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Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?
May 21st, 2013
04:45 PM ET

Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - God may not notice the thousands of prayers tweeted for victims of Oklahoma’s devastating tornado - but Ricky Gervais sure has. And he is not pleased.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 75,000 people have used the hashtag #PrayForOklahoma, including pop starlets, pastors and politicians, according to Topsy.com, a trend-monitoring site.

For example, the White House tweeted,

But the hashtag and the sentiments it promotes prompted a fierce backlash on social media, led by Gervais, a British comedian, and other prominent nonbelievers.

And while one Oklahoma City pastor says he appreciates the Twitter prayers, some religious scholars say devout petitions require more than moving your hands across a keyboard.

"A prayer is supposed to have a consequence for you," said Elizabeth Drescher, a lecturer at Santa Clara University in California. "It's not an act of magic."

Gervais, an ardent foe of organized religion, was more caustic.

After MTV tweeted that pop stars Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry are sending their prayers to Oklahoma, Gervais responded, “I feel like an idiot now … I only sent money.”

Gervais and other atheists also kick-started a counter-trend, using the hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma.

“If all people are doing is praying, it is worthless,” Hemant Mehta, an Illinois math teacher who writes the blog “Friendly Atheist,” told CNN. “If they are praying and donating to the Red Cross, that’s more like it.”

Mehta is promoting a group called Foundation Beyond Belief that aims to provide a humanist response to crises like the Oklahoma tornado.

The prayer debate spilled into other social media sites as well, with commenters on CNN’s Facebook page sparring over God’s role in Monday’s destructive whirlwind.

According to Oklahoma officials, 24 people have died, many more are injured, and once-orderly streets look likes foretastes of the apocalypse.

In response to a woman who said she was praying for the victims, Facebook commenter Peter Tongue replied, “If prayer works, there wouldn’t be a disaster like this in the first place .... so please keep your religion to yourself.”

But believers had their say as well.

“God is still in control!” said Wilbur Dugger, a commenter on CNN’s Facebook page. “Everything (God) does is to get our attention. … My sympathy and prayers go out to those who get caught up in his demonstrations of (God) ruling the world.”

The social-media sparring over prayer and God’s will reflect a culture in which traditional notions of religion - and the places where people talk about faith - are changing faster than a Twitter feed, said Drescher, the Santa Clara lecturer.

“We’re watching people re-articulate what it means to be spiritual and religious,” she said.

Just a few years ago, for example, no one knew what a hashtag was. Now the “#PrayFor...” meme appears after almost every national and international tragedy.

But what exactly does it mean? Is the tweeting multitude really folding its hands in prayer, or is it a fleeting expression of existential angst? Or maybe just a trendy thing to say?

“It seems to express hope and anxiety, and maybe even helplessness,” Drescher said.

“At the same time, it evokes this strong response from people who see it as a cop-out, a way of claiming some kind of spiritual space that doesn’t actually have any meaning to the people who are posting the meme or the community they are addressing.”

Traditionally, prayer has required something of the pray-er: an orientation toward reverence, a readiness to act, Drescher continued. “You are meant to do something - and that something may not be an easy thing.”

Slapping a hashtag at the end of a tweet doesn’t meet that standard, the scholar said.

The Rev. David Johnson of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City said the prayerful tweets mean something to him - even if he’s been too busy to read them.

Since Monday, St. Andrew’s has become a Red Cross command post and reunion site for families to find loved ones caught in the tornado’s path. The tragedy has also touched the congregation itself, with homes, and some lives, lost on Tuesday, Johnson said.

Told of the Twitter prayers, Johnson said, “that’s awesome.”

“People feel helpless - like God called them to do something but they don’t know what. That’s where prayer comes in.”

Johnson said his church appreciates the many material donations coming its way: the generator sent by a lady from Arkansas, the food and water sent from neighboring towns. But they also solicit, and are happy to receive, the many prayers recited - or tweeted - on their behalf, he said.

“We’ve seen quite a lot of trauma in the last day,” Johnson said. “Obviously, people are going to ask why God allows tornadoes to happen. That’s just part of this world. God doesn’t promise us that bad things won’t happen, he promises to help us get through it. That’s what prayer helps us do.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • United States

soundoff (3,515 Responses)
  1. Rich

    Comments like dunzel's are the rants of the ignorant. Prayer is worthless, All it does is make the praying feel like they have done something. Having grown up in OK, it infuriated me to see my OK Facebook friends post "praying" after this tragedy. It changed nothing. None of these people even donate blood. So it's ok for your savior to give his body and blood, but they can't even give a little blood?

