“I didn’t know what I was reading. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of my cell floor on my knees. I was just asking God to forgive me.” Karla Faye Tucker, Christian, executed murderer
“I don’t do prayer,” she said, in the manner of one who doesn’t “do” gluten or dairy or lines of coke. I didn’t ask why. I like this woman. She’s smart and kind and probably has a reason why she chooses to stay out of contact with God. (We Christians do have a way of muddying the waters.)
This is what she said, but the skeptic in me was thinking, “Really?” I have no Pew study to back me up on this, but I suspect almost everybody prays, even when they have no idea why they are doing it or to whom they are talking.
I suspect this, not because of my own experience. The offspring of many generations of church ladies and gentleman, it’s hard for me to separate family culture from the hard-wiring of the soul. I can distinctly remember thinking prayers at age 4 or 5. I knew I was talking to God. But, do other people do this?
From anecdotal evidence gleaned from friends and those whose stories I’ve only read who became Christians after they were well into adulthood, the answer is likely “yes.” Almost universally, people in this category share that they prayed long before they ever had what Christians call a “saved” or “born again” experience.
And, where and how they prayed can be extraordinary. Karla Faye Tucker, a Texas prostitute who participated in murders that involved a pick ax, swiped a Bible early in her imprisonment. God’s spoke through scripture. Tucker spoke through prayer. There, in a prison cell, God met her and she was astonishingly saved. Still executed for her crimes, but saved.
A couple I know tells a similarly surprising story. Both raised outside of church — like such a large proportion of the Millennial and Gen Z generations — they acknowledge their acquaintance with God began while high. For a season of their life, they would sit on their kitchen floor, smoking pot and reading the Bible. Some extraordinary way, God spoke, they spoke. He met them there and they, too, were amazingly saved.
So, if you catch yourself engaging in internal conversation with, well, someone, take some time to ponder this. I guarantee that Someone is actually listening.