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Prayer… WTF?

Random Christian prays for X.
X happens.
Answered prayer!

Same Christian prays for Y.
Y does not happen.
Y was not in God’s plan.

I guess I am just gifted with too much logic, but how does that not reveal to the entire praying population that what they are doing is pointless? Some would argue that it’s the good feelings that you have that can make a difference for yourself. That’s fine. Think good thoughts. Don’t try to say those thoughts aloud to a classroom though.

Time and time again, prayer has been clinically shown to have no connection to the recovery process. What was the response I read to this? “God stepped in on this one. He won’t stand by while you tear him down ‘fact by fact’.”

Christians are so absorbed in their mythology that they will do or say absolutely anything to remain in their comfortable bubble. Try speaking your mind to a state full of these mindless folks. It’s not easy.

One of my friends knows that I am an atheist. She knows a child that is very ill. Instead of asking me to pray for him, she said, “Please keep him in your thoughts.” I respect not only her acceptance of my beliefs, but the profound amount of logic that this course of action displays over prayer. Keeping someone “in my thoughts” will not beam magic healing beams to them, but it will serve as a way for me to keep those less fortunate in the forefront of my mind. It will keep me in closer touch with his condition, and ultimately have much more beneficial results than looking upward with hands clasped and jibbering to the sky.

Why do people even bother to pray before meals anymore? It’s a waste of time. Whenever I find myself eating out with a group of Christians, I find myself waiting for every last one of them to be seated and words to be jibbered before I can tie into my food. Of course, I could just start eating, but I wish to respect their practice, pointless as it is, just as some few respect mine. It’s not even like these prayers contain anything of substance either. Every blessing is the exact same.

“Dear Lord. Thank you for this meal. Please bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies so that we may live through you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Give or take a few words, that is every single meal blessing you will likely ever hear. You think they could just print it on an index card, lay it on the table, and accept the minutes as read in true Robert’s Rules fashion. It would be a lot quicker and would display the same amount of creativity with each new prayer.

I think I remember praying a couple times when I was young. I even remember that time when I desperately sought Jesus Christ in my early-mid teens. None of those prayers was even remotely answered. If they had been, I wouldn’t be on this blog right now exposing the ludicrousness of the Christian faith.

I came to the conclusion that others are either to scared or stupid to take. I realized that I was pursuing the ultimate tooth fairy and that if anyone was going to lead my life in a positive direction, it would be me. Sure enough, trials and tribulations abound, I have pressed on to become a much more focused and goal-oriented person than I was last year. While my Christian counterparts might say “God was there with me through the hard times” or “I owe my successes to Him”, I say “While I didn’t do it on my own, I sure as hell didn’t enlist the help of the boogeyman.”

7 thoughts on “Prayer… WTF?

  1. A few more things that suck about prayer:

    1) When people ask you to say the blessing before the meal. I hate this, because they automatically assume that you are the same religion as them, which puts you in a rather awkward situation. If this ever happens to you, I have found it is best to politely decline without giving any sort of detailed explanation as to why. It is not good, however, to try to fake it. If I recall correctly, my “rub-a-dub-dub thanks for the grub” didn’t go over very well last Thanksgiving.

    2) When people offer to pray for you. Now, I will occasionally say “I’ll pray for ya,” in jest, but I don’t actually mean that any sort of prayer is going to happen. I hate when people offer to pray for me (ask me about my TAG retreat) because I personally think that is a bit presumptuous. Even if your invisible friend in the sky exists, who says I want his input? What is even worse than this is when people tell you they will pray for your salvation. My salvation is none of anyone else’s business.

    3) When people say stuff like “I didn’t know what to do about XYZ situation, so I went home and prayed about it.” What the fuck does that accomplish? In the time it took to “pray about it” I’m sure that person could have taken some kind of action to rectify XYZ situation. I see prayer as a sign of weakness. It is basically someone saying “I can’t handle my own shit, so I am going to beg the invisible man in the sky to take care of things for me so I don’t have to deal with it.” Bullshit.

  2. First of all, yaay for the post Corey! Looking forward to the next one. 🙂

    Just to play devil’s advocate (so to speak) for a second: I think that prayer on an individual basis can sometimes be constructive. In your example Megan, the person isn’t necessarily praying for some miracle to occur and fix their problem. Rather, they’re searching for a solution. This would be kind of like me saying “I didn’t know what to do about XYZ situation, so I slept on it / called my sister / went for a long hike.” It’s just allowing your brain to process your dilemma, really. I don’t have a problem with that at all.