    Further to dunzel's ridiculous post, Ms. Drescher is not just a lecturer, she holds a PhD in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union and an MA in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. So she has clearly studied faith much more deeply than dunzel.

    If praying worked, then amputees would have limbs regenerate.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  2. Shannon

    Looks like the Atheist Religion is as intolerant as Islam.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do some research on what an atheist is – the clue is in the etymology.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  3. adss

    Did you ever think that by praying, some people might hear God's call to give when they otherwise wouldn't have? Or to give MORE than they otherwise would have?

    May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  4. Chris

    "I believe: There's no god. Get in the way of a tornado and you're on your own."

    Some analogies for you:
    1. There's no such thing as medical science. Get stage four pancreatic cancer, and you're on your own.
    2. There's no such thing as aeronautical engineering. Get two bird strikes on your engines, and you're on your own.
    3. There's no such thing as human kindness. Get cornered by a psychopath, and you're on your own.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • yoyo

      What do atheists do when they’re in need with nowhere to turn? Do you go by your own flawed ideas, other’s flawed opinions or do you soak off the good Christians?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Exceptionally poor analogies, since they aren't. I can't even get into why as there is so much wrong with it.
      Simply analogy fail will have to suffice.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      yoyo, We get by on self-reliance and other support systems. Same as you only you attribute good fortune to a god and bad fortune to something else; we just see that as the randomness of life and deal with it.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  5. KIYA

    I swear atheiest are getting worse than Bible thumpers. Who is Ricky Gervais or anyone for that matter to publicly ridicule something that is very sentimental to believers like myself. I am a Christian but I know and work with athiests and honestly I never force anything on them. I respect their beliefs and they respect mine. I dont even bother debating. Why cant everyone else be the same.? Stop trying to prove your right and just believe. If your right your right, if your wrong your wrong. Stop trying to convince everyone in the world that God is not real and just believe it on your own and have some respect for people who have different views, ADULTS!

    May 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      The Easter Bunny created the world! I've very, very sentimental about the Easter Bunny. Don't you DARE ridicule my beliefs.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      p.s. the Easter Bunny asked me to tell you to please learn when to use "your", meaning the possessive form, and "you're", which is a contraction of "you are".

      See – the Mighty Easter Bunny can do no wrong!

      Signed, Your (possessive) friend in Bunni-ness.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Kiya
      How much respect do you have for someone who believes in leprechauns?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • KIYA

      the level of ignorance and childishness in this world is ridiculous. please fine something to do with yourself.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • KIYA

      If you respect me, I respect you. If you disrespect me, you no longer exist to me. So believe in all the leprecauns, unicorns, and whatever else you want. Its called being open minded, maybe you should try it.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      KIYA, Stop forcing the christian faith onto our society and you'd see a change in the reaction from non-believers.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I respected you enough to not comment...simply asked a question and you did not answer it. You can try to deny I exist, but I am right here.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium
      What is up with the Easter Bunny and leprechauns banter? Regardless if God exists or not the faith of Abraham in the promised seed and the fulfillment of that prophecy in Jesus has changed the world as we know it. The most important name and greatest power to change lives in all recorded history is the name of Jesus. These are facts pure and simple so what gives with the Dawkins sound bites from the godless?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, Just because religion has been influential for centuries and retained that dwindling influence as our knowledge displaced superstition, doesn't make it based upon fact.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa We Trust
      Sorry, you cannot twist the simple fact that the faith of Abraham in the promised seed fulfilled in Jesus continues to have the greatest impact on the world view of mankind ever known. You cannot say it is not fact because it is. You can claim there is no God or Abraham or Moses or Jesus etc but you cannot deny the fact the faith of Abraham fulfilled in Jesus had the impact it had.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ fred – and your evidence for that bald statement is?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'If you disrespect me, you no longer exist to me'
      That isnt very christian of you at all. You be ashamed of that att itude.

