Praying for Sleeping Bags

Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Carav...
Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Caravaggio, 1606-1607

I was having a conversation with someone last night about the efficacy of prayer . . .

“Prayers are always answered,” I was informed, “but sometimes the answer is no, or not right now.”

If God issues his edicts with perfect foreknowledge of the future, then prayer is pointless.
Some prayers would be granted and some wouldn’t, depending on whether you prayed for something that God has already ordained is going to happen.

Has anyone done a study on this? A control group wants things but doesn’t pray for them, a second group prays to God for what they want, and a third group prays to a random entity — maybe a shopping cart.

Would there be any difference in results between the groups? I’m going to say no.

It’s also hard to assess the efficacy of prayer because people rarely pray for anything tangible.

My son as a kid went on a camping trip with a church group where they wound up short of sleeping bags. I asked him did the church leaders pray for more sleeping bags and he said no.

People will pray for so-and-so to recover from brain surgery but they won’t pray for more sleeping bags.

The brain surgery patient being prayed for is going to recover or not. If not, that gets filed under “sometimes the answer is no.”

But everyone knows damn well that praying for more sleeping bags is foolish because it’s not going to work.

  1 comment for “Praying for Sleeping Bags

  1. -----
    23 Oct 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Prayer is the mental version of picking Door Number 3 in a game show, or guessing what’s in a wrapped birthday or Christmas package. It’s the the suspense that’s irresistible rather than answer.

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