As I sat here in the hospital room with my mother-in-law and and family a few minutes ago, I took a moment to check my e-mail. To my surprise, I discovered that at least one person is still reading this blog. Unfortunately, you have chosen to keep your identity "anonymous."
But whoever you are, if you're still reading, I want you to understand (though I rejected your comment and it will not show up on my former post) my understanding of God and prayer.
I do NOT in any way "blame disease or government incompetence on not praying enough or properly" (in your words). I do NOT subscribe to ANY understanding of God or God's work in the world that DOES blame terrible things on "not praying enough or properly." To do so would NOT make me feel better, and would indicate that I believe in a God not of wholeness, peace, and grace, but of terror.
Instead, what I believe about prayer and God is this:
Prayer is a gift that invites us into, and allows us to maintain, relationship with the God whose will and work are always for our wholeness and peace, and for justice and peace in the world.
True prayer is the equivalent of open, full, and honest communication between a parent and child, or two lovers.
The God I worship is all-loving and wants to be in real relationship with us.
The God I worship did NOT create chaos, disease, division, or government incompetence. That all came from somewhere else.
The God I worship has overcome the power of all of that life-stealing stuff through the self-giving of Christ (who himself was God become flesh out of love for us, to share humanness with us and offer us life eternal in and with God).
Through the gift of prayer, the God I worship reveals healing and resurrection in powerful ways to God's children.
The God I worship will ultimately eliminate all of the life-stealing stuff in the world and make all things right and whole forever. Though I can't explain why that hasn't already happened, I know that God touches us even in the midst of pain to bring wholeness and peace, and I am thankful for that. I do continue to pray for the day of peace and wholeness, and redemption of all creation, to quickly come.And by the way
my mother-in-law is now actively dying. Her death will release her from pain and bring her a peace she has not known in some time. And if the government had worked the way it was originally "supposed to" according to our human plan, we wouldn't be able to be here now...we'd be in Russia instead.
So perhaps, in God's mysterious love, this holy time was protected for us to be HERE NOW...even maybe through some "government incompetence." Who knows? I just embrace the mystery and praise God that I can feel the mystery of divine grace.
I also pray that you, and all of the children God created, can also one day feel that mysterious grace. There's nothing more beautiful, or life-giving.