      And you seem to have a 'we can talk about relgion but you dont have the right to talk about it' outlook.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Fred
      Kiya said to show respect for everyone, so I asked her how much respect did she have for people who believe in leprechauns, since to many of us, a belief in gods in analogous.
      I simply asked a question...no banter...a question. If she answered it honestly, she might have an idea what it like in another's shoes, and perhaps gain a better understanding, which would be a good thing for you to try as well.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Furthermore fred...what you state is opinion, not fact...again you show you cannot differentiate the difference.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium
      Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      You can’t be serious there are two main world views one is religious wisdom or spiritual and the other is materialistic. Given the western world view and prevalence of Islam in the last couple hundred years we see Jesus and Mohammed as the most influential figures of all time. Here are a few sources but they are typical:
      -Jesus #1
      http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/11/start/wikipedias-top-20-religion-pips-science
      -Mohammed, Jesus, Abraham, Moses
      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_are_the_most_influential_people_of_world_history

      May 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium
      Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Exactly what is it you cannot understand as a fact is not opinion even though you have your opinion about a fact? FACT: the faith of Abraham as prophetically fulfilled in Jesus remains the foundation of Western World View to this day. FACT: the faith of Abraham is the foundation of our knowledge about God as revealed in the Quran and the Bible. That faith in that God to this day is still embraced by 52% of the world population.

      Seriously, how is this not fact?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  6. adss

    Prayer is for aligning our will with God's will. It's designed to change us, not God.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Interesting view...so men align themselves with god, who was created by men, so they are aligning themselves with themselves?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  7. JDJ

    Christians are called to pray for all people, but God also wants Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting. God is the one in charge of the universe so it makes sense to pray to Him. As to why the storms happened, I do not know the mind of God so I cannot definitely say. I do know, however, that when confronted with a disaster (a building fell and killed people), Jesus said not to think that the living were somehow better than those who were killed, but that everyone should repent. The real secret is to be ready when the end of life comes, however it comes. And the way to be ready is to repent of our sins and ask Jesus to save us.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ask jesus to save us from a peril he created? that's a pretty weird way of looking at it isn't it?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  8. SC609

    I hate to break the news to Ricky Gervais, but his view is completely consistent with James 2:14. If my works do not reflect my faith, then can my faith save me? So, give and give generously . . . as did Kevin Durant. Thank you, Kevin. They'll need every penny, as a Google Maps scan of Joplin, MO two years after it was hit by a tornado, proves. So, Ricky. Thanks for the reminder.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • rf

      Great response!

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • jim

      considering Ricky gave money and not just tweet a prayer I think his deeds are much better received by god then those you said we're prayed at least he took some action.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  9. mason

    DONATE..."prayer not effective" Harvard Medical School..http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html

    May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  10. Eye Roller

    #PrayersforOklahoma&yesIhavedonatedmoney

    There...y'all feel better now? Does my tweet meet the standards of you self-righteous critics who tell me I can't even tweet about God without providing proof that I do in fact walk the walk as well as talk the talk?

    Next time I'll post a picture of me giving my dog a bath, seeing as how in the world we live in these days, I won't be able to tweet that without visually reassuring everyone that I do in fact strive to keep my dog as clean and healthy as possible...

    I'm mostly being facetious of course but I really don't get that people can't even tweet anymore without the rest of the world questioning their motives...

    May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Eric

      I imagine the point is that its rather worthless to pray. Of course feel free to give money. And waste your time praying if you think it helps.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Believer

      I agree with Eye Roller and I don't tweet. Why is it that some people feel they have to rain on every one else with their own insecurity and skepticism? I believe tweeting #PrayforOklahoma is a reminder that if we can't do anything else to assist in this horrible tragedy at least we can ask the Lord for his help.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • CosmicC

      At some level I agree with you. I think the guy quoted in the article did well to demonstrate what is wrong with organized religion by saying his view of what prayer should be overrides anyone elses view. Of course I believe the only benefit there is in prayer is the calming effect it has on those who say the prayer and those who like to hear it said on their behalf. While I do believe that effect is real and important, I also don't believe there's any greater power to hear or respond to the prayers.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • YouMissedThePoint

      Eyeroller you missed the point...Ricky Gervais is makine the point that prayer does nothing to immedietly help those suffering where as donating could actually save a life right now and that is in the literal sense not figurativly or wishfully thinking to save someones life. Also the article makes the point that most people are using the hashtag to be trendy but how many of them actually drop to their knees and sacrifice their time to honestly pray for the people affected by this tradgedy. People now-adays say "I will pray for you" but the act of saying that is not prayer its wishfull thinking. So if you actually pray instead of just giving lip service then may whatever god you beleive in bless you but noone is "persecuting you" for your beliefs thats just playing victim...

      May 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Its the Eye Roller Again

      I agree with you all on the point that right now, actions speak louder than words. My point is that it's silly to question the sincerity of someone through social media. How do we know people who tweet #PrayersforOklahoma AREN'T donating money? How do we know that people who tweet #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma ARE donating money? We don't know...and it's not for us to know. People should feel free to tweet either hashtag without the rest of the world grilling them on if they really mean it or not.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Its the Eye Roller Again pt2

      In any event, I do hope others will help out by donating time or money or whatever. I'm not trying to be self-righteous myself...I just think the article is slightly ridiculous...

