September 2017

God our Fairy Godmother


We were sitting on the sofa a few Saturday nights ago. The Chinese takeaway had been demolished, and we were part way through a classic Disney family film. At the manse, we always enjoy ‘animated features’ often going out to the cinema to see the latest. But this night we had stayed in, ate too much Chinese and were snuggling down to an old favourite. The Fairy Godmother waved her magic wand and the rags became a beautiful dress, the pumpkin became a glittering carriage, and the mice became white steeds to pull the aforementioned carriage with the beautiful girl wearing the aforementioned dress. From rags to riches. From scrubbing the floor to dancing at the royal ball. Wonderful.

And it occurred to me that we frequently treat God as if he (or is that she) was our Fairy Godmother. How often have we wished (ie prayed) that God would wave the magic wand and sort out the problems of the world, the problems of the country, the problems of large potholes in the street outside, and especially our own personal problems. From overdue credit card to a hefty bank balance. From broken relationships to everyone agreeing with us. From bankrupt government policy to fully funded NHS, education and filled potholes. Wonderful.

I wonder where we first picked up the notion that prayer is a wish list. I’m pretty sure the Sunday School teacher never said God had a magic wand and the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t begin ‘Our Fairy Godmother in heaven’. But somehow it appears we pray like Jiminy Cricket suggested ‘on a star ... our dreams come true.’ And if they don’t, we feel cheated and wonder why this prayer thing doesn’t work.

God isn’t a magic formula. And there are no magic ingredients to add that make our prayer more effective. Prayer, at its heart, is discovering God and interacting or talking to him. So let’s grow up and discover prayer isn’t wishing upon a star, but a relationship with the God who created the stars.

And it just might be that some of our prayers will come true.


September 2017