Recently, a friend of mine died.
I am told that he passed away peacefully and apparently painlessly.
He had many friends and all of them met in church to pray for him.
I suppose they prayed for his soul, since there was little sense in praying for his body.
And, I asked myself, what is it exactly they are praying for?
I did not join them for prayers in church. I went to my studio and played some music he liked and tried to remember the many discussions we had about so many different things. In particular we used to discuss, sometimes argued about, his religious beliefs.
Oh, he believed in prayer and none of my arguments would convince him otherwise.
Prayer, I argued, is both, needless and useless.
Since everything in this world and the one beyond will happen because that's the way it is in God's plan, prayers cannot change what God has determined to be the future course.
If it is “God's Will” that my friend's soul shall go to join him in heaven, it is needless to pray for this, since it will happen anyway, with or without our prayers.
If, however, due to unconfessed, and therefore unforgiven mortal sins my friends soul will end in a place, other than Heaven, say, in Hell, we can pray until the cows come home, our prayers will be totally ineffectual. There are many passages in the Bible, which clearly emphasize what happens under those circumstances: The soul of the sinner will roast in Hell forever.
Therefore I argue, prayer is both needless and useless.
Uncountable millions or trillions of prayers have been offered by believers for world peace. Did God listen ? Look around you in this world and you will inevitably come to the conclusion that God has turned a deaf ear to all prayers.
He, who is supposed to be All Merciful and All Powerful has, for some reason decided to have No Mercy and exercise None of His alleged powers to respond to any of these prayers.
One would think that He would finally get tired of having his name used for the systematic killing of millions upon millions of his praying subjects.
Quite recently one of the ultra religious politicians in the USA announced:
“I pray that I shall NOT be elected to this position, unless it is God's will that I shall..”
Unknowingly he made the case for the “needlessness” and “uselessness” of prayer.
Should God have decided that this poor man shall become a Senator, all his praying NOT to become one is useless. If he should pray to become a Senator, his prayers are needless, since God had already decided so.
Please, do not come with this tired argument, that God has given Man free will and therefore cannot or does not wish to interfere with Man's decisions. This is such blatant nonsense, that I deal with it only because the “Free Will” argument, is consistently tabled as an excuse for the contradictory, indefensible non-action of a cruel God-Image.
I say “God Image” since the Christian God was, I suggest, created by Man. Not the other way around.
So, you may pray to your heart's content. If it turns you on, be my guest. Just don't ask me to participate in this endeavor.