31 Powerful PrayersSeveral years ago my wife picked up an intriguing book on one of our travels.  The book is Prayers From a Nonbeliever by Julia Cameron.  The book is simply a collection of prayers.

In the first few prayers we are able to surmise that the author is telling the story of a lady who has been an Agnostic (a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God).  And at the suggestion of a friend she began an experiment to pray and see for herself if she would conclude there was or was not a God and not  just take someone’s word for it.  Each of the prayers are fascinating but the following prayer really struck a cord with me. 

Dear God,

I do not like having my life shaken up—even if that’s what I’ve been asking for.  I was pretty comfortable in my misery—even if I was miserable.  I had a routine and I stuck to it.  I didn’t like it and blamed it on you—or the lack of you.

Now I have a routine that I don’t like, and I am starting to blame it on me—or the lack of me.  In other words, a lot of what I thought of as your shortcomings may have been my own.

This all goes back a long way.  God dumped me on Earth into a poor family so I couldn’t fully develop my confidence and my gifts.  That’s what I have tried to tell myself, and I have held a grudge about it, believe me.  Now I think—ever since starting to write you these damn letters—maybe I got placed in that family on purpose, precisely so I could develop my confidence and my gifts by my own hand.

I feel like I am having figure-ground reversal.  Do you know what I mean? (Of course you do.)  It’s when you look at a drawing one way and it’s a vase, and then you look at a drawing again and it’s two women’s faces.  Both are equally possible and perhaps equally true—all depending on how you look at it.  As an agnostic, I , I comfortably looked at it in the negative way.  Now—and I would not say I am a believer—as an experimenter with this God business, I am suddenly seeing another more positive possibility.  My life looks less like wreckage and more like building materials.  Is that why they call you the Creator?

As this prayer comes to a close the lady that is taking a journey of faith is coming to the conclusion that God did not make a mistake by allowing her the experiences of her past.

The bible tells us of this great truth.

Romans 8:28New International Version (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

For those that love the Lord we do not see our lives as wreckage.  We begin to see that no experience is wasted, whether good or bad.  By trusting in God we are able see our experiences as building blocks to refine our character for a greater purpose.

Some of you may question this line of reasoning and it may be hard for you to accept because you have been a victim of someone’s evil choices.  I would say to you that God does not make light of your situation, be it past, present, or future, if you become a victim.  No one should be on the receiving end of evil.

Yet, while it is unfair and it hurts beyond description, it does not have to define your life.  It can be a building block to a greater resolve of character.  God is able to bring forth beauty from the ashes.

Written by Larry Westfall.  Copyright © Finding Wonder 2016.

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