BEHOLD! THE AWESOME POWER OF PRAYER!

Consider the following news item:

DAPHNE, Ala.—Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama.

But while she prayed, lightning suddenly exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a blackened area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured.

She said ‘Amen’ and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire.

You would think that this might be enough to put a little shadow of a doubt into Clara Brown’s head about the whole God concept or at least in regards to the usefulness of prayer. That would be a terrible underestimation of the Power of Wishful Thinking!

The 65-year-old Brown said she is blessed to be alive.

The woman, while praying for the safety of her family, is literally knocked on her ass by a lightening bolt that sets her whole friggin’ kitchen on fire and she feels blessed by her God. The power of willful ignorance faith is truly an amazing thing. God loved her so much that he set her only kitchen on fire as payment for the safe return of her family from a outing at the beach. Whattaguy!

63 thoughts on “BEHOLD! THE AWESOME POWER OF PRAYER!

  1. God was obviously trying to make a statement.
    Damned if I know what it was because we all know God works in mysterious ways.
    Either that or he’s got on hell of a sense of humour!

  2. “Look at all these votive gifts,” Diagoras the atheist was told in the sanctuary of Samothrace, which houses the great gods who were famous for saving people from the dangers at sea.  “There would be many more votives,” the atheist unflinchingly replied, “if all those who were actually drowned at sea had had the chance to set up monuments.”

  3. He’s probably just practising for the second coming.  I mean first time round He had His son flogged, revil-ed (I think I sang that once, when forced at excommunication pointinto the school choir to warble some easter hymn) struck with a reed and crucified.  Just think of the horrors He can inflict on His offspring second time round using 21st century technology.  See how these Christians love one another.

  4. This clearly proves there is no god.  If there was, Clara Jean woulda been toast!

  5. If Jesus was killed now we would all be walking around with little electric chairs on a chain around our necks!!!!

  6. I’m surprised you scientist-types haven’t considered the millions of times people have said such prayers when lightning did NOT strike?

  7. I’m surprised you scientist-types haven’t considered the millions of times people have said such prayers when lightning did NOT strike?

    Ah, silly christian, you can’t have “free will” and prayer. Do you think the other christians that sank at sea didn’t pray? Or weren’t as “faithful”? Maybe god had a plan for them? If so, then “free will” doesn’t exist and you are pre-ordained to do “as god wills”. If so, why did god bother at all? Maybe it’s a test…then, if god is all knowing, why does he need this test at all?

    I love all the circular logic you christians, jews, and muslims use to kill other humans.

  8. I’m surprised you scientist-types haven’t considered the millions of times people have said such prayers when lightning did NOT strike?

    What actually is the point and meaning of this comment.  Are you some how claiming that lots of other people have prayed not to struck by lightning, have not been struck by lightning, ergo their prayer has worked? Do you know the odds of being struck by lightning?  Also what does God do, ignore 1 prayer in a million?

    Perhaps, contrary to popular belief, not all the lawyers are in hell. Perhaps the Divine legal dept said ‘Hey boss, she is only praying for her family- she isn’t covered- zap her.’

    Let’s get this straight.  A woman prayed for her family. God allowed the lightning to strike he kitchen (which has got to be at least a mild inconvenience) but decided to save her. Why- oh I forgot- anything that is contradictory, illogical or just plain stupid is because God is ineffale, and being only human I can’t understand.

    This is an arguement up their with ‘Carbon Dating is wrong- God made it look old.’ Why? oh yeah, ineffable.

    If God really wanted free will, why does he keep getting involved?  Anytime he interferes he removes that free will.

  9. Lucifer- what are you doing here.  Go and play with the Republicans I gave you.

  10. What actually is the point and meaning of this comment.

    The amazing fact that this story was posted as a great description of “how God works/is.”
      How about the millions that pray daily, for whatever blessing, that aren’t struck by lightning? How does one incident define God’s character? Why don’t we look at the millions who have not been struck by lightning while praying? I mean, is that all (the lightning bolt) God was responsible for that day? Could He not have also done countless good things that day?
      The interpretation here even assumes that the final outcome of the lightning is bad. How do we know the aftermath won’t lead to incredible blessings in the woman’s/family’s /someone’s life?

