Candles, Cakes, and Prayers: Spoken but not Believed

prayer-in-the-dark

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Check the first two installments here and here

In most instances, when we made birthday wishes, there was always a flavor of impossibility to the wishes being made.  This was a moment to seize something that on any other day of the year would be truly out of reach.  This was the moment to wish for the most outrageous and most impossible dream.  No one ever wished for the cheapest pair of shoes. No, the correct wish was for the most expensive pair.  Don’t forget, these are birthday candles we’re talking about!

Making birthday wishes was the moment to request the unthinkable and most radical request imaginable.  However, over time we discovered that the reason that these wishes and dreams were out of reach in our minds, and why we chose to wish for them, was that they were out of reach in reality.  Although within us was the hope that something we wished for would come true, there eventually grew an acceptance that this dream would most likely never amount to more than a dream.

The Bible presents many instances where the impossible became possible through the power and will of God.  We read stories where people survived being thrown into fire or a lion’s den, and where entire bodies of water became separated upon the command of God. While these stories present great moments for awe and entertainment, the utter impossibility of these stories resign them, in our minds, to legends that could never and will never be seen in today’s world.  They are so unlikely that to hope in them is one thing, but to believe in them is something altogether different and altogether foolish.  Therefore, we continue to voice our desires and make our wishful prayers to a God up there, somewhere, while accepting that most desires and wishes will be out of the reach of even a God who claims to be able to do anything. So we find people mouthing prayers with no faith or belief in their fulfillment, or in the God whom they claim to address.

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