A Theological/Bible Related Commentary
Have you ever asked yourself why Christians feel the need to pray?
The faithful will tell you that they pray for a wide variety of reasons. They may pray to their God to praise Him for being so loving and wonderful, or merely to give “thanks” for the “blessings” He’s bestowed upon them. Some pray to confess their “sins” directly to God and thus make their remorse feel all that more sincere. Many pray to seek God’s Divine help or guidance in some matter. Many Christians even pray on behalf of others. And many of the faithful pray to their God to simply “commune” with Him. Most Christians, however, pray in hope of receiving material goods of one form or another.
You may wonder how the faithful can come to praise God for being so loving and wonderful, or thank Him for “blessings” received when there is no evidence whatsoever that God even exists. (This parallels, in a manner, Christians telling atheists that we “hate” God. Now how can anyone be “mad” at or “hate” a God―or any other imaginary creature for that matter―that we don’t even believe to be real? It is well-nigh impossible to do. Just try it sometime and see. Try truly hating leprechauns, for example. Or try getting truly angry at them. Can’t do it now, can you? But if you really can, well, you deserve genuine pity.
The brutal truth is that Christians are simply imagining that they are communicating with deity. Equally brutal is the fact that they cannot possibly prove otherwise either.
Isn’t that a mind-numbing realization we nonbelievers all have to accept!
On Group Prayer
Many non-Christians are troubled by the extent to which Christians will try and impose Christian prayer on others. If it’s not in the public school classroom, it’s at graduation ceremonies, or during sporting activities and the like. And it is usually Christians using simple peer pressure to coerce others into participating even though genuine sincerity on the part of each participant may be entirely lacking. Such group prayer ends up being nothing more than an “advertisement” for the Christian religion and a bold-faced attempt to indoctrinate non-Christians into the Christian faith.
Yet Jesus―purported to be none other than God in the flesh himself―absolutely opposed staged prayer and the like in his famed “Sermon on the Mount”:
““Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven …
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others” (Matthew 6:1, 6, and 5, in that order; NIV; emphasis mine)
As for what prayer truly accomplishes―other than fulfill some psychological or emotional need on the part of the worshiper―Christians are at a loss to prove.
And has anyone ever defined what group prayer is supposed to achieve that individual, personal prayer does not?
God Anticipates Your Needs
But there’s more: Jesus goes on further in the Sermon on the Mount to declare that “Your Father knows what you need [even] before you ask him ,” prayer-wise! (Matthew 6:8; NIV)
Well, if an all-knowing God already knows what you would feel the need to pray for beforehand, what is the need for prayer at all? If it is simply to make make-believe God “punch-happy” and pleased with the level of attention and begging He is receiving, what a hoot! Does it make imaginary God unhappy to deny prayer requests too?
Havoc-Wreaking God and Misfortune
God gets the credit when things go well for the Christian; so much so that Christians feel themselves individually “blessed” by God in a positive way. But then why is not God given the blame when things go disastrously wrong by these very same worshipers―excepting natural disasters? God, instead, gets to remain utterly immune from reproach―regardless of how horrific the disaster! Now that’s retarded in my view. It’s just plain goofy. Is it not?
Look at the number of Christians throughout man’s history that have actually been killed in church or during a religious service of one type or another; killed while praising, adoring, and thanking Almighty God in worship!! Now what on earth did thankful prayer achieve for those Christians?!
Where was Almighty God to “protect” not only His houses of worship, but too, those worshiping inside them, from destruction?.
What a bizarre form of “gratitude” God Almighty chooses to display to the faithful!!
Was not going to worship and pray that deadly day utterly tragic, not only for the victims, but for their friends, family members, and fellow worshipers alike? Would not the act of protecting all worshipers from harm in places of worship provide a proof that God actually exists?
So what do the grieving survivors, friends, family members, and fellow worshipers do after church-related deaths? Why, they gather together and pray to make-believe God all the more fervently! Now how bizarre is that!! It was their own “loving” God calling the victims “home,” so we are told, by murdering them! So what is further prayer supposed to accomplish?
We all know of people of faith who have prayed to God to thank him for the fact that their hellish existence isn’t even more hellish. But where was God prior to these individuals suffering such hellish conditions? How much praying and veneration is required before God does something, anything, to aid his suffering earthly “children”?
“Your [Heavenly] Father knows what you need before you [even] ask him.”
(Jesus in Matthew 6:8)
So what went wrong?
What? Starving children just not praying fervently enough for God’s taste these days?