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February 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Prayers from the air

By Jim Spellman, CNN

Colorado Springs, Colorado (CNN) — They call Colorado Springs “Little Jerusalem” for good reason.

Christian churches from mega to micro dot this city nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and prayer is an integral part of the lives of many of the worshipers who fill those pews.

Most prayers start on the ground and are sent heavenward. But helicopter pilot Will Sanders is taking prayer to the air by flying pastors up to the skies to pray down on the people below.

“I believe prayer works, and I want to take prayer warriors up to pray for their community. Inspire them to see it from a different angle, from a different view,” he said.

Sanders earns a living running Colorado Vertical, giving tours of the area in his Raven II four-seat helicopter. About once a month he opens his chopper up to local pastors, who fly over their churches and areas of the city they think are experiencing hardship and pray for them.

“Pastors know their areas, they know where people are hurting, where people need prayer, where people need help, and I can take them over those areas,” Sanders says.

He says that flying is a profoundly spiritual experience.

Helicopter pilot Will Sanders takes local pastors up in the air to pray over Colorado Springs.

“I see God’s creation. I do believe God created this world, and I see that in nature. When I fly I see the fingerprints of God.”

On a sunny winter day, he meets two pastors from Vanguard Church, Alan Briggs and Jonathan Madrid. It’s Briggs’ third trip and Madrid’s first. As evangelical Christians, they said prayer is an essential part of their faith.

“I care so much for our city that I’ll do anything, and so just starting with prayer is what I think we need to do,” Briggs said.

“I think the first thing we need to be doing as a city, as a body of believers, is to get down on our knees and pray,” Madrid said.

Sanders with pastors Jonathan Madrid, left, and Alan Briggs of Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs.

The tower clears the helicopter for takeoff, and a few minutes later we are cruising over the city. The prayers fly over the tinny audio of the headset microphones, with Briggs and Madrid taking turns.

“We pray that you bring the needs of the city to these churches that they may be able to help.”

“We pray that you bring this city together.”

“We pray for the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.”

“We pray over this land that it would be dedicated to you.”

“Lord I pray for the high schools in our city, that your light may shine in those schools.”

We bank to the left and pass over the offices of The Independent, an alternative free weekly newspaper that has been critical of the evangelical community.

“We pray for The Independent and particularly publisher John Weiss. We pray for a partnership between such a sometimes hateful organization,” Briggs says.

A minute later, after a bit of quiet, he adds, “That we would be marked by our love and not by our judgment.”

Sanders heads west towards Garden of the Gods - a stunning orange rock formation popular with hikers. Pikes Peak is clearly visible to the south.

“Lord, when people see Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, I pray we would see you.”

We head back toward downtown, and Briggs turns to me to ask if it would be OK if he prays for me. I give him the thumbs up.

“Lord, we pray for Jim and getting to meet him today. I pray that you give him protection, that you keep the hand of safety on him,” he said.

As the airport comes back into sight, the pastors get in as many prayers as possible before we land.

“I pray you would drive out the spirit of consumerism in our city.”

“Lord I pray for more Spanish speaking churches.”

“We pray for military families to be taken care of.”

The voice of an air traffic controller interrupts the flow of prayers and clears us to land.

The cockpit is quiet as we gently touch down.

Back on the ground, Madrid is smiling widely.

“It was great. A different perspective for sure. As I saw the city, so many things came to me,” he said.

“It just gives you a whole new perspective on people, I think. You see these different areas of the city that you never would have thought to even pray for before, so I think praying from a different view is huge. I think it’s awesome and we’re blessed to be able to do that sort of thing.”

The pastors head back to their church as Sanders shuts down the helicopter.

“I was given a gift. I’ve been so blessed. How many people have a helicopter?” Sanders said. “I do believe in the power of prayer, and I want to cover this whole community with it”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Colorado • Pastors • United States

soundoff (558 Responses)
  1. Cwnash

    CNN has totally lost the edge it once had....I used to visit multiple times per day now it is a few times per month. With fluffy stories like this no wonder i stay away.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Elaine

    If there is no GOD, and you truly believe that, then you have nothing to lose. The only hope you have is this earth, then you die. However, if there is a GOD, and you believe, and try to live what JESUS taught us, you have EVERYTHING TO LOSE. I choose to believe that there is ONE GOD, PRAYER works, FAITH is hope. Quite frankly if your hope is in this world with everything going on and has always gone on you will get what you deserve. May GOD bless you.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      Pascal's wager = Fail

      1. Which god do you chose?
      2. Which prophet do you chose?
      3. Which path to redemption do you chose?

      The number of religions that have existed reduce the percentage of getting it right to well below the odds you have of being right if you pick "none of the above".

