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Saturday, Sixth Week of Easter


Too often, I think we treat God like a genie in a bottle, a celestial being who exists to fulfill our wishes and desires. Early in Huckleberry Finn, the Widow Douglas tells Huck about the power of prayer. Huck decides to try it out.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. (John 16: 23)

         This almost sounds like a genie in a bottle. Too often, I think we treat God like a genie in a bottle, a celestial being who exists to fulfill our wishes and desires. Early in Huckleberry Finn, the Widow Douglas tells Huck about the power of prayer. Huck decides to try it out. First, he tries it out on something small. He prays for a fish hook. Sure enough, he finds a fish hook. Then Huck tries prayer on something a little bigger. He prays for a fishing pole. Well, time passes and he does not acquire a fishing pole. In the text, Mark Twain mentions that Huck doesn’t have any more use for prayer from then on.

         I find this literary anecdote amusing because this is an example of how many people treat God and prayer. I will try God and religion for a while and see what happens. God is the divine who dwells in our hearts, in the world, and in the universe. God does not grant wishes, or prevents bad things from happening to us. God is love and life who cares for us in God’s own way and time. What we need to do is trust.

Rev. Timothy Guthridge, C.PP.S. (Kansas City)



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