You gotta give Christians credit for being consistent. No matter how many times they pray for something only to have God ignore their request, they keep trying in hopes that God will deign them worthy of altering his Grand Design to their whims. Doesn’t matter how many times they pray for someone to be healed instead of taking them to a hospital only to have the
victim recipient die within days or how many times they pray for some politician they don’t like to have a nasty accident involving a wood chipper and several tons of explosives only to have said politician continue on blissfully unharmed, they’ll keep praying.
It’s a testament to their faith that no matter how many times prayer fails to accomplish a damned thing they still think it’s applicable to every problem that comes along. Problems like high gas prices:
It’s an effort started by the Beacon of Light Christian Center in Dublin.
“I believe if we come together and pray as a community we can really make something happen,” says the church’s pastor, Marshall Mabry.
Indeed you can. You can get a lot of people to make public fools out of themselves by standing around a gas station and praying. Beyond that, probably not too much you’re going to accomplish.
But I’m sure that’s not going to sway you from trying. I bet you’ve tried it before, right?
“It’s the third time,” he says, “I want to start a movement. I want this to go from Dublin to Macon, from Macon to Atlanta and all over the country.”
I thought so. Didn’t work last two times. What makes you think it’ll work this time? Is there some magic number of attempts you have to get to before God starts taking notice?
Actually, I know the answer to the question of what makes them think it’ll work: Low expectations. You see, if you set the bar for success low enough even a non-existent divine being can eventually get the job done:
“If it doesn’t drop down to nothin’ but ten cents, I’m happy with that. But what I really want to believe God to do is drop down $1.50, hey, I’m glad with that, too,” says the pastor.
If it drops by ten cents, the good Pastor will be happy. Given that gas prices tend to flux with world events, that’s probably going to happen sooner or later regardless of whether they stand around chanting at the local station.
Especially if you’re persistent:
Pastor Mabry says he hopes it’ll kick off a first Saturday prayer event every month, and they’ll see a drop in costs at the pump soon.
It’s a win-win situation for the church. They get a lot of publicity and — as long as they can keep up the act — they’ll eventually get enough of a result to claim it was the amazing power of prayer at work. See? See how great God is? He dropped the price of gas a whole ten cents!
Ignoring the rather self-centered nature of the request in the first place, you have to wonder why it doesn’t occur to these people that a truly powerful God could solve the gas problem by simply making it unnecessary. Sure he’d have to break the laws of physics to pull it off, but that should be easy peasy for an all-powerful entity capable of creating all of reality by simply wishing it were so.
Speaking of wishing it were so. did you spot the bit of magical thinking the Pastor used up above? The bit where he says “what I really want to believe”? That’s what religion is all about. What people really want to believe instead of just dealing with reality as it is.
Because praying is infinitely easier than actually doing something to effect change.