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HUCK FINN ON PRAYER


There’s an incident in Huckleberry Finn where Mark Twain has Huck make a very human observation. "Miss Watson took me into a closet and prayed, but nothing came of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for, I would get. But it weren't so. I tried it. Once I got a fish line but no hooks. I tried praying for hooks, three, four times, but somehow it wouldn't work. One day I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why. I couldn't make it out in no way. So I says to myself, if a body can get anything he prays for, why don't Deacon Wynn get back the money he lost on pork? Why don't the widow get back the silver snuffbox that was stole? Why don't Miss Watson fat up a bit? No, I says to myself, there ain't nothin' to it."


Huck's concept of prayer rings a bell for many of us. Prayer, too often, is like looking over a menu of what life has to offer and then ordering all the best things, with the full expectation that God, like an attentive waiter, will scurry around and provide them for us. Then when He delivers the good we give Him a tip. And then we have issues with God when the goods aren’t delivered in a timely manner.

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