<<But when my child was in pain, sick without me understanding it, and miserable, then I felt that wish, that desire, to want to believe in a higher power, because then there might be something to which I could appeal, something that could intervene, something from which I could draw comfort that it would all be okay. >>Once long ago I started asking, many time thinking "if you are listening" or "if you exist" etc... little if any faith really, I was simply desperate..... I think sometimes he listens to prayers based on persistence or because of the love that draws such prayers from an unbelieving heart. And if he does not exist, the prayer does no harm, Luke 18 (New International Version)The Parable of the Persistent Widow18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
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