In Part 1 – On Earth as it is in Heaven, you imagine you are God and decide how you will respond to Eric’s first prayer. Now read on …
A plate of chocolate biscuits sat temptingly on the table between Eric and Ben the Curate. Two mugs of tea steamed.
“It doesn’t work,” said Eric.
“This prayer business”
Ben raised an eyebrow. “Really?” He paused. “Have a biscuit and tell me about it.”
As they munched and sipped, Eric’s tale of woe unfolded. “Last Thursday I prayed and nothing happened.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well not much anyway.”
“What did you pray for?”
“I asked God to make my wife happy and for my daughter to pass her exams; I asked for promotion at work and that He would help the children suffering in Syria.”
“So what happened?”
“Nothing.” said Eric, glaring at Ben over his mug.
“What about the promotion?” prompted Ben.
“I didn’t get it; the interview was terrible and to make it worse I got home late, the dinner was spoiled and I had a row with Jenny.”
“I see. What about Gemma and her exams?”
“She went out with her friends again; she said she couldn’t be bothered to revise as she was going to fail her Geography exam anyway.”
“Hmm,” mused Ben “and not much has changed in Syria lately.”
“Well actually, that one worked out OK. The next morning there was a letter in the post from this charity that sends tents to Syria. For £28 you get a tent big enough for a family of five, equipped with blankets, water carrier, torch and other bits and pieces that refugees need. So I sent off a cheque and bought two.”
Ben looked relieved. “That’s brilliant Eric; you’ve learnt a very important lesson about prayer.”
“Oh yes. Have another biscuit.
“You’ve become one of God’s Agents. God used you to answer your own prayer.”
“But I thought we ask God for things and then he does them.”
“He does; but most of the time he uses people. Most of the bad stuff in the world is caused by people and God expects people to sort it out.”
“But I didn’t create the mess in Syria.”
“No, you didn’t but now, as one of God’s Agents, you’ve become part of the solution, not the problem.” Ben was in full flow now. “Think about it, before you even prayed, God gave someone the idea for the tents, he helped them set up the charity, buy the tents, arrange the transport and send you a letter. Someone prayed for you to be generous, you prayed, God prompted you to act, you sent off the cheque and now two desperate families will have shelter.”
Despite himself, Eric began to catch some of Ben’s enthusiasm. “So prayers get answered by people and God working together then?”
“But what about my job, my wife and my daughter?”
Ben thought for a moment before answering.
“Eric, who do you think is the one person who is most able to affect them?”
“Me?” said Eric tentatively.
“Exactly. God wants you to be his Agent at work and at home.”
“So I have to do something as well as pray? But what should I do?”
Ben smiled. “I can’t tell you that, Eric. Like 007 you’ll have to go to HQ for instructions; you’ll have to ask the boss. How long did you pray for last time?”
“About two minutes, I think.”
“OK, if you want to know what God wants you to do, you’ll have to spend a little more time than that, ask him and then listen quietly for his voice. He’ll tell you.”
“How will I know it’s him and not my own imagination?”
“Simple. You ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and then trust him.”
The last chocolate biscuit disappeared. “Maybe there is something in this prayer thing after all.” thought Eric the Secret Agent.
If you were God, what would you say to Eric? Please let me know in the comment box at the bottom of the page (80 words max) and help me write the next exciting instalment of the Adventures of Eric …
In Part 3 – Father and Son, Eric has a dramatic one to one with God.
©Peter Hendra February 2018