Monday, September 27, 2010
imprecatory prayers in the Bible and the fine line between praying for someone's downfall and taking action when God denies our vengeful request. Prayer as a communal act is meant to draw the participants closer to each other and to the divine. The family that prays together stays together. Yet prayers that are meant to bring down some sort of divine justice seems to run contrary to the purpose of prayer: to connect, to bring together. To a lesser degree, prayers directed to change someone else's mind (or sexual orientation like in the previous post) seems to reduces the Infinite to the level of a mere puppet existing only to do our bidding. To me, prayers like these seem to degrade the act of connecting with the divine and only serves to inflate the ego of the participant. I'm not against prayer even though I don't pray myself, I simply have found other ways to connect with man and the universe. We are bursting with creativity, curiosity, and the urge for connection and I truly believe we are hard-wired to bless others. If we feel empathy for our neighbor I can't imagine praying for anything but blessings for them. I suppose that if our empathy is limited to a tribal in-group we can very easily pray for our neighboring tribes downfall. It is fear which drives us into cursing our neighbor and wishing them harm. Fear boils into hatred which pushes us over the edge to commit dreadful acts against humanity. If we are truly praying for our neighbors to be blessed why would we put restrictions on the blessings?