I read that title phrase, "Cosmic Vending Machine", in a Fox News article that asks the question "Is it OK to pray for your team to win Super Bowl 2012?" Here is a clip from it:
I love that last statement. I think that we all know how foolish it is to pray for our team to win but I wonder how many of us think about praying for those who hurt the most? Maybe we will if we can see God as more than a Cosmic Vending Machine who exists to help us win Super Bowls?
God ends up becoming a cosmic vending machine.
Everything is well and good until Jesus makes you fumble.
We love to think God takes our side. Roots for our teams. It’s part of our American DNA.
To paraphrase Anne Lamott: You know you’ve created God in your own image when God roots for all the same teams you root for (I’m looking at you Yankee and Cowboy fans).
Here’s my short answer. Based on Christian scripture and practical experience, the purpose of prayer is for God to win. Not for you to win. Or your favorite team. Even if you are from Cleveland—though if anyone has a shot, God just might be rooting for you, Cleveland.
Millions of people all over the world will tune into the Super Bowl tonight.
God’s probably not concerned with who wins the Super Bowl. God’s consumed by working on behalf of the usher who can’t figure out how to pay his chemo bill. Or the player going through a divorce. Or the assistant coach who lost his son to suicide. Or the trainer wrestling a gambling addiction. Or the recent immigrant, trying to pay one more bill by cleaning up the confetti that falls in Lucas Oil stadium.
God sees the whole stadium, not the final score.