I believe in God. I believe that Jesus, his only son came down to earth. I even believe in God's Will. I do not believe in prayer.
I was raised Catholic, and went to a Catholic elementary school through second grade. I went to a Catholic high school, and a Christian college. I baptised my children, I send them to a Catholic elementary school. I follow all of the basic beliefs of Christianity. I do not however believe in the power of prayer. I know this seems to go against the normal school of thought when it comes to religion, and I know that even those close to me will be surprised by this, but I just do not believe in asking God to answer your prayers.
To be honest, I don't think I have always felt this way, and maybe it is just a phase I am going through, but for now don't ask me to pray for you. I ran into a neighbor a few weeks ago whose son has cancer. Here was our exchange:
Me "Is there anything I can do for you?"
Her "Pray for us, just keep us in your prayers."
Me "How about I bring you dinner tomorrow?"
Dinner I can do, making dinner is a way for me to help you. A way to ease the burden of the everyday stresses in your life while you deal with more important things. Prayer? No. Me praying that your son gets better is not going to change the outcome. Do you think that the mother whose daughter died at 2 years old of a brain tumor prayed any less than the mother whose daughter survived and is now a thriving adult? Do you think that the wife who stood over her husband's hospital bed while he was in a coma prayed any harder for him to survive than the wife of the cancer patient who died 2 doors down? I am not saying that God doesn't hear our prayers, he just does not answer them. His outcome has been decided, and our praying for a different one isn't going to make a difference. I understand that people need hope, and praying is hope. It is a way of feeling that you have control over an uncontrollable situation. However, I do not think that whether you pray or not is going to actually affect the outcome. It may affect your outlook, but not the outcome. So if you have a sick child, an ailing husband, a stressful situation that you are going through, ask me to make you dinner, ask me to watch your children, or clean your house. Just don't ask me to pray for you.