Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Problem with Prayers

I never believed in prayers of supplication because they always felt wrong to me;
Good weather for my wedding paled in light of a farmer's need for a crop's rain.
As I became older, I understood the problem in a different light of logic.
I could not trust a divine entity that allowed others to influence his decisions.

I do not understand those who believe they have power over Providence.
What if two prayer warriors pray at cross purposes to the same god?
There may be some at the bedside of the sick praying for continued life,
While others are praying as fervently for the invalid's release from life's pain.

People have said that they daily pray for me; for what they pray I don't know.
The problem with their prayers seems to be that they pray to the wrong entity.
I do not want the favor of the god of Adam, nor the god of Abraham;
This god is full of vengeance and demands fear from his most faithful progeny.

My only prayer throughout my life is that I be able to handle all my pain,
But I now know that pain placed on me by others is not a fire that cleanses.
I still pray for stoic acceptance of pain that is part of rebirth of myself and others,
But I no longer silently, sweetly tolerate agony inflicted to cause my spiritual death.

Forgiveness of seventy times seven may serve to heal old memories,
But it should not grant permission to others to continue harming me.
There are only two cheeks to turn in any altercation between combatants;
Once they are both broken or bruised, it is time to seek solace in separation.

From the beginning of humanity, we've brought destruction on ourselves,
Constantly insisting that life is about competition and winning over others.
It seems to matter not how many generations have already poisoned themselves;
Our religions teach that only a few will ever be favored by their one and only god.

This is why I wish that those who love me would not pray for me;
I would rather that they accept their own chairs in the heaven of their divine entity.
I do not want to live for eternity in a place where we will look for infinite salvation
On the pain and despair of those who spent their lives being, by god, crucified.

I have no use for any entity that takes pleasure in the pain of his progeny;
Much less is my affection for one who creates children for him to destroy.
I do believe in the examples of life attributed to the Joyful Jew Jesus;
I accept the path he is said to have walked as a path that, if followed, promotes peace.