Recently, I heard some Christians say to pray for the people of Haiti. I wonder why?If God did not care enough about the people of Haiti to prevent the earthquake from happening, then why would he care now to help them? As a matter of fact, if it was God's will for the earthquake to happen (and all evangelicals would say it was), it seems that it would be acting against God's will to try to alleviate the suffering of the people of Haiti. Apparently, he wanted them to suffer.
If God has a divine plan, then why should Christian's pray anyway? I like George Carlin's take on this:
Trillions and trillions of prayers every day asking and begging and pleading for favors. Do this. Gimme that. I want a new car. I want a better job. . . . And I say fine, pray for anything you want. Pray for anything. But...what about the divine plan? Remember that? The divine plan. Long time ago god made a divine plan. Gave it a lot of thought. Decided it was a good plan. Put it into practice. And for billion and billions of years the divine plan has been doing just fine. Now you come along and pray for something. Well, suppose the thing you want isn't in god's divine plan. What do you want him to do? Change his plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's a divine plan. What's the use of being god if every run-down bum with a two dollar prayer book can come along and (mess) up your plan? And here's something else, another problem you might have. Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? 'Well it's god's will. God's will be done.' Fine, but if it gods will and he's going to do whatever he wants to anyway; why bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me. Couldn't you just skip the praying part and get right to his will?
I never realized that Carlin was such a good theologian. If God is in control (sovereign) as every Christian professes to believe, then why bother praying?
Many Christians look at prayer as some kind of magical formula whereby you can convince God to answer your wish list. Why does God have to be begged to do something? Most Christians believe that the "harder" you pray for something, the more likely you are to get it. And if you really want to impress God, then pray and fast. This will certainly cause him to give in and give you what you want.
Christians are told that God always answers prayers. He might say, "Yes." He might say, "No." He might say, "Wait." Well, that pretty much has all the bases covered, doesn't it? There is no way God can be blamed. If the prayer wish comes true, then he gets the credit. If it doesn't, then it either wasn't his will or the person praying did not have enough faith or had some unconfessed sin in his life, etc. Either way, God is off the hook.
This video humorously illustrates what I am saying.