I grew up in an evangelical Christian home. I prayed to Jesus at age nine to forgive me of all my sins and to be my Lord and Savior. I was told that as a child of God, a Christian, God would speak to me “in my heart” with a still, small voice and that he would “move” me and “lead” me to do his will. All I had to do was to pray to him and to seek righteousness.
I never heard God once. I never felt “moved”. I never felt “led”. I felt and heard nothing.
However, all the evangelical Christians around me were hearing God and feeling God all the time! What was up? What was I (it had to be my fault, after all) doing wrong??
So I prayed harder. I repented of my sins harder. I repented of sins I wasn’t even aware of just to be sure. But nothing.
In my teens, I came to a point in my life where I seriously questioned if I was a Christian. I must not be if God is not speaking to me. So I prayed to Jesus again: “Lord, PLEASE save me. PLEASE be my Lord and Savior. I commit my life; everything I am and have to you. PLEASE speak to me.”
In my mid-twenties, I finally decided that either there was some sin that I was harboring in my heart (about which I was completely unaware), or, God just didn’t want me. So I left the Church.
Now that I am older, I have had time to look at the evidence, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it was never me…it was always God. Here is the evidence I found:
Disease and Illness: Christians have the same rates of disease and illness as non-Christians. Jesus doesn’t seem to answer prayers for healing. The percentage of non-Christians, including atheists, who recover from illness is the same as that of Christians. Christians who claim that they were healed due to prayer cannot prove that their healing was not due to some other factor, such as the medication that their doctor was giving them or pure coincidence. If Jesus really heals people due to prayer, Christians should have a much higher healing rate. They don’t.
Accident rates: Christians have just as many accidents as non-Christians. There is no evidence that Jesus provides any better protection for Christians behind the wheel than non-Christians, including atheists. So asking Jesus to keep you and your family safe on your road trip doesn’t seem to be of any benefit.
Job promotion: Is there any evidence that Christians are promoted in their jobs more often than non-Christians? I doubt it. Praying to Jesus to give you that promotion or that raise that your family really and truly needs doesn’t seem to work.
Food poisoning: Most Christians pray before every meal for God to bless their food. However, no study I am aware of indicates that Christians have fewer incidences of food poisoning or that Christians are healthier than non-Christians. Jesus doesn’t seem to respond to prayers for “blessing” food.
Child Safety: This is a big one for most Christian parents. We pray to Jesus to keep our children safe. Studies, however, demonstrate that the rate of accidents, injuries, disease, and death among the children of Christians is no different than the rates for the children of non-Christians. Praying to Jesus to keep your children safe is not effective.
But wait a minute! Maybe it isn’t Jesus will that Christians have lower accident rates, lower death rates, higher job promotion rates, lower food poisoning rates, or higher child safety rates! Well, that might be true. But you have to wonder, why do Christians bother praying for these things if God isn’t going to answer these prayers at a rate any higher than pure chance??
But here is the nail in the coffin for the question of whether or not prayer works: Every evangelical Christian I know believes that God has a life-mate chosen for him or her, and that if each individual (true) Christian will sincerely pray to God and sincerely seek righteousness in his or her life, God will bring that special “one” to them. But here’s the problem: Christians, and even evangelical Christians, have the same divorce rate as non-Christians!! Jesus just doesn’t seem interested in answering prayers regarding choosing a life mate!
How could it be Jesus’ will for Christians to marry the wrong person, when they had so sincerely prayed to God to lead them to “the one“? Why didn’t Jesus lead them to someone whom they would never stop loving and never want to divorce? How could it be Jesus’ will for Christian children to live in broken homes, without both their father and their mother? Now maybe you will say that it is not God’s will for Christians to divorce; that God did lead them to “the one”; that they should just stick it out and make the marriage work. But are we really to believe that the high divorce rate among evangelical Christians, who are some of the most devout people you will ever meet, is because they didn’t sincerely pray to God to save their marriages?? Come on.
Prayer doesn’t work, folks. The evidence is overwhelming. All the Christians around you who tell you that God speaks to them, moves them, and leads them, are simply on an emotional rush…listening to the still, small voice of…themselves!
15 thoughts on “Evidence that Prayer does not Work”
You are right on. I was raised Catholic, prayed many times – nothing. All so-called miracles are coincidence or issues the medical world does not understand.
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I would really like to chat about this subject because I’m totally onboard. I’d like to discuss my view on this subject.
Have at it.
Here is one scenario with two different outcomes which causes me to believe prayers don’t work.
Scenario: A knitting church group has a member named Mary. Mary gets critically ill. The next Sunday the minister gets up in front of the congregation and prays for Mary’s recovery. She gets well and the next Sunday the minister gets up in front of the congregation and says “God listened and answered our prayers.”
Same scenario but Mary dies. The minister gets up in front of congregation and says, Everything happens to to will of God.” She’s in a better place now,” is always used as an excuse for unanswered prayers.
They won’t say, “God didn’t hear our prayers,” or “God didn’t answer our prayers. ”
Such double standards. This is why I don’t believe prayers work.
