The ability to choose to “Truly” believe as its related to praying for amputations to be restored.
(…I know…stay with me here)
OK, so…I do not believe that anyone can “simply choose” to “truly believe”.
Example: For a million dollars, believe that there is a pink elephant behind you right now. See, you couldn’t “truly” do it.
Now, Christians around the world will pray for healing of diseases and sickness, and rightly so as the Bible says you can and should do so. (James 5:15)
A side note here: I wish the Bible didn’t say that.
It seems these kind of verses lead people to treat their relationship with God like a miracle Pez dispenser. I wish it just said “Look earthling, this life is not what matters if you believe in God and heaven and all that, so rest with peace as its part of the big plan which is mostly out of your hands.” But no, the Bible seemingly hangs hope in front of us for temporal comforts that are there for our taking if we were only able to have just enough faith to claim them. This is all very frustrating and confusing to me and I’m suspicious spiritual reception may have been at a low point on the day these concepts were written down.
Back to my point…
Christians pray for healing…but…not for amputations to be restored. I believe this is for the same reason that you cannot “simply, truly, believe”.
To bring the two together…A visual thought picture…
I place you on a 3 foot ledge, nothing around but a three foot drop to concrete. I then tell you that there is all of a sudden a protective crash mat behind you and that if you can believe that you will receive a million dollars. You can try to believe that, you can say you believe that…but… if tell you to fall flat backwards you could not do so in confidence. Confidence here being the main interest.
We can all try to believe, and with experience and time I do believe we can truly personally/individually believe, but it is our experience only, it is not one of objective irrefutable and repeatable evidence, its one of subjective spiritual nuance. Its just not something that can be defined and contained and used to rule over others. Belief is something to guide an individual towards the mystery that is God.
So, amputations…No one (normal) is going to put themselves out there to that degree and insult an amputee by being so certain as to pray for the restoration of an amputated limb that they know deep down will not happen. They are not objectively confident enough to do so. To pull from the earlier example, no one (normal) could fall flat backwards to the crash mat with confidence.
This is not to say that God is not possible or not real, to me this says our human nature and culture has twisted our perception and our relation to the undefinable mystery that is God to be one that meets needs as we see them. Otherwise, why aren’t we praying for amputated limbs? Deeply we know this, but on the surface we lie to ourselves and it makes us a feel a bit better.