Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Let's bomb Iraq!

Several months ago, I read an interesting article about the soldiers who guarded Saddam Hussein. According to these guards, Hussein was an interesting character. Apparently, he was pretty friendly, he ate Raisin Bran for breakfast and absolutely loves Doritos. But also, oddly enough, he also loves to pray. Like a good Muslim he bows down to his knees and prays five times each day.

Saddam prays? Simply stunning.

Saddam Hussein, the villian who kills his own people, prays.

This caused me to think: does God hear the prayers of a man who has ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands of people? Does Saddam really expect God to answer? Has prayer changed his heart? Has prayer changed Saddam into the person God created him to be? What does Saddam pray for?

Now, let’s flip the script a little. What if I were God? Would I respond to Saddam’s prayers? Would I show him mercy, even when he didn't show it to his own people? To be honest, I think my answer would be “Uh..hell no!” I mean, that’s the correct answer, right?! Or is it?

I didn’t think about this article again, until I revisted a previous post, where I used this image:

This picture caused me to think. Does the person who got on his knees to draw these signs ever, like Saddam, get on his knees to pray? If so, what does that person pray for? More importantly, does God hear the prayers of someone who openly admits that he loves the idea of bombing another nation and thousands of its people? Does this person really expect God to answer? Has prayer changed this person's heart?

Now, let’s be clear on something. I pray as well. Prayer is one of the most important tenants of our faith. But, has prayer changed me into the person God created me to be? Are my prayers more authentic than the person who "loves bombing Baghdad" or -- dare I say – Saddam Hussein? Granted, I don’t have the desire to see a nation bombed or to see thousands of people killed. But, according to Jesus, any time I get angry and resentful toward others, I’m guilty. Geez. I hope He wasn’t serious. Otherwise, I could be in major trouble.

Is prayer really the solution to changing the hearts of the evil people in the world? If so, maybe we can all learn to love bombing Iraq; bombing them with our prayers.


9 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

Yikes; pretty compelling entry, Andre. Good questions you raised in this post. I think that too many of us use self-serving prayers instead of channeling our prayers toward others. We're not motivated enough by love of each other to guide our hearts and our prayers past our own self-centeredness.

Another good one, Andre!

saved_sinner said...

Even with all of the violence perpetrated by "the enemy", I try to make it a point to keep them in my prayers. Doing so (for me) has opened up a new and powerful way to pray and to connect with God and my neighbors; my brothers.

I'll admit that I'm often challenged by the emotions that seem to surface, which usually makes praying difficult. Especially the whole "forgiving others" thing!

But slowly the Lord changes my heart to experience His truth. When I read this post this morning, I immediately thought of the prayer I've been using:

"Lord, please have mercy on enemies, even when they want to do us harm. Forgive us for the harm, the suffering, and the offense that we've committed against our enemies in retaliation. Lord, please have mercy on us all."

Thank you for this inspiring post.

Andre said...

@ Joanne: Great point about us using self-serving prayers. You're absolutely right in pointing out that too often we don't include others in our prayer.

It's interesting to note that when Jesus was teaching the people how to pray, He constantly used third person plural (us, we, our...etc.). How many times do you count Jesus saying "I"?

Thanks for your comments!

@ saved_sinner: Whoa! When I read your prayer, my jaw dropped. For a second, I couldn't flinch. I was motionless.

I think that this is the kind of prayer that God would expect from us. Thanks for blessing me!

Not A Republican said...

Hey Andre, how come you're not feeling better? If you've prayed about it and believe that you've done the right thing, then you should be alright! Maybe there's more resolving to do......?

J. Alex, check out the previous post cause I answered your question!

Sorry, Andre! Not a Republican has just taken over your comment section!!

Not a Republican said...

Now to actually comment on your post....

I agree with you totally on this post. I think that it's not only important to pray, but equally important to learn HOW to pray.

Should I pray that God kill my enemies or should I pray that GOd give me strentgh to deal with my enemies and that his will be done?

