programming, prayer, doubt & faith

This morning at work, in a rare stroke of genius, I came to realize that setting
   ClientIDMode = System.Web.UI.ClientIDMode.Static; 
would solve all my problems. Okay, well that’s an exaggeration. I guess it won’t solve ALL my problems. I guess in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t solve much. But it did help with the programming project that I’m working on currently. And I guess it wasn’t really a stroke of genius on my part, it was more like a fortuitous Google search that revealed the solution.

Interestingly enough, it’s something that I shared in prayer during small group last night– I shared that I had a programming project deadline coming up and that I was having trouble feeling motivated to finish it. So I guess that little programming revelation was an answer to my prayer request.

My prayer requests in general tend to be small superficial things. I suppose my life is okay as it is– I don’t get sick often and I feel pretty blessed in general, I’m not really lacking for anything (although according to my parents I should probably pray for a wife.)

Tonight I went to a different sort of prayer group. My friend Osmond wanted to go to a healing prayer ministry. His dad wouldn’t drive him to it, so he asked me to drive him. And so I agreed, partly out of curiosity.

If there’s anyone I know that needs prayer, it would be Osmond. Blind from birth, and now suffering from a debilitating joint problem that makes him unable to walk, I could see why he would want to go to a healing prayer meeting. It was the joint problem that he asked the prayer team to pray for. They asked him a few questions about his physical state, and a myriad of questions about his emotional and spritual states. They asked one pointed question, that if he believed he could be healed, to which Osmond responded with “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” which is from Mark 9:24.

“Well said!” They replied, then they proceeded to pray for him. I don’t want to make any judgement, but it was definitely different from the prayers that I’m accustomed to. They repeatedly prayed for various spirits to be “banished to chains of darkness.” Then they anointed his knees with some kind of oil, and then they asked him to try to walk across the room.

I was next to him the whole time, and when they asked him to walk, I could tell that Osmond was skeptical. He slowly and gingerly stepped up out of his wheelchair and then leaned his entire weight on my shoulder while making tiny steps across the room. It was obvious that he was in pain. When he slumped back into his wheelchair, he seemed defeated, so the people praying for him said that there are miracles and healings, and that while miracles are instantaneous, healing takes time.

By that point Osmond seemed defeated and doubtful.

This past Sunday’s sermon at UCC was about faith and doubt. The pastor had two main points– faith does not exist without doubt, and it’s what we do with doubt that matters. So doubt in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. I guess the way we act on that doubt makes it good or bad.

For me, the great inequality that exists in this world is a big source of doubt. A lot of times when we talk about inequality it’s about income inequality, the 1% of the richest vs the 99% of the “normal working stiff.” But there is obvious inequalities even within our circles of friends. How come Osmond’s life is so tough compared to everyone else’s?

Faced with this doubt, and being the introverted and introspective guy that I am, my response to this doubt is to reflect. And sometimes I’ll even write candidly about it on my blog over a cup of tea.

On the one hand this inequality makes me realize how blessed I truly am, on the other hand it makes me realize I have no answers, and it makes me wonder about God– and how this inequality could be loving and just. So maybe in my case this doubt is good and bad.

One thought on “programming, prayer, doubt & faith”

  1. Jesus is always the answer. Is Jesus enough? He came with healings and miracles to make it clear who he really was and what his kingdom signified, but now, the question for those who already believe is, do we treasure him or the things that he gives to us?

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