matter what, and I’ll keep on praying even if you never answer me.  I tell anyone who will listen that “in you I live and breathe and have my being.”  However, it’s not me you have to worry about. It’s my atheist brothers and sisters.  They are really having a hard time with the concept of you, and this prayer thing is a huge stumbling block.  Especially when there are Neanderthals like Pat Robertson running around pretending to have a hotline to you and spewing all sorts of verbal chaos in your name.

Robertson on Do not call list Mike Keefe San Miguel de Allende Mexico

Cartoon used by permission: Mike Keefe, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Taking a Short Break Because My Head Is About to Explode

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  My nerves are shot, and I’m about to turn into one “angry black woman”!  It’s only the third week in January, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through to the end of February, let alone the rest of the year.  I entered 2012 with a sinus infection so debilitating that it almost had me singing with Jesus before my allotted time on Earth was up.  Then some perverted excuse of a Republican Congressman said the FLOTUS had a fat ass (“Oh no, he didn’t!”) . . .

Republican lawmaker Jim Sensenbrenner (Google Image)

The lawmaker appears to have made two separate comments about the first lady’s derriere, both connected with his appearance at a church’s Christmas bazaar in Hartford, Wis.  Roland Martin Reports

. . .and a stadium full of South Carolinians at the Republican debate (home of the Bible Belt) turned into a cat-calling, standing ovation, KKK rally when minorities and the poor in general were maligned by Newt “for truly I am God” Gingrich as he adamantly refused to apologize for his insensitivity at best and his downright racism at worst.  But just as I was trying to squeeze the sadness out of my heart that there are too many people in my beloved country who would love to see me back in the maid’s uniform of my mother having graduated first in my class from Newt’s “Janitorial Prep School,” when someone sent me a YouTube clip I had missed of the Grand Poobah’s 2012 predictions.

Pat Robertson (The Grand Poobah)/Google Image

“Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. A house divided cannot stand. Your president holds a radical view of the direction of your country which is at odds with the majority. Expect chaos and paralysis….” Pat Robertson

Oh, crap!  Not the apocalypse on top of everything else!  I was so flummoxed that I sent my husband (WW) a frantic text message:

“Babe, come home. Robertson declaring murder, mayhem, & chaos for 2012!  UR 60th birthday is next week.  Should we continue 2 celebrate life or should we run 2 the hills?  Should we start stockpiling guns and food while we wait for the Rapture?  Oy—who knew I’d live 2 see the day a black man could be so powerful that he’d be both the President of the United States and the Anti-Christ?  HELP!”

Text from WW:  “No worries, Cutie.  The Poobah doesn’t own our joy—we do!   I choose 2 celebrate life and enjoy it to the fullest come what may.  Let’s go get a joy transfusion for my birthday.”

Before slipping away for our rendezvous with joy, WW and I went to the movies.  Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton’s Joyful Noise was just what the doctor ordered.  Most music has a way of soothing the soul, but there ain’t nothin’ like gospel music to start the feet a tappin’, hands a clappin’, and voices a beltin’ out the tunes that make the heart become merry and cause one to forget his or her troubles.  (Don’t believe the bad reviews—of course, Joyful Noise is hokey and the story implausible—but the music outshines the storyline and lifts the spirit, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, non-Christian, religious, non-religious, or an alien from outer space, you’ll be dancing a jig through the mall back to your car smiling at everyone you meet.)

So WW and I are blowin’ this Popsicle stand for a quiet infusion of joy.  We’ll be back next week—same time, same place with a full report of the good times had by all.  If you should bump into this week’s crazies, give them a message for me:

“Fuhget you, Gingrich and Sensenbrenner, and fuhget you too Robertson.”

Joyful Noise Movie Trailer/Google Image

“I’ll sue any publicist that uses this as a money quote, but the fan in me felt a giddy, guilty pleasure watching Joyful Noise.  Please, don’t let this get around!”  Richard Corliss/Time Entertainment

Author

In 1988 Pat Robertson said God told him that he would be president.  He didn’t even become the Republican nominee.

In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in October or November 1982. In a May 1980 broadcast of The 700 Club he stated, “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” Wikipedia

In 1405 BC God said: “You may be wondering among yourselves, ‘How can we tell the difference, whether it was God who spoke or not?’ Here’s how: If what the prophet spoke in God’s name doesn’t happen, then obviously God wasn’t behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him.” Deuteronomy 18:22—The Message Bible

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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