Who the heck do we think we are to assume that God belongs to “our side”? Isn’t the team on the opposing side praying to the exact same God in hopes of achieving game advantage? Can it ever be right to pray that our competition will play badly? And, if both sides ask to win, doesn’t that put God in a bit of a bind?
History becomes riddled with questions such as these. Let’s examine a few situations.
- Most likely, the early Pilgrims prayed to defeat the inhabitants of what we now know as North America. Surely, the Native Americans ultimately realized what a mistake they had made being kind to the Europeans and prayed to beat the heck out of those white guys. Did God like the Europeans better than the Native Americans? If so, we have a good reason to doubt God’s ultimate wisdom.
- Think about World War II. Didn’t the followers of Hitler probably pray that their side would win? And what did they think about the poor Jews they were maiming and destroying? Now that would be a “hitch” when going to pray at the proverbial alter, wouldn’t it?
- Imagine two opponents running for the same political office. If each one prays to win, can the winner claim to be God’s favorite? If so, what does that mean for the one who loses the election?
A little humility seems in order. If we believe that only one omnipotent power exists, we must agree that asking for God to favor one person, one team, one political party, or one religiion can only be considered unfair. God exists as God of all people, all teams, and all nations.
I doubt that God really cares which team wins the football game or whether candidate A or B gets to be the political leader. So, what does God care about? What’s important? According to Jesus and other great spiritual masters, love matters. Maybe it really can be that easy. We love God. We love one another. When love dominates, everyone wins — it’s an all-out win with no more clashes. Maybe it’s that simple.