      Something else to consider is that many other religious sects have a hell with far greater suffering than that of your particular flavor of Xianity...

      In addition, what if god has set up a test. And the individuals who are skeptical and require evidence make it into heaven and those sheeple who believed a ridiculous story are the ones left out. I think that if a god did create humanity with this incredible power of reason, he would be very offended at those who refuse to use it?

      February 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Blahman39

      Who is to say your religion is the correct one? What if Islam was correct? What did you gain? All the other religions claim that the miracles produced under their god are true as well, so don't even bother trying to counter that you have seen "miracles" to validate your faith.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Blahman39

      Skeptical,

      Galileo said something along those lines.

      "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." – Galileo

      February 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      @ Blahman39 – Thanks for the quote. I often wonder if Galileo would be as devout a catholic in a modern society. I mean all he did was agree with Copernicus about heliocentricity and he was put under house arrest for years. His neck would have really have been on the line if he were to question whether the universe was created for man...

      February 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Elaine.. If you look at the news it appears to me that it is one religious group against another.I have looked but I have not seen any non-believer hordes attacking a church or mosque. We have nothing to do with the violence happening in the world to day. We wish that you can sort out the religious differences and move on a human beings. Or, have god come down and sort it all out..it would help many people to find out which one is correct.. its a god lottery and so far we have no winners.

      February 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  3. Daniel

    Noone calls it "Little Jerusalem" except for these hypocrites who have a vested interest in self-promotion.

    I wonder how many hungry people they could have fed with the money they wasted on flying around the city "praying" and promoting themselves. These guys totally missed what Christ was talking about.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • airwx

      Same statement that Judas made about the oil of spikenard used by Mary the sister of Lazerus. Next time you fly, stop and look around. You can see the flight attendents. You think there are pilots flying the plane, but they are behind closed doors. Beyond that think about each and every air traffic controller who is keeping you safe. Then think of the people who tell the controllers how to arrange the flights to get you there faster. Oh yes and the weather geeks who tell all of them where it is safe for you to fly. If you didn't fly, you could give all that money to pay those people to the poor! These men did exactly what they were supposed to do.. start with the right perspective.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  4. Alzo Nonaz

    I am absolutely relishing the back and forth on all the posts. This is Great... The ability to freely express ourselves through this technology is exhilirating. Wonderful stuff indeed. However, I digress... I don't believe the helicopter/prayer thing is a scam as some have opined. The CNN article doesn't indicate the Pilot is claiming anything other than, he'll fly paying customers for a period of time. It is my opinion the helicopter owner is exercising his freedom to participate in a free market society by offering his flying services to those who wish to pay him for the priviledge. People using their paid time to "pray" are well within their legal right to do so. I wouldn't do it, but they can and in my view – so what. As for the perspective of does prayer "work" or not... I am left to conclude I don't know. That's something each person must decide for themselves. The greatest fault I find on both sides of the religion issue is the vitriol spat on the other from both sides of the issue, when in reality, we are all created equal and we will all equally die. In between those two events each person must decide for themselves. I am assured of one thing – we are all in this life together and whether by chance or by divine creation or natural selection. In conclusion... my answer to Rodney King's question is – "No Rodney... I guess we really can't all just get along." Too bad. So sad. Regardless, my absolute duty remains, to work harder on myself than on anything else so that I can be a better person tomorrow than I am today and hope by minding my own business I can make the most of the opportunities to make my small part of this world a little bit better for myself, my family, my community, and my Country.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      One of the most sensible things I have read! Thank you! Two of the most emotional topics for all of us..religion and politics. Sometimes folk like you need to reign us back in! Thanks

      February 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Amber87

      That was very nice. Thank you Alzo. I too see what you see, that it's nice to get onto the computer and have the freedom to converse in such opinionated ways, but how it is so sad how much they all fight and bicker back and forth. I am sometimes embarrassed of my Christian brothers and sisters who get on here and say things and argue things in such vile ways. I feel like they are the ones who turn nonbelievers away from Christianity in the first place. But then again we are human and every human on this earth past, present, and future is totally imperfect and prone to make mistakes, so no one can expect perfection from a Christian. Anyways, thank you for your kind post. It put a smile on my face after seeing all the other sour posts.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      This technology, was better when the comments just scrolled down 1 page. You could use a "search" to find replies to your comments. I really hate this new way of parti_tioning the posts.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  5. Jim P>

    "it will be answered in God's time, not yours. It also might not be answered the way you prayed for it but it will be answered in the way that works best for you. Have faith!"