Do I pray that God make the other party see my way or do I pray for insight and understanding into the other parties thoughts?

I believe that through growth and wisdom, we let go of unselfish prayers and pray for what God Really has in store for our situations.


Diane said...

Andre, I try to be careful to remember when praying for others that I perceive as being out of God's will, "There but for the Grace of God, go I." In other words, if I allow myself to be used of Satan, I could be someone's enemy and they might be praying for God to destroy ME.

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death." Proverbs 14:12

Just because man thinks something is right or it seems like a good idea, doesn't mean that it's right in God's eyes. And even if someone IS wrong in their stand on an issue, even something as obvious as murder, torture and so on, we place ourselves in a very dangerous position when we set ourselves up as judge to them.

"Judge not that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2

How many times have we sinned and God gave us forgiveness, grace and mercy instead of justice? Once? 10 Times? Thousands? I know where I stand by those measures. There is no sin that God cannot forgive, except for dying without accepting Jesus as Savior. I can't judge anyone, and I have to be careful not to try. I struggle with it sometimes, but I try not to judge.

Okay, that's my 2 cents, for what it's worth. :-) I have been busy, busy, busy, plus Demon Blogger wouldn't let me comment on almost all blogger sites yesterday....Including my OWN. I am leaving in a little while to go to lunch with a fellow blogger who is visiting friends in a nearby town. We've never met, just decided to meet and put a face and personality with the blogs and comments. Should be fun, and I will post about it later. After lunch, I'm going fishing with my daughter. I can't wait!! I should have lots of blog material later tonight or tomorrow, if &*%$#@*! Demon Blogger will cooperate!!

Love ya, Andre ;-)

Monique said...

You all made excellent comments. I was really moved by them. Especially saved sinner's prayer. I wanted to comment on not a republican's post. I agree with you 100%. I thinks that it is really important to know how to pray. Often time, too many of us pray for the wrong things. We let the "I" in us get in the way. If we don't like the way someone is, we pray that God changes them to fit our liking. Instead, we should pray to find understanding in them. Whenever I don't see eye to eye with my friends, I pray for wisdom and understanding to help deal with the situation. I don't pray for my friends to change their views about whatever they're feeling. Especially since I call them my friends. I don't think people really understand the power of prayer and what God can do. We spend too much time allowing our will, not God's will to be done.

Andre said...

@ not a republican: I guess I feel better since God has put it on my heart what I need to do about some things. It just bothers me because it's not what I wanted to do. But, I guess that's what I get for praying to God...

By the way, don't worry about taking over any part of my blog. At the end of the day, it'll still be called "Inside Andre's Head".

@ Not a republican (again): Well put about identifying the difference between the selfishness and the self-LESS-ness of prayer. It's an important distinction that we all need to make. Thanks for your insight.

@ Diane: I really don't think that there is anything wrong with identifying when another person may be out of God's arc of grace. Judging, for example, is simply identifying sin as being sin. Jesus never told us not to judge people. He told us not to judge people HYPOCRITICALLY (this point has always struck a chord with me. I'll be writing on this one soon). If you notice when Jesus tells us to first remove the bean in our own eye, and THEN we can see clearly enough to remove the speck from everyone else's eyes.

The fact is we have to be able to judge, analyze, and assess "sin"; but not only in our own eyes, but in others. I could be wrong, but that's what I gathered from the scripture.

Welcome back, by the way! You were missed THIS MUCH!

@ Monique: One thing I've learned when it comes to other people: God will never change the situation. He changes our hearts and how we respond to the situation. So, if there was ever a time where we need to pray a "selfish" prayer, it's times like this: where we ask to God to change our hearts and to gives us the wisdom, insight, and courage to face pressing situations.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a great and thought provoking blog. I'm a first time visitor to your site. The title of this particular post caught my attention since my husband is currently serving in Iraq. I was really moved by this post. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts!

Please keep the troops, as well as Iraqis, in your prayers.