My stepson is a devout Catholic. It bothers him that I have an atheist website and a presence on several atheist forums. He has an account on my member forum, at AtheistExile.com, and follows the conversations there as a lurker instead of a participant.
He told me I should try prayer, just for a little while, to see if they come true or not.
I never approach my family members on the subject of religion but if they approach me about it, I don't hold back unless I see them closing their minds. This is what I told him (edited for posting) . . .
. . . Given the might and majesty of The Lord, I assume people don't trivialize their prayers. They pray for good and worthy things. But if those things are good and worthy AND God is mighty and majestic, why do we have to pray for them in the first place?
I mean, look at the perennially starving masses in Africa, where drought always seems to be a problem somewhere. Don't they pray for rain? Surely some of them are Christians!?! (Not that it should matter.) What about all the fat and happy Christians in the U.S.? Don't they pray for rain for the poor, starving, Africans?
Jesus (i.e. God in the flesh) said that we should live like the birds: they don't worry about food or shelter -- they just flit through life letting God provide for them. If that is what Jesus tell us to do, then why do we need to pray for the starving masses? Why do we need to remind God that he claimed to provide for our needs?
Yes, yes. I know. God works in mysterious ways. That's what we say whenever God does bad things. Don't you ever wonder why we say it so often?
You know, son, I was a Christian once. But I never fooled myself into thinking my prayers were ever answered.