The “Power” of Prayer
Far too many believe in the “power of prayer” when there is no reason, and more importantly, no evidence, to believe such a thing. Studies have shown there is no advantage to prayer; meaning the odds of “success” are the same regardless of how much prayer is done, how many pray for it, and where the prayer is offered. That is not to say that prayer is not completely without benefit. Praying can be a very cathartic experience and provide those who are in need with a feeling of relief. And no, the benefit of a catharsis does not prove a god is real. Prayer is cathartic in the same way that young children and their imaginary friends are; both are ways of releasing pent up emotions. Anyway, the lack of statistical significance in support of prayer does not mean that there is not a god; it just demonstrates the non-existence of a personal god.
Unfortunately, logic does not sway those with faith when it comes to matters of faith. That’s a shame and I’d like to ask those of you who buy into the notion of prayer a few questions so you can hopefully “see the light.” Whose prayer would you answer: the prayers of an adolescent who wants her severe case of acne to clear up before school picture day or the prayers of another adolescent who lost her vision and wants it back? Obviously, any decent, rational person would answer the latter. Why hasn’t any god? What would be stopping us from answering the prayers of both adolescents? What’s stopping a god? If you believe in prayer it should trouble you that your god won’t heal any of the amputees, the mentally challenged, or the blind but takes the time to make sure you’re “blessed.” Would you take the time to make sure you were “blessed” while refusing to answer the prayers of the hungry, the sick, and the poor?