path·o·log·i·cal (pth-lj-kl) Of, relating to, or manifesting behavior that is habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive

Dear God, Creator of all Knowledge
and Understanding,

An agnostic friend of mine thinks
that my writing prayers is obsessive
and pathological.

Seeing war, sickness and evil in the world, he says that when he gets to heaven,
and if he finds there is a Supreme Being,
"God will have to answer for the unhappiness and inequity in the world."

Though never convinced of the existence
of God, my friend is extraordinarily intelligent, remarkably kind, inordinately thoughtful and generous, and a voracious reader in many fields.

I think it possible, if not inevitable,
that at some point his curiosity will lead him to read deeply about religion, not just religious history, which he knows, but theology - then perhaps his mind will change.

I pray that You will eventually guide him
in that direction, if that be Your will.

Musing on his analysis, I have decided
that my writing prayers is not so much pathological as pursuing a logical path
to You.

Of course, faith is faith, a gift, a belief, a leap and not a certainty. You have given us the potential to believe, to see Your Hand behind the creation and the possibilities
of the world, but You ask for our trust, based on our ongoing experience of good
and evil operative in the world.

Most importantly to me, I see in the world manifestations of Your magnificence and joy and goodness, in the saints that walk among us today, and those who have given witness in all periods of recorded history -
in the faces of those who are happy.

I am not a Pollyanna, blind to evil.
I comprehend it as the inevitable correlate of free will, and free will as the unique gift that gives us the god-like power
to recognize and to choose good over evil.

I thank You for that gift.

But deliver us from all evil I pray, Jesus, Epitome of Goodness and Prince of Peace.
Stay the hand that holds the gun,
and silence the demagogue who incites violence.

I pray, now, Lord, for all agnostics,
that their minds will become disturbingly restless, and voraciously inquisitive,
and that eventually they will come
to believe in You.

And I pray that good will overcome all doubt and wickedness, until we escape this world
and come to our promised reward in paradise.

All this I pray in confidence and hope,
in faith and love, and trust in You,


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