Efficacy of Prayer

I would be interested in your thoughts on the following excerpt. It was taken from an article written in 2007 related to the efficacy of prayer in a medical setting.

Intercessory prayer is a request to God to change his or her mind about the already established plan for the universe and make it go another way. Of course, this implies that a perfect deity’s plans, which would (by definition) have to be perfect, should now be altered at the urging of an imperfect being.

You must “register” to read the entire article. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll provide the link.

100 thoughts on “Efficacy of Prayer

  1. This is also the idea that god knew everything so knew what would happen, knew your prayer, or knew you wouldn’t pray, and so knew why you prayed, and knew his answer prior to all of this. Argus is fond of explaining that by definition god knew all before he did anything. So I do not understand why christians push prayer. Either god has caused what you are praying about, has already decided to ignore your prayer, or he already altered the plan at the time he made it up as he knew he would incorporate your prayer answer into his plan. So it is all going to happen no matter if you pray or not. Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

    • You know, Scottie, I love very complex subjects like quantum physics. Even the scientists who work in that field can’t really understand it all. But, compared to the convoluted absurdities of religion, quantum physics look more like a lazy stroll through the park!

      Liked by 7 people

      • Mel Wild likes to use quantum physics as proof that Jesus could have done miracles. I did not understand it all except to say that because things happened in the quantum level that means god could have done them in the macro world. Tildeb stepped in and said no that it did not work that way. What would you respond to Mel on that idea he proposes? Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • The only reason why some quantum observations seem mysterious to us is because science doesn’t completely understand the mechanisms yet. It’s like “dark matter” and “dark energy” in cosmology. Science can observe and measure their effects, but doesn’t yet know what these phenomena actually are. Ignorance is a good thing in science because it identifies what we need to discover and learn; but, this lack of knowledge allows unscientific speculation – such as Mel’s – room for expression.

          I would reply to Mel thusly. Just because science hasn’t discovered something, or some aspect of something, doesn’t mean supernatural explanations have any merit at all. Look at the tremendous number of scientific discoveries made over the past five centuries. None of them involved anything supernatural, but beforehand people incorrectly attributed them to supernatural causes. If our civilization survives long enough, empirical science will eventually understand quantum weirdness (e.g. “spooky interactions at a distance”), the above cited cosmological phenomena, and many other of our great unknowns.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Bob, that field has been plowed more times than I care to recall.
            His answer is always along the lines of: Science has no way of examining supernatural claims and ‘God’ is the best answer we have for such things.

            When you raise the god of the gaps argument you get accused of naturalist / materialist /atheist bias and he throws ”scientism” at you as a pejorative.

            Jesus simply has to be the answer because people like Mel could not have become what they are – transformed – if it were not for the love of Jesus.

            And, naturally, we all know that those who deconverted were never proper Christians in the first place, or must have had a bad experience with some church or another, or simply got fed up following Jesus and wanted to sin.
            This can be easily demonstrated with evidence by all the debauchery exhibited by deconverts.

            Nan is obviously a perfect example of such debauchery, whereas people such as Mel, Branyon, and his kid, et alles are bastions of virtue.

            All hail Yahweh and to Hell with God-Hating, baby-eating atheists.

            Liked by 3 people

      • I like to think of the following difference.
        Quantum physics is a subject that demands to be understood, religion is precisely the contrary. Paraphrasing the saying widely attributed to Richard Feynman: If you think you understand religion, you don’t understand religion..

        Liked by 4 people

    • Scottie, you remember the fun game by Parker Brothers/Hasbro “Clue”? And there was that ANNOYING ability for suspects (game pieces) to go thru a secret trap-door and then POP-UP on the other side of the damn mansion! Remember?

      That is the essense of Christian apologetics/theology — you Whac-A-Mole here (debunkinig a theological or historical presumption)… then tha f*cker pops-up OVER THERE with a new face!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! 🤬 LOL

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Allow me to be the (ridiculous) Devil’s Advocate here, or rather Angel’s Advocate? 😛

    Typical Fundy-Evangy responses to this scientific article/evidence: we measly humans cannot always expect to know or understand the wonders or pains of God’s work. Supporting bible verses:

    • Psalm 147:5
    • Job 38:35-36
    • Isaiah 55:9
    • Luke 12:28
    • Proverbs 3:5-6
    • Deut. 7:9
    • Psalm 111:10
    • Isaiah 40:28

    …and about 5-7 other verses, minimum. LOL 😵

    So that a non-Believer will not get swamped and drowned in the incessant circular circus acts of Christian apologetics and biblical theology, personally I refuse to utilize their a priori argued 4th-century CE canonical Bible… UNLESS they/we first establish exactly WHAT valid divine Revelation and intervention consists of; i.e. the globally accrued details and evidence for General Revelation and Special Revelation — the only two forms they can argue from. If there is no consistent, replicateable, standardized definition of “Godly” revelations or intervention (which there is not), THEN ficticious intercessory prayer, revelations, miracles, etc, can be tackled in tangible rationale methods.

