“Praying Really Hard”

kneeling_prayer
“I’m just praying really hard.”

These were the words spoken by a relative after a recent shooting in California that killed (at least) four people. At the time of the prayer, information was still sparse and the victims had not been named. Apparently, the person had a brother and a niece who worked in the building where the shooting took place.

In any event, this type of utterance in a time of tragedy is typical … and worthless. 

The deed has been done. There is no turning back. If this person’s relatives were killed, no prayers are going to bring them back to life.

If they were not victims of the shooter, then any prayers are pointless since the relatives are alive and well.

There is little doubt that prayer is for the benefit of the person doing the praying. And that benefit is purely psychological because NO GOD is going to make a spectral appearance and change the events – of this incident or any other human circumstance.

And yet … the “faithful” continue to pray, expecting and “believing” that all will be well.

46 thoughts on ““Praying Really Hard”

  1. I read that it can be effective. For example, David Robertson attributed the downpours they had after the forest fires in Oz to prayer. and he thanked for the rain too.
    I wonder if he also uttered those famous words: God works in mysterious ways, after all the death and destruction?

    Liked by 7 people

  2. When someone complains that their (very hard) prayers have not been fulfilled, it may because::
    If it is God’s will, prayer is useless; if it is not, prayer ls futile

    I also like this quote:
    Prayer is the adult manifestation of the infantile cry.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. You’d think by now the big fella would have let his inions that he doesn’t need to come back to change things, he just wills it. And if that is the case, the ones he must have changed must surely have been doozies because just see what he left behind.
    Hugs Nan

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I think that’s the way they absolve themselves from actually having to do something, like support gun laws, contact their elected officials, organize a protest … much easier to say “I’m praying” and be done with it, moving on to more fun things. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I once had a friend who prayed hard and ‘turned all her troubles over to god’. Last I heard, she was still in prison.

    Liked by 7 people

    • And the millions of slaves in the old South who lived full lives of misery, praying the whole time. Their masters taught them Christianity — they’d rather their slaves prayed than fought back.

      Liked by 5 people

    • I can only imagine their sheer terror and wonder at why their god would allow that to happen to them? Even children must’ve been just terrified and asking why would god do this to us?

      Absolutely horrible.

      Liked by 3 people

      • And there have been many catastrophes since that leave one’s head spinning. A believer once replied to a similar observation with,”Well, all I know is that when I’m looking for my keys I say a little prayer and then, as if by magic, I find them!” (Yes, she really did. I was tempted to reply, “It’s good that your powerful entity pays attention to that sort of thing, isn’t it? Too bad it ignores so many other problems”). The self-centredness of fervent believers is nothing short of astounding.

        Liked by 3 people

        • The self-centredness of fervent believers is nothing short of astounding.

          Wonder if that has something to do with the fact that most of them vote Republican? 😈

          Liked by 2 people

          • Is that just a coincidence? I often consider this; they both believe in things that are simply imaginary, their level of cognitive dissonance is off the charts, once they believe something, their intransigence is steadfast.

            But aside from this, how do the two “conditions” i.e., Christianity & Republicanism, comport? It seems to me that they don’t.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Two things can happen when you pray “hard.” One, you hear the miraculous voice of God–which is your own voice telling you what you wanted to hear all along, and two, you embarrass everyone sitting nearby who wish you’d quit making such a spectacle of yourself and use that time more wisely to scroll through your emails like everyone else does.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Praying or “praying hard,” an exercise in theatrical performance for any and all to SEE and merely a prime example of lip service. There is still a huge difference between walking your talk and uselessly talking your talk. A no brainer as to which offers measurable results. Duh.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. “Whenever we intercede in prayer we must be prepared for an answer which places a practical obligation upon us. A prayer is always a commitment.” Thomas F Green, 1952 (UK Quaker Faith and Practice)

    Unless the relative’s prayer motives them to get off their backside and do something about their concern, then praying is a total waste of time. I have no objection to prayer (well no more than every other bombardment of the senses that modern society throws at us autistics), but in all probability the relative doesn’t pray in public anyway. The heart of the matter is a comment made by Paul above: “use that time more wisely to scroll through your emails like everyone else does“. Few bother to do anything about it at all. The believer thinks they are doing something useful while ignoring the possibility that their plea might be in opposition to their deity’s plan, while the non-believer thinks there’s nothing they can do to change the situation.

    But folks, the outcome of doing nothing is that nothing gets done. In this regard, both believers and non believers are equally as guilty.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. If Sky Daddy is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful, then why does he allow these tragedies to occur? Why did he allow that conception to occur?

    Please don’t another with all the stock answers as I have been getting them since I was ten years old. God’s will, God’s mind, and God’s ways are so above our understanding.

