A bit more than a week ago, two good people were killed in a horrific accident. These people were community pillars, well known in the community as being incredibly generous and in their tragic passing, they leave behind a young child and friends and family who loved them.
The leading response from the community that loved them is to “pray” for them and their families and friends.
A few days ago, another good person was involved in a serious accident, from which he luckily escaped with just bumps and bruises.
The leading response from his friends and family is some variation of “thank God” or “praise Jesus” or “our prayers were answered” that he wasn’t seriously hurt.
I just don’t get it and I have never understood the mental gymnastics that it takes for any of this prayer stuff to make sense.
The couple that was killed were Christian but if you believe in a God who is just and watches out for people, you have to wonder why they didn’t rate divine intervention. Did they do something wrong in the eyes of big-daddy in the sky? Did their daughter therefore not deserve to grow up with her parents? The man who walked away from his accident is a Christian but was he somehow a better Christian than the couple that got killed? Do his friends and family somehow possess a prayer superpower that the loved ones of the deceased couple don’t have?
There is only one answer to all these questions.
Prayer is nonsense. Prayer is babbling to a sky that doesn’t care. Prayer is magical thinking that does not deliver magical results.
Who lives and who dies is up to pure, random chance.
If you want to help someone, don’t pray – instead, physically DO something. Donate to a cause, give your time, write letters, sign petitions, or otherwise get involved, but stop pretending you are helping anybody when you pray.
Magic spells are no substitute for action.
(Photo credit: The First Prayer in Congress; http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4c84-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99)
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