    If God really wanted free will, why does he keep getting involved?

    So you’re not an athiest either? You can’t blame events on something you don’t believe exists.
      Maybe He keeps getting involved to save our sorry butts from how things would go down if He didn’t?

  11. L4T I would take this as a sign of the incredible gullibility oft substituted for faith in contemporary christians.

    “I prayed to God. My house lit on fire. How should I feel?” Answer: “Praise Jesus!”.

    Gotta admit man, that’s a damn awkward logic to follow.

  12. The amazing fact that this story was posted as a great description of “how God works/is.

  13. L4t, Diagoras already answered you, more than four hundred years before Christ was born.  God does indeed work in mysterious ways…
    Your position is “heads I win, tails you lose”:
    a) man prays, is not struck by lightning:  God heard the prayer, so He exists.
    b) man prays, is struck by lightning:  God had other plans, so He exists.

  14. L4T: This pastor’s comments sum it up perfectly for me:

    Your pastor: Hurricane Katrina is our inheritance from Adam.
    Keep it simple and bible-based for simple bible-based children.
    WTF. LOL

  15. This post is for Les: are you still working at Best Buy?  I’m looking to apply and am curious how it’s going.  Do they do a urine screen?  Do they test for advanced knowledge of all the different products or just a specific area?

  16. Zog, I never got hired by Best Buy. They interviewed me and decided I was over-qualified for the job even thought I tried to point out that, after 10 and 1/2 months of being unemployed I would be eternally grateful to be working at all.

  17. Hahahaha…

    When I read this story, the first thing that popped into my mind was how much you want to bet she wasn’t just praying for her family to be okay but also for something negative to happen to someone else (or something insanely selfish).  I just figured that was nature balancing out her request. smile

  18. Last Hussar: O.K., I understand now, you are an athiest, and you were just posing questions in the form of: “If God does x, how come y. I was just checking your status.

    ‘Dick was terminally ill- the doctors gave him x weeks to live.  But I prayed and he got better.’

    Options
    1) The docs were wrong.
    2) There was something the docs didn’t know about happening, because that bit hasn’t been discovered by us yet.
    3) The docs had a rethink, and cured him.
    4) God thinks ‘Now Jane has prayed, I’ve changed my mind’. What in that prayer could change God’s mind?  As God knows all about us, he couldn’t suddenly think ‘My, Jane really loves Dick- better cure him.’

    What is it precisely the prayer has changed in God’s mind.  If you love him, he knows, and as a omnipotent, loving being really shouldn’t need the flattery to make sure he helps you.

    How about Job? God let Satan have at his servant, even though God didn’t specify what kind of faith-testing nastiness Satan should dole out.  Job’s story is a prime example of God permitting (vs. actively causing) temporary evil for the greater end result of Job’s increased reliance on God.
      The Bible repeatedly gives these examples of God calling his creation to trust Him. Prayer is not a tool to get God to “wake up and smell the coffee,”  but an ongoing process for us to see that His ways are better than ours, so we will cease to trust in our own understanding. In answer to prayer, God sometimes says ‘yes,’ and sometimes says ‘I’ve got a better plan – sit tight (maybe for a long time)and watch this’. Even the eternal judgment separates between the two types of people: 1) Those who say to God “Thy will be done,” and 2) Those to whom God says: “Thy will be done.”

  19. More for Last Hussar:

    Let’s get this straight.  A woman prayed for her family. God allowed the lightning to strike he kitchen (which has got to be at least a mild inconvenience) but decided to save her. Why- oh I forgot- anything that is contradictory, illogical or just plain stupid is because God is ineffale, and being only human I can’t understand.

