Before you have to have to find out if prayer works, we have to be sure if God exists or at least the deity you are praying to exists
And if the God you are praying to exists, he must also be willing and able to answer your prayer
But before your prayer is answered it must also be heard.
This article compares praying against other similar instances in a logical way and lays out the possibility of you acquiring what you have prayed for if prayer really works;
Prayer is a way of communication to a deity through words or thoughts seeking for something you want to be done for you or thanking for what has been done for you
Does God exist?
Well if you are praying to him then it’s because you believe he exists otherwise why would you be praying to him if you knew he didn’t exist
The sad bit is there is no satisfying way to prove he exists apart from basing on the existing natural creations like humans,lakes, Mountains and plants all of which you believe were created by the deity you believe in
But that cannot be something to make one believe God exists.
So since we cannot find concrete physical or logical evidence of God’s existence apart from using the nature around us and basing on the holy books that literary means prayer may not work because the person you are praying to may not exist in the first place
How do we know if God has heard our prayers?
But assuming its true he really does do exist. How do we know he has heard our prayers?
Still there is no concrete evidence to show that since I have prayed God has heard my prayer.
It’s not like a text message that if I press send am sure it will be delivered to the recipient’s inbox and they will definitely read it at their convenient time
Or a mail package that I am sure will be delivered to the desired address, and if it’s not delivered, I could do a follow up about it
Well the only way you could tell if God had heard your prayers is when they get answered.
How does one pray?
Before you can worry about your prayer being heard or answered you must at least pray the right way.
The good thing is there is no fixed way to pray the only important thing is having faith that what you have prayed for will be delivered to you.
There is no fixed way because you can literarily pray from anywhere in any place at any time. This was proven during the corona pandemic when places of worship where closed and people prayed from home or even during the war you don’t need a place of worship
On the contrary, it’s during the pandemic that places of worship could have been open for people to pray against the disease and seek God’s intervention instead they were closed showing a lack of faith
So you can pray from you heart, or you join a group or go to quiet place and say your prayer
Prayer and hallucinations
Hallucinations mean you could touch, feel, see, or hear things that are not there and all this could be in your head. Actually hallucinations are seen as a mental illness sign associated with schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and a couple of other illnesses
But if you describe prayer, it’s as exactly as hallucination can be, you believe and imagine that the God you are talking to has heard your prayer and is actually responding to you and some people have claimed to have seen God and others have even heard him speak to them
Now this makes it a hallucination , when someone prays, they go into a deeper connection with their deity they believe they can hear him speak back to them or even feel him touch them
Law of attraction and prayer
With the law of attraction its believed that your thoughts and words directly affect what you receive and get in life. So if you believe or say you will be rich, that’s what the universe will deliver to you.
The has a connection with prayer in that when one is praying or following the law of attraction, One must believe, have faith that what they ask for is what they will receive and a couple of people have claimed that they got what they prayed for or got what they attracted in their lives
So it’s basically the same as saying, ask and you will be given, So if both prayer and the law of attraction work, in the same way, are they the same thing?
Which God is right?
Well if you are praying, are you praying to the right God, Allah Buddha or Zeus, name it.
And before we can find who the right God is, which is the right religion anyway?
In this article we take all gods irrespective of religion to be true and correct because we are naturally designed to tell what is right and wrong.
So you can instinctively tell if the deity you are praying to is the right one. And the article is also considering that all religions are aiming for the same thing i.e. against evil
How do you know god has answered your prayer?
This is the final piece of how our prayer. How do you know your prayer has been answered?
What if God does not answer my prayer?
The only way we can know if God will not answer your prayer is when you do not get what you prayed for. And we can only know that when the time frame to acquire it as passed
Otherwise no one knows if God will answer your prayer or not and the reasoning for that is god thinks, it’s not the right time or you don’t need what you prayed for.
But how do you know all that if you cannot have a direct answer?
