“Is this the only time you pray?”

Posted by on July 7, 2010 in Thoughts | 4 comments

July billboard from Outreach Media

July billboard from Outreach Media

As you may know, I drive past a church billboard every day on my way to work, which is updated ever month with a new slogan and picture. These billboards are coming from Outreach Media, whom I’ve mentioned several times in my blog over the past months. And as usual, this month they are taking a contemporary concept and using it to espouse the gospel. And what a more current topic than the soccer (football, whatever you want to call it)?

Now this is by no means the most absurd billboard they have posted on the side of the Clifton Hill Presbyterian Church, and it is something I have been wondering about. When 2 sides are playing a sport, and they both pray to win, who does god listen to? The side that wins will say that because they prayed, they won. The losing side probably won’t mention it.

This month’s billboard uses a tract from Psalm 91 namely stanza 15 which reads:

“When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honour him”

The idea being that Jesus and God listen to everyone, all the time, not just in times of need. But the way it reads it is as though people who pray will get their wishes granted, and, well, if they don’t it can’t have been part of God’s plan.

From Outreach:

“This is an amazing promise. The God who created the universe is inviting each and every one of us to talk and learn from Him one-on-one. He wants us to bring our requests, thanks, hurts and anxieties to Him without fear. He wants to build a deep and loving relationship with us. He wants to support us through the toughest of times and the best of times.”

And it goes on to say how God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us, so long as we believe in him, and pray to him for guidance, forgiveness and mercy, and to not cast us into the pits of Hell. So if we don’t pray to God, we don’t offer ourselves as servants and we deny God’s existence, God is not with us, even though God loves us all? And what about all the other of God’s children, the ones he created into a Muslim or Hindu family? Are they also not saved? Too many questions for just a mini blog.

The only one that wants to have a “deep relationship” with us is the church, for without the support of the people, the church dies. Simple as that.

What are your thoughts on this billboard?

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4 Comments

  1. I wonder what soccer has to do with praying? I see people sing the national anthem before the game, but no prayers?
    (BTW, I hope we beat Spain tonight – but I won’t talk to myself to make it come true ;-)

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  2. I actually took the praying in this situation as the guys lined up praying they don’t get hit in the nuts. That does seem to be what they’re protecting…

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  3. Recently the Egyptian soccer team beat Italy for the first time ever. After the final whistle they immediately dropped to their knees, faced Mecca, and thanked Allah. It’s so easy to see the illogic and unjustness in this action, so why can’t the players?
    One of the worst things that can happen to sport is for it to become a battle of gods. We need to keep vigilant to prevent this happening.

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  4. I find the billboard stupid in several ways. First, it tries to lay a guilt trip on people about when they should pray and how often. Second the very concept of praying for a win in a game is ridiculous. Not only can “god” not grant the prayers of both teams, obviously, but I would think if he existed he’d have much more important things to worry about than the outcomes of sports events. Why anybody would be so egocentric as to think they should bother an omnipotent being for such a paltry thing is beyond me. But then we’re dealing with extremely egocentric people so…

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