An Atheist Comment On Prayer

Q. I was reading something and an atheist made a somewhat good point, and I want to know how to respond it. On the issue of prayer, God responds yes, no, or wait. The atheist said that with this, no matter what you pray to you are going to get the same response. That saying ‘it is in God’s plan’ is an illusion. If what you pray for actually comes it is a coincidence. He continues to say: “People who pray die at the same rate as people who don’t people who pray win the lottery just as often as people who don’t. And that prayer has no effect on events.

A. First of all, God never promised we wouldn’t die nor did he ever promise to help us win at gambling. But more importantly, listening to what an atheist says about prayer is like listening to what a person born blind says about color. He can’t be speaking from first hand experience. No one who has ever had a specific prayer answered would give this kind of stuff a second glance. Of course the atheist chalks it up to coincidence. He can’t deny that prayers are answered so he has to come up with a reason other than God.

As one example among many, the evidence that the medical community has developed on the relationship between prayers offered in faith and recovery from illness defies coincidence. This is why Psalm 14:1 tells us “the fool says in his heart there is no God.” Only a fool would say such a thing and even a fool can only say it from his heart. The heart is the seat of emotion and emotional statements don’t have to be supported by fact.

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