What’s your opinion?
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The same double standard occurs when someone is killed in an accident or dies of cancer. If the person involved is an atheist, a homosexual, or a prostitute, their death is due to their sin. If the person involved is a “good Christian” their death is chalked up to the “mysterious ways of our loving heavenly Father”.
What a bunch of BS.
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100% agree. My husband was admitted to the ICU with a severe bacterial infection and had people – of all faiths – praying fervently for him all across the country. He died within 48 hrs. So much for prayer.
Sad story … with truth intertwined.
You’re 100% right, prayer is a worthless hollow promises that gets your hopes up high only to not deliver. Quite frankly, having military experience along with the discipline it gives which can last a lifetime is far better than the promises made by Jesus via the holy bible. I know this for a fact since I am a proud united states Army veteran. And with that said, let me say that the united states military core values is a far better life guide and Jesus’s 10 commandments. And finally, serving in the united states military gives you the GI bill along with va medical coverage for life. Does serving Jesus give you that?
Is it possible you misunderstand the purpose of prayer?
Doubtful, but enlighten us!
I was about 12 years old when my neighbor was stabbed. He was rushed to the hospital and I asked God to not make him die. In the wee hours of the morning, the grim news came – the man did not make it. I was disappointed with the God I had been told can heal people and raise some from the dead. Why didn’t He do it for this man?
Some 20 years later I came to realize that I didn’t trust God – not for things I couldn’t handle myself anyway and I told Him that. I told Him my relationship with Him has really been out of fear that He will punish me in hell when I die. But, I have asked Him for things, some of which I have received. Others, like the husband – not yet and I have come up with all kinds of rationalizations about it…
Two years ago though, I told Him I was tired of hearing how unworthy I was of His love. Having searched the Scriptures to find any instances of Jesus telling anyone they were not worthy of His love and finding not one reference, I asked Him to allow me to experience His love on a personal level.
The afternoon in spring was chilly indoors and I decided to go down to the beach and enjoy the warmth of the sun. As I walked to my car, I realized it was not really warm. I got in anyway, and instead of going to the beach, I felt led to drive to a park I had visited only once before.
When I got there, I noticed a tree straight in front of where I parked and walked towards it. Standing underneath I looked up and became curious about what appeared to be some small, red berries, just a little bigger than blueberries. Without caution, I picked one and bit into it. “Oh my God!”, I said to my sister who was on the phone, “It’s guava!”
Growing up, we had two of those types of guava trees on the property and I had never seen another of its kind since leaving my parents’ home. I was ecstatic as I picked from the tree laden with the fruits, letting the sweet syrup ooze out into my mouth! My pockets and hands were full of the tiny fruits as I got back into the car. As I sat and looked at the tree under a canopy of bright, red fruits I felt as though I was out on a date with someone who had brought me special gifts that made me feel girlishly excited. In another ten minutes, the night began to fall and I drove out of the park feeling loved, and my request honored by God.
As I neared a little strip mall, I decided to stop in a store to buy a household item I had needed for the apartment I had just moved into. Leaving the section with the item, I remembered that I also needed a broom, so I started looking for one. To my amazement, there was one with a patterned stick as I had never seen before! It had all heart shapes imprinted on it and what’s more in my favorite color! Grinning, I snatched it up and was heading towards the cashier when, on a shelf off to my left was a plaque, also in my favorite color. I picked it up and was now to the point of tears when I read an inscription on the front of it -“Love never fails” from First Corinthians chapter 13.
That was a turning point in my relationship with God and one of the times when for sure He did answer my prayer.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I was playing Texas-hold’em one day at a casino and was dealt pocket aces THREE TIMES IN A ROW. Do you know how rare that is?? Being dealt pocket aces three times in a row is much more of a “miracle” than your experience in the strip mall. Yet, having taken a class in statistics at a public university, I realized that very rare, very unusual, but natural events do occur. There was nothing miraculous about my day at the poker table. I simply had experienced random chance.
Wake up, my friend. You are caught up in a delusion.
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Gary … did you notice the “Christian-ese?” I was “led to” drive to a park … finding “tiny red fruits” was a “sign” that her request was “honored by God.”
Then — OMG! — finding a Special Broom! How could anyone doubt that “God” was behind it all?
Christians are soooo gullible.
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@ Judith A
How truly wonderful! God provided you with a pocketful of guava fruit and a new broom, Unfortunately, in that time he …. sorry, He allowed several thousand children to starve to death, die of malaria, cancer, a random earthquake, a few cases of meningitis, numerous cot deaths, drownings’, some were sodomised by a group of Catholic priests, a dozen were run over by drunk drivers (three of which were Christians in their way back from church). and the list goes on.
Well … God knows HIs priorities, I suppose, yes?
Sorry about God not finding you a husband, Judith, but did it ever cross your mind that God thinks you are thick as a pound of lard and too self-centred that no man would even entertain the idea of marrying you?
Maybe God’s destiny for you is to be a spinster or a witch? At least you already have the broom!
All the best.