Prayers for the Dead

I have never understood why Christians pray for the healing of their grandparents who are dying of old age.

You know that everyone dies. You know that your grandfather, or grandmother, has outlived most people who have ever lived in history. You know that the reason s/he is dying is because death is taking its natural course. You even believe (most likely) that this person is going to heaven. So what’s the problem? What are you hoping will happen? Are you begging God that they’ll die a little bit later? And when they die anyway, how do you rationalize it?

It is one of the most pronounced examples of compartmentalized craziness I’ve ever seen. Both my grandmothers died recently. It never once would have crossed my mind to pray, or hope, that they would get well (although the one died rather suddenly). If anything, I hoped that she would die more quickly so that she wouldn’t have to suffer any longer from the crippling arthritis that had mangled all her joints and left her in pain for the majority of her life. There would have been no good reason to stick it out any longer.

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