One might retell this story in terms of someone seeking a favor from a politician, say a precinct captain or a ward committee person. Such people sometimes figure that they will lose votes only if they turn down someone who really wants what they’re seeking. If you ignore they’re request a couple of times and they keep coming back, you’d better take care of them or you’ll lose their votes and maybe the votes of their family and friends.
So the one seeking the favor becomes ever more insistent in demands. God, Jesus, suggests doesn’t need our vote and loves as no politician possibly could. Therefore we should keep after God, reminding him all the time that we need his help.
God doesn’t need to hear us, but we need to ask for that help.
(This is a true story about the power of prayer. No explanation is offered)
Once upon a time an anthropologist, one of Margaret Mead’s many husbands, noted that the natives on his little South Pacific Island prayed fervently over their yam gardens after they had planted them. Very interesting, he thought. Poor superstitious people. They think that prayer can actually improve the fruitfulness of their gardens. So he chuckled to himself about their naivete and credulity.
Then he remembered that he was a scientist and that in principle he ought to attempt some kind of controlled experiment before he dismissed the natives as ignorant savages. So he decided that he would plant his own yam gardens in two spots that seemed exactly similar in style and sunlight. He also resolved to tend each of the gardens with equal care. Then he would pray over one and not the other. Unfortunately he didn’t know any prayers. But he did have a Hebrew bible with him. He didn’t understand Hebrew, but he could pronounce the words from after-school class of his youth. So he read a couple of passages each day from the bible over one of the gardens.
He later admitted that he probably cultivated the garden over which he did not pray with more care, because he really did not want the prayer to work. But it did. He had no idea what to make of the outcome of his experiment and repeated it several times. Each time prayer worked. What does one make of the story?
Maybe that God is a comedian!
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my
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