We Americans consider ourselves a results-oriented people, but spend hours and big dollars defending what has been pretty much debunked. The reason prayer only appears to work half the time is because there is usually a 50% chance that the prayed-for result will occur on its own.
Despite that sour-sounding note, prayer may have some commendable qualities, especially for grieving people faced with a hopeless outcome. The believer’s ability to express hope must surely ease stress and increase a person’s ability to cope with the aftermath of loss. Venting to express anguish while shedding tears must be far better than suffering in helpless silence, believer or not. Prayer at a time of duress builds community with those who join in. What matters it if there is no god to hear, when there are ears all around? If a helping hand can become inspired to action by the shared misery, who are we to scoff at such an outcome?
If we desire to practice an honest approach to living, we will try hard to understand all sides of controversies, and go the extra distance to discover that others may be overlooking in the heat of battle. Oftentimes a third side will be lurking, waiting for a pair of opened eyes.