      May 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  11. jason

    Remember what Oklahomans did when the victims of sandy needed help! Do unto them what they did unto you!!! I hope some one filibusters the aid bill for 800 days

    May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Conservatives will paint everyone with a single brush and most of them will see the worst as representative of the whole. Progressives will see the individuals and help despite the addled GOP leadership from OK.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  12. adss

    Once again, secularists are using tragedy to try to further their world view. To bring this up at a time like this shows how small some people are. They must be really insecure in their "faith" to bash other's people's faith.

    You will find that Christians and non-Christians alike are donating and helping out the cause in whatever way they know how. Quit judging motives.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • jason

      so you think that OK was cursed by god and deserved it? I might agree after all you have us sen coldheart and inbred

      May 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam

      Once again, Christians are using tragedy to try to further their world view (just like always). To bring this up at a time like this shows how small some people are. They must be really insecure in their "faith" to bash other's people's faith, or lack of it.

      You will find that Christians and non-Christians alike are donating and helping out the cause in whatever way they know how. Christians mainly because they're looking for brownie points with God.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • CosmicC

      You should re-read the article. It's more about "believers" who don't accept twitter prayers as real. Despite the headline, it's really not much about us non-believers as it is about one set of believers defining how others can pray.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  13. Lorri

    For those of you that were not born American citizens Our country is GOD'S Country and you atheists that don't believe or get offended when we pray or when we speak of his name, go back to your own country or stay out of it. Freedom of Religion means we have rights the same as everyone. Oklahoma DOES need prayers!! None of us can begin to understand or feel what these citizens are feeling. There town needs rebuilt, there are lives that can't be replaced, etc. In the very beginning God destroyed the world with water because the people sinned and did not follow him. Our country, the citizens, leaders, schools and the media has divided itself from God. No one knows why this happened to the people in Oklahoma nor do we understand. I will be praying for those citizens!!

    May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • tom

      You seem offended by the atheist point of view. And at the same time say if atheists are offended by the Christian point of view you they should leave the country. Do you see the disconnect there?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • diedonutdie

      Hm. I wonder what the Native Americans have to say about that.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • jason

      Amen....hallowed be the GOP....BTW thats what I want that Obama only send prayers to rebuild the towns and not my tax payer dollars to the tea party central state

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • SeaDub

      Tying in religion with our government is anti-American.

      And praying does NOTHING for the victims. It's a selfish act that make you feel better and like you have done something. If you want to do something, then actually DO something..

      May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • steve

      Wow, so many of us who were born in the US were unaware that we had to be religious or get out! I am sure my parents, and their parents would also be surprised.Thankfully we have you zealots keeping it real for us. Do you think your 'god' of tolerance would approve of your intolerant stance? I think you need some checks and balances in your life.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • sam

      Simmer down and go have some sweet tea.

      This is not a christian nation, this is not god's country. This is a place where people of many faiths and nationalities live. And they all have opinions that likely don't match yours. Get used to it.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Oh, Lorri – you sound like a four year old. Really, you do. America is God's country? Okay, assuming that God exists, you're saying he favours the people currently in an entirely arbitrary set of borders? What about Canada? Doesn't God favour Canada with lower crime rates, lower infant mortality rates, higher education levels, far superior health care, more natural resources, a much better reputation on the world stage, and happier people?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • CosmicC

      @Lorri – What an unpatriotic, unhealthy, unchristian thing to say.
      @SeaDub – While I agree that prayer does not help change anything material (I don't believe there is anything to pray to) and I will be donating money, I also believe that it does help those who believe in it. I don't think someone praying in their bedroom in Iowa will help anyone in Oklahoma, I do believe praying with someone directly affected by a disaster will help them cope with it, if that's what their belief is. I can't honestly pray with someone, but I can support them as they pray.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Yeah, but they're...well, they're Canadians. It's not like they are Americans or something.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'For those of you that were not born American citizens Our country is GOD'S Country and you atheists that don't believe or get offended when we pray or when we speak of his name, go back to your own country or stay out of it.'

      oh grow the f up lorri. There is no such thing as 'gods country'.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • gus308

      this isnt gods country. we are all free to believe in whatever, whoever or nothing if we choose. I am not offended by your prayers, and you have every right to worship as you please. But why do we continue to have laws written that are based only on someones religious beliefs ? gay marrige, churches being tax exempt, abortion laws etc that affect how we all live? I dont try to regulate how you choose to live I just want it to be fair to everyone.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  14. Chris

    "I believe: There's no god. Get in the way of a tornado and you're on your own."

