Americans Turn to Prayer at the Pump

bu_gasprayer26_047_p.jpgAs this country goes bonkers over $4-per-gallon gasoline, it would seem a good time for a sober discussion about our near-total dependence on one unsustainable mode of transport. But as modern Americans, we generally prefer whining to introspection. And when whining doesn’t work, well, there’s
always prayer.

Enter Rocky Twyman, a choir director and PR guy who, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, has tapped into the national zeitgeist by arranging "pray-ins" at gas stations from DC to California.

"God is the only one we can turn
to at this point," said Twyman, 59. "Our leaders don’t seem to be able
to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring."

To solve the problem, Twyman
isn’t begging the Lord for any specific act of intervention. He is not
asking God to make OPEC pump more oil. Nor is he praying for all the
speculative investors to be purged from the New York Mercantile
Exchange, where crude oil is traded.

Instead, he says anyone who wants to follow his example should keep it simple.

"God, deliver us from these high gas prices," Twyman said. "That’s all they have to say."

It’s just that simple, folks.

At least Twyman is also encouraging people to alter their driving habits by carpooling and, yes, even walking. This is more than can be said for most of our current crop of pandering pols. Cue Madame Speaker:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
D-San Francisco, on Thursday asked President Bush to stop filling the
strategic oil reserve. And on Friday, she called on the Federal Trade
Commission to investigate whether the oil market is being manipulated.

And can we get an "Amen" from the Clinton chorus?

God help us all.

Photo: San Francisco Chronicle

  • Spud Spudly

    They should have prayed 60 million years ago when all the oil was being made. Too late now.

  • MrManhattan

    As the old saying goes:

    If god loves us so much, why did he put all our oil under people who hate us?

  • God (as told to Mark Walker)

    Dear Drivers:

    Thank you for your recent inquiry. I and all the angels fully understand why you would like higher gas prices, given your massive investments in cars and automotive infrastructure. I believe one of you, a man named Kunstler, has called it “the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.”

    However, let Me point out that you have exhausted exactly half of the oil resources with which I, in My divine wisdom, endowed the Earth. This is called peak oil, it is escalating into a crisis, and the smarter ones among you are beginning to discuss it and treat it as such.

    I therefore recommend that you pray instead for walkable communities, mass transit, bicycle-related infrastructure, and in general a more responsible use of the Earth’s resources. I would look more favorably upon such prayers.

    Let me add that I am deeply offended by what you have made of my Creation. I gave you one of the most beautiful planets in the universe. All you have given me is a blighted and obsolete automobile landscape and endless oil wars.

    Now you are diverting your food supply to make ethanol to fuel your infernal motors at the expense of the world’s starving poor, who are just as much a part of my Creation as you are. You make Me sick.

    When We heard your latest prayers, all the angels wept.

    Thank you for choosing Heaven for your spiritual needs.

    Very truly yours,

  • Mark Walker

    God would like me to point out that the second sentence should say “lower gas prices,” not “higher gas prices.” Man, you’d think a Perfect Being could hire a proofreader.

  • Josh

    Ugh, so annoying. Everyone wants someone else to take responsibility for high gas prices. Now it’s GOD’S responsibility?

  • God helps those who help themselves: walk, ride a bicycle, take mass transit, or join a carpool! Oy.

  • This just shows the desperation…so sad, and they really have no idea what’s causing this. More domestic drilling is the usual retort, but we certainly don’t have anywhere near enough to affect pricing. Filling the strategic reserve is ever more important if there is a big political/military crisis or supply disruption. We have $120 oil and there is no “crisis”. Just imagine if something flared up with Iran or Russia. Then people would be crying out for the SPR. Sen. Schumer wanted to liquidate in when Oil cost less than $30/barrel…

    The pandering needs to end. Someone has to tell people to just drive less / use more efficient cars.

  • PCC

    #6, strangely enough (and oh, the Lord works in strange ways), the non-Reverend Twyman says pretty much exactly that; it’s just buried at the end of the SF Chronicle article:

    “People have to walk more, leave those cars at home, and carpool, man. We have to become more practical.”

    I personally think that the Lord must besmote all those praying for deliverance from the scourge of high gas prices by… destroying their cars with a great big ZOT.

  • Let us pray, my brothers and sisters, at the altar of the Church of the Self-Propelled.

    Please refrain from wearing lycra to Sunday services.

  • @PCC, well, okay, I just read the article and he seems like an interesting character who has done some admirable things. HOWEVER, if he’s going to lead pray-ins, rather than asking God to deliver us from high gas prices, why doesn’t he ask God to deliver us from our automobile-addicted lifestyle and public policy?

