Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Family Prayer Circle In A Hospital Room

I don't believe in prayer. I'm not against it, I just don't believe in it. You can pray, of course, that's obvious. I just don't believe it helps much. I guess when sick people know about your prayers for them, it cheers them up and that may help. I do recognize the power of Faith in healing, at least within the person who's ill. I don't believe that God is paying that much attention to you, but the person you're praying for might be. If it cheers them to be prayed for, their positive feelings will improve and so might their chances to heal, I guess. But I can't go very far in praising the Lord for people who don't die of cancer, diabetes, etc., when we only blame the doctor for those who die of those same things. But everything I've mentioned here is psychology. Prayer helps if it's directed toward someone who knows about it, that's my theory and it extends no further.

I wish I did believe more, I suppose, but that requires the deaf dumb and blind faith I don't possess. I have problems just like the next fellow and would like a bit of magic at work for me and mine. But I don't know how the trick can be said to work when I've seen (we've all seen) so many instances where prayer didn't work. Either that or somebody prayed for the wrong thing. Even among children, some who are prayed for get well—others stay sick or die. Among adults, it is obvious that good people perish while perverts get well and prosper. If God's ways are that mysterious, then publicly praying your guts out for a good outcome is just so much hubris, not humility at all—another act of pleasant self-delusion, as if to say that through intense desire, "We can make God care as we do!" You can try that, this is America. And I can decline to do it—again, this is America.

Neither of us can necessarily avoid catching hell for it, though.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities." — Aldous Huxley

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)