I overheard two women talking in the parking lot as I was waiting for my son to take his typical very slow walk to the front doors of the preschool. It’s not that he doesn’t like preschool. In fact, he really likes it. He’s just not in a hurry to get there (or anywhere, for that matter.)
|The Devil (Artist's interpretation)|
Anyway, I don’t know exactly what the women were discussing, but at one point the older woman said something to the effect of “That’s why you have to pray for EXACTLY what you want. Otherwise, you won’t get it.” The implication being that God will give you what you ask for, so you’d better be ultra-specific lest God decides to be like the monkey’s paw that gives three wishes but don’t exactly work out like the person making the wish had planned. Or, as an excuse to run a picture of Elizabeth Hurley in a post about the nature of God, it’s like the movie Bedazzled where she plays the Devil and grants wishes not exactly as planned.
Now, I am not what you would call a classically trained theologian. Other than a few philosophy courses in college that touched on the idea of God at times, I can’t say I have any formal education on what the nature of God is. But if God is the all-loving, all powerful God that the church claims he* is, then shouldn’t a prayer with the vaguest of ideas about what you’re asking God for be enough? Why the need to be so precise that the best legal scholars of the day would have trouble finding alternative outcomes for the prayer?
*The God I know loves me enough to support proper grammar and not to capitalize pronouns in the middle of a sentence.
I guess when I was 16 and wanted a car, I should have mentioned to God that I kind of wanted it when I was, in fact, 16. Now I know.