When God answers your prayer
Does god really answer your prayer or you actually do something or you are just lucky
Prayer and luck or fate
Honestly, when it comes to luck you cannot tell if it was prayer or luck or fate and you are very much likely to apply confirmation bias to prove that something happened because you prayed for it not because you where lucky
So in instances of luck or fate it is hard to tell if prayer worked or you were just lucky
Confirmation bias and prayer
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one’s prior personal beliefs or values.
In this case, you will look for all possible clues to show that actually it was by prayer that you acquired what you wanted
So if you pray to get a job and it happens, then that means God answered your prayer. If you pray to have children and it happens then that would imply that your prayer was answered, if you pray for food and you get it, then your prayer was answered too
But here is the flaw in that,
How does prayer work?
When you pray to God to give you something, then he will do that for example, you ask for the wisdom it will be granted and you use it as you wish or when you ask for strength and courage God will give them to you or bless you with them
Prayer also works when god makes you capable of achieving what you prayed for, for example if you pray to become rich, God can change you character to hard working so you can get the riches you prayed for
One thing you will notice from the above examples is they are intangible,but not all of them, for example asking God for rain after a long drought, and even though something like praying for rain is visible and tangible someone might come up with a logical explanation for the rain or call it a coincidence
Why Prayer does not work
Prayer can’t work without effort or action (God only helps those who help themselves.)
Well this is not a bible verse; this is just a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin
Here we are separating effort from prayer and see if we could still logically get our prayers answered;
If you pray alone without putting in effort to acquire what you prayed for, what are the chances you will get what you prayed for?
What are the chances you will get a job by just praying or have children by just praying or get food by just praying?
Then what are the chances you will get a job if you write an applicant letter to fill a vacancy but you don’t pray about it or you try to get wife and have children without praying for it or if you get seeds and plant them to grow food
Am sure you have high chances of getting all those things you want by just doing what is necessary to acquire them even if you don’t pray about getting them
But I don’t know your chances of getting any of those things by just praying for them and not practically putting in effort to get them
This would imply prayer does not work and it’s the practical effort you put in to acquire the things you claim you prayed that actually works.
This would render prayer practically useless because I can acquire what I want by doing what it is practically necessary even if I don’t pray for it but I can’t get what I want by just praying for it as the only effort
This also means unless you put in practical effort to acquire what you prayed for, you won’t get it
Does praying for someone else work?
If praying for yourself does not work then definitely praying for others does not work.
For example, If someone is hungry, giving them food which is practical is going to fix their problem than just praying for them or praying someone to pass exams whilst they are not reading hard, prayer is likely not going to work if they are not helping themselves
But then praying for someone who is sick and they heal can be used as an example to show that prayer works even though there could scientific explanations as to why someone healed
Interestingly, praying for someone else would also be eliminating their free will in some instances, for example if someone does not want to go to German but you want them to, if god answers your prayer and makes them change their mind, he would have eliminated their free will to decide
Why do people pray?
Here are 5 reasons why people pray despite prayer working for them or not
- Well, people keep on praying because they have problems that are beyond what they can handle as humans and only a supernatural being would intervene.
This also brings the aspect that people are more likely to pray because of the challenges and problems they have in life or when they feel life is so hard for them than when everything is okay
Otherwise, would human beings really care about God or religion at all together if they had no problems to ask god for solutions
2. Praying also gives people hope and comfort that the things will get better and the problems they have will come to pass
3. Psychologically praying also gives people self-belief and courage that motivate someone to go on and face their challenges as they believe god will be by their side to help them encounter the challenge or problem
4. Prayer also makes believers feel like they are not alone in the world and at least there is someone watching over them
5. People pray so that they can create a spiritual relationships between them and their god
If you prayed for something and you acquired it as intended and expected then you can say prayer works even though that’s totally anecdotal
But if you prayed for something and you put in practical effort to acquire it. Then prayer working for you would be like saying “God helps those who help themselves”
It’s important to figure out if prayer works or not because praying for something and not getting it is definitely going to affect your life negatively considering how expectation affects us when things don’t go as expected
Praying for something and not getting it is one of the top reasons as to why most people decide and change religion or give up everything to do with religion altogether because in most cases people pray to ask for something