EppsNet Archive: Prayer

Silver and Gold

11 Aug 2017 /

I’m gonna go out dancin’ every night
I’m gonna see all the city lights
I’ll do everything silver and gold
I got to hurry up before I grow too old

I’m gonna take a trip around the world
I’m gonna kiss all the pretty girls
I’ll do everything silver and gold
And I got to hurry up before I grow too old

Oh, I do a lotta things, I know is wrong
Hope I’m forgiven before I’m gone
It’ll take a lotta prayers to save my soul
And I got to hurry up before I grow too old


Praying for Sleeping Bags

23 Oct 2016 /
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.”

What’s the point of the prayer if God is going to do whatever he wants to do anyway? Your results would be just as good if you offered prayers to me. Some of your prayers would be answered and some wouldn’t.

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 — me, or 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 never 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 not going to work.


God Bless Us, Every One

16 Oct 2016 /
Daniel's Prayer

I saw a Facebook status update this weekend asking for prayers for anyone with family problems, health struggles, job issues or worries of any kind who just need to know that someone cares.

The deal is that you have to copy and paste the status to your own Facebook page.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe in God or prayer, although I do believe that a lot of people need to know that someone cares about them.

That being said, depending on how lost I feel at any given time, I’m willing to try things even though I’m pretty certain that they’re not going to work. But I have not tried prayer.

Why would I need to post something on Facebook to indicate that I prayed for you? Because prayer is not a real thing that’s going to produce a tangible result in the world. So you have to tell people that you did it, otherwise they would never know.

Also, if you believe in God, don’t you believe that God is in control of things being the way they are? If you have struggles, as we all do, do you believe that the struggles were given to you by God? If I leave a sack of flaming dog shit on your porch, do you think I’m going to come over and stomp it out for you?

Do you believe that God says to himself, “I’m going to hit this person with a series of devastating blows, but if he asks me to ease up a little, I will”?

It seems perverse to me.


Praying for Startups

31 May 2016 /

A new Meetup group called Praying for Startups sent me the following email:

Are you involved in a startup? Are you a Christian?

Meet fellow Christians from all walks of the entrepreneurial eco-sphere, as we share and pray for our teams and the startup community, both locally and abroad.

I’d be interested to see some numbers on the correlation between prayer and startup success. I suspect there isn’t any. Also the relative efficacy of prayers to a Christian God vs. Allah, Buddha, Satan, Zeus and all other supernatural beings.


See You in Hell

15 May 2016 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Along with pleas for money, almost 100 percent of the cardboard signs I see being held by people on freeway off-ramps and the like include the phrase “God Bless You.”

There seems to be a correlation between belief in God and begging for money on off-ramps. Notice that you never see Satanists begging for money.

Why don’t they pray for the money? Maybe they did pray and God told them to make a cardboard sign?

I tell my acolytes if they need money, learn to code.

See you in Hell . . .


A Wing and a Prayer

1 May 2016 /
English: "Daniel's Prayer" (1865) by...

I noticed walking to Starbucks this morning that my right knee was making a snapping noise every time I took a step. No pain, just a snapping noise. So I prayed to God to make the snapping noise stop — and it did!

But then it started up again a few minutes later. ๐Ÿ™

It turns out that the noise wasn’t coming from my right knee, it was coming from the right pocket of my sweatpants, where my house key was bouncing against my phone.


The Power of Prayer

24 Feb 2015 /

John Paul Jackson prayer needed

John Paul Jackson dies


See You in Hell, O Ye of Little Faith

14 Sep 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Greetings from the underworld! I was catching up on Facebook this morning and saw that a woman is going in for brain surgery and her family and friends are asking for prayers for her recovery.

Isn’t that overkill — prayer and brain surgery? Why not just pray for her recovery and if she doesn’t make it, you chalk it up to God’s will?

Some “true believer” religions, e.g., the Christian Science church, do that. They believe more in prayer than in medicine. They decline medical care because they believe that God can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, etc. as he did in the Bible. These are the folks you hear about when they come up on criminal charges after refusing medical care for their seriously ill children and the children die.

Either God can cure a brain tumor or he can’t. Why ask a doctor to cure a brain tumor if you’ve already asked God to cure the brain tumor? Because when it comes down to matters of life and death, most people don’t really believe in God and prayer the way they believe in doctors.

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

See you in Hell . . .


