Thursday, December 6

Is This Why Prayers Are Never Answered

Praying are prayers answered

Here's something I don't normally do - which is to publish something on this blog that I completely disagree with. But today I thought I would!

The article is by Al Stefanelli and is based on a theme from his book called Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist.

The word 'athiest' in the title of his book immediately indicates that Mr Stefanelli would have little truck with many of the posts on 67 Not Out!

So blood pressure tablets at the ready here goes.

"The claim that God answers prayer is contrary to reality. Outside of the obvious, glaring reality that there is no God, coincidence plays a major role in the believer's lack of understanding about how the world works. Let’s take the scenario of someone locking themselves out of their apartment. They utter a prayer for help and a few minutes later the Superintendent shows up. Normally, this would be viewed as a coincidence. But according to the praying Christian, it was the hand of God that made the Super show up 'just at that moment' to unlock their door.

Consider, though, that in third-world countries there are faithful believers who are praying to God because they're starving to death or are succumbing to diseases that can be cured with modern medicine that isn't available to them for a variety of reasons, usually associated with money. Speaking of money, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their jobs and are praying for God to give them another one, and to provide for their sustenance and health while they are unemployed.

It would seem that God is behaving like quite the jerk by ignoring all those sick, starving children and allowing entire families to be put out on the street, but chooses to send an apartment manager to unlock the door of an inconvenienced resident.

Ask a believer to explain how their God could provide a great parking spot at Wal-Mart; yet allow six million people die during the Holocaust. Ask a believer how their God could provide a sunny day for a $10,000 outdoor wedding; but ignore the prayers of the woman who is left to die after being raped and tortured. Ask a believer about their God ignoring the payers of a mother who is watching her kids die of starvation, but providing a … Well, you get the idea…

Depending on which variety of Christianity is in question, the reasons for a failure of God to grant a praying person's wishes will vary from accusations of improper praying, that someone involved had a doubt, that someone involved was not a 'True Christian', that it’s all Adam and Eve's fault or that the real culprit is that old Serpent, the Devil.

Almost every Christian will tell you, though, that we 'mere mortals' should never question the 'higher ways' of their God. What they will not tell you is that it takes twisted logic to explain how their God can answer the prayers of the person locked out of their house, but ignore the prayers of those who are victims of the death, destruction, starvation and deprivation that we see in our world every day.

What about when God grants the wishes of the praying person? Well, coincidences, even remarkable ones, are not unusual. They happen all the time. The dictionary defines the word coincidence as a sequence of events that, although accidental, seems to have been planned or arranged. 'Answered prayers' that do not involve the actions of other human beings are always coincidences, nothing more.

When a group of people prays about fixing up an old woman's dilapidated house, and then people show up with hammers, it's not an act of their God. It’s just a group of well-meaning people who made a choice to help out someone in need. Nothing wrong with that, except for the whole 'God led me to do it' part. Chances are pretty good that if the group were ardent atheists, they’d have done it anyhow.

As Steven Weinberg has so eloquently stated:
'With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.'

Statistical analysis easily unmasks the illusion of prayer. If you pick out ten trivial things in your life to pray about on Monday, some of them will get answered and some would not. On Tuesday, if you don’t pray at all, you would see pretty much the same ratio of answered prayers. This is because the act of praying does not change the outcome. A Christian can go for a month without uttering one, single prayer and they will find that nothing will change because prayer is an irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences an outcome.

Simply put, when a Christian says, 'God answered my prayers', what it really means is that either a coincidence happened or some well-meaning believers got wind of her petitions. If you compare reality with what the Bible says about the efficacy of prayer, it becomes obvious that Christians are worshipping a cosmic consummate liar. There is no God in heaven looking down onto earth and answering prayers. Both common sense and statistics plainly reveal this. The miraculous intervention of the divine does not exist. You might as well be talking to your favourite stuffed animal. The choice is yours. Perhaps you should flip a coin."

There we go! I think it's sometimes good to look at opposing views. At the very least they make us think and question, and then go on to establish our very own set of beliefs,

Other 67 Not Out Posts:
The Secret Of The 12 Days Of Christmas
How A Prayer Was Answered
The Suffering Created By Eve And Pandora

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  1. Regarding Al's closing words -
    " The choice is yours. Perhaps you should flip a coin "

    I thought that was a good idea so,I said to myself (because Al told me there was no God)
    if it comes up heads,there are no COINcidences,but if it comes up tails Al's right and the "reality" is that there is no God.

    It came up heads and look what was printed on the coin -
    “In God We Trust”
    What a COINcidence ?-)

  2. Poor Al. Where is the magic and mystery in that sort of worldview? He makes some good points, though, about starving children etc.

    1. That's the problem, there is a pretty convincing case about what appears to be the unfairness of the world.

  3. You know, there is one constant I've noticed about Atheists and while there are exceptions to everything, there is one prevailing theme.

    Atheists tend to be miserable people. When people are miserable they often want everyone to feel their misery with them.

    What legitimate reason would there be for Atheists to go to so much trouble as to constantly bash away at Christians? Christianity does tend to be their favorite target and there is a constant barrage from Atheists who want us to prove God to them.

    Furthermore, they have a habit of really coming out during the Christmas season to trample on anything associated with Christ.

    One guy actually took a city counsel to court because they had put up a nativity scene in a city park. To me, this is one miserable person.

    I however would prefer to pray for them rather than fight or lash out.

    As for prayer, I can't even count the number of times I've been blessed via prayer.

    Mike, sometime you have to show these sorts of things and I am glad you decided to post that article.

    Scott McMan

    1. I have a friend who is an atheist but is a good man, often I think more so than many who call them Christians.

      I agree though that many atheists do seem to have a negative outlook on life. Where I was born (west London) they no longer have Christmas messages but use 'Season's Greetings' instead. I find it difficult to understand why Christianity is being pushed aside (even though I do not fully agree with all of it's teachings) - but how can anyone object to say love and forgiveness.

    2. One of my closest friends is an Atheist, but he has no problems with Christianity.

      In fact, he's one of the funniest people I've ever met and I am laughing just thinking about it.

      Of course calling yourself Christian doesn't make it so. Frankly, I am still a work in progress as I have plenty of things to work on.

      Scott McMan