Prayer or Science?

W Credit: CNS photo/Kham, Reuters

In our local newspaper, a recent article on the editorial page caught my attention. It was entitled, “Coronavirus is what you get when you ignore science.” A NY Times opinion columnist was the contributor.

Here are some of the first few lines:

Let us pray now, for science. Pray for empiricism, epidemiology and for vaccines. … Pray for flu shots, herd immunity and washing your hands. Pray for reason, rigor and expertise.  … Pray for the NIH and the CDC. Pray for the WHO.

And then this …

And pray not just for science, but for scientists too, as well as their colleagues in the application of science

From the context of the rest of the article, I don’t think the writer was being sarcastic (as I originally surmised). In fact, he made it clear later on that science is often “actively undermined, underfunded, ignored and suppressed.”

However, for me personally, those first few lines were dripping with irony.

As many of us know, the tendency to berate and discount science is prevalent among a large percentage of Christian believers. This isn’t to say they point to all facets of science as being morally deficient, but they DO contend that -GOD- is above, beyond, and superior to anything science can offer. (In fact, some cults faiths refuse to even acknowledge medical science, in particular, and rely instead on the power of prayer to heal themselves and loved ones.)

So one can’t help but ask … why aren’t the churches filled to the brim with -GOD- believers who are PRAYING for the virus to cease and desist? Could it be because the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) takes no prisoners … has no concerns about one’s faith (or lack thereof) … and hears no prayers?

Perhaps, in this instance, when Christians feel an overwhelming need to pray, it should be (as the columnist wrote) for (gasp!) Science and all that entails since -GOD- doesn’t seem to be making much headway in curtailing the spread of Covid-19 among the various inhabitants of this planet.

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.

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