    Once the secularist and/or non-Christian has avoided the endless theological rabbit-holes the Xian apologist attempts to lead us through, reason and evolving science answers sufficiently the nature of our existence.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Meh. At this point the only remedy is a “Stone Cold” moment of truth:

      “You sit there and you thump your Bible and you say your prayers and it didn’t get you anywhere. Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16 — Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Ron.
        Read your response regarding guilt by association. This is exactly how I understood his point. And then he says, No!

        If we are not directly responsible, but guilty by being members of the same ”club” and if this isn’t guilt by association then what the Hell is it?

        Do you understand what he is going on about, ‘cos I haven’t a clue!

        Liked by 1 person

            • Nope. Can’t recalled ever having engaged him. Fun to see JB flailing for attention, though. Must be feeling lonely on the sojourn homestead. 🙂


            • I think I hurt JB’s feelings this morning on Mels page. He got really childish and I finally let him have the last words. Basically it was down to “I know you are , so there”. 😃😄 Hugs


            • He is now offering the Professional Pastor advice on How To Deal With Atheists and Make Your Life So Much Better … or some crap.
              I reckon he is just repeating what his psychiatrist told him at his last session.
              But Mel is jumping up and down for him like a poodle being offered dog biscuits.
              ”Woof, John B, woof! ”

              Or to paraphrase the Beach Boys:
              ”So listen to John Bs’ wail
              He’ll whine til the sun sets,
              Call to his god above
              I want to go home, let me go home,
              I wanna go home, yeah yeah,
              I’m just not funny,
              And I wanna go home…

              Liked by 1 person

            • Mel is frustrated with me also. He leeps asking me the same question over and over hoping I will slip and say “OK your damn god did it”. But I keep telling him there is no evidence for anything but us humans doing it all. Hugs


            • It speaks volumes that he has now shifted the focus of his blog towards his atheist readers, have you noticed?
              He is now trying so hard ns he loves the argumentative aspect.
              He is not really interested in showing good positive examples of why his position is the right one but rather trying to find the best way – in his own mind – why non belief is wrong.
              He is buoyed by JBs goading and seems to think he is making ever more rational, well thought out arguments, when in fact he comes across more and more as an ignorant indoctrinated fundy.

              Just as painful as JBs forced humour is, so are Mel’s other centered gag worthy love arguments.
              You had him over a barrel and you can tell by his trite, petulant replies.

              Liked by 1 person

          • ”I said the WORLD (societal construct) is flawed”

            This is getting more confusing by the comment.
            (Is he saying that all humans from all walks of life, culture etc are culpable?)
            I am calling on all you deconverts to explain this please as my head is pounding trying to grasp this concept.


            • Right now, it appears he’s channeling Mick’s line from “Sympathy For the Devil”

              “I shouted out,
              “Who killed the Kennedys?”
              When after all
              It was you and me


  3. 50 million prayers today in the USA and for god to put his helpers where they need to be takes a lot of foreknowledge and planning. He knows that for Janes prayer to find her cell phone before her flight, that Carlos is flying into Laguardia from Barcelona, and he is supposed to find the phone behind the kiosk and take it to lost and found where she is frantically waiting. Carlos though, missed his flight so god defaulted to a janitor, but he called in sick that day. So god does what he does best, and has his invisible angel slips the phone into her hidden purse flap. Jane gets on the plane and finds the phone in a panic. ….and her god is now amazing. Now 49,999,999 miracles left to go for the day. If he could only get down the list to the Sudan and Burundi :/ That would be a miracle!

