The body of evidence of prayer’s efficacy in the article is mostly provided by people who testify, “Praying makes me feel gooder.” Also, there are studies that show that people who pray have more positive self-images than people who watch porn while they are driving.
The psychological boost of having a nice chat with the Creator of All Things is not to be denied, despite the overwhelming evidence that if there is such a Being, He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about humanity. Maybe the transactional nature of most prayers is why He can’t be bothered with them. “Oh Lord, cure me of cancer.” “Oh God, let me win the lottery.” “Oh, Jesus, would you move this motherfucker out of the fast lane before I’m late to work again?”
It’s no wonder that God, instead of listening to such petitions, just turns up the radio in the Wheelhouse of the Universe and keeps on setting the quasars just precisely right.
But what about unselfish prayer? What about when you ask God to make you a better person? Of course, when you pray for that, the corollary question of why God didn’t make me a better person in the first place? is bound to pop into your head. Why did He make you such a bottomless pit of eating disorders and horny cravings? It was His Will in the first place that made you such an inadequate, roiling mass of conflicting emotions that you are forced to try and soothe them daily with a nearly poisonous level of substance abuse. You’re basically asking Him to acknowledge His mistake at making you such a mess from the get-go. Are you surprised when He replies, “Talk to My Hand?”
Having the Pope or a televangelist with his own private jet advising us to pray is one thing, but having the Journal advising us to do the same is certainly a bad sign. The WSJ has, in the past, spoken highly of junk bonds, leveraged buyouts, derivatives and Enron, some or all of which have caused Wall Street to occasionally suck up all of America’s cash, feed it into a paper shredder and blow it out of corporate windows like confetti. This has happened several times in my lifetime. Now, in this summer of depression, rioting and covid despair, the best advice that capitalism can offer to the seething masses is pray?
No wonder people are trying to burn the country down. And what better time? They all already had masks on, anyway.