There’s always been this contradiction about prayer and a predetermined world. If God is in charge of everything and we’re simply living His plan, then why pray for anything?
I’ve always had a problem with it myself. I grew up Roman Catholic which is a heavily-liturgical denomination. We have prayers for everything it seems. We have hundreds of saints we can call upon to intercede for us to the Lord. There are so many avenues to God’s ever-listening ears.
Does it work? Maybe. Maybe not. It certainly seems like it at times. We pray for a raise. Two weeks later we get it. We pray for rain during a drought. Eventually it rains.
Then though, we pray for things like winning the lottery and it never happens. Did God hear the prayer and ignore it or did He say no?
Coming from a Diest point of view, I don’t think God has much handiwork in what goes on down here on Earth. Creating a vast plan that we all must endure seems sort of sadistic. Why would God actively create the Sandy Hook Massacre? Why would he plot the Holocaust? I just can’t believe there’s a God who would craft such a violent machine known as human nature. I think he left us here and watches as we torch the world around us. Maybe when it’s all said and done he’ll cast judgement of whatever’s left of the planet.
It’s not all bad though. We have good things on this Earth including each other, our relationships and families. We have mediocre things like jobs, illness, commuter traffic and the IRS. The whole globe and everything in it is our creation. I think God merely kickstarted the planet on its axis and watched it spin.
If God IS involved with what happens here, how does he reconcile the world’s events with 7 billion people’s wants and desires? I don’t see it I guess.
I think prayer can accomplish one thing. While it may not influence or change actual events, I think it does provide some sort of solace in our being. Prayer won’t make you rich, but can bring individual peace. Maybe group prayer shouldn’t focus so much on making something happen but rather changing what’s in our mind, in our soul.
Prayer should be about how we view ourselves and the world. If we want prayer to change the things that happen, then that change must first originate in our thinking.