  • James

    Insanity. But don’t expect a rational response from the public as this unfolds. We are not a nation of grownups and thus plan on seeing more and more magical thinking as we sink further into the energy depletion quagmire.

  • misterbadexample

    Was Rocky Twyman out there in 2003 leading the prayers to stop us from invading a country to steal its oil? What’s his church? Landover Baptist?

  • Ron

    Is #11 JHK? Sure sounds like him.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The gasoline situation is just one part of a very difficult economic adjustment for Americans.

    We weren’t going to be able to go on spending 5% more than we produce year after year, and saving nothing. Knowledgable people are merely debating the form of the destroyer — inflation, and thus a reduced standard of living? Severe recession?

    There are huge negatives over and above the energy situation, mostly concerning the (federal, state, local, personal) debt situation. Then there is the demograhpic issue of the approaching old age of the generation with the greatest sense of entitlement in history — having previously la la la-la-la-la lived for today.

    I continue to be shocked that, all things considered, things have gone as well as they have. We need to pray that the negatives don’t feed on themselves and make things worse than they will have to be, and that the rest of the world will prosper and pull us along.

  • Excerpt from my blog:

    Almighty God, for You all things are possible. Please intervene economically in Your divine and limitless wisdom to lower oil prices so that we, Your children, will be able to continue in our life of abundance and environmental degradation. It was you, oh Lord, who taught us that we were to have dominion over all the Earth. Oh Lord, please grant us the low gas prices which will enable us to continue to be bad stewards of your Creation. Lord, let it be Your will that we be able to get gas for less than $1.50. Without cheap foreign oil, we may be unable continue be wasteful of the resources entrusted to us, and use oil which might otherwise go to your less fortunate children. God, it was Your divine providence that enabled us to obtain the cheap oil requisite to trace our Manifest Destiny and spread forth vinyl siding and stucco over the woodlands of North America. For without Your bountiful gifts of cheap oil and cheaper land, we would have not been free to escape the forsaken urban environment. Oh Lord, through Your generous gifts, we the unworthy, were able to abandon our brethren minorities to a life of poverty and crime. And oh Lord, in Your infinite wisdom, You set us forth and provided us Hummers when our gas mileage was high, You widened our freeways when they were congested, and You set forth Divine zoning regulation to prohibit our relapse into an efficient urban society. We beseech You, oh God, to enable us, your humble servants, to continue in our American lifestyle. It is not in our nature, oh Lord, to sacrifice and take the unholy bus or the blasphemous subway. Oh Lord, please do not allow us to sink into the sacrilege of a shorter commute and deliver us from the temptation to purchase the pagan, fuel-efficient Prius. Let Your Will be done on Earth as it is in the Pearly-Gated Community in Heaven. Amen.

  • Spud Spudly

    I wonder on what day god created oil. Would it be when he made the heavens and the earth, or when he made plants, animals and other living creatures?

  • Don’t worry Larry, Hyper inflation will take care of the debt situtation.

  • Car and Care Free

    “Deliver us from high gas prices” LOL, ROTFL.
    How about: “Our Father, who drives in heaven…”


    Given the amount of human suffering around the world, I’m sure this one’s going to the bottom of the pile of prayers to answer.

  • A T Milburn

    “Oil is the excrement of the devil” according to OPEC leaders. In other words it is a renewable resource. A large war will therefore decrease demand and INCREASE SUPPLY. Do you realize what you are praying for?

  • Moriel

    In Poland we pay almost $8/gallon, where the average pay is about $1100. So, again, what was the problem?

  • Micha? Borsuk

    It seems that “mass transit” and “bicycle lane” are going to be the two most hated words in USA in the coming years.

    But seriously, for those who think that mass transit is for those poor backwards countries, I suggest to visit Germany or Switzerland, or at least check it on youtube how it works there.

    And if you hate the idea of being forced to bike to work, instead of sitting in your comfy car, that’s OK, I understand this. I love my car, but for me (and many other people) biking is fun, not a punishment. Try to change your attitude, you might like biking.

  • Robert

    I’m not a religious person or a believer, but I think I can state the obvious:

    ONE: God was supposed to have created a divine plan before creating anything, so praying is useless. He already decided what he is going to do.

    TWO: You think that god cares about gas prices? You would be so self-centered and materialistic to think that god– the creator of the universe– is going to intervene so you can fill up your gas-guzzling SUV with cheap fuel. At the same time, god is ignoring children with cancer, starving, AIDS-ridden Africa and other horrors. No– genocide, starvation, pandemics and all can wait! You’re sick of paying for your gluttonous choice in vehicles.


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