Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
I can not say that I necessarily understand how a forklift works. Yes, I do know how to operate one, but if asked how it actually works, I would be clueless. Why? Simply put, I did not design the systems whereby a forklift would operate, nor is it my job to maintain them. In other words, I am not qualified to offer a competent opinion on how it works.
A few months ago I bought a “Wallet Ninja” from Walmart. Can’t say I’m impressed. The small nut wrench thing and the screwdriver corners work well enough. The bottle open is good. The can opener sucks. I found that it works, but it also has a tendency to cut your hand as you are pressing down into it. I don’t know if there is a better way to use it, but the way I was able to make it work is lacking. The last thing that the “Wallet Ninja” is supposedly able to do is act as a cell phone stand. I don’t know how that works, and I have tried. Perhaps the “Wallet Ninja” is a good emergency, but I wouldn’t trust it for normal use.
What about prayer? How does that work? Yes, I’ve heard the saying “Nothing fails like prayer”. Sadly, this phrase falls short. In some respects, it is like saying that God doesn’t answer prayer. Indeed, “Unanswered Prayers” is a popular song by the country singer Garth Brooks. Let me just say it, Garth Brooks is poor theologian at best and a heretic at worst.
Truthfully, I think that the hardest part about prayer is knowing what to pray. Indeed, when discussing prayer, the disciples asked Christ Jesus “teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1). Christ then taught the disciples what we now know today as “The Lord’s Prayer”, which is prayed weekly in most liturgical churches. This prayer covers the most important aspects of prayer. These aspects being acknowledgment of whom God is, that he is holy, his kingdom and his will, request for what we need daily, forgiveness of our sins, and deliverance from evil. How this works, I don’t rightly know.
What do I know? Not much at times. However, the one thing I do know is that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. I also know that anyone reading this is also a sinner. I do not know of one person on earth who is truly sinless. We, who believe, are all simultaneously saint and sinner. How does that work? I don’t know. It is a mystery. In like manner, so too is the Trinity a mystery, one which we can not hope to understand how it works.
I can not possibly hope to understand how everything works. I do not understand how prayer works. I just trust that it does, and that is because I trust the one who taught us to pray. Will I always get what I pray for? No. Nor should I. I understand that God does answer prayer, but it is not always the way we want them answered. I have things that I have prayed for years about and yet my prayer has not been answered as I would have wanted it. However, it was answered.
We may not always pray as we ought, but God can still answer our prayers, despite what Garth Brooks says, and always according to his perfect will. However, he may not answer them as we would like. Why is that? Maybe it is because we are not praying according to his will, maybe we are praying for something that may actually be harmful to us. However, and this is just a guess, maybe it is because God has a better idea than we do, and we need to wait. How that works, I don’t know. I just know that it does.
I may not know how prayer works. Then again I don’t know how a forklift works. I suppose that I don’t need to know how a forklift works in order to do my job. Nor do I need to know how prayer works in order to pray. I just pray. That is all any of us can. When all else fails, pray. We may not understand how it works, but God does, and that is enough.