• The answer to this depends upon whether or not you actually believe that prayer works. Those who do not believe God exists generally do not believe that prayer works. Others accept that it probably works because you spend time thinking about your problems and what you need. This results in a psychological change that makes you more likely to achieve what you need. It also can be seen as a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein you believe something is going to happen, so it does. (You make it happen.) For prayers about physical health, this could be compared to a placebo effect. Another explanation is sheer coincidence. Personally, I believe that prayers work, but probably for a vastly different reason than you (Rottweiler) do. Everytime I state what I believe out here, it is nothing more than an invitation to people to rate me down. I'm not sure I wanna play that game, but I do want to answer you. Lemme think about it for a minute.
  • who say god doesnit exist
  • Ok, I'm athiest ( I know what most of you are think, boo hiss! But who cares!) How can you say prayer works? I mean, something you hoped for happens, oh wait, it MUST be the prayer you said?! How about all the times you pray for something, and it doesn't happen? Even though I do not have a faith myself, I believe faith can be a good thing, don't get me wrong. But why is it that things can't just be a random thing which turns out to be for the better?
    • mushroom
      I look at "jinx" and "evil eye" that way. If some snot can throw a curse at you, why can't your loved ones cast some positive magic at you just the same?
  • I think something exists, some prime force or progenitor. If not, why are things mostly good? Why are there beautiful trees and animals, a beautiful earth. When we get up the sun shines, the rain falls. So, if you don't want to call it God, that's o.k. Our mind is a creative force, so if we focus on an intent,prayer being a form of intent, it creates it.
    • mushroom
      I could say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We wouldn't get far in life if everything around us annoyed us from the moment we were born and everyone walked around pissed 24/7. "Bad morning to you." "Bad? You think it's just bad? Listen to Miss Sunshine here saying Bad Morning to me!"
  • Your assumption that prayer works is not borne out by any empirical evidence. In fact, I recently read a study done of recovering heart attack patients at Boston University Medical center. What they found was that the majority of patients who were the focus of a prayer group had worse long-term outcomes than those patients who were not prayed for. Based on this evidence, you could state "empirical evidence supports that prayer can be harmful to your health." Now, do I really believe that prayer is harmful to a person's health? No. However, I also believe that it has no positive effect on health either. If I pray to some god to win the lottery, and I don't win, does that mean prayer doesn't work? Or does it mean that I'm not worthy of winning the lottery? Or does it mean that I am not worthy of that god's attention? Or does it mean that prayer is only meant for things that some religious group defines as a worthy reason? Now, do I believe that there is something that can be done with words to enforce the positive in my life? Yes. Back in the 1970s, a children's cancer clinic in California experimented with "guided visualization". They took young children who were "beyond help" and for whom all conventional methods of treatment had been exhausted. They sat down with these children on a daily basis for a session of guided visualization. They had the children close their eyes and imagine toy soldiers marching into their bodies to fight a battle with the cancer cells. What they found was that a significant number of the children had an improvement in condition or went into remission. If you wanted to, I suppose you could call that prayer. To the little toy soldier gods. I just wanted to let you all know, that anonymously downrating this answer will NOT make your prayers come true!
  • well why are you praying if ya dont believe he exists? well my prayers get answered because he DOES EXIST
  • maybe because people believe in themself more when they have prayed for something? maybe they worry less?
  • 95% of people that get lung cancer die within 2 years of being diagnosed. 20 people have lung cancer, they all pray, and 19 of them die. The last one claims prayer is what saved his life. Let's not even get into how praying has never caused anyone to regenerate a severed limb or anything of the sort. So simply, no. Prayer does nothing but make yourself feel better about your situation. I guess that in itself can be a good thing at times. But blinding yourself of reality in favor of an imaginary higher being and existence that there has never been an iota of proof for seems pretty futile. In the end reality will finally catch up to you. Even the man that claims prayer saved him from whatever aliment he was suffering from eventually dies of something.
  • By using the staggering magical power of wishful thinking.
  • If God doesn't exists, prayer "works" in the same sense that a psychosomatic illness affects an individual. The "sugar-pill" effect. People tend to underestimate the power of the mind to influence an individual's reality.
