“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.