By Eddie Miles
www.theeverydayskeptic.com

Power of prayer! Power of prayer! Power of prayer! You hear it everywhere! But as much as we hear about the power of prayer, we never see any evidence that prayer actually works. In fact, it seems that the very science that they claim to reject is what keeps their lives in order, not prayer. Well, I've asked a few theists to show me some kind of evidence that prayer works. Unfortunately, theists these days lack creativity, so I decided to come up with a few ideas myself. Just a few things that theists could do to show me that prayer really works and science doesn't.

1) Engage in some faith-based skydiving (without a parachute, of course)-
If he can make his son ascend into heaven, he can surely keep gravity from smashing you into flesh soup.

2) Accelerate a vehicle to 100 mph or faster, let go of the steering wheel and pray for god to keep your vehicle on the road-
Shouldn't be too difficult. I mean, he CREATED physics, right?

3) Remove the load-bearing walls from your house and pray to wake up the next morning-
He gave Samson the strength to tear down a building. I would think it's a little easier to keep one intact.

4) Saw off your arm and pray for it to grow back-
Anyone who can impregnate a virgin obviously knows a thing or two about anatomy.

5) Throw a large hammer straight up into the air without a helmet and pray for the top of your head to remain in one piece-
Gravity is only a theory anyway, right?

6) Flavor your next meal with anthrax spores and pray to not get deadly, bloody diarrhea-
Any reason to bring up bloody diarrhea in a humor-oriented blog post is just fine.

7) Hang your wet laundry on a power line from a metal ladder and pray to not get fried-
If god is energy, he should be able to spare you on this one.

And finally,
8) Let the Pope drive around WITHOUT the bulletproof glass-
Because if he's willing to kill his bff, the rest of us are screwed.

So, it's not a long list by any means and definitely not all-inclusive, but just a few things that they can do to say "I trust you, Lord".

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preach it!! rotflmao

A lot of Protestants and Muslims would definitely be up for #8, but not for purely scientific reasons I fear.

Certainly some gullible believer (if you'll excuse redundancy) out there will agree to these and the matter would be settled once and for all.

In all seriousness prayer "works" due to the placebo effect. If people believe they're being helped by something they sometimes get better, it's a psychosomatic phenomenon.

 

Other than that prayer is talking to the ceiling on your knees like a crazy person. There should be an experiment to test this placebo effect with a double blind study. There should be two groups, one group gets prayer and the other doesn't, but both sides are being told they are being prayed for. I bet the results are comparable.

It can't be said that prayer works unless the results are better than one could expect with all known factors, including the placebo effect, taken into consideration.

I believe such studies have been done. I wouldn't know how to find them though.
Yeah I was never saying it actually worked, that's why I put it quotes. I just said that as theist believe it "works" and I was saying the probable reason it appears to work is due to the placebo affect. I know of one study that was done, but it was set up so the patients that knew if they were being prayed for or not. The results were interesting, as the patients that knew they were being prayed for actually had more difficult recoveries than the people with out prayer. The hypothesis behind this discrepancy was that knowing they were being prayed for put extra stress on the patients to get better faster and actually slowed their recovery. Of course the theist behind the experiment will chalk up their negative results to something like "god doesn't like to be tested" or some such non-sense.
I see. I apologize for misunderstanding.

Another reason they think it "works" is that some of the things that they pray for have a reasonable chance of coming to fruition anyway, like when they pray for a new job and suddenly get a call on an application that was placed a couple of weeks back. The odds of that happening were pretty good in the first place but they think it was because of the prayer just because they got the call shortly after praying for it.
Yes I agree with that. My creationist mother often attributes the random chance of good fortune or other windfalls to prayer or intervention from god. The people who will never de-convert and will be delusional forever are the ones that believe that have "seen things" or "heard god". The human mind is very susceptible to auditory and visual hallucinations especially when the person *wants* to hear or see something and believes in it so strongly.

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