    Well, I’m glad you have the magical ability to know how the Clara Brown incident will all shake out. If this whole Christianity thing is correct, I’m hoping God will not force me to watch when He shows you how Brown’s incident turned out. I suspect you won’t be calling it/Him contradictory, illogical, or just plain stupid then. However, that’s just my belief.

  20. L4T: According to Ravi’s ravings …
    Matthew 18:3 – Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
    In other words: become trustingly simple.
    Matthew 18:4 -Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
    In other words: become trustingly simple.
    Ravi Zacharias – Let us do away with this cultural misconception that “childlike faith” equals “intellectual simplicity”; and let us walk boldly forward as humble children of God into the wisdom and greatness the Kingdom of God affords.
    In other words: trustingly simple babble for simply trusting sheeple.
    It was interesting and gave me something to smile about but I’m disappointed he didn’t mention Matthew 19:14 – Suffer the little children.
    The whole bible was written for un-educated masses and they gobbled up its simplicity along with the divine sticks and carrots (thanks Zilch).

    I call Dad every weekend for about 30 minutes. He loves the net. His current mission is to find out How Constantine chose What books went into the bible and Which were knocked back and Why. (Do you know? I think I asked it before.)
    It was in response to my 2nd brother sending us both an article about brain exercises and whether he (dad) should do something differently.
    I laughed and told him he was already doing everything the article suggested.
    At almost 89 he’s interested in anything that stretches the mind as well as playing many games of computer solitaire to keep his hand eye coordination happening.
    And according to your doctrine after he dies I’ll meet him again in hell.
    If only that were true. I like his mind; I like him. sigh smile

  21. L4T,
    I feel compelled to point out that you quote or allude to the Bible often in order to prove something, but to those who lack belief in the Bible as divinely inspired, this ploy means nothing.

    Try presenting information we can falsify or accept as valid without having to depend on faith to get us there. An outdated War and Peace-like novel won’t accomplish this.

    Right now it just seems to me you’re a Teacher’s Assistant with no credentials.

    I have to say, too, that the link you provided suggests a troublesome attitude that many accept as a positive one:

    Brennan Manning spells it out this way, “For the disciple of Jesus ‘becoming like a little child’ means the willingness to accept oneself as being of little account and to be regarded as unimportant,” and may I add—that God is of great account and of utmost importance.

    Even ignoring the non sequitur, that’s a truly fucked-up view and anyone who promotes it could surely benefit from counseling.

  22. Tragedies happen to everyone regardless of whether they are praying.

    So what good is prayer, L4t, and how is the result of prayer distinguishable from chance?  There have been, and continue to be, many studies done on the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and so far they’ve come up with, you guessed it, zilch.  No, wait- that Columbia University study showed positive results.  Too bad it was a fraud.

    Of course, even if prayer doesn’t stop lightning, or anything else, there are at least two other possible benefits it could conceivably bring:
    a) it could comfort those who pray, and give them strength to deal with adversity.
    b) it could show God that they believe, and make it more likely that they win the car, I mean go to Heaven, when they die.

    I’m quite willing to believe in one of these possible benefits.  Guess which one…

    His current mission is to find out How Constantine chose What books went into the bible and Which were knocked back and Why. (Do you know? I think I asked it before.)

    We’ve discussed this here before, John.  The short answer is that, apparently, no one really knows very much about exactly what happened at the Nicene Council.  As far as I recall, the discussion here ended up as a food fight between the Christians and the skeptics, with one group holding that the books making up the current accepted scripture were chosen on the basis of their truth, and the other group claiming that the decisions about what to include were political, aimed at consolidating the power of the Church.  Guess which group held which opinion…

  23. Guess which group held which opinion…

    LOL I suggested to him that the choices were God-Inspired. I like hearing his laugh. LOL

  24. There have been, and continue to be, many studies done on the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and so far they’ve come up with, you guessed it, zilch.  No, wait- that Columbia University study showed positive results.  Too bad it was a fraud.