    Liked by 4 people

      • And that is a simple one. No car crashes, delayed busses, people in the way… and usually answered prayers are just natural occurring odds or stupidity. Like hiding your phone in your purse only to find it later

        Liked by 2 people

        • Like hiding your phone in your purse only to find it later — and the thing is, THAT action was part of God’s magnificent, perfect plan … so all that other sh__ was simply wasted energy.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Yes. I do understand the psychological and emotional human need to FEEL there is a blurry celestial father/mother figure caring for us, and that He/She empathetically listens to our plights and joys. We primates are indeed a herd-pack, gregarious creatures. But those needs are easily met in the flesh, right now, all around us: family, friends, colleagues, lovers, spouses! A seemingly endless amount of support. No Oogaly-Boogaly stuff required… ever. ❤

          Liked by 3 people

  4. The clip is very telling and I agree with you. However, the excuses will range from gods compassion, to god will not give you more than you can handle, which is not scriptural. And his compassion is an ineffective argument considering what goes on to his Abrahamic children throughout the world. And if did god know everything, it was set in motion long ago. Long long ago. Whack a mole! That’s it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • In January of 1936, a school girl named Phyllis wrote to Einstein to ask whether you could believe in science and religion:

      My dear Dr. Einstein,

      We have brought up the question: ‘Do scientists pray?’ in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.

      We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

      We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

      Respectfully yours,


      Einstein replied a few days later:

      Dear Phyllis,

      I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

      Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

      However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.

      But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

      With cordial greetings,

      your A. Einstein

      I take comfort in the fact that one of humanity’s most genius persons found that any form of Monism is in direct contradiction to all Natural and Cosmological laws. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

  5. ”Our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done ….”

    Every Christian and probably most Westerners have recited this prayer at some point.

    But what exactly is Yahweh’s will?

    If Templeton with millions upon millions of dollars at their disposal can’t figure it out and Yahweh is keeping ‘Mum’ I think we need to go finally stop mucking about and right to the top and inquire of the very best minds, the ultimate specialists in this field.

    It’s time to call Unklee and Preacher Mel.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. If they prayer for their loved one to live and he does, god did it because they prayed. If the person dies, then god works in mysterious ways, or we don’t understand his plan and don’t forget, they are in a better place now…yeah away from all their loved ones and everything they held dear and a life they probably enjoyed and wanted more of. Sure is mysterious all right.

    Then think of the guilt some people feel in that they are being punished somehow for something, by a god who allows their loved one to die.
    It just goes on and on in a vicious circle of total insanity. It’s exhausting to listen to these people.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. And then there are all of those starving children … what, oh, you want them to go up and be with god so dying from hunger, thousands every day, that okay … and you are not going to starve your own … oh. okay. And then there are all of those amputees who got new limbs … what? … never … really? Okay, forget about that one. And then …

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the heads-up, KIA

      Doesn’t it say something about the blog owner when their posts must be take-offs (rebuttals) of someone else’s creativity? HA!

      Also, did anyone notice in his “rebuttal” comment that in the third paragraph, the first 3 sentences begin with “I think”? And that makes it fact … right?


          • His back and forth with his daughter is like some deranged repartee between two manic depressives on speed.

            As a ”Christian” comedian … whatever this truly is, he is simply not funny, and I mean at times gag awful , yet, if I were his booking agent reading the vile banter he indulges in, especially with his Sidekick I’d be ”praying” that none of his paying Christian audience reads how he treats non-believers on an open public forum.

            Yeah, have a friendly dig … as a Christian that’s allowed, I’m sure, but the sheer level of ignorant diatribe he indulges in makes even me think, Wow! on occasion.


  8. If God is all knowing, all loving, all merciful and all powerful.. intercessory and petitionary prayer become not only unnecessary, but also an ironic expression of the pray-ers lack of faith. An insult to the God they petition for aid.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. hi nan,

    Can I just say that the comment thread proves that atheists and decons are clueless as to the nature and purpose of prayer. You want to ask for candy? Get a pez dispenser.

    If you want to know what prayer is and isn’t, read the scriptures. Of course, I mean one must actually believe the scriptures; thus disqualifying any and everyone who does not give God the courtesy of existing……from actually understanding God and His purposes.

    Truly, I appreciate prayer because it is a gentle reminder that God is God and we are not. Simple really. Then there is that thought of just exactly what God’s will is, but that’s for another time.


    • As many deconverts were deeply entrenched withing the system of Christianity and fully on board with all the doctrine and this included prayer, please enlighten me as to where exactly they were going so wrong to be left with with such a jaundiced view of it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You would be better served to ask them, lest I misrepresent their cause, but rest assured, neither God or scripture is to be blamed.

