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May 23, 2013


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not believing in god isn't necessarily a reason not to pray.

i'm reminded of a quote i heard about someone saying to a protester "you don't really expect your protest to change how anyone else behaves do you?" and the protester responded, "i don't protest so that they will change, i protest so that i won't."

some quotes from an interesting blog about why the author prays:


What happens in prayer? Does God really listen and answer? I have no clue. But this much I've learned:

Prayer is an act of hallowing.

Imagine someone comes to you and shares a great burden. They share loss, failure, despair, fear, brokenness, or sickness. Their own or that of someone they love. What do you say upon listening? Thanks for sharing? Good luck with all that? I'm so sorry?


God, as best I could tell, never really answered prayer. So I didn't see any point in talking into the air. And the best literature I could find on the subject, from the contemplative tradition, left me cold and frustrated.

So I stopped praying. And years passed.


I love those words. I love how they pull me out of myself. How they cause me to think about all these people--happy and sad, sleeping and working--around the world. "Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night."


When I pray I stand in that hopelessness. I place myself in the position of those who can do nothing put pray. Prayer is their only option, only recourse. It is the only move available to them. Life forces people to their knees. So I go to my knees to be with them, to pray with them. In this sense, Jesus was God's prayer.

In short, the act of prayer, for me at least, is a participation in the vast lament of humankind. Prayer is a visceral, collective weeping toward the heavens.


Prayer is, simply, pledging allegiance. Consequently, prayer is political and a form of resistance and protest.

Prayer specifies your God, your kingdom, your hope, your ethic.

When you pray you choose sides.


Great post and interesting comments. Lots of food for thought. I pray only to be close to those I love who believe in prayer, just as I might dine in a restaurant of another's choice that I don't particularly like in order to share time and enjoyment with a loved one.

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