1/23/2010                                                                                       View Comments

A Prayer for Haiti

By the Avangelism Project

Haiti EarthquakeImage by United Nations Development Programme via Flickr

I was thinking about how I might have addressed the tragedy in Haiti as a pastor and this prayer is what I came up with.

Scary how easy it is to come up with pious sounding words that simultaneously play on guilt and pride when you know the jargon.



Dear Holy Father God in heaven,

We look at the devastation in Haiti with horror and confess to sinfully wondering why and how you would allow this to happen.

Yet we know that indeed your ways are higher than our ways and your thoughts higher than our thoughts. Forgive us, merciful father, for our presumptuous questioning of your divine and perfect ways.

We confess it is that very sinful desire to be as God hatched in that first Adam’s heart that wrought sin and death and despair into this world. And we rejoice that second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, has conquered the very sin and death that horrifies us this day.

We delight, Father than in Christ, all things—even those things we cannot understand, even those things that horrify us, even those things the wicked would use to besmirch your name—indeed, Holy God, that ALL things work together for good for those that love that same Lord Jesus Christ and are called in him according to your glorious purpose.

In Him, Father, we pray for your divine grace to shine forth and for your glory to be revealed unto men. We pray that in this tragedy the wisdom of men may be made foolishness, that sin and death may be swallowed up in victory, and that every knee might bend and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord of all things, to the praise of your glorious grace.

May it be so for Christ’s sake, by whom, in whom, and for whom all things were made and through whom all things continue to be. Now and forever.

Amen.


What do you think? A lot of manipulation, huh?

40 comments:

webmdave said...

Yes, that sounds very familiar, but I'm afraid that you might be slipping slightly with your prayer-speak.

Why? - because you forgot to add the completely redundant word 'just' almost every time you say the word 'we', as in 'we just pray', and 'we just ask'

webmdave said...

Ha! Isn't that the truth. Or maybe if you're in the south where I am, the word is "jis"... "Lard, we jis thank and praaaaize you for your son jeeeebus...."

If it weren't so darn pitiful, it would make a great comedy routine. Oh, what the heck -- it DOES make a great comedy routine.

I still crack up over Saturday Night Live's Church Lady.

webmdave said...

Oh heavenly Spook, lead us not into delusion, but deliver us from your creepy spine chills that we may live in the real world with confidence, hope, and freedom of thought. Amen.

webmdave said...

It has been so long ago that I subjected myself to that preacher-speak that I had forgotten it. (65 years & counting ) Many thanks for reminding me to be thankful that I departed all that garbage.

webmdave said...

In my parts (500 miles east of Port-au-Prince), it's "We just want to thank you..."

I just heard a speaker at the Little League pre-game thanking God that the earthquake didn't happen to us, and praying that there would be no tragedy or loss of life for the ball players. I wonder if at anytime it occurred to her 1) how that would sound to the Haitians to which it did happen and 2) where was God's protection for the thousands of Haitians who died. The latter point certainly did occur to me after the 2004 tsunami, at which time I was still a Christian.

webmdave said...

Haha. I was never one of the "just" pray-ers; sorry. My SPAG wouldn't allow it and I'm pretty sure I even bitched about it from the pulpit once or twice.

webmdave said...

Well? Isn't that speeeecial?

webmdave said...

from the south as well. here's a truly southern bumper sticker i saw one day at the nutrionally complete hardee's; "if it aint king james, it aint bible." i swear!
i figured if i waited for the chubby burger/chicken consumers to waddle out and pointed out to them all that was ridiculous about that statement. i"d probably get one of two things: the glazed over "grazing cow stare" which makes me wonder if they understand english. or, i would get the "get back frum me satan stare" which they would continue to give even as they drove away in their chubby minivan.

webmdave said...

Be thankful that Jesus didn't use it either. Imagine!:

'Our father, which art in heaven
We just ask for your name to be hallowed
We just want your kingdom to come....

webmdave said...

OK, sorry about that all that 'just' stuff. Here's a more serious comment:

When you think about it, aren't prayers like the one above really little more than additional preaching by the pastor - directed more at the congregation than at God, while using the added sanctity of a prayer to give it extra weight.

webmdave said...

And yet God never really does seem to shine nor reveal his plan and glory in these tragic events.

webmdave said...

That Tsunami was the straw that broke my believer's back. In Community Bible study right afterwards, the 20 or so women were all yaping about how it was revenge because "those people" were Muslim. Imagine, all of those predominately women, children & toddlers PUNISHED with death because they didn't worship Jebbus.......beyond sick.

webmdave said...

ROAR! Now that's funny.

webmdave said...

When you get a moment, check out the Landover Baptist site at
www.landoverbaptist.org for their article on the Haitian disaster.
Of course its satire, but it sounds so typically fundie its almost
scary.

webmdave said...

Absolutely yes. Very perceptive.

webmdave said...

Well, this time it was almost as many men, women, children, and fetuses punished with death because they were predominantly…Christian? Oh I can hear it now: “They weren’t Christians” (they were Catholics); or, “They practiced Voodoo” (never mind that all of Christianity is syncretic).

webmdave said...

At this point in my life, it all sounds like mumbo-jumbo. I've been working on clearing my mind of that "prayer talk" and reading Avengelism's Haiti prayer (even as satire) spooked me slightly. What thought-numbing drivel it truly is.

webmdave said...

Would it be too much to ask that we be led into temptation, but just delivered from evil?

webmdave said...

