Skip to comments.I Will Pray For You
Posted on 07/04/2011 6:10:34 AM PDT by Kaslin
This month, I intended to take a rest from writing so I could just enjoy my time out in Colorado. In fact, aside from hunting and learning a few songs on my guitar (yes, Im having a midlife crisis) I did not plan to do a thing in July. But the liberals keep doing stupid things and sending me stupid emails. So I have to pick up my pen and write either that or ruin a perfectly good midlife crisis by having a heart attack.
The thing that has my blood boiling right now is the misuse of five simple words: I will pray for you. There is a time to tell someone you will pray for him. But there is also a time to avoid telling someone you will pray for him. Since so many people seem to use these words as a weapon, rather than a source of comfort, I thought a column on the topic was warranted. I would ask you guys to pray for me while I write it but if youre reading this column then its already written. Duh! (But I still pray that you enjoy it!).
A few days ago, I was having a disagreement with a liberal Christian with feminist leanings. She objected to an analogy I made about government entitlements. Specifically, she objected to my assertion that people cannot be expected to value things if they did not have to work to attain them. I compared that with expecting a man to respect a woman who gives him sex without making him work for it. She didnt like the metaphor. So she responded with an ad hominem attack laced with mockery. And she topped it all off with an offer to pray for me.
I really didnt intend to write about it but, unfortunately, it was the second such offer of prayer in a twenty-four hour period. Another feminist wrote previously to criticize my stance on so-called abortion rights. She said that Jesus would have compassion on women, which included allowing them to have abortions. She never addressed the issue of whether the unborn were persons entitled to compassion, which would preclude ripping them from limb to limb. But she did offer me assurance by saying "I will pray for you."
Of course, not all of the people who offer to pray for me are feminists or even women. One homosexual Christian reader wrote to tell me he has forgiven me for opposing same-sex marriage. And, guess what? Hes promised to pray for me! I dont know for sure what all these feminist and homosexual prayers sound like. I can only speculate. So here goes:
"Dear Jesus, please help Mike Adams to understand that it is your will for people to be given things without working for them. And that includes easy sex outside of marriage. Jesus, soften his heart and help him to understand that promiscuity often leads to healthy respectful and wholesome relationships. I pray this in Jesus' holy name, Amen."
"Dear Jesus, please help Mike Adams to support abortion on demand. Lord let him have compassion on the abortion doctors who earn their living and feed their families by performing abortions. Let him see that dismembering babies is the will of Jesus that dismembering babies is the embodiment of Christ-like compassion. In fact, it is the duty of the body of Christ. Let him also have compassion for those who sell the body parts of dismembered babies on the black market. Let him see that killing unborn children is truly God's will for mankind. Oops! I meant to say 'person-kind.' In Jesus name I pray, Amen."
"Dear Jesus. Please let Mike Adams learn to set aside antiquated notions of marriage from your outdated Books of Scripture. Let him get over the ridiculousness of Leviticus (and Romans) and open his heart to sodomy, to same-sex marriage, and to equality for all. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. And it would not be quite as pathetic if it were something that only liberal Christians do. That's right conservative Christians, this kind of nonsense comes from our side of the aisle, too. And it is always pompous and hurtful regardless of the political affiliation of the Christian doing it.
When, right in the middle of a political dispute, we make an offer to pray for someone here is what we are really saying to them: "I have a special relationship with God that you do not have. God and I are very tight. And we want to straighten you out and align you with our will. Since you are too dense to understand our position on this political issue we are going to use the Holy Spirit to impart upon you the knowledge that you cannot seem to absorb through your thick skull. We hate to do this. But God and I both know what's best for you."
So whether you are conservative or liberal please stop using "I will pray for you" as a political weapon during political disputes. Calm down. Resolve your differences to the best of your ability. And when reason takes over ask the person with whom you have had the dispute this polite question: "May I pray for you?"
If they decline your offer of prayer then pray for them anyway. And, while you're at it, pray for yourself. Pray for the wisdom to use prayer as a source of comfort, not as a political weapon when you're losing a political argument.
Thanks for the ping. Mike is right on target as usual.
A strikingly similar situation actually happened to me yesterday right here on FR. It all occurred through FReepmail, the sender not wanting to discuss their support for gay marriage in public (a NOOB since April 2011, with not posts). I replied that this wasn't a forum for them and that they should spend their time elsewhere where their beliefs would be welcome. I ended with "You may feel its alright, but God will deal with that at the appropriate time.Good day, fitgirl7".
