A prayer for unbelievers

   This article is meant primarily for those who haven’t known God yet or perhaps for those who have problems praying. I must say that I myself hated the word “prayer” for many years as well as all what the notion of it brought to my mind. When I heard the word “prayer” I imagined monks and nuns with beads in their hands (called a rosary by Roman Catholics), repeating interminably some memorized prayers; I was getting sick of that image. For me, praying was the same as begging and a life with God was a life of begging. Simply nothing a normal person would care for. Then somebody said me a short statement that changed my attitude significantly. The statement was like this: “A prayer is a dialogue with God”.

   What? Is it possible that it is not only a constant begging for a blessing (something good)? Is it possible that I could talk with God, expecting He would do His part in talking or would act accordingly, simply that he would answer in some way or other?

Matthew 7, 7-11 (ASV): Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone; or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

   The Bible says that God will give good things to those who ask Him, much more than parents to their children. It is quite shocking, isn’t it?

    Well, I am not even sure that there is a God, anyway. How can I get to know? How can I find Him? I found the following verse in the Bible:

Jeremiah 29, 13 (ASV): And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

   I said to myself: „Well, it is a nice “Christian” buck-passing. If nothing happens, nobody answers, nobody replies to my call, then I probably haven’t searched with all my heart”.

   The Bible provided me an answer concerning my idea of praying monks and nuns, repeating memorized prayers:

Matthew 6, 7-8 (ASV): And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

   Can you see? No repetitive mumbling. We do not deal with an automaton! A prayer is a dialogue with God. With that one who has created us, who knows absolutely everything about us, who knows every single thought of us and who knows about everything we have in our hearts. Why so many words, if He knows even what we want to ask Him about or for? Would it be God in the first place if he was not like that?

   As I have said above, this article is primarily for those who haven’t known God yet but who would like to know the truth. So I will address you directly. It is obvious that you are not sure that there is a God, or whether it is exactly the “God of the Bible”. You may have been told about God, or have heard or seen something that has appealed to you and touched your heart. You may search for a sense of life. Maybe you seek help in a difficult situation you are unable to sort out. Maybe you need healing that is beyond the abilities of doctors. Perhaps you need to be released from an addiction (alcohol, drugs, smoking, gambling…), depression, eating disorders, phobias (uncontrollable fears) etc. It doesn’t matter what you seek, if you seek the answer from God, from the Creator of the Universe, the Father of Jesus of Nazareth. If you have memorized any prayer, forget it!

   Speak to God in your own words! Call Him and ask Him to let you get to know Him, to let you know somehow that He does exist. Tell Him about what bothers you, why you need His help and ask Him for it! Do not assume any role, forget about any affectation! God knows everything about you, anyway. Hence, you can relax, speaking your mind, without any clichés.

   I believe God will answer you somehow. I can’t say how because as I’ve said before, God is not an automaton. He deals with each person individually. What is essential is your sincerity and desire to get to know the truth.

   I think you have nothing to lose, only to gain.


Libor Diviš - author of this article and this website

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