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The power, or not, of prayer

By Brian Baker - posted Thursday, 27 January 2011

In Australia during the past ten years, Christians have been praying for rain, especially those in Queensland and other states where there has been a drought for all that time. Many lives were ruined and huge numbers of stock were slaughtered because of the drought. Tragically many farmers who were facing bankruptcy and complete ruin took their own lives. Still the Christians prayed, after all they believe the Bible and the many promises which tell them that God protects and nurtures believers.

Year after year they prayed to their loving heavenly father but still there was no rain until just a few weeks ago when apparently God decided he had heard enough prayers - obviously he had been storing up the rain which he had withheld during those years of drought and finally decided to pour out his abundance to cover the lands and fill the rivers in just a few days! Hallelujah - Praise be to God - the prayers were finally answered!

It is time, surely, for Christians to admit that prayer does NOT work! The reason is that the existence of God is seriously in question. The tragedy which has unfolded during the past decade and which has ended in a catastrophic event should be sufficient to convince us that there is no God. As terrible as this prayer failure has been it is miniscule by comparison with the failure of the prayers of God's “Chosen People” - the Jews - when they cried out unto the Lord to save millions of them from extermination by the Nazis during World War II.


I realise that many Christians will continue with their faith as they sincerely believe that the Bible and all contained therein is absolute truth. Sadly, the evidence is contrary to that belief which if believers would dare to investigate they would discover that the Bible is NOT an accurate or historically or scientifically supported document. Unfortunately most Christians do not have the courage to take the time or are willing to believe anything other than the written, so-called, “Word of God”.

I was a “born again” Christian fundamentalist for some 20 years and for 10 of those I was the founding Pastor of a church in Perth, Western Australia, which became the largest single congregation in the city (1979-1989). Therefore, I include myself as a former Christian who was completely immersed in the Bible and its teachings, both during Bible College and from International teachers. I read and studied the Bible and accepted it almost without question.

Following my resignation from the ministry I spent several years still as a Christian, but with the time and motivation to thoroughly examine my beliefs. I am convinced that when anyone is inside “the Christian bubble of faith” it is almost impossible for them to see outside that bubble.

During those few years I gradually released myself from that influence and began to realise with some reluctance that I had been following a “dream” or as Richard Dawkins would say an “illusion”. I finally had to admit that while I had been 100 per cent committed and sincere, I had been sincerely wrong!

It was at that point that I began to work on writing a book. I wrote and rewrote, off and on, during the following years until finally I self-published my work titled From Faith to Reason. It is my hope that my book will assist others who have some doubts about faith to open their minds to access information from sources other than the Bible. I wish that books such as those published during the past few years by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and others were available back in 1972 when at a vulnerable time in my life I made an emotional rather than rational decision to be “born again” and to put my trust in God and the Bible.

Fortunately help for the hundreds of families which have suffered loss of their homes and those who have lost loved ones do not depend on prayer and waiting for a response from God. It is a natural human reaction for almost everyone to do everything possible to assist those unfortunate victims of this catastrophe. Thankfully, humane practical assistance, care and financial help is in operation from individuals and from the government, whereas God “our helper” is nowhere to be found.

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About the Author

Brian Baker now 74 years old is retired and lives in Perth WA. From Faith to Reason is available from Vivid Publishing, Fremantle, Western Australia.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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