Understanding prayer in the face of Death

My grandpa, I man I deeply respect, lies dying from colon cancer a million miles away from me. He is not expected to survive the night. My own father passed away unexpectedly roughly the same time last year and I never got to see him before he died. I feel so powerless, so impotent. It makes sense that people pray in situations like this.

 

I will not, of course, since I understand them to be more harmful than good and would go unanswered on the other side even if I did stoop to such self-deception, but I get it that prayers at least feel like they're doing something while as an atheist rationality forces me to realize I've done all I can. Still, I hate this feeling of powerlessness.

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Comment by John Camilli on July 18, 2011 at 7:23pm

All of existence is like that. There's nothing we can do to affect any of it. Prayer is not he only useless thing people do with their lives. Any time someone thinks they can cause change in the world, they are deluding themselves. Any efects, any interractions at all going on in the universe are caused, and those causes were caused, and those ones too, but WE are not the causors. Unless you or I made existence, then we are merely an aspect of it, tumbling about as we are pushed, and only mistaking some of what we do for "choice."

Comment by Steve on July 18, 2011 at 6:16pm
The cruelest delusion that we all suffer from is that of control over our lives. Not the decisions we make but the random events that happen around us and shape our outlook. We are ultimately powerless in the face of these events and I know that it is of little comfort to know that. I won't pretend to advise. I can only forward my sympathies to you and hope you pull through it.

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