Futile prayers.

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
Fallen's picture
Futile prayers.

Just wanted to share something.

I was looking around on a Christian forum, and perused the 'Prayer request' section. I was suddenly struck by the futility of it.

For a start, most people were asking for things like relief for illness, and help with relationships etc. Requests for real life problems, and not spiritual ones.

What was funny is when I imagined what one would pray because you don't even know the person in real life: "Dear Lord, I pray that you please help brother or sister donut1953 with their anal bleeding problem. May you have mercy on them dear Lord and relieve this Satan's affliction. In the name of Jesus - Amen".

How do people believe that your prayer suddenly 'activates' God's empathy with people's suffering? What they are actually saying is that God probably knows about the suffering and does nothing, then they pray and it convinces him to help. Also, does the amount of people who pray for the same thing put 'more pressure' on him to act? Absolute futile BS.

I think what is of actual value is when people reply and say they will pray for you, because of the feeling of support and not being alone, when your actual God does no such thing directly - ever.

Once again humans do all the heavy lifting for an almighty God. We write all his words or verbally tell them to others. We give moral support to the afflicted in his name. We form communities of belief in how he will save us from death. We go around spreading his gospel. We build mighty, wealthy religions in his name. We organize wars and murders and genocide in his name. We judge people to hell who do not agree with us, for him. We look at things that happen with him in mind and if they are good, attribute them to him. If they are bad WE take the responsibility for not having enough faith.

If you are doing all the work in a relationship, you must know that the other person is actually not present and maybe a figment of the imagination shouldn't you?

Well, that's it.
Amen

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I've always said that if pray

I've always said that if pray worked, it would be cheating, or even a crime.

Deacon of Doubt's picture
Couldn’t agree more. I have

Couldn’t agree more. I have always thought it was incredibly ignorant to add the phrase “lord willing” to prayers. If he willed it, he would do it whether you prayed or not, silly people! Anyway, happy New Year folks.

arakish's picture
I love the one I saw in the

I love the one I saw in the Gallery here.

"Prayer is like chronic gambling. You don't talk about the losses."

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
@Fallen Re: OP

@Fallen Re: OP

Before I read any other responses, I just want to say that was excellent. Very nicely said.... *thumbs up*...

Diotrephes's picture
Fallen,

Fallen,

"Futile prayers."

Praying is just an activity to show your favorite deity that his plan for you sucks and that you want a better deal.

As a personal motivational tool it can be of some benefit to people if it helps them to focus their attention on a specific problem. I was watching a football game and the field goal kicker made the sign of the cross across his body as he was walking onto the field to kick the ball. It was silly from a religious pov but the act helped to calm him and focus his attention to the task at hand. And he was successful. So maybe it was enough to get him into his imaginary heaven.

CyberLN's picture
Diotrephes, you wrote,

Diotrephes, you wrote, “Praying is just an activity to show your favorite deity that his plan for you sucks and that you want a better deal.”

I think this is the best thing you’ve posted.

LogicFTW's picture
I wonder how the chicago

I wonder how the chicago bears kicker felt if he prayed to make his final seconds kick and it bounced off the uprights last night resulting in a one and done loss in the playoffs for chicago, losing their first playoff game appearance in 8 years.

As others stated, good post Diotrephes.

arakish's picture
FUTILE PRAYERS

FUTILE PRAYERS

Although I do believe ultimately that any prayer to a deity is completely futile. However, I do agree that prayer can be a form of meditation that can help a person focus onto the task they wish to pray about. Hell, even me, using meditation techniques, could loosely be considered prayer. But it is not. A lot of times I will say something like, "Gosh, let me be able to do this without injuring myself." Or, "Let this happen this way." And I will keep saying such things over and over and over again like a mantra.

For me, it is not prayer, but more of a meditation techniques to help focus. If a person wants to use "prayer" card for doing such, then I am all for it. However, if you have sick child, do not expect prayer to a deity to work. What is going to work is doctors and physicians doing their job. A good example was when our daughters were found to have a very mild form of leukemia. I forget the technical name for it. But me wife and I never prayed to a deity. We just kept well wishes in our hearts hoping the doctors and physicians were able to eradicate it. And they did. No deity needed. Only science.

