Pray Tell: What Good Are Prayers?

ANOTHER shooting. This time in San Bernardino, CA. People on social media are sending “prayers” to those affected.

Why? What effect will prayer have after the fact? Would it have not been better to pray that “God” not allow such a scenario to ever take place?

I know. I essentially asked this same question in another posting. But it boggles my mind that so many believe the only answer to senseless tragedies such as this is … after-the-fact-prayer.

IF a god exists … WHY does “he” allow these things to take place?

In my mind, it simply confirms there is no “supernatural being” that is as interested in the human race as some would like to believe.

31 thoughts on “Pray Tell: What Good Are Prayers?

  1. When you think about it, Nan, praying is so much less effort (and with the added benefit of being able to score points for looking like an empathic person) than writing letters to politicians to lobby for gun law legislation.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. God doesn’t kill people. People with guns kill people. Couldn’t agree more with you, Nan. Such events demonstrate how there is no sky daddy, and sending prayers to victims and their families is useless and, IMO, offensive. Wanna do something to help? Join groups that are demanding stricter gun laws and fighting the power of the NRA lobbyists. Put your energy where it may help and keep the prayer silliness to yourself. $Amen$

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prayer calls God to the scene, you can’t live your life ignoring him and when something happens expect supernatural intervention ( however He is a God of Love) He Loves all his creation and doesn’t take pleasure in any of the ugliness. Jesus before He was crucified prayed so intensely that his sweat became as drops of blood. His prayer was heard. But He was still crucified. What good is prayer?. Everything!. Its the life’s blood to the soul. Jesus believed but still had to go through the agony of the cross. Prayer doesn’t assure that you won’t have to come out unscathed, it shows your human and you know your dependency on your creator know matter what He chooses to let us go through is in his hands whether we like it or not its in Hands.


    • And here I thought God was everywhere and thus already at the scene. The all knowing, all seeing, and all powerful certainly work in mysterious ways. Because a human who could have stopped the tragedy would have. So I kind of wish like a SWAT team was at the scene to prevent it. Maybe God could have told them to be there at a certain time and so he could have still helped.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jesus before He was crucified prayed so intensely that his sweat became as drops of blood.

      So said an anonymous author, David, 40-70 years afterward, who wasn’t there, who never met him, and who had no idea what he did or didn’t do.


      • It’s time to wake up, David, and question all of the things with which you’ve been indoctrinated – I suggest you have a long chat with Peter, who has been where you are.


  4. I am reminded of the Ricky Gervais response to a tragedy in Oklahoma in 2013:

    In response to trending hashtags #PrayForOklahoma and #PrayersForOklahoma, the proud atheist popularized hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma, suggesting his 4.6 million followers give $10 to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts.

    Gervais, who regularly spars with believers, began his growing online movement by responding to an MTV News tweet reading, “Beyonce, Rihanna & Katy Perry send prayers to #Oklahoma #PrayForOklahoma.”

    “I feel like an idiot now,” he tweeted on Tuesday morning. “I only sent money.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. DWJ,
    Prayer calls god to the scene? Someone already mentioned the contradiction that you believe God is already there as omnipresent. Why didn’t he Stop it, rather than Waiting for it to be Over for us to Cal him to the scene? One of the dummest And non christian comments I’ve seen by a christian, and I was was one for 34 yrs until very recently.
    My second thought would be… you get to Call god like he’s a pizza delivery guy? You can do this but you only do it After 14 or so people get murdered? WTF? And doesn’t that kind of Reverse the servant/master relationship? If you get to control god, doesn’t that make You god? And if you can control god by just Calling him to the scene… you ain’t doing a very good job rubbing the bottle regarding worldwide poverty and hunger, child hood starvation and death. 30000 children every year die from starvation around the world, you have the supposed power to Call god to the scene and do nothing for the children and adults dying of starvation for lack of food and safe water?
    Your comment makes your god impotent without your power and makes you more impotent that he is.
    Why would anyone trust You or Him, before or after a tragedy or even everyday life? -KIA

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I struggle with my Christian beliefs and in ‘prayer’; having been brought up in a strongly Christian Household but more inclined to believe in positive and negative energy as the influences of good/evil. I guess I still use the word prayer when I want to send my positive energy to the people suffering, not to God; my ‘prayer’ is filled with my sympathy, empathy and hope for something better. Maybe I need a new word but for the moment but ‘prayer’ as in my silent communication to others will have to do. In the not so private moments I want to add my voice (loudly) to the advocacy for more sensible gun laws.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Peter,

      I understand where you’re coming from. It’s often difficult to shake off old habits (especially ones that are Christian-oriented). Since I no longer believe in “prayer,” I often just tell the person(s) that I’m sending thoughts of hope, healing, sympathy … whatever fits the occasion.

      I suppose it’s OK for a person to say s/he is sending “prayers.” But the question that comes to my mind is how many people who say they are sending “prayers” are actually taking the time to “pray” for that person? I tend to think it’s more often they are just offering a platitude.

      Thanks for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger.


  7. Just because one realises what a lot of nonsense there is in conventional religion doesn’t necessarily preclude the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent power with meaning and purpose, capable of altering or influencing events but not exclusively interested in human beings.
    As for gun control – they do provide a handy way for carrying out insane attacks, but how many would actually not have happened if there were no such things as guns? Other methods are easier and deadlier, such as arson, for example. And a crazed weakling is still capable of wielding knives, machetes, spades, chainsaws to deadly effect. The sick society is what needs to be fixed.


    • Just because one realizes the amount of nonsense in UFO beliefs, the beliefs in Bigfoot, Mermaids, Leprechauns, and Dracula does NOT preclude the fact they exist and influence our lives on a daily basis. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Why else would anyone believe them? Guns are THE problem in America’s mass shootings. Non-access to them greatly helps to eliminate mass killings. It is naive and highly irresponsible to think otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

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