The reply I received read "If God rejects anyone, it is anti gay bigots. Since you cant win a debate you want me off this forum. Thats rich."
I published the complete exchange in the referred to thread and notified Jim Rob and Ad Mods. This FReeper is no longer with us. It just goes to show such things can happen anywhere; even here on this great forum.
Kind of like “Bless his heart” in the South means “he is an irredeemable piece of filth”.
If some people didn't get to try to use Jesus as a weapon against fellow Christians - they really wouldn't have much use for HIM at all.
I will pray for them! ;)
Oh go eat crow and like it! Lord knows you have plenty on your plate.
I will pray for you! ;)
I must say that makes things awkward for people who, in all our faltering sincerity, actually beg God for the well-being and redemption of the person we're praying for. (Yes, I'm pleading innocent here.) But I will keep in mind that others interpret this as offensive.
Is there a snappy alternative phrase which will convey "I, an unwothy beggar before the throne of the Almighty, am asking Him to give the both of us what we both need: truth, life, peace" --- unpretentiously, and without irony?
I don’t think it possible to say “I will pray that God opens your eyes so that you see my point” without an inherent claim of more Godliness, that God is on your side, and that only divine intervention will get through that particularly thick skull.
It is all about context.
If it is “I am really sick and might die” - then “I will pray for you” is well meaning.
If the context is that we disagree about a political point - there really is no way to make the claim without sounding like a holier than thou pretentious ass.
Just my 0.02$. :)
You’re welcome. He is indeed
Good for you. I am glad you did
I agree with you.
“I will pray for you” in a political debate is condescending and meant to stop the discussion. It translates as “I know better than you, so just shut up.”
A silent prayer for the conversion of our country is very calming, when the discussion gets frustrating.
Does it occur to you that when someone says I pray for you, they really mean it?
In the context of a disagreement they mean that they carry God in their pocket and HE and they are going to have a little talk about you and straighten you out, that only divine intervention rather than a detailing of facts and ideals will be sufficient to effect a change in your thinking - that without their direct intervention with God, your soul is imperiled - but they are looking out for you.
Don't you see how good and Christian they are by so doing - and how much in need of their prayers your poor benighted self really is?
They DO mean it. And what IS it that they mean?
Unlike you who’s hypocrisy shows through, exactly what they say.
I will pray for you. ;)
Excellent column. That phrase, as tossed out by the kind of people he mentions, is condescending to the max.
I don’t throw the phrase out casually even in the right circumstances. If someone is in trouble, I am often tempted to say it. But I try to refrain unless I am really sure I will do it.
I have several prayer sessions a day and a list (mental) of people and things I pray for. But I don’t drop that phrase out casually.
And it is incredibly tacky to do it as the kind of insult Mike discusses here.
When lawlessness abounds, freedoms flee.
Or maybe those pesky words have no meaning - "THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY"
Not if they are saying it to convey the attitude that I need help getting my thoughts/ideology in order.
PS: No one has ever said it to me in this way, but political perspective was the point of this thread.
Yes, when they are concerned about my spiritual or my physical well-being.
I am becoming (slowly) conscious of the danger of moral indignation as a kind of drug (stimulant) and of moral complacency as another kind of drug (sedative). Having dabbled in both, myself, I feel I need to become more aware of the how these things are abused, in contrase to honest-to-God humble prayer, which can lead to genuine insight.
I appreciate the guidance.
>> She said that Jesus would have compassion on women, which included allowing them to have abortions.
“She” has a deranged perspective of Christ.
Whenever I am exposed to one of the “holier than thou” pharisees I always answer— “Thank you for the prayers, I definitely need them, and you definitely need the practice.”
Mike: this was brilliant. As a pastor, who often is confronted by lefties.I will steal your prayers just for them!
I notice that they never say “I will pray for my own eyes to be opened to your meaning such that we can reach a mutual understanding as befits two brothers in Christ.”
Nope, it is always YOU who need to be prayed for, they are apparently so perfect that their prayers are all for the (supposed) benefit of others!
Truly this is grasping at the mote in thy neighbors eye, while ignoring the beam in thy own.
Hard to think of a more concrete example. Nevermind my sin of pride with the clear meaning of “I will pray for you” -intending to use our Lord as a rhetorical weapon - it is the small misunderstanding we are arguing about that needs to be addressed in my prayers - such that God takes action on YOU!
I think we should all pray for our own guidance, because we all fall short. Living a more Christ like life myself will do more than all the prayers proffered for those who disagree and argue with me.
What you’re saying makes a lot of sense. Thanks back atcha.