Bald man's backSome time ago I came across a blog basically saying that you cannot petition God with prayer, speaking out against prayer and religion as stupid and wasteful in general. She’s one of those neo-atheists. It stuck with me (I’d found it totally by accident, looking for something else). The blogger continued to bemoan the fact that she was outraged and insulted when someone offered to prayer for her, and that she would rather rely on her confidence in science and her own judgment. I couldn’t help thinking how sad those statements were, even though she presented them as if she was so magnanimous in thinking that way – so highly evolved that she could rise above religion; and clearly, relying merely on science and her own (clouded) judgment, she will remain in question without any answers.

What I found interesting is that she was able to quickly site certain studies that pointed out the uselessness of prayer. I did a quick search on “usefulness of prayer” to see how much would come up on the negative and was hard pressed to find anything. I changed my search for something a little more generic: “prayer psychology” thinking surely I would be able to find some scientific psychological studies that pointed out prayer was useless. Nope. Actually, I found the Science Codex high up on the results that states prayer increases forgiveness and preserves relationships, according to a study; and further stated 9 our of 10 Americans pray (at least occasionally), and they do it because there is scientific proof of its effectiveness. Whether you want to believe in a Higher Being or just a psychological shift, there is scientific proof that prayer works. And that seems to anger those self-proclaimed atheists like that particular blogger.

And why wouldn’t you wan to petition God? I’m not talking about praying that you’ll win the lottery, or for a flat tire for the person who cut you off yesterday, or for someone to trip who did you wrong. When we pray for anything that our moral system confirms is a good and wholesome thing, like for someone’s well-being, or for a blessing on something, or for a safe outcome, things are moved – in us and in others. Those of us who do believe in God believe that He moves people through Love. Those who do not believe in the classical way of “organized religion” believe that consciousness is altered through the repetition of prayer. Prayer works no matter what religion or denomination you want to place yourself.

In this day and age, we need something to rely on that is outside ourselves. With the lack of human rights, high crime rates, racism, diseases, natural disasters, man-made disasters like the BP oil spill, who, in their right mind, would be feeble enough to say they have confidence in science and in their own judgment? It’s that kind of thinking that’s put us in this mess to begin with. I welcome the co-mingling of religion and science. I love the fact that science is trying to find God in the God Particle or by looking back in time to before the Big Bang. Any scientist, academic and skeptic that feels a need to separate themselves from the Creator (no matter how you experience Him) has a very, very, long, lonely, and depressing life ahead of him.

Of course, we could pray for them!