Bringing the Text to Life
Here’s a thought: If someone in your congregation is scheduled to have heart surgery, he or she would be better off not to call you, not to notify the prayer chain and not to call the Wednesday night prayer group.
Nevermind that parishioners are notorious for not calling their pastor about a hospital stay — yet expect the pastor to know about their hospital stay nonetheless. Go figure.
And truth be told, pastors who are thinking theologically often struggle with the notion of prayer. Sometimes it’s hard to sit at the bedside and pray with integrity. Even biblical figures like Moses, Job and Habakkuk, to name a few, were frustrated because God often seemed to be on vacation.
Anyway. Why would people be better off keeping quiet?
Because a recent study financed by the Templeton Foundation concluded that prayer has no effect on heart-surgery recovery. In fact, there’s some clinical evidence that being prayed for might cause additional complications! Yikes!