Prayer is just another one of those strange religious anomalies that firms up the notion in my mind that religion is pure bullshit. I actually find that I feel sorry for people who depend on prayer, the ones who believe in it whole heartedly. It’s a weakness.
To me, praying is like wishing on a shooting star or making a wish after throwing a penny in a well or blowing out the candles on your birthday cake; there really is no point to it. Wishes aren’t granted by stars or wells or gods, they are granted by the Make a Wish Foundation and Extreme Home Makeover. No matter how much people desperately wish or pray for a turn of events, it will never get them anything or anywhere in life. Yet, people still insist on it, some even risk their lives for it. Some even decline medical care for it! I mean, how desperate (Ignorant? Stupid?) do you have to be to honestly believe that speaking to someone/something in your mind will get you what you want/need?
But still, people insist on it. They believe in it. Why? Because when they pray for something and it doesn’t play out like they had hoped, well then it just wasn’t a part of god’s plan. But, when they pray for something and it does happen, then it’s a goddamn miracle! And all it takes is one of those “miracles” to make them a believer for life. Ok, now I know what you are thinking: “Didn’t any of them ever take a math class? Were they sick the day the class learned about probabilities and odds?” I mean, you throw a quarter in the air so many times, it is going to land on heads eventually, right? Nope. It will land on heads when god wants it to land on heads. You just have to keep being faithful and keep praying that one day this quarter will land heads-up. And, if you are really good, and you aren’t gay, and you don’t use birth control and you never have an abortion, well then god might just look down upon you with favor and flip that coin for you. …People actually believe this stuff and I think it’s sad. Sad and scary.
Well actually, I stop thinking it’s sad the moment they turn and try to focus their prayer magic on me. When someone says, “I’ll pray for you” or, “God bless” I actually take offense. Why go there? I mean, your waitress can’t even say “Merry Christmas” to you in the restaurant but you are going to take it upon yourself to let me know that you pity me enough to ask your god for help with my life? I never really understood why people say they will pray for you. If I’m in a shitty situation, wouldn’t it be sufficient for me to pray for myself? Or is it that the more people who pray for you the more important god thinks you and your problems are? And honestly, are you really going to pray for me? Are you really going to fold your hands and close your eyes and pray to a god that my life gets better? And are you going to be specific about my issue? Or are you just going to add my name to the list of names you rattle off in your nightly prayers? Does that matter to your god?
I also love (insert sarcasm here) how people credit their prayers to your successes as well. Thank you for praying for me to graduate college, I couldn’t have done it without you and your prayers… and Sallie Mae… and all the countless hours I spent studying. Oh, and thank you so much for praying for my marriage that you thought would never last. I’m glad god made it work, too.
Yep, god sure does work in mysterious ways. And the chances are about 50/50 that he’ll work in the ways you want him to.