Dishonest Prayers

Back when I was an atheist, I thought this progressively self-centered mock-prayer by Piet Hein* (below) summed up the essence of faith, that prayer was, in fact, nothing more than a method of brownnosing God in order get what we want:

thO, Sun that givest all things birth
Shine on everything on earth!

united_states_flag_mapIf that’s too much to demand
Shine at least on this our land!

presentation1But if even that’s too much for thee
Shine at any rate on me.

Sadly, for many people, that’s exactly what prayer is. But it is precisely as accurate a definition of true prayer as “a deep hole in the ground” is of Mt. Everest. For, while earnest prayer is a conversation with God, it is never a method of bending God to my will. In fact, the exact opposite is true: The only thing that changes during prayer, the only thing that ever needs to change, is me. 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may be able to discern what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” ~Romans 12:2

*Danish mathematician and inventor Piet Hein began writing short, satirical poems called “grooks” during the Nazi occupation of his country in 1940.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Poetry, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Dishonest Prayers

  1. taanjiam says:

    I agree.we are a self centered people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And of course God knows when we are praying fake, and when we are being selfish. I try to remember that I can pray whatever I want to, But God gets to answer whatever way He wants!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. TEP336 says:

    No Christian stands taller than when they are face-down before the Lord.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. People who pray selfish or insincere prayers are sending the wrong message to unbelievers. Glad you got past them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Erika Kind says:

    It is the feeling, the energy, we send out with our prayers. Fake prayers never send out an energy which will bring blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. anitashope says:

    We studied 12:1 today and it helps make 12:2 be more profound. 12:1- I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. 12:1 – Do not be conformed to this world….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. fipwmum says:

    God always answers prayer with yes, wait, and what can be seen as the dreaded No!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. smzang says:

    “Dear God, Your will not mine.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Charles KW TAN says:

    “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42.
    Hi Mitch, thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post. Appreciated !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. smilecalm says:

    how wonderful
    expressing prayer
    with each daily action 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Some only pray when they need something. God is not a magician.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Even for the non- believers, every thought is still a prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love Piet Hein. I bought his books when I was in college (back in the seventies) and read them over and over until I practically had them memorized. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lynnabbott says:

    Exactly… it’s all about bending MY will to God’s. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Dishonest Prayers | MARK 35:6 NIV Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

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