    In other words, you can't tell the difference from random chance. Why bother praying since you seem to indicate that this god will do what he wants when he wants regardless of what *you* want.

    Your bible says different: That if you ask for bread you won't be given stones and that whatsoever you ask of god will be given to you. Those are pretty direct and straightforward words. Yet it is pretty obvious that doesn't happen so your shamans have had to concoct elaborate and complicated ways to explain that the plain words don't really mean what they say. I believe this bible also says you are not to have full time paid preachers but most of you don't seem to have a problem with that either.

    Try reading your holy book the way you'd read one from a different religion. Take it for what it says without asking people whose income depends on your continued beliefs what it says.. I think it will open your eyes.

    Faith is a weak word for saying "It doesn't make sense but I'm gonna believe it anyway."

    February 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • airwx

      My income does not depend on anyone else's money. I teach the word for free. My eyes are open. Yes, Faith is a weak word, for strength does not come from within or from words. I attempt to walk in God's will and yes, I do have a way to find out what that is for me. P.S. Shamans only come from eastern Asia....the rest are phonies....

      February 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Magic

      airwx,

      Ah, so you believe in the 'real' Shamans from Asia?

      "Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment." -Wikipedia

      How can they do this without your "God" and Jesus?

      February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Magic
      Sorry I missed your coment... you are the one who used the "real" conotation. That being said, I respect everyone's right to personal belief/non-belief/differing belief. I know a Buhdist that, if it were up to me, will go straight to same heaven I believe in because of the life he lives. My understanding is that the law is written on everyone's heart and it is not my place to judge.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  6. hombre8

    Faith will never beat reason. With time, christianity and all other religions will return to a cult status.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  7. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Oh, yaayaah! All paise to Gaaawwd. The Jesus Heli-bird is a murkle of murkles! Just don't bank too sharply, or the plastic dashboard Jesus might fall from the sky like a loaf of bread into the desert! And don't fly full of fuel too close to a burning bush, or it may be more than your tongues on fire!

    February 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      Thank you... I haven't laughed like that in years.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    Steve (the real one)

    You said: In short God knows, He invites us to ask Him and unload our issues on Him! That is the Love of God!"

    Hmmm... In the last 10 years god either allowed or caused the following:

    2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (approx. 230,000 killed)
    2005 Hurricane Katrina (approx. 1,836 killed)
    2005 Kashmir earthquake (approx. 79,000)
    2008 Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar (at least 146,000 killed)
    2008 Sichuan earthquake (approx. 87,400)
    Other Smaller Disasters:
    2003 Bam earthquake, Iran (30,000)
    2001 Gujarat earthquake, India, Pakistan (20,000)
    2006 Bantul earthquake, Indonesia (5,800)
    2001 Floods and landslides, Brazil (5,100)
    2007 Cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh, India (4,200)
    2004 Floods, Haiti, Dominican Republic (3,350)

    So god has allowed to be or directly killed ~ 613,000 humans in the last decade. These were men, women, children and babies.

    If this is the love of god...?

    Cheers!

    February 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      David, howdy!
      You oddly left off the largest killer. Oh yes David, it is man made and has killed more that those disasters combined. It starts with an "A" and ends with the brutal dismembering of a human being! yet you are all for it and at the same time blaming God?

      Look, I don't know why these things happen. You don't know why either. Yet I choice to trust God you still choose not to! I can tell you (since you brought up Katrina) Humans had warning, human failures enhanced the suffering! God's fault?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Tell me; where is the love?
      In a careless creation
      When there’s no “above”
      There’s no justice
      Just a cause and a cure
      And a bounty of suffering
      It seems we all endure
      And what I’m frightened of
      Is that they call it “God’s love”
      My pain is God's love."

      – Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)

      February 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • imawriter

      God also allowed you to be born – oh my!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • airwx

      @ David... You make the same arguements time and time again. The Earth was created by a set of rules. Those rules were laid out in advance of creation. You call it science; I something else. Natural events, even deadly ones, are not something the creator usually changes, in fact we are told the the creator makes it rain on the just and unjust alike.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Doc Vestibule
      "Tell me; where is the love?
      In a careless creation
      When there’s no “above”
      There’s no justice
      Just a cause and a cure
      And a bounty of suffering
      It seems we all endure
      And what I’m frightened of
      Is that they call it “God’s love”
      My pain is God's love."

      – Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)
      -----–
      Doc, I though you were going to break into" Where is the love" by the Black Eyed Peas. THAT would have been impressive! I will tell you what I told David. I don't understand why. Neither do you! Yet we respond to the same dilemma in two very difference ways! I trust God and you don't!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Steve (the real one)

      I know why disasters happen. They have natural causes. Not Supernatural. But if you believe in a god, that belief must change your perspective. Then, you must ask: "Why did god allow / cause this?" What lesson was learned? Or is this just misery for the sake of misery?

      Abortion performed, when the fetus is less than 24 weeks, is not murder. The fetus has no rights. It is not alive. The mother, on the other hand, is alive and has rights. No one can own a woman or any part of the woman. She cannot be enslaved.
      Woman's body. Woman's choice.

      God killing, or having His chosen people kill children and infants, is. If a human did this, he would be hated. A branded criminal.

      But believers give Him a pass. And they refuse to take away the "all good" attribute, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

      Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD – Are you saying this isn't true? Is my King Jimmy wrong? Or is there a spin you wish to use?

      If god would be more careful to whom He gives His gift, they wouldn't be aborted. They also, wouldn't be born just to starve and die. Why does god give gifts that are deformed, or without brains? What a shameful god!

      God seems to have very little regard for human life. How can an immoral god be the moral law giver?

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      David Johnson
      @Steve (the real one)
      I know why disasters happen. They have natural causes. Not Supernatural. But if you believe in a god, that belief must change your perspective. Then, you must ask: "Why did god allow / cause this?" What lesson was learned? Or is this just misery for the sake of misery?
      -------
      You know why disasters happen? Yet still blaming a God you understand does not exist? David, the one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy is NOT God! Does God allow it? yes! Why? I don't know! Yet I STILL trust Him! Again, you don't have to understand it, you don't even have to like it! That is just how it is!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Steve (the real one)

      You said: "Does God allow it? yes! Why? I don't know! Yet I STILL trust Him! Again, you don't have to understand it, you don't even have to like it! That is just how it is!"

      How pitiful.

      Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      David Johnson
      @Steve (the real one)
      You said: "Does God allow it? yes! Why? I don't know! Yet I STILL trust Him! Again, you don't have to understand it, you don't even have to like it! That is just how it is!" How pitiful. Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it. Cheers!
      ------
      Last thought David. Please do not pity me! In spite of all other things! I am Heaven-bound, my friend! not that I deserve it , I don't! It it is because God offered to me gift, even knowing I will fail, knowing that I will sin! He still offered salvation and relationship with himself through His son! gain, don't pity me. I pity those who go to there graves rejecting that gift!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Steve (the real one)

      As I have mentioned before, abortion in the USA is largely a problem that the religious can solve simply by adhering to their own stated morals. If religious persons did not disobey their commandments, the number of abortions performed would be significantly less.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  9. Teresa

    God, help these people that don't believe in the power of prayer! You have to believe in your prayer, not just say it. So the next time you ask God for something, believe in it and it will be answered in God's time, not yours. It also might not be answered the way you prayed for it but it will be answered in the way that works best for you. Have faith!

    February 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Joe

      yes, Teresa. god will answer your prayer in his time or his way. congrats. you've just setup the rules such that it's completely indistinguishable whether u live in a world where prayers are heard and answered or a world where prayers are never heard.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  10. Johnny

    "I mean how is not seeing something because it likely doesn't exist proof of it's existence? You are arguing loops here."

    "it is impossible to "prove" Gods existence through a blog, by speech, or by facts. It is called faith, and without it, a relationship and understanding of God is impossible." maybe this time it will make sense lol

    February 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Magic,

    Gingeet claims prayer does not work, yet according to his/her OWN words has never prayed. I wanted to know how that conclusion is logical or even reasonable. Gingeet made a claim so according to what you just said, Gigeet must prove his/her claim! Magic, you have to understand nNo one (including Christians) is exempt from bad things happening! WE live on the same sin contaminated planet as you do! When things go well, we trust God, when things go badly, we trust God! Prayer allows us to communicate with God. It is much more than asking for things! It is communication and relationship. Magic, If you and your spouse do not communicate, what kind of relationship do you have? How strong is it?

