10. Pray that God will show you things as they really are, rather than as you think them to be.
Slide 11 of 11
Since we are on the subject of magic and the demonic, a few quotes from The Screwtape Letters seem especially appropriate on the mystery of prayer. In letter 27, Screwtape explains that if God grants our requests, we can easily be convinced that our request would have happened anyway. And if our request is not granted, we can easily be convinced that prayer does not work. Either way, we are convinced that prayer is an empty ritual.
So what then is the solution to attempts at controlling God on one hand and practical atheism on the other? Once again, let us consider Screwtape’s advice. In letter four, Screwtape warns his demonic nephew Wormwood against allowing his patient to pray to God as God really is, rather than as the patient simply thinks God to be. So the solution to our magical confusion is to pray that God would show us what things really are, rather than what we simply think them to be.
Whether in literature or faith, believers must strive to separate fantasy and reality.
This article originally appeared on Crosswalk as “What is Magic”. See the original article here.
Stanley J. Ward is the Director of Campus Life and Ministry at The Brook Hill School in Bullard, TX. He is also the author of Worldview Conversations: How to Share Your Faith and Keep Your Friends.
 For an extensive discussion, see “Harry Potter: Saint or Serpent” in Matthew Dickerson and David O’Hara’s (2006) From Homer to Harry Potter. Those interested in learning more about Christian faith and fantasy literature should also see Rolland Hein’s (2002) Christian Mythmakers.
 See Humphrey Carpenter’s (2000) The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien.
 While researching this article, I came across an organization called The International Fellowship of Christian Magicians, whose webpage provides an answer to the question, “Should a Christian do magic?” http://www.fcm.org/usa/should_a_christian_do_magic.php
 For a helpful summary review of This Present Darkness, see http://www.equip.org/articles/this-present-darkness
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