    If I recall correctly, some recent “studies” actually concluded that prayer had a reverse effect. Shall we call it, the Mrs. Brown effect?
      The problem with these studies is that they are attempting to measure a divine response with human measures. If God is who He says He is, the prayer may in fact be answered:
    a) Much later in the life of the praying person
    b) In heaven
      God also claims to know our deepest desires, so His answer to prayer may not line up exactly with the praying person’s request. For example, I pray for healing, but God takes me home instead. Once I’m in heaven, I am in fact healed in a complete and final way. His timing may seem confusing here on Earth, but the faith is willing to reserve judgment until we have our eternal perspective.
      It keeps coming down to a trust issue. Do we, or do we not trust God, despite His often confusing ways?
      If one demands objective, scientific evidence here on Earth, I wouldn’t expect anyone to come to Faith. I guess, meanwhile, both sides, like your description above, can only present their respective stacks of evidence – neither of which can be proven.
      Oops, time for church. Happy of Pentecost Sunday y’all! May the Spirit move.

  25. My wife has Lymphoma and even though I know it doesn’t do shit, I still pray for her.
    If nothing else it make me feel better, and that’s one of the (good)jobs of religion
    AWJ

  26. Moses:
    Being this is the day of Pentecost, I thought it was a particularly good time for prayer. Myself and 3 kids just prayed that Jesus, through the power of His Holy Spirit, would bring miraculous healing to your wife. Let us know how she fares.
    Tom

  27. Maybe prayer does work? http://www.hado.net/index.html

    Personally, I thought this was hella cool.  It’s a possible theory to why people “worry themselves sick” and whatnot. 

    I dunno, just tossing something else into the fray to make people think. smile

    L4T, I can’t help but to read your posts and it reminds me of people who are being abused in a relationship but make every excuse to justify why they need to stay in it and how it is benificial and not harming.  *shrugs*  That’s just me though.

  28. Moses- whatever makes you, and your wife, feel better, is good.  I wish you both the very best.

  29. (Subhopping): L4T, I can’t help but to read your posts and it reminds me of people who are being abused in a relationship but make every excuse to justify why they need to stay in it and how it is beneficial and not harming.

    I was thinking this very thing earlier today. It’s as though believers can’t elevate their god unless they significantly reduce their own worths. And like the battered wife who believes she deserves every unkind word or painful punch, they feel pride for being able to survive such intense judgment.

    Feeling guilt for doing something that harms another is understandable; feeling guilt for merely existing isn’t.

  30. tell LuckyJohn that if his dad wants to find out about Constantine go to my beb site http://www.god-101.com and write me in the contact section, I’ll send him a free copy of the book which might clear it up a bit.
    Allan

  31. In answer to prayer, God sometimes says ‘yes,’

    What I do not understand is ‘Why?’.  Why would God change his mind. Changing your mind implies that you believe the second course of action is better.  The only reason to do this is gaining new understanding or information.  But as God is omniscient, he already understands all the possible outcomes, and all the things that lead up to that.  What can a human say to make God change his mind?  What in the prayer changes Outcome ‘A’ from being the best, to outcome ‘B’.  What exactly is God looking for from prayer?

  32. I personally believe that we pray in oder to acknowledge that God is the only answer.  Yes…he’s omniscient…but sometimes we have to speak it out loud…be proactive thru prayer. Prayer is a practice in faith.  Without faith what’s the point?  Without faith why would we even bother debating Godly issues?  Our prayer may not change the outcome of a certain situation…but…at least it allows us to feel connected in some way to the process.
      Yes..if he wanted…God could go around reading everyones minds and solving all of our problems..but…how boring would that be???!!

  33. Beau Tochs, the Bible has every backdoor you can imagine. I think it’s… MAtthew? 4:7? About not testing for God.

    In short, Science is all we have atm, and God doesn’t fit that. Whether you want to believe in it or not is up to you at that point.

