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The Prayer Of An Atheist


The year was 1976 and I was aboard a US Navy destroyer somewhere in the western Pacific ocean. 
I was all alone sitting on the fantail (like a back porch) of the ship and looking up into the beautiful night
sky filled with so many stars.

I was 29 years old at the time and very much an atheist ... unapproachable ... no one could talk to me about
religion, God, etc. I would not stand for it. As I sat there I said a simple prayer to a God in Whom I did not
believe in. "God, if You are real prove Yourself to me" were the exact words. I was hoping to see something
supernatural then and there, but that didn't happen. Nothing happened! At least that is what I thought. But 
something did happen ... God started working "behind the scenes" to answer my prayer. I realize now that He
does not "owe" us any additional proof. He is not under any obligation to answer such a prayer as we already
have ample proof and are without excuse. But I also believe that He loves us so much that He is willing to
answer such a prayer if we are sincere. 

A few months passed by and finally the time had come for me to be discharged and return to civilian life. I lived in
the home of my parents the first couple of months until I got reestablished and could get a place of my own. My 
younger brother was still living with my parents at that time. He had been involved in studying and learning about 
what is known as the "one world government movement" - from an entirely "secular" approach. He started sharing
with me and convinced me of what is happening concerning this matter. It was not welcome news as it is frightening.
I too started educating myself about what is going on. My brother and I both became involved in trying to educate
others about this and stop it from happening (although we later found out the folly of this notion.) We went to visit 
our sister and her family and were talking to them about all of this which we had learned about - to "educate" them.
Much to our surprise and bewilderment we discovered that they already knew quite a lot about all of this. We 
could not figure out how they could possibly know this stuff as we were certain they had not studied this stuff as 
we had. Then they shared with us something which was very "arresting" to us ... that this is all part of end time 
Bible prophecy. 

Now my brother and I were both totally ignorant of the Bible. I had seen Hollywood movies and heard a few Bible
stories but that was the extent of my Bible knowledge. When they shared this with us my ears really perked up. They
had my full attention. I found this fascinating and intriguing! Then they sent us home with some literature to read more
about it. In the privacy of my living room in the apartment I was living in at that time I read these various pieces of
literature. God was orchestrating all of this as I read them ... as the very last booklet I read was purely and wholly His
word (the Bible). It was the gospel of John. As I read it the Spirit of God was helping me to see and understand the 
Truth about God and myself. The word gospel means "good news". To understand and appreciate the good news
one must also and first understand some bad news. The bad news was "I was going to hell!" (And so are you!!...
unless...) The good news is "I did not have to" and neither do you! There is a choice, but only one. The reason I 
(everyone) is going to hell is simple: we are sinners and the wages of sin is death (eternal damnation and separation
from God). 

As I read God's word I understood that God loves me dearly. (He loves you too!) It is not His will that anyone goes to
hell. He wants everyone to spend eternity in heaven with Him. However our sin separates us from Him ... now and 
forever. So we have "this problem" ... and it has to be addressed. God has provided the solution. You know what it is
I am sure. God loves us so much that He left heaven to come to earth to be born as a man just like us with one very 
important difference ... He was without sin in His life as He had no earthly father to pass on the sin nature to like 
every other human who has ever lived. 

It all started with Adam and Eve. When God created man He created him with self will - the ability to choose what he 
will do with and in his life. God did not make us as preprogrammed robots to obey Him and do whatever He wants us 
to do. Along with the ability to choose comes responsibility for (and consequences from) our choices and accountability 
to God for our choices. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and this resulted in some severe changes in the world 
God had originally created for man to live in. But God in His love and mercy promised that He would provide a way 
out of the predicament man had gotten himself into. This involved placing faith in Him alone to save us from our destiny
of destruction as a result of our sin. When Adam and Eve sinned God confronted them about it. They both attempted to
put the blame on someone else rather than simply own up to the truth that they had disobeyed God. Eve blamed Satan
while Adam blamed God Himself ... now that is bold! And yet we do the same thing ... we refuse to accept the 
responsibility for our sins and either deny that we are guilty or try to blame someone or something else for it. 

The problem is that God says we are guilty and that is that! When Adam and Eve sinned they attempted to make things 
right themselves so to speak. They took fig leaves and made coverings for themselves trying to hide their nakedness. 
But this was not acceptable to God and in His love and mercy on them He made them a covering out of the skins of 
animals. This is significant in that it involved taking animals that were "innocent" (they had done nothing wrong - it was 
man alone who blew it.) "God shed innocent blood" to provide a covering for man. This is what God required and it is 
the only thing which would satisfy Him. Man could not redeem himself. Only God can redeem man and to do this 
required innocent blood. God had a plan! A very long time passed by before He carried it out. Meanwhile He 
instituted various "programs" (if you will) and required "innocent blood" be used to "plead" man's case before God
to seek out God's forgiveness and mercy in the matter of sin. 

Finally the right time came when God carried out His plan and He Himself came to earth to shed His own innocent blood
on a wooden cross in Jerusalem. This is the only innocent blood which completely satisfies Him and meets His requirements.
He chose to undergo a horrific death with great physical suffering to provide salvation for us. He did it willingly so that we 
could have a personal relationship with Him here and now in this life and then spend all of eternity with Him. Now that is 
love!!! He did this for me and He did it for you!! All He asks is that we acknowledge our need recognizing that we are 
sinners and need forgiveness and salvation. He further requires us to be remorseful ... understanding that our sin is a 
serious offense to Him and be willing to turn from sin and start obeying Him and doing those things which are pleasing 
to Him. This is repentance and it is required. 

You cannot be saved and continue on just as before ... it won't work. God is looking at our hearts. He knows whether 
or not we are sincere. If we are, it is a simple matter of calling upon His name to be saved. That night in my living room 
I said my second prayer ... only this time to a God Who now I was very much convinced is real and personal. You can 
do that too. The words are not as important as the sincerity of your heart. 

Here is a prayer much like what I said that night: 

"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and in need of forgiveness and salvation. I know that 
Jesus Christ died that I might have forgiveness and to purchase my salvation. I am willing to 
turn away from sin and I choose to follow your commands and do that which you want me 
to do in and with my life. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me from my unrighteousness. 
I accept Jesus as your gift to me and ask Him to come into my heart and take control of
my life. I receive You, Lord Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. Amen" 

When I prayed that night I experienced strong emotions and felt God in my being. It was a very good feeling indeed. I knew 
I was forgiven and had eternal life. I felt very much relieved of the load of sin I had carried all of my life. I am glad I 
experienced all that. However, I want to say that not everyone "feels" this sort of emotion at this time. Some people don't
feel anything and if you are such a person, do not fret. God is not a liar! His Word is true and He will do as He said He 
would do. If you are sincere with Him and you prayed in sincerity, God heard you and you are forgiven and have 
this new life in Christ. 

Welcome to the family of God.


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