Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Atheist's Prayer Request

If you don't mind, please ask God to reveal himself to me. Maybe group prayer will help. . . . I have sought God for many years, but I have received no confirmation of his existence. Please pray. Also, if you could share your experience of receiving confirmation, I would enjoy hearing it. How did you come to know that God exists?

I don’t know if this atheist’s request is genuine or not. (I suspect it isn’t.) But below is part 1 of my two part response to her.

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I will pray for you, but probably not that God will "reveal Himself" to you. This seems a bit individualistic and presumptuous. You see, as a Christian—by definition—I believe that God sufficiently reveals Himself to the world. Thus, such a prayer, it seems to me, would actually go against Christian belief.

The issue is this: Do you accept or believe God's revelation of Himself. Obviously, at this point you do not. But does your non-belief in God reflect poorly upon God's self-revelation? I don't see why it should.

Relatedly, does your lack of faith obligate God to go "above and beyond" for you—in in a manner He doesn't do for the rest of us? Again, I don’t see why it should.

Does your lack of faith in God demonstrate that there is no God? No, of course not. Your lack of faith demonstrates your lack of faith; nothing more. Thus it seems that your lack of faith is about you, not God.

I suppose my question at this point is: Why do you disbelieve in God.

You write: “I have sought God for many years . . .

Why would you do this? It seems irrational for one to honestly “seek” for that which one believes to be non-existent. (Most folks wouldn’t do such a thing for many minutes, much less many years!)

So…this “search for many years” makes me wonder how strong your disbelief really is. (Notice, I’m questioning your disbelief and not your sanity.)

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Next week: Part 2


2 comments:

  1. Yes! Good answers. I heard a similar response: "Well, since He hasn't come to my door..." And I thought the same thing -- that this is an incredibly self-centred, presumptuous thing to expect. Of course, we can still pray for her/him. Looking forward to part 2.

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    1. Thanks for reading and thinking, Eleanor. See you next week!

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