September 14, 2014

A Prayer Request

Post-tx day #278.  A prayer request.

I am conflicted.  I am not religious and don't believe in God, but I've seen for myself the power of prayer; not just comforting the dying, but in strengthening the patient's will to live, her will to fight.  And I welcome people's prayers for me - it's the best expression of their love. 

Of course, I often think over Pascal's Wager.  In particular, I ponder how the existence of a god is or isn't supported by evidence around me.  As Pascal wrote, "If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial. If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith. But seeing too much to deny Him, and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a god sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity." 

Which leads me to ask, if God exists, does he listen to the prayers of someone who doesn't believe in his existence?  And you may ask, why would a man who doesn't believe in God ever pray to him?  Well, for the simple two reasons stated above.  One, I can't ever know for certain that God doesn't exist; and two prayer has positive and measurable outcomes.

All of this is a preamble to reaching out to you among my friends who do believe and who do pray, for I come to you a humble sinner and ask you to pray with me for the lives of two young women whom CF is killing.  I ask that you pray for Eryne Shan, who is living a hell so mortifying that I moved five hundred miles (and would have moved around the world) to avoid it myself - vented, sedated, on ECMO, with precious little time left, and just waiting for lungs to come.  Emily Gorsky - you survived this - maybe your prayers will be heard.  I also ask you to pray for young Kenna Taylor, who was told by her doctor to get her affairs in order and has opted to go home to die, rather than die in a hospital.

Today I am reminded of my impotence in the face of time, the movement of the Universe, and existential questions. My heart is breaking for these two young women; yet all I can do is pray to a god I don't believe exists that if he DOES happen to exist, could he please show mercy?


pengo said...

Your doubts are my own. My prayers are theirs.

kj said...

I've come here randomly and you can be sure i will add my prayers to the real or imagined God or god who must have some power, after all, since the physical world is so exquisite.

the women you speak about must have such courage. it sounds so unfair.


Anonymous said...

You asked if God listens to prayers of non-believers. I answer that question in Jesus own words spoken to St. Faustina:

I rejoice that [souls] ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts (Diary, 1578).

You are not living for yourself but for souls, and other souls will profit from your sufferings. Your prolonged suffering will give them the light and strength to accept My will (Diary, 67).

*Diary passages with bolded words are Jesus speaking. From the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Divine Mercy in My Soul. Copyright 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM