Some random thoughts on LifeWay Research’s new prayer survey:
I was heartened to learn that my fellow Catholics (7 percent) have also stooped to praying for parking spots. What a pathetic bunch we are. Looking back on 40 years of city driving, I have easily logged thousands of Hail Marys circling and circling crowded blocks. I do not believe that God has even once intervened. I would think less of him if he did. I do it anyway.
Most of us pray for our own problems and difficulties, the survey says. No one specifically mentioned praying while hurtling down the runway in an airplane. But who doesn’t? There are few atheists in that awful moment when the plane reaches maximum speed — no turning back now — but its wheels have yet to leave the ground. I avoid Hail Marys at this juncture. The “now and at the hour of our death” part hardly comforts. I do make the Sign of the Cross repeatedly, but discreetly, lest my terror alarm fellow passengers.
Proudly, I can say I never once prayed for the hometown team to win. I mean, really, just think about that for a second.
And this: Seven percent of us pray we don’t get caught speeding. Five percent pray for someone to get fired. Nine percent admit praying for something horrible to happen to someone else.
Terrible, all of it, just terrible. Though after reading this survey I suspect the actual percentages could be much higher.
Survey takeaway: we need a purpose of prayer refresher course, fast.