Killed by Prayer

30 Jun 2014 /

Thumbs down

A woman on Facebook a couple of days ago asked everyone to pray for her seriously ill father. Today, he died. Go figure.

Had he made a miraculous recovery, we would have said that prayer “worked” . . . but what does it mean when you pray for someone to live and he dies?

I had a college professor . . . his exams were graded by a graduate assistant, but students had the option of appealing grades to the professor. That’s not unusual, but most professors will either raise the grade or leave it as is. This guy, however, would either raise the grade, leave it as is or lower it. Risky!

Maybe God operates on the same principle. When you put someone’s fate in his hands, he retains the option of saying “toodle-oo.”


It’s Not That Hard to Be a Saint in the City

25 Apr 2014 /
Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II is being canonized this weekend because of 667,302 prayers for divine intervention, he miraculously answered two, years after he was already dead.

What sort of evidence is required to certify that an earthly phenomenon was caused by a dead person?

William of Occam would have pointed out that there are simpler explanations for a sick person getting well, e.g.,

  • The disease responded to treatment.
  • The disease went into remission.
  • The patient was misdiagnosed and did not really have the disease in the first place.

I assure you that if 667,302 people with diagnosed medical ailments prayed to my dog, in at least two of those cases (and more likely, thousands), something unusual would happen.

Years ago, a lower GI series revealed that I had a golf ball-sized (4 cm) tumor in my colon. The doctor did a colonoscopy a few days later and the tumor was gone.

It’s a miracle! Unless something was wrong with the production or reading of the x-ray and the tumor was never there at all.

I didn’t say any prayers so no one will be getting a sainthood out of it. Or maybe I myself am a saint!

Update: This.


I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: “Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it. — Voltaire


Thoughts on a Turbulent Flight

30 Dec 2013 /

I can’t sleep on planes. I’m afraid the damn thing will crash and I’ll miss it.

 

I don’t believe in anything. I wish I did. It seems comforting to imagine holding the plane aloft with prayer.

 

I’m not a good person. Why shouldn’t something terrible happen to me?


How Effective is Prayer as a Tornado Survival Tactic?

22 May 2013 /

Oklahoma tornado

Take that, liberal heathen! She’s not “supposed” to pray in a school but she did it anyway! And that’s why she’s alive today!

It would be useful to know for the purpose of assessing the value of prayer as a tornado survival tactic, how many of the 24 people who didn’t survive the Oklahoma tornado were praying at the moment of their death.

Of the 10 children who were killed, were any of them praying? Maybe God said to himself, “Okay, change of plans. I was going to hit Rhonda Crosswhite with this tornado, but since she’s praying out loud in a school, I’ll redirect it into those 10 kids.”


Praying vs. Screaming: A Comparative Analysis

7 May 2013 /

Did you hear about these three women in Cleveland who were kidnapped and held in a house for 10 years?

Reunion

They were rescued on Monday of this week when one of the women screamed through a small opening in the front door, “I need help! I need help! I have been kidnapped for 10 years.” Two men in the neighborhood heard her screaming, kicked the door in and the women were able to escape.

(Why it took 10 years to think up the Scream for Help strategy, I don’t know. I wish the reporter had asked about that.)

A childhood friend of one of the women said, “I’m so thankful, God is good. I’ve been praying. Never forgot about her, ever.”

So let’s see . . . 10 years of prayer = no results. Screaming for help = instant results.

I know some wiseass is going to say that prayer did bring results because God sent someone to kick the door in, but did he have to wait 10 years to do it? It’s a good thing the guys who heard the screams didn’t take 10 years to mull over their next move . . .


Theological Question

16 Jul 2012 /

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up . . .

— James 5:15

So why did the Lord make the sick person sick in the first place?


The Effect of Your Practices

19 Sep 2011 /
Sun

And you, credulous men, show me the effect of your practices! In so many centuries, during which you have been following or altering them, what changes have your prescriptions wrought in the laws of nature? Is the sun brighter? Is the course of the seasons varied? Is the earth more fruitful, or its inhabitants more happy? If God be good, can your penances please him? If infinite, can your homage add to his glory? If his decrees have been formed on foresight of every circumstance, can your prayers change them? Answer, O inconsistent mortals!


He prayed in his silence: O God, make me human, let me feel temptation. Save me from my indifference. — Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote


Twitter: 2010-08-07

7 Aug 2010 /
Twitter
  • RT @eddiepepitone: stay away from people who say- 1) I can do 5 years in the big house standing on my head. 2) Let's pray together. #