CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
Prayer is the only human activity of which we require perfection. If we pray for something, even something noble, like a cure for a child with cancer, and we don’t get it, we say, “See. Prayer doesn’t work.”
In treating cancer we use surgery and chemotherapy and radiation. They don’t always work, but we keep using them.
In treating poverty we use legislation and food pantries and red kettles. They don’t always work, but we keep using them.
In treating addictions we use psychotherapy and support groups and 12 step programs. They don’t always work, but we keep using them.
In science we use theories and experiments and observation. They don’t always work, but we keep using them.
Indeed, many of the other approaches we use to make life better actually make it worse, such as the new wonder drugs that have side effects more gruesome than the condition they are treating.  But we keep on using them.
I don’t know how or why prayer works. I know that sometimes it does not work. But I keep on using it. It is important not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
As I count my blessings first thing each morning, and give thanks for them, I am reminded of those who are not so blessed, and I pray for them. I especially pray for those who have no one else to pray for them, the forgotten ones, those who are counted as the refuse of the world. Perhaps the prayer for those who have no one else to pray for them is the perfect prayer.
John Robert McFarland
1] Back when I was a speaker/writer in cancer circles, Helen and I were invited to a medical conference to hear Dr. Dean Ornish. He mentioned a new potato chip that noted on its container that it might cause anal leakage. Dr. Ornish said, “Anal and leakage should never be used in the same sentence.”
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]
I used to keep a careful index of all the things I told in this blog so that I would not repeat. That has become unwieldy. Now I just trust to… what’s it called… oh, yes, memory. Sorry about that.
I have also started an author blog, about writing, in preparation for the publication, by Black Opal Books, of my novel, VETS, about four handicapped and homeless Iraqistan veterans who are accused of murdering a VA doctor, n 2015. http://johnrobertmcfarland-author.blogspot.com/
I tweet as yooper1721.