My neighbor asks me to pray with her and her son and to bless her house. She isn’t sure whether she believes all of the Bible, and she believes she is reincarnated. I have told her that is nowhere in the Bible. Since she doesn’t believe in the Bible, why does she want me to pray with her and her children? What do I say to her?
VH from Amarillo, Texas
Spiritual Smorgasbord (Part 1)
Your neighbor is a child of our current culture. She’s into what I call “Bits” religion. It goes like this: take a little bit of this and a little bit of that because who knows which bit is true? Cover all your bases: pray to Jesus, carry a lucky charm; check your astrology chart in the paper, hang a St. Christopher medal in your car — AND, ask for prayer from the neighbor who may somehow have an inside tract to God’s blessings. That would be YOU.
We have never before had so many choices of things to believe. Well, most of them were always there but we didn’t know about them all. But we are now in the Information Age. It is a time spoken of in the book of Daniel: “many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Daniel 12:4)
Yes, knowledge has increased but sadly, wisdom hasn’t. It doesn’t necessarily bother people when their beliefs collide and contradict each other. They go by the menu system: “today I feel like ordering this off the spirituality menu but tomorrow I will pick something off a different page.” Here’s why: “but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”(Romans 1:21)
Now, lest we all sigh and shake our heads self-righteously, let’s admit that many of us were rescued from the same thinking. I know; I was one of them. Yet, truth always wins out in the end and we want your neighbor to figure that out sooner rather than later.
You asked what you should say to her. I would say to be completely honest with her in stating what you believe. “Sure, I’ll pray for you but I want you to know that I will be praying in the name of Jesus because the Bible says that he is the way the truth and the life and the only way to God.” “If you want your house to be blessed, would you like to do a Bible Study with me so that you can receive ALL of God’s blessings?”
People that reach out for spiritual answers are in much better condition than those who either hate God or believe he doesn’t exist. Therefore, your neighbor’s deepest heart may even now be calling out for the one true God. She may need you to help her adjust her thinking. Your love, kindness and acceptance of her right where she is may be your most effective key to her eventual freedom in Christ.