If prayer truly worked, then why do severely ill children of religious parents who pray for their child, yet about 50% of those children will still succumb to that severe illness. If the Christian deity was omnibenevolent, then 100% of those children would become free of that severe illness. And think about this, in just the last 60 years, that percentage has risen from about only 10% being cured to about 50% now. And guess why. Medical Science. No deity.

rmfr

NeverHappened's picture
It's necessary to

It's necessary to differentiate the ill advised people who try to substitute prayer for reality from the (probably majority) who use it as an emotional vent. The fact that the phrase "doesn't have a prayer" is common in our language suggests that many do not expect prayer to really externally change things.

When I was young, we were told to write down the things that bothered us and then eventually tear up the paper. The problems would then not seem so large. Additionally there seems to be a very deep human need to confess things. Prayer is a 'safe' confession, no one hears it, but going through the motions relieves the internal tension.

When there is a big disaster or tragedy, we frequently see large groups (often of disparate belief systems) coming together in 'group prayer'. Of course there is no god to hear or do anything about it, but it's not necessarily useless. As intensely social primates, sharing the psychological burden of a crisis larger than ourselves can help galvanize the group to action. (side point: it's also interesting that things like group movement enhance group unity--there is a reason why soldiers spend so much training in marching together)

David Killens's picture
I smell heaven's bakery

I smell heaven's bakery cooking up something good for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me2H7Ja93Wg

arakish's picture
LMAOWF.

LMAOWF.

Great one David. Great one.

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
@David Re: Farting preacher

@David Re: Farting preacher

...*wiping tears from eye*... *trying to catch breath*... Oh-dear-lord! I'm dying here! That was awesome!... Bwaaaa-haaa-haaa! Great way to start a new year! Thanks!

Grinseed's picture
With all the religious

With all the religious sportsmen and women, genuflecting and praying on field, and all their fanatic team supporters, together with every mug punter betting on the outcome of games, surely if prayer worked, there would have to be a majority of drawn matches in every sport every day.
But then football, cricket, lacrosse and greyhound racing aren't even mentioned in the bible.
I think Jehovah must hate sports.

Fallen's picture
It seems to me God should

It seems to me God should worship us, because we can actually affect the real world.

Wait, wait... there is a prayer coming in from God...

God: "Dear Fallen, please make the world a better place, I'm so powerful I can only do... absolutely nothing."

Me: "Okay God, I'l see what I can do. Lets start by exposing the lie that is religion. We have already trained doctors and scientist etc. to make the world better while you have been indisposed. Which I must add is all the time."

I never expected that the best thing about religion would be to be free of it.

P.S. Have a lovely new year folks!

Rohan M.'s picture
Couldn't agree more. After a

Couldn't agree more. After a catastrophic event, fill one truck with donations and another with "thoughts and prayers"... and then see which one helps more.

Cognostic's picture
I love that remark. Not the

I love that remark. Not the part about donations, obviously they would do some good but the next time there is a disaster I am going to fill a box with prayers and good wishes and ship it off to the poor earthquake victims. They can lick the glue off the envelopes with their morning coffee. "What? No coffee? Awww.. that's just fked up! I suppose they will have to suck on the envelopes to soften them up since there is no coffee to dunk them in."

Rohan M.'s picture
Prayer: Because God has a

Prayer: Because God has a perfect plan for you, but you want him to change it to make it more perfect.

Cognostic's picture
I heard Tin Man has been

I heard Tin Man has been praying for a heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGbfs6HZDNo

arakish's picture
Laughed my ass off. Of

Laughed my ass off. Of course, I knew what that one was going to be.

Tin-Man, don't worry too much. Out of us regulars, you have the biggest heart. You ability to see the humor, yet truth, in some of the crap theists post here has me absolutely amazed. That is the biggest reason I feel I need to visit you and Jackie in person. Just we can hang out and shoot the breeze. Many thanks to all of you dudes. Y'all have given this atheist even more reasons to hang around.

In all honesty, until I found this site, I was sinking fast into oblivion. Y'all have ... ... Damn, can't find the words.

Thanks all of you.

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
Hey, Cog! I wasn't praying

Hey, Cog! I wasn't praying for a heart. I was praying I would FART! Gas pains were killing me after that Taco Tuesday. Just wanted some relief.

