A Parable on Faith and Prayer in Buddhism

A Parable on Prayer from the Christian Faith:

One day a man, who was deeply faithful and a strong believer in prayer, got word that a flash flood was on its way. He barely had enough time to get onto his roof before the flood waters arrived and submerged the ground floor of his home. Having no means of escape, and surveying his situation, he decided this was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the power of prayer to all the non-believers in his town. “Oh God,” he said, getting down on his knees, “Please, spare me and my home! Save me from this flood!”

While he was praying with all his might, his neighbor called up to him. His neighbor had gotten into his boat and was now floating down the man’s driveway. “Go away!,” the man called back. “I have the power of faith! God will save me!” Shrugging, the neighbor motored away.

The man kept praying, and a bright light in his heart assured him his prayers were being answered. Just then, though, his words were drowned out by the roar of a helicopter descending towards his roof. “Go away!” he waved. “God will never hear me with all this racket!!!” The helicopter circled twice, then departed.

“Finally!”, the man said, and got back down on his knees to pray. But, just then, the flood intensified. The house collapsed, and the man was swept away to his death.

Shortly thereafter he arrived in heaven, at the Pearly Gates. He strode in and found God, incredulous. “Oh great God!” he said. “How could you abandon your faithful servant?! Why didn’t you save me??”

God looked down at him, confused. “DIdn’t you see the boat and the helicopter I sent?”


Sometimes when we pray there’s no question we are being helped – but are we willing to help ourselves?


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