Respond to an insult of prayer?

Hello -

At school today I overheard some people behind me talking. They were basically making fun of prayer. They were reading an article online saying how these people somewhere refused medical treatment for their child, and instead turned to prayer. They could not believe this and said that they thought these people should go to jail.

Now I don’t know that I would refuse all medical treatment (I believe medicinal knowledge is a gift from God), but I got the impression that these guys were insulting prayer (I could be wrong, but that’s how I took it). I was not working with them, I was just in the same room, but honestly I still took offense. I prayed about it, and prayed for them, and did not say a word.

Did I sin by not speaking up? Or did I do what Jesus said to do when someone insults you? (This was not a direct personal insult, but I still took offense, so I’m not sure if that Bible verse applies in this situation).

Thank you and God bless

I don’t think that you were wrong to not speak up because you were flustered and upset. I think the best response that you could give in a similar situation is just what you said to us.

:hmmm: I don’t think you sinned. I would’ve been flustered too. One thing I’ve found helpful is to ask the Holy Spirit each day to help me, especially with people and situations that are most difficult for me.

When I’m not able to say something to the people you described, I silently pray for them. I start off with Jesus’ own words : “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Hope this helps. God bless you.:smiley:

You don’t know all the facts, so you were certainly under no obligation to speak up. You said yourself, you’re not even sure they were insulting prayer.

I know of a young monk who had bipolar disorder. One night in a manic fit, he walked 17 km to a local charismatic community, only in his habit and sandals. The kicker was that the temperature was -20C outside. Another monk was relating the story to me. When he got to the community, he had badly frostbitten hands and feet. The monk telling me the story said that the charismatics decided to pray over him for healing. In the (angry) words of my monk friend, “the bloody idiots started praying over him when what the should have done was call 911!!!”

Because of these ignoramuses, the poor young monk almost lost both hands and both feet. Fortunately he recovered (though he eventually left the monastic life). Maybe their prayer was responsible for that miracle :rolleyes: or maybe it was the physicians’ skills in dealing with a very serious medical emergency.

I don’t think it’s necessarily being evil to ridicule the use of prayer as a sort of magic formula. It isn’t.

There are several religious groups that seem to eschew medical intervention; their belief system has lead to some notorious cases of death of children due to failure to get proper medical intervention.

Their position is that going to a doctor is a sign of disbelief that God can heal, coupled with a belief that if the person (child or otherwise) dies, that is God’s will.

And if I were sitting on a jury in one of the criminal trials that have occurred. given the facts which have appeared, I most certainly would vote for conviction.

That says nothing about the efficacy of prayer.

But it speaks phenomenal volumes for a) an extremely distorted view of the purpose of prayer and b) an absolute lack of common sense.

Prayer is not our means of binding God.

Two very young innocent children died because their parents refused to take them to the doctor and instead, just prayed!

After the first death a few years ago, the parents were put on probation, and one of the conditions of the probation is that they seek medical help for any more children that should arrive.

They disobeyed this condition and instead, allowed their 8-month old to suffer from diarrhea and failure to thrive, and he finally died.

It seems to me that this couple sinned, not you.

I doubt that the people you overheard were making fun of prayer, but rather, expressing disgust and horror that someone in this day and age would rely solely on prayer when the majority of Christians seem to have no problem about consulting doctors along with also seeking the Lord’s help and healing.

I personally think that not making use of the medical knowledge that is available is testing God, and Jesus told Satan not to test God.

I tend to agree with this assessment. I certainly think you did not sin. Who knows, you may have sinned had you assumed and jumped into a conversation that was not meant for you.

I think your answer of prayer was the best possible answer.

I agree. The parents should go to jail. Thinking that isn’t making fun of prayer. It is simply holding the parents responsible for their lack of action.

Thanks everyone for the responses. I feel a lot better about it now.

As Catholics we should believe that science, as long as it is used morally, should be used to help all of mankind. Science can glorify God in showing what he has made for us and allowed us to do. That means that if we’re sick we should make use of what’s available to help us. Prayer can help and there are miracles that happen, but that doesn’t mean we should ever forego treatment for our ills. To me that’s almost like suicide. We could say that our prayers can help the doctor perform treatment better or for whatever treatment to work as intended. Just because we pray, doesn’t mean we should be expecting wondrous miracles. Many times a miracle can look like a normal occurrence. Those people who refuse their children medical treatment for their ills are wrong and should be corrected.

Reminds me of that story of the drowing man who declines help from passing boats because he believes God will save him.

Look at it this way God will provide the necessary medicine for this situation but to turn to prayer and expect God to heal him is putting God to the test, rather than just use the medicine God has provided for them

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