“Does Prayer Come from Poverty and Deprivation?” by Andrew J. Schatkin
Dear friends, and Christians and non-Christians alike and you of all opinions, views and thought streams and ideas and ideologies. I wish to perhaps answer the question, Does prayer come from poverty and deprivation? I note here that as a Christian Jesus chose to associate with the poor and even social outcasts. He chose for his disciples fishermen or tradesmen and even that most hated by the people of Palestine, the roman collector of taxes. It was asked of him, Who is this man that eats with publicans and sinners? He was crucified as a criminal with two criminals at his side. His followers were sinners moral and ritual law violators. In the world today, it is those in poverty, not in the materialistic and prosperous west that Christianity, is gaining adherents. I speak of China, the country predicted to soon have the largest Christian population. And so it seems Jesus’s message and his person flourishes most in places of poverty.
Is prayer, in part, connected with poverty? In some sense, I say yes. Where there is prosperity and materialism, why pray and why seek the god we do not need and can easily do without, as I plan my next vacation, get my new car, and buy my next new pair of designer shoes and nice new clothes. Of what use and need of prayer? It is only where there is a need and even pain, suffering, poverty, and deprivation, that prayer emerges and flourishes. God and prayer are present in the minds and human souls and spirits when the need is great. People will pray when their needs force them to do so. It is only then that we wish to know god and perhaps then it is that god responds to human suffering, pain, and poverty. Those of our fellow human beings poor and in poverty resort to god and prayer when their pain and suffering leads them to prayer and god.