        God’s word has slain ten thousand goliaths of biblical ignorance, and this is even before He turns the lights of the stars on.


        • Itwould be a fruitless venture enquiring after them as to where they believe they went wring as they consider they were right, which is why they deconverted. As you likely consider they were never proper Christians, where therefore, in your opinion do you believe they all went wrong.
          And it seems there is a growing number, but let’s start with someone such as Jim or Nan.

          Liked by 1 person

    • @Colorstorm

      Just to show food faith in this regard, CS, here are the words of your god.

      …if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’

      You’ll know the passage, CS, I’m sure, yes?

      So, if we disregard all the God denying atheists and deconverts -they are understandably discounted from consideration – can you give me some verified accounts where the words of Jesus have been shown to be true solely from a Christian perspective. Maybe your own experiences?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You mean this?

        Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
        And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

        And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

        Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

        And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.—

        Yep, a common text used by the unlearned. It is equally true as the fish caught to pay the tax,, but I don’t see very many fishermen snagging quarters or pennies.

        Maybe you never heard of context? Maybe you never heard of Methuselah dying at 969, yet Moses dying at 120?

        Did Moses doubt any less? Was his faith less? Did young Timothy lack spirituality when Paul instructed Him not only to have faith but to take a little wine for his ailment. You would chastise him because he lacked faith. Ha, hardly.

        God is not a Pez dispenser as I’ve said. The clue to your question is whether or not moving mountains is necessary.

        Rest assured, one day it will be necessary, and rocks will be falling all over the place.

        The silence of God is testimony to His word. God answers prayer all right, but He does not prove Himself like the magician that you desire.

        Want tricks? Go to the circus, just like Herod wanted to ‘see a miracle.’


        • No, I merely want you to answer the inquiry I posted regarding the line from Mark.
          If you have a positive experience regarding prayers answered as per the word of Jesus of Nazareth/ your god, I would be very interested to hear about it / them.
          No sermon requested or required. No verses offered in rebuttal, just a simple straightforward reply, please.

          Liked by 1 person

          • As long as you speak of a ‘god,’ I will not cater to your foolishness. How many times do I need to remind you, that all the collected baals, vishnus, gitas, fritos, dagons, argons, rayons, crayons, etc, can neither count to three, create a fingernail, or tie their shoes.


            • Excellent! Then we won’t mention the word deity in any form you find disagreeable.
              Just outline some of the positive examples you have personally experienced through praying to Jesus of Nazareth.

              Liked by 1 person

            • What? You think I’d succumb to such a tease?

              Your knowledge of prayer does not allow you to engage. The lessons are found in the upper room, a room you say does not exist, so there you go. My answers will appear as fog to you. After all, scripture does have that razor edge that dulls the senses of unbelief.


            • It is because of your experience in this matter that I am asking you to offer positive examples.
              I acknowledge you treat me with contempt , regarding me as a godless heathen , but if I were a simple man from a South American tribe, for example, and you being a Christian are compelled to share the Word, then to offer an example of what you claim seems not only the logical thing to do but the ethical thing as well.
              And at this stage I am, provisionally, prepared to take your word without asking for proof positive. I am going to assume that, like me , you do not tell lies, so therefore a simple straightforward example of a prayer offered to Jesus that you have personally asked for and received.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Not contempt. Pity rather. But we are making progress as you assume I am not lying.

              If it were not for your history of open scorn for scripture, people of faith, and God Himself, I may have given a more detailed answer.

              But you have to at least respect the fact that my hesitance speaks to the credibility of both scripture and God’ Himself, who tells us to be wary of ‘raging waves of the seas,’ a truth which is obvious here, at your place, and just about every atheist blog I have ever seen.

              And if it were as simple as speaking to people of other lands……..the difference would be, that they would actually have open ears and soft hearts, so unlike the antagonistic spirit which caused Stephen to be pelted with rocks until he died.

              And what did he offer in return? He PRAYED for them. There you go. An answer.


            • Yes, and , refresh my memory: what exactly happened?

              But this is merely a distraction, I’m sure.
              Just to clarify before we move on. Are you telling me that one must believe in the miracle of prayer before one can experience the miracle of prayer?


            • Was the creation of earth’s sun and moon supernatural or natural? The word ‘miracle’ is simply a matter of interpretation. Would an iron head floating prove the miracle of science, or a testament to He who created water?

