Often when bad news is announced in some public forum, a bunch of people will reply with “… I will include X in my prayers …”. People may or may not pray for me should something naughty happen, but I wonder whether they think it would “work”.

Of course, prayer is a religious action, and as such, is platonically segregated from the world of logic. Still, how does a believer think? Does she believe there is a causative or even correlative relationship between prayer and the desired outcome?

The very same god dude who capriciously allows or makes bad things happen will suddenly pause, take heed of this most recent batch of prayers, and change his “oh so incredibly big” mind? How inflated the believer’s sense of self-imporance!

How many times would a prayer have to go unanswered (i.e., not alter the outcome from established probabilities) before a supplicant should suspect that perhaps they have no effect at all? Would even a lifetime of disappointment fail to shake the faith? Would any dare subject such an aspect of their beliefs to an empirical test? Is any of this that different from superstitious belief in lucky charms?

I really don’t understand such faith.