    February 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Lanfear

      One doesn't have to try praying to learn that it doesn't work. With that logic, I would have to cut off my own leg in order to prove that it wouldn't grow back afterwards. But I've never tried it! So how will I know until I try?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Steve (the real one)

      All your talk is just prattle. It lacks substance.

      Jesus speaking:
      John 14:14 – If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

      Mathew 17:20 – He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

      Let's be honest. Don't be afraid. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true? Don't spin it. Don't add that god knows whats best for you etc.

      Jesus said what He said.

      Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

      Why aren't Jesus's words true? Can you think of any possibilities?

      A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:

      1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.

      2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.

      3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

      Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

      1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.

      2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.

      3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

      I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

      Prayer does not work. It should be resorted to in times of dire need, as a last ditch effort to control events.

      James 5:15 (King James Version)
      "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. "

      People have believed this passage, and they have died, because they (or their parents) chose prayer instead of science (medicine).
      Most Christians are smart enough to go to the doctor. When they get well, they still give the credit to god anyway. LOL

      God is no more believable than is Santa Claus.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • airwx

      @ David.... sorry that you have missed out on seeing miracles asked for in prayer. I have seen enough to know the validity of prayer and response. Oh, and that double-blind test??? I remember different results. Seems that the people who asked others to pray for them got better, faster than those who did not ask for prayer.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      David Johnson
      @Steve (the real one)
      All your talk is just prattle. It lacks substance.
      -----------
      You don't want an answer! You don't want the truth! read the second scripture YOU posted ..FAITH! Faith is the key, David, faith! God responses to Faith! You keep asking, I keep answering. You just don't like the answers. Perhaps my answers are not scientific enough for you, perhaps they are not educated enough for you. Oh well how about If I keep believing even it if means nothing to you or if it means you don't understand it! that cool with you? It is how I will live my life David...In Faith! What else can I say?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Magic

      Steve,

      Communication with a live person is certainly different than communication with a concept - "God". There is concrete feedback (and even then things sometimes are misunderstood). I have never had much luck with telepathy.

      What concrete feedback do you get from God? Does he tell you anything that you don't already know (from education or experience)... or that you couldn't figure out using your imagination? Does he tell you to be good, to be patient, to be kind - things that you could tell yourself? Does he tell you your complete genome sequence, or what lies on the far edges of the universe, or speak to you in Arabic?

      The most probable scenario is that you are talking to and answering yourself.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Magic
      Steve,
      Communication with a live person is certainly different than communication with a concept – "God". There is concrete feedback (and even then things sometimes are misunderstood). I have never had much luck with telepathy. What concrete feedback do you get from God? Does he tell you anything that you don't already know (from education or experience)... or that you couldn't figure out using your imagination? Does he tell you to be good, to be patient, to be kind – things that you could tell yourself? Does he tell you your complete genome sequence, or what lies on the far edges of the universe, or speak to you in Arabic? The most probable scenario is that you are talking to and answering yourself.
      --------–
      Magic,

      1. Do you pray?
      2. Do you understand prayer
      3. I am spoken to in the language I understand...English!
      4. I don't ask about the far reaches of the universe, that info could not help me I my day to day life!
      5. If and when you have experienced what I have (and others like me) though prayer, you will never know what I a talking about!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Magic

      Steve,

      I remember that tingly, high, powerful feeling when I used to pray. It turns out that it is just a self-induced emotional response.

      I wonder what language multi-lingual people get their messages in?

      February 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Magic
      Steve,
      I remember that tingly, high, powerful feeling when I used to pray. It turns out that it is just a self-induced emotional response.
      I wonder what language multi-lingual people get their messages in?
      ------
      I don't know but I'd venture to say their predominate language. Magic, I don't know your background, heck, I don't even know you! I do know that God is worth all the hell that may break out in my life! He is worth all the name calling I get on this blog! My god is worth all that! Nobody on this blog needs to understand that! Sometimes there are no words to describe what I believe about God! I know some ask out out sincerity and some ask looking for joke material. Life is too short, Magic to worry about who can't understand my faith. i am not trying to be rude. I just cannot worry about who ridicules me and my faith!
      I don't know what caused you to stop praying or stop trusting God! All i know is until your last breath and even as an Atheist, God loves you! Even if you cannot understand it!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      FYI: one prayer study.