    What really gets me is the stupidity of the faithful in large groups. Imagine this: your town is going through a serious drought. The city council declares a “day of prayer and fasting” and asks all the townspeople to pray for rain. Then, lo and behold, it starts raining! In fact, it even starts flooding in places! Thanks Jesus, you rock! The citizens are in awe at the generosity of the great and powerful Lord.

    Ok, believe it or not this actually happened two months ago in Lubbock, Texas. The city council then declared today, Sept. 17, a day of “prayer and thanksgiving” to avoid another such mishap next year. Read the article here:

    This truly boggles my mind. If it rains in Lubbock on any random day, it’s just rain. But if it rains after the Day of Prayer, it’s Jesus rain! It’s a miracle! Just further evidence to me that in order to be religious, you have to suspend all logical thought processes.

    The worst part of all this is that it was instigated by the city government. I shudder to think that MY tax dollars could someday be spent on ridiculous crap like this.

  3. True, prayer can be constructive in a “let me sleep on it” kind of way, but I feel that people don’t so much pray “about” something, rather “for” it. Now, if someone is in a situation where they have decided on some course of action and they pray about it to God for spiritual support, that’s cool. Also, if someone uses prayer as a means to mull things over and arrive at a solution, then that is cool too. The people I have a problem with are the ones waste valuable time on prayers such as “Dear God, today I lost my job and I can’t feed my family. Please send a large bundle of cash hurtling down from the sky. Meanwhile, I will be here at home praying until it happens. Amen.”

    Also, I am dumbfounded by that article. I am so glad those people are taking an entire day to thank God for the sudden flash flooding. Thank you Lord, for ruining my yard and sending my only car floating down the street! You are almighty and wonderful!

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  5. I’m inclined to agree with you guys. From what I can see, prayer doesn’t solve the problems of the world.

    My mother-in-law seems to believe that it does. She is a devout Christian.

    I am an atheist, agnostic, non-believer…whatever floats your boat.

    I decided a long time ago that religion had no place in my life. My husband seems to be very conflicted about religion. He is an atheist too, but still haunted by his mother’s Christian influence.

    We live several miles away from his parents, but that doesn’t stop his mother from trying to convert us.

    I love my MIL to death. She is one of the sweetest people in the world. But it bothers me that she cannot respect my religious views. I respect hers. We sit down to pray at mealtime when we visit. From my perspective, it is all a bunch of ridiculous nonsense…but we do it out of respect and courtesy.

    I would never want to offend my in-laws because they’re good people. They simply have some views that I don’t share.

    I’m of a different ethnic background and some slightly insensitive comments have been made in my presence. His mother is a Christian, but she said something very disturbing once.

    She believes that women who wear skimpy outfits deserve to be raped. It was unexpected and quite upsetting to hear that from an otherwise kind, caring person.

    Anyway, she sent me this devotional book out of the blue. She attached this hokey note about hoping it would help “guide” me on my “spiritual journey”. The note also said that she was sending both myself and my sister-in-law extra copies.

    It annoys and amuses me. She is very aware that I am not a religious person. I’m disturbed that she thinks Christianity is the “end-all” and “be-all” of the universe.

    It doesn’t apply to MY world. I don’t want anyone pushing their views down my throat. My husband made me call her up and thank her because she would be offended if I didn’t.

    That bothers me, too. Why should I thank her for something that is completely inappropriate?

    It is all about respecting the fact that not everyone believes in what you believe. While in her home, I respect her views. I don’t expect to receive devotional books out of the blue.

  6. Unfortunately, there is not usually a win-win outcome in situations like these. As much as we, as nonbelievers, are able to respect those that hold religious beliefs, it is nearly impossible for strict believers to do the same. After all, in their own holy book, it says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

    This is what we are up against when we choose to be with someone who has these beliefs, or in your case, whose parents have these beliefs.

    If kind attempts to let your mother-in-law know that you are not interested in conversion to a religious lifestyle have been ignored and your husband can do nothing to abate her attempts, you may have to simply avoid her whenever possible.

    Either that, or you can start leaving copies of “On the Origin of Species” and “The End of Faith” on her doorstep. 🙂

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