An Atheist’s Perspective On Prayer


A few days ago there was an article over on Psychology Today titled Praying Allows People to Believe They Are Doing Something Useful   It caught my eye because it came in my email under my atheist Google news alert.

After I clicked over to read the article, I noted that there were three key points listed.

Those points were…

  • Prayer is certainly the most common complementary and alternative intervention used by people.
  • Prayers offered by large groups of devout people have no benefit on the health of others.
  • Being religious, praying, or being a religious leader were completely unrelated to all general health outcomes.

I found the conclusions of the atheist who wrote this very fascinating because I have prayed close to forty years and I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of answers to prayer in my lifetime.

I know people who have been miraculously healed of cancer and are still living and telling others about it.  I have seen broken hearts healed because of the prayers of faithful godly people.  I have seen the nation pray when tragedy strikes.  So, I know, as millions of faithful and devout Christians do, that the God we pray to, answers.

I found it interesting that there are a few glaring things missing in this article.  First, there’s no mention of WHO the person is praying to.  The world’s religions have a ton of different “gods” that people pray to and here’s a newsflash atheist dude, when every religion under the sun prays for something, the “object” or “person” they are praying to, has to actually EXIST in order for the prayer to be heard.  So, it actually stands to reason, why prayer isn’t effective for those people.

However, when you are looking at the results of the prayers of faithful, godly, true disciples of  Jesus Christ, who have a personal relationship with Christ, there is not only evidence for answers to prayer, but millions of people around the world attest to the fact that their prayers have been answered.

What I think the atheist is missing is that faith cannot be measured scientifically and also that prayer is tied to faith.  The person praying often has a measure of faith and often the person being prayed for often has a measure of faith.  How can you measure faith scientifically?

I would posit that all “research” on prayer is flawed because of that faith aspect.

However, the saddest part of this whole thing is that the atheist clearly has been hurt by the church, or people claiming to be religious etc, and that is the biggest heartbreak because that person cuts himself off from the one, true, living God, who does love him.

So, I would ask my dear readers to pray for

Gary Wenk Ph.D. , because clearly he needs our prayers, whether he believes they work or not.