Today, instead of what many would consider bad-mouthing religion, I chose to try something else. Let’s discuss having an intelligent conversation regarding the power of prayer, its purpose and the likelihood of prayers being answered.
What is prayer? A common answer might be something such as “communicating with God. Not just talking, asking but also taking time to listen. If we are still, we will hear that inner voice.”
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines prayer as the following.
- An address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought.
- An earnest request or wish.
I think, for the sake of argument, that in the context of this discussion both definitions above involve God or some god of your choice.
The Christian belief in a mono-theistic God also states that God has a divine plan. God put this divine plan in place millions and millions of years ago. It was a good plan, and for all this time it has worked just fine. Now, man comes along and decides to pray. He may pray that his sick mother be healed, or that he gets that job he’s been hoping for, etc. Now, suppose the thing that you pray for is not part of God’s divine plan? Do you want him to change his plan for you? What happens when this doesn’t happen? In that case we say it’s God’s will; “Thy will be done”, meaning it’s not part of God’s Divine Plan.
This begs the question. Should God change his plan for anyone who comes along with a new prayer? Also, most praying appears to happen on Sunday…his day off. That seems kind of selfish if you ask me. So, the general result in prayer is that basically man will find that some of his prayers are answered with a positive result, and some will not. Again, “Thy will be done”. It seems to me that if it’s God’s will and he’s not going to change his divine plan for anyone, than why bother praying in the first place? Shouldn’t we just skip the praying part and go right to God’s will? It’s all very confusing to me.
In conclusion, I don’t see any power that prayer provides. The person praying may feel better or bring some comfort to himself, but that’s about it.