Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mortality and prayer

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Lk 12:16-20).

Some professing Christians lose their faith because they treat passages like Mk 11:24 ("Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours") as absolute promises. But let's compare that to the parable of the farmer (see above). Although that's not about prayer, that has implications for prayer. We don't know the future. We don't control the future. We may not have as much time remaining as we take for granted. We could die tomorrow.

That's one of the implicit caveats on what appear to be unqualified prayer promises. And it's not a rare exception. In the ancient world, it was not uncommon for people to die suddenly, from illness or injuries. 

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