Here’s another essay that comes with click-through videos, the latest in devotional technology. The videos are very sad but worth watching, if you haven’t seen them.
read > Psalm 14:1-7
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God”….They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD (v. 1-4).
The renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens was dying. Decades of heavy drinking and smoking had given him cancer of the esophagus, and now he was facing a brutal regimen of chemotherapy and a bleak prognosis. His thinning hair, weary eyes, and parched, halting voice were signs of a beaten man, yet he softly reaffirmed his unbelief in God.
Hitchens said that others could pray for his recovery if they wished, but he did not believe that such “incantations” made any difference. The only way he would ever pray for healing is if the cancer spread to his brain and turned him into a “raving, terrified person.” As long as he remained in his right mind, he would “not be taking part in that.”
Despite his tragic response, Hitchens has hit on something important: prayer is the proof of faith. Psalm 14 declares that “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God,’” and they show their commitment to atheism by refusing to pray to the LORD.
If Hitchens proves his lack of faith by not praying, how do we who believe demonstrate our faith? You guessed it. John Calvin observed that “The principal exercise which the children of God have is to pray; for in this way they give a true proof of their faith.” He added that anyone who does not run to God dishonors him “as if they made new gods and idols, since in this way they deny God is the author of every good thing.”
We may say that we believe in God, but if we can make it through our day without prayer then we are pretty much like Hitchens. Let’s repent of our practical atheism and carve out time to talk with God. Ask him for whatever you need, and when you receive it, give him thanks.