updated March 5, 2022
In his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6 , Jesus taught,
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Practice of Prayer
by Margaret Guenther
By the time I found this book, the author, Margaret Guenther had already passed away, December 11, 2016, at 87 years old. Among other roles, she was the Assistant Rector of St. Columba Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. She had served as a spiritual director and retreat leader, but the only position that touched on medicine was as a volunteer at a home for unwed mothers.
In this little book, she used her theological education as well as her personal life experience to address practical questions that everyone has, Christian or otherwise-like this one, the question of why evil exists.
Writing in The Practice of Prayer, Episcopal priest Margaret Guenther says
“I have great respect for evil and become uncomfortable when we trivialize and try to domesticate it, or even turn it into entertainment via mediocre movies. Most simply put, it is manifested in consistent, conscious choices made in diametrical oposition to the God of love.
Where is God when evil seems to triumph? How can we pray, what can we pray when God seems powerless? Theologians have struggled with these questions for centuries, but there are no neat answers.
Ultimately, we are left with Job, baffled yet willing to let God be God. (Job, a Bible character who suffered multiple undeserved tragedies.)
The question of evil will not go away that simply. We are supposed to be praying and, quite possibly wrestling as well- with our questions, with our doubts, with God. ”
Are you praying for the world’s deliverance from evil?
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Thanks for joining me to consider the Lord’s Prayer and Rev. Guenther’s teaching. I hope to share more from her so please come back. I invite you to
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4 thoughts on “Wrestling with the challenge of evil”
God is there, even when we cannot feel or see Him working, He’s there! We just have to trust that. And evil falls on the saved just as it does the unsaved. We don’t have a ticket to an evil-free life just because we are followers of Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary actually. Many times, like in Job’s case, evil is allowed by God for our good and His glory. This is a difficult concept to grasp, but I believe it is true.
Thanks for these thoughts and for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
Thanks for sharing your insights Patsy. Sometimes we shy away from asking these questions out loud although we all think them. Perhaps Christians are called to confront evil, to be God’s agents of change in this world.
I think the crux of this matter is the gift of choice we’ve been graced with. We are all free to choose for ourselves, but we must remember that we would reap the harvest of the seeds we sow. God cannot be mocked. Thanks for sharing. Many blessings to you!
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I agree. I cringe when people say they have “no choice”. We always have a choice, it may not always be a pleasant one, or the one we would prefer, but it is still a choice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.