PRAYER, TOO SLOW?
by David Sisler
"At 60 miles per hour a prayer is too slow."
That's the opinion of company called ICI. ICI has conducted extensive product research in the area of automobile air bags. They described their success in a two page, double spread advertisement.
Their ad said that a car traveling 60 miles per hour covers 88 feet per second, one-third of a football field. A passenger in that car is two feet, or two-hundredths of a second, from solid glass. ICI says that an initiator they developed activates an air bag in just three-thousandths of a second after initial impact.
The ad states that events occur rapidly on the highway and the line between life and death is calibrated in fractions of a second.
Because of this ICI claims, "Something needs to come between the passenger and the windshield. Something more substantial than prayer."
I will admit that in such a terrifying situation there may not be time for, "Our Father, which art in Heaven," but how slow is prayer?
A friend of mine tells about flying to Germany to preach to a gathering of servicemen. One of his fellow passengers was an avowed atheist. During a severe thunderstorm, the plane was tossed, almost like a toy, by the turbulence. Both the preacher and the atheist, at virtually the same time, shouted, "Oh, God! Oh, Jesus!"
Later when they landed, my friend said, "I didn't know atheists believed in prayer."
Paul told the Thessalonian Christians, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). William Barclay translates that verse, "Never stop praying." In spite of that injunction, most of us pray infrequently.
In a book entitled Pray, Don't Settle for a Two Bit Prayer Life, Ben Haden writes, "If you stopped praying would it radically affect your life? You say: 'No, not really.' Then why do you pray at all?"
There are a lot of reasons why we don't pray. I once met a man who said he was too lazy to pray. Others declare, "I don't have time to pray." Those may be excuses, they are not the reasons we don't pray.
We don't pray because we must come to God asking for things we can't provide on our own. We don't like to admit we are dependent on anyone, not even on God.
We don't pray because we know God accepts only a child-like faith, and we are much too sophisticated for that. To come to God as a little child means to come in humiliation and that simply will never do!
We don't pray because our affluence and our influence mean absolutely nothing when we talk to Almighty God. Who I am doesn't matter in prayer. All that matters is who He is.
We don't pray because of the stigma of admitting, I blew it. I couldn't handle it. I made a mess of things. Pride keeps us on our feet when we should be on our knees.
We don't pray because God says, "I will answer you, but only according to my will." That's hard to accept. I want what I want, when I want it. And God says, "You'll get what I've got, when I give it."
The air bag company, ICI, said, "Prayer is too slow." Is it? Or can we live in an attitude of prayer? Can we live in such a way that prayer is a constant companion?
At 60 miles per hour prayer is too slow. If you are trusting an air bag initiator, it certainly is!
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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