    Non Sequitur. Your "belief" is orthogonal to your conclusion. Which, by the way, is shared by many religious as well.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  15. Karla

    Prayer means communicating with God, it is a matter of faith. For those who believe it is a powerful tool but it has to be paired up with action. The Bible says that faith without works is dead ( James 2:14-26) I don't understand why so much anger over the expression of faith. History shows that the true Christian church has always donated to the less fortunate no matter if they are nonbelievers. Prayer is paired up with action to fill in the gap of the impossible. Lets focus on helping out not on human shortcomings and imperfections which only bring strife and waste precious time.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      if god is omniscient, and already knows the future, what is the point of prayer?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • diedonutdie

      sam stone – apparently there's this thing called free will Christians love to talk about...which makes NO sense because I didn't have a say in my birth. From my BIRTH I did not have free will.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • CosmicC

      I guess you just really narrowed the definition of "real Christian church".

      May 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'The Bible says that faith without works is dead'

      so you agree with gervais then? faith (prayer) without works (donating money) is dead.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  16. Scott

    "My sympathy and prayers go out to those who get caught up in his demonstrations of (God) ruling the world"
    A god who feels a need to demonstrate that he rules the world by slaughtering people doesn't sound like my kind of god. People have done the same throughout the past, and history never, ever looks kindly upon them.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Lisa

      Hi Scott! I take from your post you are a non-believer. I won't sit here and waste your time trying to change your mind set but I do feel a need to reply to your post. I am saved and have full belief in a God that loves. I understand how disasters such as these can lead people to believe God doesn't exist but that is not the case. In this life, we are born into this world sinners and it is by the blood of Jesus that we are saved.That being said, we are not owed anything and should feel so. We should find mercy in situations such as these, that we are allowed to be humbled and seek His help. I fully believe as well in monetary supplement but bottom line is, He is our Provider. Yes...send money to help relieve the survivors but please do not find fault in people sending their prayers. God is able!!! I hope you have a wonderful day and I appreciate you hearing me out! Thanks!

      May 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Lisa; We're born into this world as sinners? Horse sh!t! Babies are not born as sinners. That is a sick, stupid, moronic theology. Do you have children? Were they born evil?

      Idiot.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • CosmicC

      @ Lisa – if you want to pray, feel free. If it's just you, know that you are doing it for yourself...and that's fine. This is a horrible situation and we all need to seek comfort in some way. If you are able to pray directly with the people affected and they share your beliefs, that's great. It will help them emotionally and that's far more important because the material help will be there. However, don't pray with someone until you know their beliefs. If I'm wrapped up in my own personal torment because of some tragedy, the last thing I will be able to do is to deal calmly with someone forcing their beliefs on me.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  17. DrivenB4U

    Prayer is a fascinating concept I think. It allows the supplicant to believe they have some sort of link to the divine. Also a great way for them to think they are accomplishing something by doing nothing.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Kevin H

      Condescension is wonderful thing. It allows the user to believe themselves as superior to others. Also, it is a great way to be antagonistic in a passive agressive kind of way.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • jason

      LSD has the same effect

      May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Absolutely not, LSD provides an altered experience. It's not part of the real world, it's an escape from it.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  18. Insight

    The best way God operates is through people. A neighbour, a school teacher, a stranger, and so on. If you search God outside of fellowbeings, that God is not going to hear your plea because that God doesn't have eye to, legs to walk, hands to hold.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Humans, being social animals, are at their best when working together.

      No gods required.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Kevin H

      Sadly we are also at our worst when working together.
      Humans are an interesting combination of inconsistencies.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • jason

      I remember the Tea party and a disabled veteran. They wanted him to die...and most fo them think they have wings lol

      May 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  19. adam

    Trolls be trolls
    Isn't the internet great!

    May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  20. milotra

    god hears the prayers and helps.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • amy

      Clearly starving children everywhere just need to learn to pray better.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Really?...who prayed for the tornadoes then?

      May 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • KIYA

      WHO CARES LET HER BELIEVE WHAT SHE WANTS! WE ARE ALL ADULTS STOP BEING DISRESPECTFUL!

      May 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Kiya.
      you think it is disrespectful to ask questions? Look there's another show of disrespect.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
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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.