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Proof of prayer?

There is proof that prayer works and that prayer can heal the sick and injured. That’s a statement made by lots of Christianists that ties in with their belief in a fictional god and other pseudo-godly stuff such as a heaven and hell.

The “proof of prayer” dogma had been made several times recently by a devout fundamentalist family friend. Then I called her on it. I told her that I would like the top three in her hit parade of prayer-proofs and that I would make no comment at all to her about any of them. I was true to my word.

Her three prayer-proofs are as follows:
• A young girl in her church went to the school prom with her boyfriend. On the way home, the road was slippery from rain and the car hydroplaned. They hit a telephone pole, the pole landing on the car where the girl sat. The girl’s head was badly injured, and emergency room doctors were worried whether or not the girl would survive. The entire church (according to the Christian teller of this tale) prayed regularly and daily for the girl. Slowly, over a period of time, and with continued apprehension by the medical staff at the hospital, the young girl improved and today is doing fine. See, prayer works! Praying helped!

• An elderly man was admitted to the hospital with seemingly congestive heart failure. He was not expected to recover and instead was expected to die within hours or days. But the entire church (same church as above) prayed for him. Shortly he was fine again, living another year before finally succumbing to old age and end of life afflictions. But, he lived – by prayer – through his serious congestive heart failure session to enjoy life once again. See, prayer works! Prayer made the difference and saved his life!

• An older woman, not particularly religious, was diagnosed with cancer that was slowly metastasizing throughout her body. The whole church (same church again) prayed for this woman even when she was in the hospital and unable to see anyone or get any cards or flowers. Earlier the church pastor had visited her and prayed with her. And the whole church prayed for her. She did not die as expected. A few days later she showed up at church, happy and seemingly healthy. With the minister, she gave her life to Christ, as the Christianists like to say. See, prayer works! Praying made the difference!

Of course, the above supposed results from prayer are nonsense. There is no definitive proof of any short, no control or test group. The supposed results of health and healing in the proximity to prayer are coincidental and nothing more. The church, minister and the teller of these tales could just as easily – and with the same results – prayed to Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, Thor, Ra, Isis, a McDonald’s Happy Meal or a Goodyear tire. Or prayed to nothing or not pray at all. It would make no difference.

This kind of casual coincidence is not proof of anything other than the gullibility and naivety of those delusional from religion.

There is no scientific experiment here. There is no control or experimental group involved. There are no test parameters. There is not the slightest remnant of anything that would constitute proof or any sort.

The sad thing is that these same naïve, gullible, delusional religionists, despite being otherwise reasonably able to cope and walk among us, are mentally living in the 1st Century, not the 21st Century. That’s sad, and also damaging for mankind.

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