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God answered Abby Maxwell's prayer today....


skankbiscuit

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by sending her cicadas. OMG. Apparently, Abby was upset she hadn't seen any cicadas around and she wanted to hold one. Lo and behold, the heavens opened and God sent her one. So now Abby has learned to have faith in God through this.

 

Although I am glad a little girl is happy (and being happy in that family is rare) I wish God would answer the prayers of a parent who is sitting with a dying child, or that a child getting raped in the Congo would have their prayers answered too.

 

I think the Maxwells thinking their prayers are answered for silly and trivial things is extremely arrogant..for some reason this new post just makes my blood boil.

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If God's love can be measured by cicadas, then God loves me most of all. About a billion of them live in the trees outside my apartment. I have to turn up the TV at night to drown out their buzzing.

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Look, you have to understand that God is busy finding cicadas for the Maxwells, making it rain for the Staddon family, and putting hot dog buns on sale for FEW events.

I totally agree with you though, the arrogance...it burns. A prideful bunch they are.

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My question is, if Abby didn't find a cicarda, what would she be told?

I guess that's answered in the last line of the post. "...in accordance with His will.". Little Abby would be told God's will was that she not see a cicada. No, I don't get it either.

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:roll: I have a feeling I'm going to get really tired, really quickly, of cleaning up behind these guys. The Maxwells don't interest me but the misconceptions they leave around about God and prayer ... I think I can clear some things up, and so I shall give it a try.

When my Junior Junebugs were younger, and one of them had a deep desire for something like seeing a cicada, I might well have said, "We can pray to God about this." And then I would have been careful to remind Junior that God answers all prayers, but that She answers in one of three ways:

Yes

No

Wait

So if we saw a cicada, we'd be all, "thank you, God, for hearing our little prayers!"

And if we didn't, we'd be, "thank you, God, for hearing our prayers, and we didn't see a cicada, but it's ok, because we know You love us and are sending us what we need."

That's when the child is Abby's age, 3. And we kept doing that, and in future, when they become aware of horrible things like sexual crimes or tragically early sickness and death, we had laid something of a foundation. "We don't know why God permitted this, we don't know why She didn't let Grandma live, but we have to trust Her.

"And moreover, it is perfectly ok to pray to God and tell Her how angry and sad you feel! She understands. She really does.

"And finally, it's okay to ask 'why?' but eventually, we must also ask 'what?' 'What can I do, God, to make things better? And to go do those things when we know what they are."

I am being very charitable with the Maxwells and others in that they seem to be trying to give glory to God when things go well, and to teach their children to do the same thing. Whether or not a 3-yo understands "it just wasn't God's will" is debatable. I said something more along the lines of, "God apparently said 'no' but trust me, She always hears, is always there."

There are tragic times when 3-yo's have seen enough or endured enough that they might sound cynical and decide that it's all hooey. But with tenderness, honest statements like, "Honey, we don't know why God let Grandma die but we believe She loves us no matter what" and consistent love and attention, most of the times a young child will 'get it.'

I can totally understand how weird and fakey it can, and apparently does, sound to lots of people. But what I hope to have conveyed is that in 99% of the cases, I think it's much less the arrogance or the insularity of the people who thank God openly. It's just the way one begins to think when one has been raised lovingly in the Christian faith.

I can say no more about the Maxwells, knowing them only through what they publish. Their way of life, to me, is plain out weird. I've never known any Christians to be as cloistered and yet in-the-world as this family seem to be.

Did my essay help?

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I like George Carlin's philosophy "Why pray? God's going to do whatever he wants anyway"

Try as I might, I end up in this camp.

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If God's love can be measured by cicadas, then God loves me most of all. About a billion of them live in the trees outside my apartment. I have to turn up the TV at night to drown out their buzzing.

Seriously. When I was a kid no one around me was Christian, there were tons of cicadas, and all the kids who were thrilled to death fascinated with them caught them with nets and read about them in endless bug-themed centerfolds of kids' science magazines.

I still want to see the Maxwells pray to see the aurora in Florida or Oklahoma or St. Louis.

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MJB - ma'am, I wish I lived near you so you could convert me. I'm ripe for a proper conversion to something, but no one ever seems to hit quite the right note. You do so, every time.

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So she saw a cicada? Big whoop. God didn't do it, mama and papa cicada having a baby the right number of years ago did it.

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Mama Junebug, thank you!

I don't think the Maxwells are "arrogant" when they pray about trivial things because of just what MJB said. I am not exactly Christian (I'm not exactly not, either; complicated story there) and find I can't explain it my own terms, but to me it is OK to pray to God about trivial things. God answers trivial prayers and huge prayers and sometimes God says "no". The good Lord has been there with me through some awful things that I prayed and prayed wouldn't happen, but I don't expect a belief and relationship with what I call "God" is going to protect me in any way from any hardship in life. It just doesn't work like that (look around you -- it just doesn't work like that. Obviously. I don't know what the Maxwells believe there... it seems like many of our fundies have a tendency to think that if they follow all the rules and are the perfect Christians, bad things won't happen to them, but that's just nonsense.

