The Arrogance of Prayer


Everyday I hear several mantras from Christians.

“God has a plan.” Based on:
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation (Psalm 33:11).
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord, it will stand (Proverbs 19:21).

“God is all knowing.” Based on:
Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge. (Job 37:16)

“God is all powerful.” Based on:

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. (Luke 1:37)
Then they say….

“I’ll pray for you.”

“Prayer has the power to change things.”

I wonder if they know that these things contradict each other. If god is all powerful, there is nothing he can’t make happen. If god has a plan, and god is perfect, then his plan is perfect. If god is all knowing, he knows what is, was and what will be, therefor his plan will take into account all that will be, and thus be a perfect plan. If you pray to him, him being all knowing, he knows what you’ll ask…in fact, he ALWAYS knew what you’d ask. If his plan is perfect, and you ask for something…that means you’re asking him to change his plan. You’re asking what you believe to be an all knowing and all powerful god to change his plan.

Is that not the height of arrogance if you believe in the existence of such a being?

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

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3 thoughts on “The Arrogance of Prayer

  1. That’s an interesting take on prayers and those who pray. I’ve always thought that prayer is entirely for the benefit of the person praying rather than for the benefit of those prayed for. It makes the prayer feel better about themselves having offered prayers for someone or something.

    If any prayer doubts these words I suggest they stop praying for a week and see how they feel when they’re not praying for whatever they would pray for.

    • Making people feel better and feel like they’re doing something is the only actual effect of prayer. The majority, however, believe that their prayers are answered, which brings us to the problem of prayer vs. God’s plan, within the theistic ideology.

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