      CONCLUSIONS: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
      (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567)

      February 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @airwx
      You said: " sorry that you have missed out on seeing miracles asked for in prayer. I have seen enough to know the validity of prayer and response.

      Believers often use selective observation, to convince themselves and others that prayer works. They tend to forget / ignore the prayers that were not answered and to remember the ones that appear to have come true, even if they weren't answered in the way they wanted. God knows best! LOL

      Scientific studies have shown that prayers are not answered any better than happenstance.

      Any answered prayers are due to coincidence and random chance.

      Your answered prayers are just a part of your delusion, or out and out fraud.

      You said: "Oh, and that double-blind test??? I remember different results. Seems that the people who asked others to pray for them got better, faster than those who did not ask for prayer."

      I guess that makes the Washington Post liars, then. And also the people at Straightdope.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com and http://www.straightdope.com

      You are truly lame. I don't know what study, if any, you are referencing but note what you are saying: "the people who asked others to pray for them got better, faster than those who did not ask for prayer." Can you say "placebo" effect?

      If the people knew whether or not people were praying for them, it would skew the data. The study would be worthless.

      Note the Mantra ll study: The study of more than 700 heart patients, one of the most ambitious attempts to test the medicinal power of prayer, showed that those who had people praying for them from a distance, and without their knowledge, were no less likely to suffer a major complication, end up back in the hospital or die.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  12. Larry

    Be careful, Will. You might bump into god, your invisible friend in the sky.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  13. Tex

    And you believed all religious zealot nutcases resided in the American South! WRONG. Just leave those at the Air Force Academy alone please!

    February 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  14. Wastesoflife

    Come my atheist brethren, let us rid the world of these mindless mongrels. Blood will run in the streets as we dispatch the plague that is religious thought.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Magic

      I call Poe's Law on this goofball...

      February 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Igor

      I didn't know trolls had such aversion to so many people. But hey, I didn't know trolls needed anti psychotics either.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Wastesoflife

      damnit, someone's always got to ruin the fun

      February 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      @Magic
      I call Poe's Law on this goofball...

      @Igor
      I didn't know trolls had such aversion to so many people. But hey, I didn't know trolls needed anti psychotics either.
      ------
      Whoa! Wait! Am I detecting just a little compassion for us Christians? If I am it is appreciated!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Magic

      Steve,

      Of course I have compassion for Christians... and for everyone else (well, maybe not so much for this guy).

      Poe's Law is when someone from one viewpoint poses as being from another viewpoint in order to make the other look bad. So, this guy is most likely a believer, posing as the nastiest non-believer that he can conjure up.

      It's sometimes real difficult to tell if you have a real zealot on your hands or a poseur.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Marconi Darwin

      Second that Poe

      February 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      When the end does come, and the faithful are all huddled in churches, praying for a miracle and responsible people are out there vieing for a solution. Then, and only then can we slaughter the faithful for being worthless in the face of our own destruction.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  15. Amber87

    I do believe in the power of prayer. I like the idea of flying over the city to get a different perspective, however, I don't believe that it should just be a pastor or certain individuals nor that they need to get higher for maybe a better prayer reception. I believe that even a person who once murdered and has come to God for forgiveness, that their prayers are just as loved and heard from God as a big time respected preacher. God is not partial. And there is one thing I would like to share. There are four answers to prayer-'yes, no or maybe later or yes but in a different way'. Prayer isn't something we should use to get what we want, but what we do to converse with God and put our trust in him.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  16. A Reasoner

    Sure hope this opportunistic pilot flies better than he thinks. In mountain country it's especially nice to have an evidence-based pilot, who relies on modern navigational equipment rather than baseless bronze age faith. In not, he'll be able to introduce the profiteers to their god directly.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Joe

      The Bible was written in the Iron Age, not the Bronze Age.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      The ridiculous idea of a "god" was born in the bronze age. It wasn't put to paper until that medium was created though.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Joe

      Wrong again...supernatural beings were first imagined in the Stone Age. Get your facts straight, please.

      February 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  17. Oskar

    My 2 cents in three letters: LOL.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  18. Wastesoflife

    Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists...they're all worthless pieces of trash. Burn them all!

