Thoughts and Prayers

No sooner had they stopped praying for El Paso than they had to start praying for Dayton. Then one man stood up in the back of the room, his voice was shakey when he spoke: “Somehow we need to get out in front of these shootings. We need to pray for a shooting before it happens.”

“How we gonna do that?” barked Chet, a church elder known for not suffering fools.

“We’re going to pray to God to tell us in advance where the next shooting will be, and then we will pray for him to stop it.”

This seemed like a good plan to everyone, and so they prayed. After several minutes of earnest prayer, Nancy said, “It isn’t working. I’m not getting anything. I mean, I keep thinking Stillwater, Oklahoma, but that’s probably because my niece will be going there in the fall, and I worry so much. She is cute as a button but she’d probably hear gunfire and walk toward it. I swear, you put that poor girl’s brain in a pissant, and it would walk backwards.”

“She’ll marry well enough,” said Chet. “No need to worry about her.”

Then the man in the back of the room had second thoughts. He said, “I’m not getting anything either.”

“Pray harder,” commanded Chet.

After several more minutes of hard prayer, the man in the back of the room spoke again. “This doesn’t make sense. We are praying to God to tell us where the next massacre is so he can tell us so we can pray for him to stop it before it happens. Are we saying that God is omniscient and omnipotent but won’t intercede unless strangers ask him to?”

Chet interrupted him, “Slow down, boy. That’s crazy talk. Just keep praying. Eventually it’ll work. “

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