Does prayer work? Not a snowball’s chance in Heck – not that there really is a Heck of course. The proof of the pudding is of course, if prayer really worked, there would be Un Curso De Milagros in that we’d all be lotto winners or at least pretty rich and famous! We’d be total successes at our jobs, in our relationships, have perfect partners and perfect children. And our cars wouldn’t break down! Further, the sun would shine down on us every day of our lives.
Even if we all just prayed for good things in general, not personal things in particular, and if our benevolent prayers really worked, then there would be no disease or suffering or crime or wars, etc. We’d all live in a utopian Camelot. But we don’t! I mean, come every Christmas and Easter, the Pope publicly prays for world peace. That’s noble of him. But, come next Christmas and Easter, he has to do it all over again! Now if the Pope can’t get results, what hope for the great unwashed?
Since a result, that is, world peace (as one of many possible examples), hasn’t happened; it’s obviously not the case, then either God doesn’t exist, or doesn’t answer prayers. If the latter, then God doesn’t give a tinkers damn about us, so why should we give a tinkers damn about Him (again, being traditional and assuming the masculine)? If we don’t give a damn, then Gods existence, or lack of existence, is basically irrelevant.
Think of all those trillions of man-hours (sorry, person-hours) wasted over the centuries by those in pursuit of an illusion – that praying brought results. Do you really think our world today is a better place for all that time, effort and energy? No? Then I say again – what a waste. Further, no scholarly studies ever done on the beneficial results of praying have ever shown that praying works.
If prayer does seem to work at times on a personal level, it’s probably more a case of mind-over-matter, the power of positive thinking, and akin to the placebo pill in medicine. Every now and again, the improbable happens. Just because you prayed for an improbable event doesn’t mean the prayer worked, and therefore that there’s a God who answered it.