The next time you have the urge to pray for someone I want you to try something. I want you to offer something to them. I want you to make a pact with God regarding your life and the life of the person in need.
Say these words:
Take from me, and give to him.
And here’s what I want you to offer:
- Offer to not get your raise at work this year
- Offer to have a powerful enemy at work who hurts your reputation
- Offer a reduction in title and pay
- Offer to be fired and to struggle financially for six months
- Offer to grapple with a horrible disease
- Offer to never truly be respected by those you love
- Offer to die early and never achieve your goals
- Offer to never attain happiness in your life
In other words, on a scale equal to your offering, give of yourself something that you desire greatly — something that God has the ability to take from you. Give it in exchange for the thing you’re asking for, on behalf of that person you’re trying to help.
Take from me the promotion I’ve been working for for two years, in exchange for giving that man a stable job to take care of his family.
But do this with belief. Do this knowing that God will really take it.
I’ve done this a few times myself throughout my life as a believer. And I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I’ve done it even after being an atheist. I offer to the universe, sort of, but a universe that has the ability to make the trade. I have not done it recently because I’ve been too selfish, and too cynical, as of late.
But I do it as a believer, so I don’t offer much. It’s amazing what happens to your willingness to give via prayer when the gift is coming from your own prosperity. I have in the past, but only a few times, offered much of my future success in return for the easing of suffering of someone. I was very moved at the time, and it was an honest offering. As a selfish person I hope it wasn’t accepted, but to this day I wouldn’t revoke it if given the knowledge that it was real.
And that’s my challenge to believers: rise at least to the height of this morally deprived atheist. Put something behind your prayers. Offer something of yourself. It’s too easy to ask that someone receive a hundred bundles of happiness if not a single one is coming out of your own stockpile.
Offer gifts from your own finite supply, and see if you are as generous.: