Monday, August 13, 2007

Does Prayer Work?

Yesterday I ran into my neighbor as I was taking my morning walk. We stopped to chat and knowing that I had interviewed for a particular position, she asked if I had yet heard. I told her I had not and she told me she would pray for me.

Whenever I encounter people who want to pray for me I am inevitably uncomfortable. What should I say? I suppose there are many things I could say but I usually just say thank you. I am honored that she cares enough about me and my needs that she wants to help. I have no belief that it will or even can help my situation but she does. It makes her feel better even if it does nothing for me.

Perhaps, like giving a gift, prayer helps the one who prays more than the object of the prayer.

There is some evidence that prayer does help. In this BBC News article some felt that prayer had helped.

But according to Dr David Laws of the University of Manchester the kind of
prayer which asks God to do something is only relevant if you have a
particular understanding of God.

"It depends on God being an intervening God who breaks
into our world and mops up our mess whenever we make one."

So my conclusion is the same. If god is able to intervene and correct the problems he allowed to occur then what kind of god is he to have let it happen in the first place?

1 comment:

Interested said...

Update on this post.
Today, I again ran into my neighbor while taking my morning stroll. She asked me about the job interview and assured me that she had added me to her prayer chain and that her group had been praying for me.

I hated to tell her that I did not get the job. But alas, I felt obligated to be honest(I really wanted her prayer to work) and tell her they hired someone else.

Why did I feel bad? I didn't think her prayer would work anyway. Then she said that god had something else in mind for me. Okay, but in the meantime I will continue in my present position. I don't think I can afford to sit around and wait.