I have written before about prayer and how egotistical and irrational it really is. While I understand the emotional need to feel like you are “doing something” in a time of crisis, I think prayer is a perfect example of what can happen when you don’t actually stop and think about what you are doing.
Yesterday, a family friend was in a car accident and my MIL immediately started calling for prayers on Facebook. I have seen this a lot. I have been invited to prayer groups and been called to “pray for so-and-so because he/she needs your faith”. My response is to politely ignore the invitation, privately fume and move on. The thing I noticed yesterday however, was how many of these groups use the first name and last name of the people needing prayers. In the cases I’ve seen this is intended for those who don’t know the person personally but wish to add them to their prayers.
So, I can assume that God needs surnames? Should people perhaps include birth dates or addresses when praying on their behalf? Is there a risk of identity theft in heaven? What if there were two Steve Smith’s battling cancer and God was having bad day? Would one man live and the other die? If I just prayed for “Bob” would some guy in Utah sit up from his hospital bed while my friend remained in a coma?