Book excerpt: on prayer

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

You may respond with an anecdote that you prayed for something and it happened. A popular one is to claim that someone prayed for their relative with cancer and that the cancer went into remission. But surely you don’t believe this happens every time. Lots of people pray for relatives with cancer. Sometimes it goes into remission; most of the time it doesn’t.

Cancer goes into remission for atheists, Muslims, and members of all other faiths alike. It also afflicts and kills Christians, atheists, Muslims, and members of all other faiths alike. It sometimes goes into remission when people pray, and it sometimes endures when people pray. Cancer sometimes goes into remission when nobody prays.

Sometimes things just happen in life. That you were praying when your relative’s cancer went into remission says as much about god’s existence as the cancer patients who died while the family prayed their hearts out.

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