Do witches and Hindus pray? Absolutely! I think Paganism gets looked at as though it’s not a praying tradition (or collection of traditions). But it is. Prayer is a form of magic! This maxim is reminding us to pray for things possible. I think more of us could use that reminder.
I pray every single day. Everything I pray for is something that I think, or at the very least, hope, is possible. Why would I pray for things impossible? Why put energy into something I think has no chance of coming to pass? I think most of us pray for things possible. The question is, do you really believe that what you are praying for is possible? Really and truly? If not, there is very little chance of it ever coming to pass.
I don’t think it matters if prayer works because a divinity graces us with assistance, or if prayer might work just because of positive thinking. In the CS Lewis bio-pic, Shadowlands, Lewis says, “I pray, not because it changes God, but because it changes me.” This is the main crux of prayer. It’s a form of magic, it’s a form of meditation, but ultimately it’s a source of change. If we can change our attitudes, increase our compassion, determination, and efficacy in the world, then things can and will change.
Almost all traditions have some form of the saying “Be careful what you pray for.” That’s a good reminder too. Most traditions also remind us that answers to prayer don’t always come in the forms we most expect (or desire). Maybe this is way to expand the ‘proof’ that prayer works. It’s good advice anyway. This maxim adds to the advice: focus on praying for what is possible.