Monday, September 9, 2013

About Prayer

Today, a friend asked this question on Facebook:
I'd like to preface this question by stating up front that I'm in NO WAY disparaging anyone's religious beliefs. I'm genuinely curious about a trend I'm noticing. It has become de rigueur for people on Facebook to solicit prayers from their friends for increasingly trivial things. "My dog is getting his tail docked. Prayers, please." "I have a test in biology. Please pray for me!" "My friend is having her tonsils out and she could really use your prayers." My question is this: does anyone really believe the outcome of the event will be influenced by prayer? Also, do all the people who say they're praying really stop what they're doing and have a heartfelt one-way conversation with God, or is it more an eye roll to the sky with a cursory "Praying for everyone, dude"? Does God get sick of hearing about all this mundane crap? Finally, if 1000 people are praying for A and 1001 are praying for the opposite, B, does B automatically win based on numbers alone, assuming everyone praying is an approximately equally sinful believer? And how the hell do you theists keep all of this straight? Or do you default to "Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but it makes me feel better to wish it"?

Here was my response:
I believe deeply that prayer doesn't necessarily change the situation, prayer changes the person praying. Let me explain. I absolutely believe there is something bigger than me out there. Whether it be God, angels, the thoughts on this have changed over the years, but one thing remains constant. That thing that keeps me humble, knowing there are things much bigger than me. I swear every time I see something cool in nature, I get goosebumps and stand in awe. (That could be the hippie part of me talking...) Further, I truly believe in energy. For example, I walk in a room for a meeting and I get a good indication of what kind of energy is infiltrating the room. Having said this, when I pray (and yes I pray when someone is getting their tonsils out, getting ready for a test or whatever might seem heavy or trivial), I pray for the greater good, no matter the situation. I understand that there are things that I do not know. In fact, the more I know, the more I realize I really don't know that much. When I put this kind of intention into action, I BEGIN TO ACT OUT OF THIS INTENTION. My actions that come next as a result of uttering that prayer, impact that situation. My whole attitude shifts. It is somewhat akin to theories regarding positive affirmations/thinking, and such. I do believe that we are actually co-creators with God/Universe/Spirit. Ultimately, I don't believe that God/Universe/Spirit plays favorites and whomever has the best prayer wins. I believe that when we set intentions in service and in love, "God works all things together for those who love..." and sometimes the answers to our prayers don't look like anything we expected.  Namaste!


  1. Love your thought process here. Terrific, heartfelt and very thoughtful answer!

    1. You know, I have had some really amazing teachers on my life's journey. :) Thank you!

  2. I pray for the major things and the trivial ones but I always ask for God's will and not mine to be done. I don't know what his plan is but I trust that he knows and praying for his truth and guidance to accept whatever answer he gives does indeed help me to feel better. I know that all things happen in his time and not mine. Prayer helps me better my relationship with him. And yes, I agree with you that sometimes his answer doesn't look anything like our answer. We just have to trust that it is all according to his will. Love ya friend! <3

  3. I don't believe there is anything that God considers to small to pray about.

    My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:6 "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

    I would ask people to consider their children. Is there really anything that you would consider too trivial for them to bring to you if they honestly felt they needed help? God is no different.

    I think God is joyous when we bring even our smallest problems to him. Hey, at least we're talking to him and making him a part of our everyday lives. How sad it would be if our kids only felt they could bring the really big problems to us when perhaps, if they had come to us with the smaller stuff, they wouldn't have gotten so big in the first place? Or what if your kids only talked to you one day out of the week out of a sense of obligation or propriety.

    I always start my prayers with thanks and praise and then bring my current issues to the table in the name of Jesus Christ. At the end I always differ to God's will as I trust his will much more than my own. I know what I think I want, but he knows what I truly need.

    Pray on! ;)