I bet the Maxwells make a big show of praying in public at restaurants and other public places, though. And they certainly make a big deal of broadcasting to everyone their beliefs and just how hard they strive to be holy with their "ministry". Now that is arrogant. I wish more people would keep their private conversations with God, private!

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Try as I might, I end up in this camp.

Ditto, that. I don't think it's teaching the kid to trust god. I think it's teaching the kid to have no responsibility for herself. If she goes to god with everything, what is she learning about things like working for what you want/need, doing something, trying, putting in effort, etc? If you want to see a Cicada, I'd say 'keep your eyes and ears open - - look and listen!'

I'm kinda' pissed that god is so busy with the Maxwells and leaving so many others in the world high & dry.

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I think Jews and Christians must pray very differently because I was not taught to pray for things, for the most part. I will pray about big things. Usually I pray more for discernment and wisdom. Like, instead of praying to get an A, I pray to have the wisdom to know what to study and the mental capacity to absorb it. The achievement of the A is still on my shoulders. I'm not saying Jews don't pray for small things, but I think we are not generally taught that God is like Santa Claus, ask and ye shall receive, etc. Most of my prayers are either to give thanks or simply to communicate.

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I think Jews and Christians must pray very differently because I was not taught to pray for things, for the most part. I will pray about big things. Usually I pray more for discernment and wisdom. Like, instead of praying to get an A, I pray to have the wisdom to know what to study and the mental capacity to absorb it. The achievement of the A is still on my shoulders. I'm not saying Jews don't pray for small things, but I think we are not generally taught that God is like Santa Claus, ask and ye shall receive, etc. Most of my prayers are either to give thanks or simply to communicate.

That depends on the brand of Christianity, some aren't allowed to pray for anything, others are told to pray for every little thing, and others are in the middle somewhere.

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I'll admit, the Maxwells praying about every little thing does annoy me. However, what I find more annoying is that the never seem to pray for anyone else. For example, last year during Uriah's fateful encounter with the sinkhole in Canada all they could talk about was getting Uriah out with little damage, not once did they seem to show any remorse that their bus left a big hole in the road that the citizens are going to have to pay to fix. They wanted prayers for Uriah to get out without damage, but didn't ask any for the people working to get him out to not be harmed. I find them to be very selfish people.

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"I'll admit, the Maxwells praying about every little thing does annoy me. However, what I find more annoying is that the never seem to pray for anyone else."

This. I think the combination of them praying about every trivial thing, then blogging about how they prayed for some little unimportant issue, is what gets my goat. Why must they tell us? Are we going to be converted because the Lord answers these silly little prayers of theirs? But the fact that they don't ever seem to notice what goes on in the world outside of their little bubble annoys me no end. They seem a very selfish bunch to me. They report endlessly on the prayers for stupid little stuff but never say anything about praying for anyone besides themselves.

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by sending her cicadas. OMG. Apparently, Abby was upset she hadn't seen any cicadas around and she wanted to hold one. Lo and behold, the heavens opened and God sent her one. So now Abby has learned to have faith in God through this.

Although I am glad a little girl is happy (and being happy in that family is rare) I wish God would answer the prayers of a parent who is sitting with a dying child, or that a child getting raped in the Congo would have their prayers answered too.

I think the Maxwells thinking their prayers are answered for silly and trivial things is extremely arrogant..for some reason this new post just makes my blood boil.

I thought it was a cute story. Abby is only three. She's way too young to pray for dying children or for rape victims. I wouldn't burden her little heart with anything like that. If she were my child and wanted to pray for cicadas, I'd probably tell her to go ahead, but God might decide it's best if the cicadas stay up in the trees where they'll be safe.

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No one said ABBY should pray for those people. It seems silly to me that God would give a little girl a cicada when she asks for it and then go on to seemingly ignore the rest of the world with bigger problems.

To the person who said that they never pray for other people - you hit the nail on the head as to why this post pissed me off so much.

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I think the Maxwells thinking their prayers are answered for silly and trivial things is extremely arrogant..for some reason this new post just makes my blood boil.

I also get pissed at the people who win the lottery and say it was god, or when someone's team won the game, or even the coin-flip, and start praising god, and the biggest show of self-congratulations, the Oscars, are riddled with people thanking god for the win. Arrogance, all of it.

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I think Jews and Christians must pray very differently because I was not taught to pray for things, for the most part. I will pray about big things. Usually I pray more for discernment and wisdom. Like, instead of praying to get an A, I pray to have the wisdom to know what to study and the mental capacity to absorb it. The achievement of the A is still on my shoulders. I'm not saying Jews don't pray for small things, but I think we are not generally taught that God is like Santa Claus, ask and ye shall receive, etc. Most of my prayers are either to give thanks or simply to communicate.

This is much wiser in my opinion, and while I was not taught that it was wrong to pray for little thing (Christian), it just seemed rather pointless to me.

Little Abby, it seems, is going to be taught a sort of prosperity gospel, Maxwell version. "If God will answer a prayer about a bug, just wait and see what else He'll give you!"

This type of prayer thinking drives me nuts. Emmiedahl, I think the Jewish way of prayer is much wiser.

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