  • In Dawkin's "The God Delusion", he tells of a scientifically controlled experiment to answer your question. It was sponsored by the American Templeton Foundation, an ultra religious body. Its findings were conclusive, prayer (to whatever god you please) just makes no difference at all. Prayer asks a deity to suspend the laws of nature all on your behalf. Ask yourself "is this likely?
  • because thought can have an effect on reality.
  • The short answer is: it doesn't -- at least, not any more often than random chance.
  • God doesn't micro-manage. He programmed the system so that prayers are answered whenever certain conditions are met. He doesn't need to be on call 24/7 to listen to our whiny crap.
  • It doesn't :)
  • Dude prayer never works and when it does you say there is a God. What you are doing is tricking yourself into believing due to the coincidence. That is all it is.... a coincidence. Just because there was a five dollar bill on the ground doesn't mean that there is an all loving God that wanted you to buy some candy. Don't you think he would've gave it to the poor who are PRAYING FOR MONEY? Come on! How about houses for the homeless veterans? What about the gays? Let me guess God doesn't like the icky gays? What happened to justice and equality? Also the people who pray for their sick ones. Like dying parents with cancer for example. Some people have prayed to God to remove their friends or family of cancer but then they die? Then what happens? Right! They trick themselfs further into believing that it was yet again Gods plan to kill your friend or family member. Also do remember their are people in this world that have prayed to God not to die. Guess what happened? They died! Also there are people of this world that have prayed for no war. Guess what happened? War had begun. You see prayer does nothing. Actually getting up and going outside and talking to the people causing the conflict would actually do something rather than praying to some guy that may not exist. You are simply turing coincidences into God. That doesn't provide evidence at all.
  • Why indeed?!
  • Who are you to say he doesn't? And who are you to say it does? Religion is all about faith, not proof.
  • Prayer does not work. studies have proven that fact. If a prayer seems to come true, it was just a coincidence. Believers excuse it when prayers are not answered. "God works in mysterious ways", is one such flimsy excuse that makes me laugh.
    • Jenny The Great ⭐
      Quote: "studies have proven that fact." You have no proven facts to claim it in your answer. Scientists have actually shown that prayer has helped people resist temptation.
    • OC Joe
      Studies have not proven that fact which might be why that is in quotations but prayer works about 50% of the time (same as without prayer).
    • ReiSan
      Prayer is a major "Self-Defeating Habit" that a past lover wrote about. Scientists have shown that prayer is no more than placebo. What temptation do tou mean. Nothing helps you resist temptation to ignore Bible reules. Try the Golden Rule for once and the commandment against bearing false witness. You set a disgraceful example for your beliefs.
    • Jenny The Great ⭐
      ReiSan, you cannot prove that scientists are against praying. It's the contrary, scientists believe in prayers.
  • The definition of "working" here is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't work. One could make the equally valid statement. "It God exists, why doesn't prayer work?" It is amazing to atheists how people can view something like how well prayer works by pointing out the times when it "works" and ignoring the times when it doesn't (about 50/50). That's what is called random.. A broken clock "works" twice a day but that doesn't mean, like prayer, that it actually works.
  • What is the notion about prayer working? It is not some incantation it is a conversation with God. so the answer is God answers all prayers. Just not the way you want them to be answered, but His way.
  • cause he does exist after all
  • The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has provided actual evidence showing how and why prayer might increase anyone's ability to resist temptation.
    • ReiSan
      What? One of my past lovers wrote about "Self-Defeating Habits", and praying is a major one.
    • Jenny The Great ⭐
      As you heard, from a scientific perspective, prayer is considered to work.
  • God exists within you as you. Prayer works when the prayer request is within God's plan for the enlightenment of your Soul.
  • Gods the judge!
  • I prayed for a new bicycle and I didn't get one. So instead, I stole one and asked for forgiveness.
  • Some prayers "get answered" and some "don't get answered". Flip a coin 50 times and pray that God show you that he exists by making each flip come up heads. Christians seem to believe that when 25 flips come up heads that proves that God exists.
    • Archie Bunker
      And sometimes it only takes one.
  • Coincidence works along with knowing how to make it work out. I used minister but can only remember one time prayer may have helped.
  • cause he does exist

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