My Facebook account is packed with Christian friends - about 400 of them - and one of the most common posts I see is the "please pray for me" variety.
I used to be one of those.
Then I just ignored those posts.
Now they bug the shit out of me.
Is there anything more whiny, more pathetic, more self-centered than the relentless parade of neediness on display?
Please pray for my interview today!
Please pray for my kid who has the sniffles!
Please pray that I'll be able to focus on my work!
Please pray for my presentation!
Pray that the insurance company decides in my favor!
Pray that a check will arrive in the mail so I can pay my bills!
I'm completely embarrassed and ashamed that I used to ask for prayer like this, not on Facebook but directly to friends. It makes me cringe to think of it.
I guess I should be more charitable. It's just a way for people gain comfort in difficult situations. But it reminds me how Christianity encourages some of the least helpful attitudes and behaviors in us. I am not okay on my own. I need strength from outside of myself to accomplish anything. When my friends whisper pleas on my behalf into the air, the Creator of the Universe will step in and help me.
Even the idea that "God" will intervene to make the presentation go smoothly, while he's apparently okay with massive suffering every single day across the world, is heinous.
And Christians are so insulated in their little world (as I used to be) that they don't even grasp this. It really bothers me.
I don't know how to stop feeling so judgmental when I see these "please pray for me" posts scroll by. I suppose I'm still too close to it. I haven't yet developed a healthy distance. Whatever the person's problem is, I want to yell, "Suck it up! Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it!"
Ha. I wonder what would happen if I really responded that way!