    I want to relay a similar event. In the municipal building in Virginia Beach, maybe two years ago, there was a shooting. I think twelve people died, which probably included the shooter. (It can be checked out.) After the surviving workers were brought out of the building, a reporter was questioning a survivor. One of her responses was that she “thanked God for the survivors.” She is giving thanks to the same God who allowed twelve of her co-workers to die. I don’t recall that she had ‘thoughts and prayers’ for the victims.

    “Of God, the Devil and Darwin, we have really good scientific evidence for the existence of only Darwin.”
    —Niall Shanks, “God, the Devil, and Darwin” (2004)

    “Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: Great God, grant that twice two be not four.”
    —Turgenev, “Fathers and Sons” (1861)

    If anyone can show evidence that prayer has ever made any difference to any events in the course of humankind, please share it. I know there are people commenting on this who, like myself once believed and prayed and prayed hard. Some have written about it.

    I used to keep this posted in a room where we held bible study:

    “Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.” ~ Dandemis

    Liked by 5 people

    • That quote from Dandemis reminds me of an amusing figure of speech I learned about just last week: the paraprodoskian. This is a sentence with a surprise or unexpected ending. ‘Para’ is Greek for against (paradox, paranormal), and ‘prosdokia’ is Greek for expectation..
      “If I’d agree with you, we would both be wrong”.
      Among my wife’s family, children and in-laws, I am one of the very few unbelievers. Even when they have to admit that not answering it was not in God’s plan – well, that also makes them feel good, So I can’t say it is wrong.to pray. just that it is childish.

      Liked by 3 people

      • As someone mentioned earlier, prayer is for the person doing the praying. It’s like meditation, but with the notion that something is in your head with you. It is good for our soul /spirit to examine ourselves. Any intercession to be made in our lives is up to us. I don’t care how much you pay the preacher, all you are getting in return is more bs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • HAHAHAHA! He was definitely “praying really hard.”

      Look closely at his expressions … does he not make you think of the Christian’s most feared enemy? (I see in the comments that others thought the same thing!)

      Liked by 3 people

      • Just thinking about it hurts. Copeland and his ilk represent the upper echelon of religiosity. He owns (OWNS) four private jets. That is what they do with the money their followers send to God.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Of course it is! But doncha’ know? They deserve whatever they have because Gawd blesses his servants! Just ask them.

          Unfortunately, the only thing the followers get are verbal blessings.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, verbal blessings… but also a host of consequences from believing in woo… like helping to spread a virus and doing ones holy part to convince many that they will be safe washed in the blood of Jesus. Helping 550,000 Americans to meet their maker after a horrible death is just a perk.

            Liked by 3 people

    • I can’t tell you how friggin crazy these idiots seem to me. They literally look like crazy people saying and doing the things in this short video. I can not imagine sitting in this audience and thinking “Wow! This guy is great! He’s really got a handle on what god likes and wants! I think I’ll send him money!”

      Someone should be chasing this nut around with a net. He needs to be confined.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Prayer, an act of one moment of empathy or concern, towards someone or something, that accomplishes nothing. Except to help the prayer feel like they have done something to help, all the while sitting on their damn asses. Talking to your invisible friend ought to be considered a psychiatric condition… it would be, if relgion wasn’t involved. We don’t want to hurt their wittle feelings I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What is the difference between “praying really hard” and just plain praying? Is there some difference to the expectation of the outcome?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think some believers think so. (The one I mentioned apparently does.)

      I also think many of the TV preachers think it’s important because if you notice, many of them are VERY effusive when offering prayers!

      As to the outcome? Praying doesn’t really change anything no matter how hard a person prays. Of course, there are several thousand people who would adamantly disagree. 😉

      Like

    • Oh, yes. The objective is to sort of emulating Christ in the Garden:
      Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

      Depending on the subject of the prayer.

      Verbosity counts, along with loudness. I’m not so sure about sincerity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Like the Irish man late for an important appointment prays, “Oh Lord, please help me find a parking spot and I’ll go to church everyday!”

        A minute later he prays, “Never mind, I found one!”

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m tired of people who simply refuse to think! Never question anything!
    So here’s a little saying I like.

    “The picture of faith brings to mind the bird who flies
    full speed into the reflection on a window pane
    thinking it’s found an opening to a greater outside
    only to lie dead at the foundation of the house.”

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I just had an idea or two.

    The next time someone says they will pray for me, I will say, “Okay. do it now. I wouldn’t want you to to forget and I want to hear what you have to say.”

    Or, “Research indicates that prayers are more effective when the prayed-for person is unaware of being prayed for. So, ya jinxed it. Don’t waste your time.”

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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