              You see, your argument of prayer is pointless without God. If you do not give Him the courtesy of existing…………


            • Then let’s for the sake of argument agree that he is as real as you and I. After all, we are create din His image, are we not?

              I am not arguing about prayer, merely asking you to offer a positive example of a prayed offered and answered.
              Can you do this for me?


            • That’s my business. If you are truly interested, ask Him yourself. He never refuses the contrite of heart.

              But do consider what King Solomon asked for, and what he was given in return. Then there is the book of James.

              It does so appear though ark, that this topic is above your pay grade. No insult. Just sayin.


            • @ark

              Your questions are disingenuous. Asking about prayer when you mock God? Really?

              Instead of appreciating my answers nan, you dismiss them as ‘nom answers’ because they do not cater to your recalcitrance.


            • I do not beleive, and this is why O am asking, does one have to beleive oin the miracle of prayer before one can experience the miracle of prayer?
              It isn’t a difficult question, neither is it a concept I am unable to grasp.
              If you are going to slam those who disagree then the least you can do is demonstrate your integrity and offer one simple example of a positive effect of praying to Jesus.
              Are you unwilling or unable?


            • Instead of appreciating my answers nan, you dismiss them as ‘nom answers’ because they do not cater to your recalcitrance.

              “Nom” answers? Recalcitrance (The trait of being unmanageable)?

              BTW, go back and read the original post. Nowhere did I “mock God” — I merely posted what someone else said and asked for input. Although I do admit I feel “prayer” is a wasted effort. Way too many people have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed (ad nauseum) and did not get what they were praying for. Hmmmm. Maybe it has something to do with the quote I shared in this posting …


  10. CS … you are soooo entertaining. If you were EVER to answer a question directly, I think I would fall off my computer chair. But carry on. Laughter is always beneficial to one’s health.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Colorstorm I have a question. I ask it seriously and not to insult or demean you. When you answer with a misdirect or otherwise sidestepping what is asked of you, do you think you do the deity you believe in a misservice? If people think you are responding with gibberish or avoiding their question it doesn’t look good for your deity. I think it pushes people further away from where you would want them to be, looking seriously at your God. Just a thought. Hugs


  12. Hi scott

    No misdirect. No gibberish. No babel. No avoiding. If you follow the thread of commenting from start to finish, you should agree that my observations speak to the heart of the issues. Always. You may not like the points made, but they are spot on.


    • but they are spot on. — Sorry, CS, but I think MANY would disagree with you. Your comments are really nothing more than “slaps” against non-believers as you “poetically” talk about your god. Rarely do you offer persuasive thoughts on the subject being discussed that might (possibly) sway someone’s thinking. And after all, isn’t that your mission?


      • Persuasive nan? Ha!
        If God’s word itself cannot convince you…………

        But the issue is prayer right? If you had a proper understanding of God’s kingdom and patience, TODAY, then you just may have a more harmonious outcome.

        The age of ‘grace’ kinda changes the playing field, whereby God does not reveal Himself through signs and wonders; after all, you do know that an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and NO sign shall be given.

        glad to help.


        • @ColorStorm. It is not a question of me liking or not liking the points to be quite honest with you , I can’t understand what you are trying to say most of the time. Really, no offence but your wording leaves me more confused than if you simply just wrote disagree and left it at that.

          If you had a proper understanding of God’s kingdom and patience, TODAY, then you just may have a more harmonious outcome.

          I thought the job of believers was to give people a proper understanding of God, the God Kingdom, and the faith they follow. Messenger of the truth so to speak. You simply need to make more sense if you wish to bring others to your God. IMO. Be well ColorStorm, I don’t think I will be able to understand your answer to this than I did your other replies here. Which I find a shame because I can not have a conversation with someone if I don’t know what is being said. Be well. Hugs


          • I appreciate the tone of this comment of yours scottie, but truth be told, you all make it far more difficult than it should be.

            You expect me to provide you with understanding, when you do not even give God the courtesy of existing? Hmmm. That’s a tough sell.

            Even Saul of Tarsus in his misdirected zeal, did not call into question the existence of God. But his understanding, that was another story, so maybe one day, it will all fall in your lap. all I can do is tell the truth.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Good morning Nan. I lost my site a few days ago and all my followers. I would love it if you clicked back in for a new follow. My heart was sunk. Man, you are all the best group on WP.


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