I have to admit that I got a little tight in the chest when I read that prayer. Perhaps because there was a time that I would have responded to it with "amen and amen." Creepy. It's so amazing that we can still spout off the old Christian jargon and yet not believe one bit of it...hmmmmmmm...we may be on to something...
Great post.

webmdave said...

Sorry, I'm a little late here due to just getting notice of this new post.

Gee whiz, why not make it short and sweet and just say, "Dear Heavenly Father, Please help the people in Haiti. Comfort them in their time of need. In Jesus Amen"? Short, sweet and to the point without all the crap in between. It was what I did when I prayed. oh and... "It worked too!" lol

webmdave said...

Not just manipulative, but disgustingly sycophantic.

Here's the prayer from the beginning of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

CHAPLAIN: Let us praise God. O Lord,...

CONGREGATION: O Lord,...

CHAPLAIN: ...ooh, You are so big,...

CONGREGATION: ...ooh, You are so big,...

CHAPLAIN: ...so absolutely huge.

CONGREGATION: ...so absolutely huge.

CHAPLAIN: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.

CONGREGATION: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.

CHAPLAIN: Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...

CONGREGATION: And barefaced flattery.

CHAPLAIN: But You are so strong and, well, just so super.

CONGREGATION: Fantastic.

HUMPHREY: Amen.

CONGREGATION: Amen.

webmdave said...

Hahahahahaha!!!! We "jis" pray Lord....blah, blah, Blah.......I thought I was the only one who noticed that! You made me spit my coffee out.

webmdave said...

Well done for Christ's sake.

webmdave said...

Yes,I just reiterate, dear lord...if thou shalt just deliver me from the religious psycho-jargon that just sends post-traumatic chills up and down my spine...I shalt dwell in the kingdom of freedom from evangelism & other destructive cults forever & ever...Ramen.

webmdave said...

Well done for Christ's sake.

webmdave said...

Hahahahahaha!!!! We "jis" pray Lord....blah, blah, Blah.......I thought I was the only one who noticed that! You made me spit my coffee out.

webmdave said...

Not just manipulative, but disgustingly sycophantic.

Here's the prayer from the beginning of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

CHAPLAIN: Let us praise God. O Lord,...

CONGREGATION: O Lord,...

CHAPLAIN: ...ooh, You are so big,...

CONGREGATION: ...ooh, You are so big,...

CHAPLAIN: ...so absolutely huge.

CONGREGATION: ...so absolutely huge.

CHAPLAIN: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.

CONGREGATION: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.

CHAPLAIN: Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...

CONGREGATION: And barefaced flattery.

CHAPLAIN: But You are so strong and, well, just so super.

CONGREGATION: Fantastic.

HUMPHREY: Amen.

CONGREGATION: Amen.

webmdave said...

Sorry, I'm a little late here due to just getting notice of this new post.

Gee whiz, why not make it short and sweet and just say, "Dear Heavenly Father, Please help the people in Haiti. Comfort them in their time of need. In Jesus Amen"? Short, sweet and to the point without all the crap in between. It was what I did when I prayed. oh and... "It worked too!" lol

One more thing, even when I was a Xian, AP, I got bored with such droning prayers and quit listening. My mind digressed into my own world. So you lost me after the first few sentences, even now.

webmdave said...

I have to admit that I got a little tight in the chest when I read that prayer. Perhaps because there was a time that I would have responded to it with "amen and amen." Creepy. It's so amazing that we can still spout off the old Christian jargon and yet not believe one bit of it...hmmmmmmm...we may be on to something...
Great post.

webmdave said...

Yes,I just reiterate, dear lord...if thou shalt just deliver me from the religious psycho-jargon that just sends post-traumatic chills up and down my spine...I shalt dwell in the kingdom of freedom from evangelism & other destructive cults forever & ever...Ramen.

webmdave said...

This is one of my favorite restaurant prayers for when you see some brain-clouded people spaking unto us their all high and mighty rubbish...

To be the most offensive/funny, all of the below is to be said in a very reverent tone.....

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King's horses
and all the King men couldn't put Humpty together

AMEN

(particularly offensive during religious days such as xmas, easter, thanksgiving, etc.)

webmdave said...

At this point in my life, it all sounds like mumbo-jumbo. I've been working on clearing my mind of that "prayer talk" and reading Avengelism's Haiti prayer (even as satire) spooked me slightly. What thought-numbing drivel it truly is.

webmdave said...

Well, this time it was almost as many men, women, children, and fetuses punished with death because they were predominantly…Christian? Oh I can hear it now: “They weren’t Christians” (they were Catholics); or, “They practiced Voodoo” (never mind that all of Christianity is syncretic).

webmdave said...

Absolutely yes. Very perceptive.

webmdave said...

When you get a moment, check out the Landover Baptist site at
www.landoverbaptist.org for their article on the Haitian disaster.
Of course its satire, but it sounds so typically fundie its almost
scary.

webmdave said...

ROAR! Now that's funny.

webmdave said...

That Tsunami was the straw that broke my believer's back. In Community Bible study right afterwards, the 20 or so women were all yaping about how it was revenge because "those people" were Muslim. Imagine, all of those predominately women, children & toddlers PUNISHED with death because they didn't worship Jebbus.......beyond sick.

webmdave said...

And yet God never really does seem to shine nor reveal his plan and glory in these tragic events.

webmdave said...

OK, sorry about that all that 'just' stuff. Here's a more serious comment:

When you think about it, aren't prayers like the one above really little more than additional preaching by the pastor - directed more at the congregation than at God, while using the added sanctity of a prayer to give it extra weight.

webmdave said...

Would it be too much to ask that we be led into temptation, but just delivered from evil?