    February 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Igor

      You must be an arsonist, although if you are thinking of worshiping fire it's been done to death.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  19. JohnnyD

    As a follower of christ, it is impossible to "prove" Gods existence through a blog, by speech, or by facts. It is called faith, and without it, a relationship and understanding of God is impossible. If you've never felt the impact of God in your life, then who are you to say what it is and what it's not? If you haven't seen what prayer can do, then how are you qualified to argue against it? Not everyone is a follower of Christ, but we were all the same at one point, born into this world the same. What else would you debate over having no experience on? Simply going off of what you read about religion? Is that all you have to argue this point?

    February 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Igor

      "If you haven't seen what prayer can do, then how are you qualified to argue against it?"

      Cause it can and has been tested in a double blind controlled study that praying has the same effect as not praying. In fact, I haven't seen what it can do because it hasn't really done anything. Can you say there are no virgins in heaven? How can you if you never flew into a building full of innocent people. I mean how is not seeing something because it likely doesn't exist proof of it's existence? You are arguing loops here.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • James

      So, the creator of the Universe is somehow bound to the laws that he created, and he must allow himself to be empirically tested?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Igor

      "So, the creator of the Universe is somehow bound to the laws that he created, and he must allow himself to be empirically tested?"

      Which doesn't really answer anything. Then any other version of the creation is equally as plausible as long as you postulate an omnipotent creator making your version just as correct as Scientology or Mormonism or even Islam. Which wouldn't be a problem except for all squabbling over something you claim can never be detected by empirical methods.

      Moreover, just because you can't empirically study the creator or creators existing outside laws of physics, you can study their effect on the physical world,such as prayer which has been shown as ineffective. If there is a god, then it's not a guy in the sky who cares about requests.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Marconi Darwin

      As a follower of christ, it is impossible to "prove" Gods existence through a blog, by speech, or by facts.

      We agree. God's existence has no factual basis

      February 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  20. aj

    how original,

    so you dont believe god can point his finger and go "poof" there is Adam. But yet, you believe you came from a rock? Good one.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Marconi Darwin

      Wait, are you saying that you believe God pointed a finger and poof, there came Adam?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Joe

      aj, yes, i think god can go "poof" and there's a man – it's called fantasy. actually, sure, perhaps u could say anything is possible. but the real question is "what is probable?"

      for a being to just go "poof" and something as complicated as a human appears is pretty ridiculous. complicated things take lots of time to design or develop.

      no naturalist or scientists is saying something as ridiculous as u came from a rock. to simplify like that MISLEADINGLY portrays it as ridiculous a proposition as god going "poof". why do u believers always do this?

      scientists learned a great deal about how we got here. they may not yet know how life started, but they have some really good, probable and TESTABLE hypotheses. first a simple, self-replicating molecule emerged. this is not hard to imagine as nature produces simple "design" all the time, for example in snowflakes. then, perhaps the self-replicating molecule evolved into RNA, then DNA (and probably many gradual steps in between), then simple sing-cell organisms, multi-cellular organisms, then something like a sponge, a fish, an amphibian, etc etc. it was step by step, very gradual over HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of years.

      WE DIDN'T JUST POP INTO EXISTENCE FROM A ROCK OR BY SOMEONE GOING "POOF", which are equivalent ridiculous propositions!

      February 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • John

      Haha, I think this is your lame attempt at explaining evolution. Evolution does not teach that people can come from rocks. You are really stupid.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • EvoDevo

      Speak for yourself about "coming from a rock." Abysmal stupidity. I don't even know where to begin....

      February 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      "God" is like santa claus, we are told to believe when we are young, and we do, but when we grow up, we are supposed to put away childish things. Evolution has been proven, beyond a reasonable doubt. It is time for "god" to be put away, like santa claus.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      Joe, I know that evolution happened also, I'm not an idiot. But the process of evolution didn't take hundreds of millions of years, it took BILLIONS of years. A single celled organism cannot become even a slug in millions of years. Even today we see organisms living in impossible environments, like deep sea volcanic vents or in near freezing water. Life started much, much earlier than previously suspected. Even early volcanic Earth was alive with life, maybe on a miniscule scale, but still.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Joe

      Brian, aren't we saying the same thing? yes, the earth is over 4 billion years old. evolution has probably been occurring for nearly 3 billions years or more. it doesn't take too many "hundreds of millions" to get a billion.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.