Tag Archives: self-acceptance

When Prayer Doesn’t Work

The Oprah Show

Years ago when I lived in Manhattan, my friend Mike and I watched an Oprah show about bullying. The show featured a young girl in Junior high. She didn’t have the greatest Hollywood-enhanced figure. She had coke-bottle glasses and her clothes were something out of Revenge of the Nerds.   This girl told her heartbreaking story about ridicule and shame.   Oprah asked for feedback from the audience.  Many people stood up and said, “Girl, you need to be yourself…” “You need to stand in your power…” “You need to ask God to help you…”

Good advice, right?

The bullied girl didn’t think so.   After each sound-byte of self-help, she took her stubby finger, pushed her grimy coke bottle glasses up on her nose and whined in a voice like a dentist’s drill, “Yeah, I tried that and it didn’t work.”

The audience was flummoxed but Mike and I found her compelling. She was a bad accident and we couldn’t look away. She was a “don’t-let-this-happen-to-you,” that could very well happen to us.   See, Mike and I were working on ourselves, working to become better.   We both had big dreams and we were praying for astounding results.

Throughout our years in New York, we would occasionally look at each other and say, “What if we wind up like the Oprah girl?   What if after years of trying, we say: ‘Yeah, I tried that prayer stuff – and it didn’t work…’”

Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you’ve been stuck in the same problem for years. Maybe you’re praying for changes and doing everything “right” but your life still seems “wrong.”  Is it possible that your prayers don’t work?    Continue reading