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Discussion Topics

Below are discussion topics and thoughts on various aspects of prayer.

The Problems of Prayer

key points

1. Opposing prayers

What happens when two devoted Christians pray for opposing claims? This is common place during football games where Christians pray for both teams to win but in the end only one team is victorious.

 

2. Prayer's dilemma of non-prayer

Does God allow a person's child to be killed in a car wreck simply because they didn't pray for him to not kill the child in a car wreck? To claim that God does something because you pray for it is the same as saying that God does something because you didn't pray to the contrary.

 

3. Prayer takes advantage of people

Prayer convinces people who want to help out that they are helping out, even though in reality nothing is getting done. It is like a false charity who pockets the money instead of using it to feed the children as promised.

 

4. Is "I'll pray for you" a kind gesture?

When a person says they will pray for you, even though prayer is fictitious, it still shows that the person cares for you. However, saying that you will pray for someone is still not a kind gesture... it is a lazy gesture. Essentially that person is saying that they want the best for you as long as it takes no effort on their behalf.

If the person actually cared they would do something themselves to help out. For example, Christians will commonly say that they'll pray that a non-Christian will become a follower of Christ instead of actually taking the time to enter a discussion and listen to the person's concerns and questions.

 

5. The claim that God only answers some prayers

When a prayer is not granted Christians will say, "Well God only answers some prayers." Aside from this excuse making prayer useless it also contradicts what the Bible says about prayer...

 

6. Prayer according to the Bible

The Bible specifically says that Christians "will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (John 15:7 & Mathew 21:22). Not just some things, but whatever is asked for. The Bible also does not limit prayer requests to simple events like allowing a well trained football team to win a football game. The Bible promises that even supernatural requests will be granted through prayer. John 14:12 even claims that through prayer any Christian will be able to perform all of the supernatural acts that Jesus did (e.g. walking on water and magically reattaching a human ear) and even great ones.

If prayer works, all Christians can supernaturally walk on water like Peter and Jesus in the stories.

 

7. Does prayer work?

No. Tests have been done on the topic (e.g. the 1983 San Francisco General Hospital test) and prayer has never been shown to work. There also has never been one single example of an event that breaks the well known laws/limitations of nature like we should see if prayer were true. Some have shared stories of doctors claiming that a patient cannot be cured then after prayer the patient gets cured but this is only an example of a human doctor being wrong. There has also been identical cases that didn't involve praying and situations where a patient takes a turn for the worse after people coincidentally pray for them. You can learn more about faith healing claims at The negative impact Christianity causes.

 

8. What prayer boils down to

As explained in the video "The best optical illusion in the world" praying to God is no different from praying to a milk jug. They both get the same results, sometimes what you ask for comes true and sometimes it doesn't. Prayers coming true boils down to nothing more than mere coincidences. Some times a fortune cookie is dead on and some times it is wrong.