By Mike McClellan

In my later years as a born again fundamentalist Christian I began to wonder why Biblegod didn’t always seem to answer my prayers. I was not asking for things selfishly. I usually prayed for someone’s salvation. Sometimes, I lacked money and asked Biblegod to supplement my income somehow, to get me through the week.

I was a tither and faithfully paid 10% of my income (and more) to my church. I did this without question. I went further. When the church I attended didn’t have enough funds to make a down payment on a larger church building, I borrowed the money (several thousand dollars) from a bank, in my name, and donated it to the church. The pastor was the only one who knew what I did. I wouldn’t have told him, but I needed to get the money into the church’s account somehow and at the same time, obtain a receipt so that I could deduct the donation from my income tax.

I remember seldom praying for material things in my life.

But I wondered why, when I did ask for things, I didn’t get them.

Furniture wears out and looks unpresentable. Cars break down, sometimes permanently, when we need transportation. Appliances wear out or burn out. Pipes begin to leak.

In our present society, a car is a necessity if we are to work to provide sustenance and shelter for our familiy and ourselves. We must have operable refrigerators and stoves in our homes. Our home heating systems must operate if we live in a cold climate. Our water heaters must work if we wish to take warm baths. Our washing machines must be operable if we wish to wash our clothes.

I discussed the situation with my pastor and close friends and they all seemed to be of a like mind, that Biblegod answers prayer but He doesn’t always give us exactly what we ask for because He knows better than us regarding our needs. In fact sometimes He doesn’t give us anything we ask for. And, according to my spiritual born again Christian friends, I needed to accept “no answer” as an answer to my prayers if that happened to be the situation. God was answering my prayers by saying “no” to me.

But what about the promises of having our prayers answer according to the Bible?

It doesn’t take much investigation to find that the words of the Bible promise that Biblegod will answer all of our prayers. No exceptions, except for a disclaimer which I will discuss later.

Evangelist Jerry Falwell sent an email to those on his list regarding missionaries for whom the families had prayed for over five years, that they might be returned alive and safe. An excerpt of the email follows:

FROM: Jerry Falwell

Last week, I recounted the harrowing experiences of three missionary families in Pucuro, Panama, where three missionary men were taken away from their families in 1993. After eight long years of praying for the safe return of the men, their families recently learned that they had been killed by their captors five years ago.

In spite of the family’s prayers, the missionaries were murdered. In spite of the “solid” promises in the Bible regarding Biblegod’s assurance that He answers prayers, He “let” these three men be killed.

The reflex answer by other Christians is that Biblegod did answer their prayers. He just didn’t answer them in the way the families had wanted, hoped and expected.

There is a clear contradiction and inconsistency in Falwell’s statement, Christian beliefs and Biblegod’s prayer promises. Biblegod promises to grant what Christians ask for as evidenced in the following scriptures. But obviously He doesn’t. Maybe He can’t. Maybe He’s not even there to hear the prayers.

Below, I have listed scriptures found in the New Testament which promise, without exception, that when one prays (of course, for the benefit of my fundamentalist friends one must be a born again Christian), one will have his prayers answered and he will receive just what he asked for.

Keep in mind that born again Christians will go to any extreme to explain why the prayers weren’t answered in accordance with the petitioner’s prayer. But the fact remains that the promises below turn out to be empty, unfulfilled promises.

For a Christian to admit that the following promises are not kept would be to admit that the Bible contains untruths and that it is inconsistent. For that reason you can expect the Christian to come up with the most ludicrous, ridiculous, twisted excuses possible in an attempt to explain away the false statements contained in the Bible.

  • Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7)
    NOTE – No requirements. (1) Ask and (2) it shall be given.
  • For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:8)
    NOTE – (1) Ask and (2) receive. (1) Seek and (2) find. (1) Knock and it shall (a mandate) (2) be opened.
  • If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11)
    NOTE – Ask Biblegod for good things and get them? That’s what it says!
  • Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)
    NOTE – There are absolutely no qualifiers to this statement! (1) Two individuals agree on what they will ask, (2) they ask and (3) it shall be done by Biblegod. A weighty promise!
  • And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22)
    NOTE All things will be received. The only requirement is “believing”. There are no other requirements here.
  • And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Luke 11:9)
    NOTE – A reiteration of Matthew 7:8. Biblegod must mean it if its here two times!
  • But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
    (John 11:22)
    NOTE – Just as in John 3:16, a “whatsoever” no qualifier. Ask and Biblegod will give it.
  • And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
    NOTE – Another “whatsoever”. Ask anything in Jesus name and it will be done!
  • If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
    NOTE – A qualifier here. You must live in Christ and his words must live in you. Not such a difficult task for a born again Christian, it would seem.
  • . . . Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. (John 16:23)
    NOTE – Yet another “whatsover”. Ask and get.
  • Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)
    NOTE – A continuation of the above verse. Ask and receive. No qualifiers. And you will receive so that your joy may be full. Biblegod even wants you to be happy. Is it possible that a few earthly comforts may be OK?
  • If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
    NOTE – I especially like this one. It means everyone. No exceptions. It uses the words “any” and “all”. Think you lack wisdom? Ask Biblegod for it. You will get wisdom.

What puzzles me with this scripture is that the wisdom of the world is but foolishness with [Bible]god according to the Bible. So this must mean that Biblegod is going to impart spiritual wisdom. Wow! Praise Biblegod!

  • Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)
    NOTE – You don’t have because you don’t ask. Just ask!
  • And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us (1 John 5:14)
    NOTE – Uh oh! A qualifier. But there aren’t many qualifiers in the scriptures above. Just ask according to Biblegod’s will.
  • And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:15)
    NOTE – Another “whatsover”. No qualifier. We are told that Biblegod hears us – whatsoever we ask. We then know that we get what we asked for.
  • For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:10)
    NOTE – A contiuation of Luke 11:9. Ask and receive. Seek and find. Knock and it shall (mandate) be opened. Its here twice so it must be important. And there are no qualifiers.

uh oh – a disclaimer!

  • Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
    (James 4:2)
    NOTE – Of all the scriptures listed above, here is the one serious disclaimer. You ask wrongly so that you can use the answers to your prayers for lustful purposes.

Born again Christians may attempt to have a field day with this verse but it quite specifically is talking about lust ! Are our basic daily needs lustful? Are those things I mentioned above; shelter, food, car, furniture, appliances? Are they lustful desires? Absolutely not. They are necessities in our present day society.

Yet many of the items, both tangible and intangible, we ask for are not received.

Are we doing something wrong? Are we not reading the promises in the correct context?

Are we not deserving for some reason which hasn’t been revealed to us?

Again, the answer is NO! We are not receiving what we have asked for because the promises are false. If you have decided to believe the Bible is the word of a deity, you are being duped – fooled – lied to!

The Bible is a compendium of writings, all put together and “canonized’ (approved) by men. These men have decided what will be considered and presented to you as the word of Biblegod. They have approved the books included (with some discrepancies) and have disapproved books which are not to be included.

What we have in the Bible is a mish-mosh of separate books containing contradictions, inconsistencies, errors, and ambiguities. I am constantly amazed that otherwise intelligent, educated individuals allow themselves to be led by others (who have also chosen to be duped) and finally make a conscious choice to believe that the convoluted book called the Bible is the word of the one and only god of the universe.

When I was a born again fundamentalist Christian and I prayed, sometimes my prayers seemed to be answered, sometimes I received something other than what I had asked for and sometimes nothing happened at all.

I would have had the same results had I prayed to a brick!

Many evangelical Christians boast that they have a “personal relationship” with Jesus. What makes it so “personal?” Well, they say, we have the words attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels. But there are so few of them, and they are subject to interpretation. Well, they say, there are “answered prayers.” But again, that is a matter of interpretation, because no matter what happens, an evangelical Christian interprets it as “Jesus’ will,” even when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

Whenever I have a “personal relationship” with someone it does not consist of a few thousand words spoken two thousand years ago, recorded accurately (or inaccurately) by someone else, and which require interpretation from third parties. Neither should a “personal relationship” depend on me having to interpret the results of every prayer as “answered,” “not answered,” or, “on hold.” I could pray to a holy avocado and achieve the same results given such a leeway of interpretation.

Skip Church
(Thanks to Ed Babinksi)


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