  34. Moses: tell LuckyJohn that if his dad wants to find out about Constantine go to my web site

    That’s a very generous offer, mate. I’ll take you up on that.
    As for praying –

    If nothing else it make me feel better

    It can’t hurt, can it?
    Sometimes I can morph into my crystal-powered alter-ego and he would say:
    During your meditation imagine a golden light going from you (or any other thing you may find powerful) straight to your wife, accompanied by the expectation to at least help her to be comfortable.
    Again, it may do nothing more than help you feel more comfortable; I don’t know any one who really Knows (as opposed to Believes) the truth of it all.
    It’s what I did when my mother was dying about 10 years ago.
    She died fearlessly and, comfortably.
    Best wishes. smile

  35. SubH: L4T, I can’t help but to read your posts and it reminds me of people who are being abused in a relationship but make every excuse to justify why they need to stay in it and how it is benificial and not harming.  *shrugs* That’s just me though.

    Good one. LOL

  36. SBug: I personally believe that we pray in order to acknowledge that God is the only answer.

    I disagree or bullshit – pick ya poison.

    SBug: Without faith why would we even bother debating Godly issues?

    Coz it’s amusing at the very least and/or asks us to think about our mortality and raison d’être at best.

    LH: Sorry- that last one was me- bit of a mistype

    You’ve ruined it for me.
    I enjoyed god’s words, immensely.
    Just like fuckin Santa – YOU DON”T EXIST!
    You bastard. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

  37. John-
    I’ve learnt never to share a terminal with a deity- they just don’t leave things as they found them. 

    Mind you I did say to Elvis the other day ‘you’d feel better if you didn’t stay in my spare room all day. Why don’t you and Salman go for a quick walk.’

    PS is Les screwing with the anti-bot word dictionary- I just got ‘evidence’.  Or maybe Jesus is trying to get me…

  38. I enjoyed god’s words, immensely.

    Thanks for that.  I might be tempted to do a minor miracle, like turning Castlemain and Fosters into beer

  39. Brock:

    It’s as though believers can’t elevate their god unless they significantly reduce their own worths.

    Nah, my worth doesn’t change at all. Just an acknowledgement of our worth compared to God’s. Just imagine: if you believed in a God that made everything around you, (and you), in all it’s complexity, would you be tooting your own horn?
      Of course, I can understand how one would have to see this as grovelling unless they really did believe such a God existed. Even if one is awed by nature, if you just consider it all to be random happenstance, even the world’s biggest dolt would gain more of your respect than some impersonal process.

  40. What I do not understand is ‘Why?’.  Why would God change his mind. Changing your mind implies that you believe the second course of action is better.  The only reason to do this is gaining new understanding or information.  But as God is omniscient, he already understands all the possible outcomes, and all the things that lead up to that.  What can a human say to make God change his mind?  What in the prayer changes Outcome ‘A’ from being the best, to outcome ‘B’.  What exactly is God looking for from prayer?

    Maybe God caused Outcome ‘A’ simply to give the praying person a chance to get to know Him better, and His character, might, and wisdom. Once again, I’d recommend the book of Job.
    More to Brock:

    I feel compelled to point out that you quote or allude to the Bible often in order to prove something, but to those who lack belief in the Bible as divinely inspired, this ploy means nothing.

    Try presenting information we can falsify or accept as valid without having to depend on faith to get us there. An outdated War and Peace-like novel won’t accomplish this.

