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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Praying Correctly

Q: How do I know if I’m praying according to God’s will? I know God won’t answer me if my prayers aren’t in line with His will, but how do I know if I’m asking for something He isn’t willing to do? — M.McD.

A: This question brings up a contradiction that has always puzzled me. The following are tenets commonly espoused by Christians:

  1. “God has a plan.” God works in mysterious ways.” These are usually uttered in response to questions of the type, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”.
  2. “Please pray for such-and-such to happen” The such-and-such could be a safe journey, the recovery of loved one from a sickness, the return of a lost dog, etc.

However, these two concepts are contradictory. If all things happen according to some god’s plan, then it would be irrational to think that this god would change its plan because of someone’s prayer. Conversely, if a god made changes to the physical world based on a prayer, then it would be deviating from its master plan. Both of the above statements cannot be true, but a vast majority of Christians ferverently believe they are. This is just one of many examples that expose the irrationality of Christian beliefs. The obvious way to reconcile this contradiction is to reject belief in the Christian god.

To answer the question: The god you pray to does not exist, and your prayers are futile. You can stop wasting your time praying and worrying if you are doing it right.

This topic reminds me of the following graphic.
Prayer

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Somebody to Love?

Q: Why has God forgotten me? I’ve been divorced for 15 years, and every time I think I’ve found the right man, I get dumped. I long to have someone love me, and I pray and pray but it doesn’t do any good. — M.F.

A: The chances that the god you pray to actually exists are extremely remote. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that the Judeo-Christian god and bible are human fabrications. See these following posts for more information.

Bible Canon       Truthiness
Repentance       Disability
The Jesus Problem       Resurrection?
Curious About Christianity       Rejecting Belief

In light of this, you must rely on yourself (and your family and friends to some extent) in order to accomplish your goals and live a happy life. I sincerely hope that you find what you are looking for, but prayer is not going to help. If you want to improve the quality of your relationships, you should consider visiting a counselor. If you want to improve the chances that the men you meet are good matches for you, you should consider using a professional match making service.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Hopeless

Q: Does God ever give up on some people? I have a cousin who just laughs whenever anyone starts talking about God, and he says he’ll just take his chances when it comes time to die. Several of us in our family pray for him regularly but he looks like a hopeless case to me. — S.Y.

A: The possibility that any gods exist is extremely remote. The chances that the god you believe in are even more so. It then follows that heaven and hell do not exist and your cousin is not in danger of eternal punishment in any hell. Belief in gods and religions initially arose as attempts to explain the existence of the physical universe and mankind’s place in it and as a way to impose order and rules on society. Since these roles are no longer necessary (thanks to scientific discoveries and the emergence of democracy throughout the world), established religions attempt to maintain their status and power by dictating their (oftentimes ridiculous) rules under threat of eternal damnation. If the word “hopeless” were relevant here, it would apply to your belief that prayers to your god will have any effect on our reality.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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No Prayer

Q: Please pray for me. The doctor says I need open-heart surgery, and I’m scared I won’t make it. I’ve never been a religious person, but is it too late to turn to God? If I died right now I know I wouldn’t go to Heaven. — D.F.

A: I very much hope that your surgery is successful and that your recovery goes well. However, I will not pray for you. As I’ve said before, prayer is a waste of time. The gods that believers pray to do not exist. None of us are going to the Heaven described in the Christian bible (or any other religious text) because it does not exist. Oftentimes, people turn to religion out of fear, but it’s a false comfort that religious beliefs provide. Fear is also what religions use to oppress their believers. If you seek out religion now, you may have a hard time turning away from it later, and it may cause you to think and act in irrational ways. I hope that you remain non-religious and seek secular comforts in your time of need.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Prayer

Q: I read an article the other day about a survey someone had done on prayer. It concluded that it didn’t do any good to pray when we’re sick, because people who didn’t pray got well just about as often as people who did pray. What would you say about this? — F.M.

A: A large number of studies have shown the inefficacy of prayer. Many people believe prayer is effective because of their personal experiences. These people will tell you that something good happened after they prayed about it. Our human brains excel at pattern recognition, and anytime a correlation is noticed (prayer and good things occurring), we make a point of remembering it. However, these same believers will probably not tell you about the many, many things they prayed for that did not come to pass. If questioned about it, they would probably say something along the lines of “God works in mysterious ways”. However, according to the Christian bible, god will give believers anything they ask for. That obviously does not happen. If it did, the advantages of believing in the Christian god would be apparent, and a vast majority of people in the world would do so.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Is God Listening?

Q: How do I know God is listening to me when I pray? To be honest, I’ve about given up on prayer because it doesn’t seem like it makes any difference. Has God turned His back on me? — P.F.

A: Your God is not listening.  Supernatural deities do not exist (or at least have not made themselves known to us).  You may be starting an intellectual journey that leads to rationality and atheism.  Many people around the world are beginning to realize that religion is based on myth and superstition.  They start asking rational questions (as you have) about the basis of their beliefs and find that there are no satisfactory answers.  This is what happened to me, and I am very grateful to be free of the dogma and irrationality of religion (specifically Christianity).  I am extremely happy in my non-belief.

Many studies have shown that prayer has no benefit. (See this link.) You may want to visit these other links to find out why many former Christians are now non-believers.
http://godisimaginary.com/
http://exchristian.net/

Billy Graham’s Answer

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