Prayer request

April 21, 2006 | Atheism, Books I Love, Conversion | 5 comments

I would like to ask you to say a prayer for my dad. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s an atheist. He’s been through many long spells of not being happy with his life, which I suspect has a lot to do with his atheistic worldview. He is firmly entrenched in his beliefs and, as an engineer, prides himself on being a scientific, logical thinker who doesn’t need any psychological “crutches” like religion to get by in life (I actually spent quite some time wondering if that comment from Anonymous was him).

Right now he’s living on the other side of the world in the United Arab Emirates, working on an engineering project over there. He’s lonely and a bit bored and emailed me the other day to ask if I had any good books to recommend. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by! I gave him the names and a brief review of four books I thought he might enjoy and threw in Lee Strobel’s Case for the Creator.

Of all the Christian authors I’ve read I’ve found that Strobel is the only one who really knows how to talk to atheists about the Christian perspective. His Case for Christ was the first thing I ever read that made me think that maybe these New Testament stories are true.

To my great surprise, my dad actually ordered the book and I guess is actually going to read it. I don’t have very high hopes for this since he’s undoubtedly going to read it with an eye towards picking it apart. But I suppose there’s a small glimmer of hope that it might spark him to be slightly more open-minded on the issue of God. I don’t think he’s ever read a book by a Christian author so I doubt he’s heard these ideas before.

And of course now I’m second-guessing myself and wondering if this was really the best book I could recommend. I think this is probably my one shot to get my dad to read a pro-Christian or pro-God book, that if I’m mis-remembering it and it actually sucks he’s going to roll his eyes at any future suggestions. Ugh.

Anyway, please say a prayer that perhaps this book will at least take one little brick out of the mental wall my father’s built up against religion. It’s so painfully obvious how much more fulfilled he would be if he would just admit that maybe, just maybe, he and me and my son who he loves so dearly are something more than a bunch of chemicals. That maybe life actually does have a purpose.

5 Comments

  1. Barb, sfo

    I will pray to St. Monica today, that your dad may find himself “even just a little” open to the truth you are trying to share with him, whether it is through conversation, letter or even recommending a good book.

  2. Jennifer

    I pray all the time for the conversion of the hearts of my brothers in law and sister in law and I will add your dad to my prayers.

    Don’t look for outward signs of conversion because often–you will never see them. The Holy Spirit is stealth and you never know what will happen down the road, or even in the moment of death.

    Your prayers for him will wrap around his spirit whether he is ever able to outwardly convert or not.

  3. knit_tgz

    I will pray as well. One more thing: don’t stress thinking whether this was the “best” book you could recommend. If it was the “perfect” one. The Holy Spirit can and will use every opportunity, no matter how imperfect it is. And Jennifer is right, “don’t look for outward signs of conversion because often–you will never see them.” A lot of things go on in people’s hearts we never see. A small story: a friend of mine’s grandfather was an atheist, while the grandmother was a believer. He died suddenly and she was very sad, of course, and worried that he died an unbeliever. Some time later a friend of the grandfather went to give his respects to the grandmother and told her he had met him a couple of days before his death and they had a long talk. And the grandfather had confided him that he was starting to believe there was something else, and sometimes he even prayed to that something else he didn’t know. A lot of things go on on people’s heads we never know.

    I will keep your father in my prayers, as a convert (not from atheism) and a friend of several scientific-minded atheists myself. (That’s what happens when you spend more than 10 years in an engineering university).

  4. Julie D.

    Both of my parents are atheists, as well as one of my best friends, which is why I always am petitioning St. Monica and St. Augustine on their behalf … I will add your dad to my prayers.

  5. Jill

    I just prayed for your dad. I understand somewhat how you feel about the whole thing because my brother does not seem to have any belief in God. I figure that my job is to try plant a little seed of faith whenever I can with him, and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.

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