Prayer for Christopher Hitchens?

Should we pray for Christopher Hitchens? Yes. Should we talk about it. No. At least that’s the advice that’s Ross Douthat offers in a short blog post today. Douthat argues that Hitchens’s cancer is not an occasion for victory laps thinly disguised as prayers. He reminds us of Jesus’ words:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:5-6).

5 Responses to Prayer for Christopher Hitchens?

  1. Stephen July 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    I pray only that God will use this situation to his glory, whatever the result. This should be about God, not about man.

  2. D.J. Williams July 16, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    Stephen,

    I agree that we should pray for that, but if being “about God, not about man” means not praying for mercy or healing for specific people, then a whole lot of saints in Scripture are in dire need of a theology lesson. God’s glory isn’t disconnected from temporal means, so we shouldn’t pray like it is.

  3. Nate July 16, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Good point D.J. It appears that many times we speak of God receiving glory for sending people to hell as if God is up in heaven going “Nah, Nah, n na na” which is probably what we would like to do. God will receive glory (for He is God), but remember also that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ez 33:11) but that they might live. So we should pray that Hitchens would come to the cross.

  4. RD July 16, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    I am a huge Hitch fan. I don’t agree with much of what he writes but I love his conviction and certainly admire his intellect. I loved reading GOD IS NOT GREAT. Again, I didn’t find much in it that I could align myself with, but it certainly made me rethink and re-examine my faith. And, in a roundabout way, it did a lot of good for the Kingdom. It made for a very easy, appropriate way to bring up discussions about God and faith.

  5. John July 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I didn’t know Hitch had cancer. I will pray for his healing – but more than that, I will pray that God breaks his heart.

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