Arakish, I laugh at so much stuff now because I'm making up for lost time.... *chuckle*... Thing is, I look back and realize that during most of my life I always knew deep down how ridiculous the whole religious ploy is. Problem was, though, I was terribly conditioned to take it seriously and "respect" it. As you may imagine, it screwed with my circuits quite a bit when I really wanted to laugh and shake my head in amusement, but then got struck with an uncomfortable feeling of "guilt". Thankfully, not a problem anymore! I am now totally free to laugh my ass off and point out the folly of it all without any trace of discomfort. From my experience, using humor and pointing out the blatant silliness of somebody's argument/belief is far more difficult to counter than many other methods. Besides, it is also quite fun and entertaining... *grin*...

Cognostic's picture
You have Tacos? Lucky

You have Tacos? Lucky bastard. I got Kim-chi! Every now and then I can find Taco seasoning on the black market. Then I go out and buy a pound of hamburger for $10, three cans of kidney beans for $3.00 each, three nice tomatoes at $5.00, Taco Shells---- Just kidding ---- There are no taco shells in this town. Sometimes I can get one of the soldiers to buy them on base for me. If I find a box on the black market, I can expect to pay $5 to $6 for a box of 12 small shells. Lettuce is $4 to $5 a head. A brick of Cheddar cheese is $12 Oh! I didn't mention the cost of the Taco Seasoning packet. $2, Yep, that little packet of seasoning. Now they do have avocado in the markets. 2 for $8 and I love avocado. Sour Cream is out of the question but they have this stuff called IMO Yogurt and it tastes just like sour cream but it is a bit runny,. I add a bit of corn starch to it to stiffen it up. $3. Then I get to cooking and I can move really fast in the kitchen because my wallet is 50 to 60 dollars lighter. Fuck You and your Tacos!

Actually there is a Taco Bell in Itewan, in Seoul. 3 hours away by bus. That is a long way to go for a Taco. Especially a Taco Bell taco.

So what have I done to sate my taco urges..... I am leaving for Cambodia on the 25th. The hotel I am staying in has a Mexican Restaurant on the ground floor. I am just weeks away from TACOS! Also on the menu is a big plate of chili cheese nachos! YES!!!!!!

LogicFTW's picture
@arakish

@arakish

Thanks all of you.

These boards, especially the atheist hub is awesome like that :)

I have learned so much here. Far beyond further powerful confirmation that there is no god, I learned how incredibly detrimental religion is, before I knew it was likely all BS, but here I learned how detrimental to the human race religion is. I also learned or reinforced many other powerful concepts like the importance of word definitions, how communication works, and reinforcement of how important burden of proof is, and how to better differentiate opinion from fact, how to properly keep those two seperate.

You have spent years in research and study about various religions and it shows arakish, all your work help shortcuts me in my own on understanding how religion came to be and why and how it is so flawed. You did the heavy lifting on traveling and researching to help further my own conclusion on god/no god.

 
 

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▮          I am an atheist that always likes a good debate.          ▮
▮   Please include @LogicFTW in responses directed to me.    ▮
▮        Useful list on forum usage. A.R. Member since 2016.      ▮
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

arakish's picture
@ LogicFTW

@ LogicFTW

Wow! Reading your post sent chills up my spine and gave me goose flesh. Not a bad thing. What you wrote hit me in such a way I never thought of looking at. I never thought all the research and traveling to prove to myself the veracity of religion could actually help anybody else. Just made me feel so good it sent the chills up my spine and gave me goose flesh. What is it they always say about the teacher and the student?

It just makes me feel good to know all my hard for just myself can actually help. Of course, I have learned quite a bit from everybody else here also. Biggest problem I have is a theist getting under my skin and I let opinions get in the way of my critical thinking to keep them separated from using logic and rationality. Then again, having had to tolerate 50+ years of condemnation and persecution and discrimination from Religious Absolutists can make any person lose it every once in a while.

Again, thank you one and all.

rmfr

Cognostic's picture
Who in the Fk would put a

Who in the Fk would put a disagree on that? Obviously you have a petty enemy who disliked being proved wrong over and over and over and over again. Problem is, you have straightened out so many theists, we will probably never be able to find this one.

Fallen's picture
Noticed that disagree too,

Noticed that disagree too, lol.

"I can't succeed in debate, so let me just click disagree so I don't feel completely worthless and pathetic."

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.