I vividly recall the morning routine of mine as a child.
After the morning ablutions, get dressed, have your forehead smeared with holy ash and stand in front of a wall covered with a cornucopia of gods and goddesses.
And recite the prayer – “Hey God! (this casualness to someone apparently so omnipotent was an aberration that I never solved) Give me intelligence! I should study well, pass with good marks and get a good job”
The single prayer captures the ambitions and dreams of middle class aspirations.
Looking back, now I feel ……….. Damn it!
If the prayers were really going to be answered, was this the best I could have come with?
Frankly speaking I was just reciting what was taught to me by a well-intended mother and grandmother, the former a timid soul who was almost a slave to the family she married into and the latter an illiterate, wise nevertheless (or because of it, in all probability 🤣)
Today 3 members of my family are atheists and my wife more than makes up for the rest of us.
Without getting into the religion part of it, let us just address the prayer part.
Prayers make you lazy, incompetent and lack in confidence.
If the original act of prayer was to send you in a meditative state, where you calm down, take a step back and think about the problem at hand dispassionately, then I am all right with such a prayer.
But the normal kind I had encountered, still encounter, is stuffs nightmares are made of.
When faced with a problem, the common sense makes a quick exit through the nearest door, panic sets in, rationale is conspicuously absent and hands are wrung, at times the necks of a hapless soul and instead of calmly, analytically addressing ways to solve the problem, we turn to irrational and chaotic prayers.
And most prayers are of a deal making kind, reducing, the almighty, should he exist (I say He, because of my complete agreement with George Carlin; If things are this bad and someone up there is responsible, it has to be a HE – only a man is capable of such screw-ups) to a broker on wall street.
Oh God! Please let this come through and I offer you …. (Fill in the blanks, the bribe varies according to the size of the problem)
Once prayer becomes the natural reaction to any distress, the prayer starts losing its importance too; the prayer is invoked from the most trivial to the extreme grave.
On the assumption that there indeed is a God, listening to your prayers and taking time out to address each of them, imagine his mental makeup when the list from you is something like this, over a period of time.
• Please let me clear “Strength of materials”
• Let her look at me and respond to my proposals
• May he break his leg
• Let Ronaldo score the goal!
• May Sabatini defeat Graff
• Let me win this lottery
• Get me this job!
• Let the delivery not be a caesarian
• Let my visa be processed
• Get my children’s college admission
• Please make this taxi reach airport on time
• Let this not be a fracture please
This is just the tip of the prayerberg!
If he has to address all these (and it is just one from 7+ billion people and counting) then he must be a
• Kind examiner
• Extraordinary matchmaker
• A thug on hire
• Match fixer or a poor goalkeeper
• A tainted referee or a cook who will poison Graff
• Organizer of the state lottery
• HR director of a firm
• An honest obstetrician
• First counsel in an embassy
• Principal of the said college
• A skilled cab driver
• A magical orthopedic
He will probably do this!
Instead of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work, here we are wasting our time on an absolutely meaningless exercise addressed to a person whose existence has so far been proven only in negation.
And when a prayer is answered, certainly because someone had worked instead of you, or a chance threw things your way, what is simply known as probability, the lazy gets lazier.
The next time around the prayer is offered at the first sight of the troubles.
No efforts at all!
If I am designing a steel structure, I calculate the load, wind, height, soil quality and trust my calculations. I do not sit and pray asking Jesus to send me a solution via “we transfer”
If my unit is making losses, I study my cost sheet, analyze the purchasing strategy and study the market before I decide on the strategy. I do not wail and pray to Allah to send me the business model excel sheet with market demography.
If my son is seeking admission to a college of his choice, I am supposed to research, apply to the college, apply for his visa, help him prepare for the interview.
For his visa, I am supposed to make an application and submit the required papers not visit one of these places
It is real, do not laugh!
Prayer is the dumbest thing we have been taught.
We have been hoodwinked to believe that this is real.
It is easy to embrace this, becaus
it is voluntary (in most case it is a reflex)
it is free(the bribe that you offer is of your own volition)
it is an easy way out, you do not have to sweat and toil
and over a period of time this is converted into a standard barter system – like going to the supermarket and looking for the price list of products that are out of stock.
In reality it is a tool designed to make you lazy and lose your self-confidence.
Stop this meaningless and inherently corrupt act of “the prayer”
Stop praying. Start working.