    But the Bible itself is what we’re discussing. If we decided to evaluate “War and Peace” for its ring of truth, and thus the author’s take on things, would we not have to examine its pages? Sure, we would then compare the wisdom in those pages with what we observe in the world, but we can’t critique the book without referring to it.
      I’ve got nothing personal to offer this bunch. That’s not any reflection of low self-esteem, but simple acknowledgement that my own words of wisdom are probably no better/worse than yours.
      From where I stand, I’m trying to share the wisdom of one that created us all, so therefore runs circles around any of our thoughts. One might be impressed by the computer that beats the world’s best human chess-player, but wouldn’t do be better to consider the programmer?
      I think (can’t assume with you yet) that you don’t believe there is a programmer, and I respect that. However, by quoting scripture, I’m just saying: “Check out this program. Who could have wrote this thing?”
      Zilch, in an above post, acknowledged that there is no firm conclusion as to where we got our “accepted” version of the Bible, so my focus is more concerned with it’s internal validity and it’s ring of truth in our lives.
      One of the events that preceded my coming to faith involved a particular sin. Without getting in to details, the world responded to my sin exactly as the Bible suggests it would, even though I didn’t think the world would react that way. Indeed, I thought my actions were justified, and if people really knew my situation, they would excuse, or even celebrate, what I’d done. Wrong.
      Faced with this, I had to admit that, divinely inspired or not, those dudes that wrote the Bible sure did have a good warning system. I started trying to remember what other kinds of words of wisdom the “good book” had, and thus was on my way.
      Here I am, years later, with many other reasons to believe. But, for me, it all started with comparing the Bible’s words with “how I found life to be.” I may be crazy, but I believe anyone will come to the same conclusion – that the Word offers wisdom beyond human understanding.

  41. Les: Zog, I never got hired by Best Buy. They interviewed me and decided I was over-qualified for the job even thought I tried to point out that, after 10 and 1/2 months of being unemployed I would be eternally grateful to be working at all.

    I got that in 2001 when I was unemp’d for about 9 months.  I was willing to sling coffee for Barnes & Noble as holiday help, and all I got was the “why are you applying here?” crap.  Maybe they’re just afraid that having a very competent person doing the job will just make it worse when that person leaves, and they’re back to the applicants who aren’t as qualified.  Or they were afraid you’d get promoted over them.  Me, I thought they’d be happy to have someone who didn’t need their hand held to do simple tasks. 

  42. Gawd: Thanks for that. I might be tempted to do a minor miracle, like turning Castlemaine and Fosters into beer

    Don’t bother, mate. No-one is Oz drinks it.
    Well, Castlemaine is drunk in Queensland, but if they had their way they’d be a republic … they call anyone south of the border, a Mexican.
    Castlemaine makes a brand called four-x or XXXX. We (Mexicans) think they call it that coz they can’t spell PISS.
    As for Fosters – I’ve only ever met one bloke who drank it. He was a Pommy bloke – Yorkshire I think – in Melbourne over 30 years ago.

    L4T: Even if one is awed by nature

    Why would anyone be AWED by natcha?
    It’s just stuff, mate … just stuff … some of it is even nice to look at but, it’s still just ‘stuff’.

    L4T: If we decided to evaluate “War and Peace

  43. The OT is a guide for desert survival in the stone age.
    The NT is a primitive form of communism with some banal observations on morality
    Just MHO

  44. One might be impressed by the computer that beats the world’s best human chess-player, but wouldn’t do be better to consider the programmer?

    Yes, and no, L4t.  As much as I respect the hard work that went into the program, I seriously doubt that Feng-hsiung Hsu, or anyone else on the team that wrote Deep Blue, could have beaten Garry Kasparov.  No human being could implement that program by hand to beat anyone, even me, in a game of chess, before we were all long since in our graves.  The computer has a great advantage over the human in raw speed of processing, which is indispensible to the realtime application of such programs, so the computer and the software must be considered together.  And no, Deep Blue is not intelligent in the way we humans are intelligent, but it’s a step along the way.  When machines become as intelligent as humans, will they be saved by Jesus too?  Or perhaps rather by Turing?

    I think (can’t assume with you yet) that you don’t believe there is a programmer, and I respect that.

    Life is obviously the result of a lot of very expensive R&D, immeasurably more so than Deep Blue.  It’s natural to ask, where, or who, is the Designer, or Programmer?  The naturalistic answer is: Nature itself, in the form of eddies in the flow of energy, which teach themselves to survive and compete successfully to create ever more complex whirlpools of local entropy reversal.  The Designer is not in one place or time, but is distributed over unimaginably vast areas and aeons.  We are the Designer.  And so is the Sun, the rocks, the grasses, the rivers, the stars.

    However, by quoting scripture, I’m just saying: “Check out this program. Who could have wrote this thing?

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