It’s been approximately six months since I prayed my final pleading prayer (said like a true former addict :D). At this point, I’m not even sure if it would count if I said a prayer. If Muslim prayers are fruitless to a Christian, my atheist prayer would likewise be in vain. I often said as a Christian that it felt like my prayers bounced off the walls. I first heard that comparison from a girl in a Beth Moore Bible study I attended during college. She opened up to the group about how she was going through a dark time and felt like her prayers were just bouncing off the walls.
Ever the apt description. A small part of me felt a jolt of relief/freedom at her confession.
There is still this part of me that feels the need to tell people it’s true. Those prayers are bouncing around inside minds, and they’re not leaving from that place. You receive your own prayers, and you act on them. Answers to prayers are combinations of your own efforts, others’ efforts, and advantageous coincidences. That is the sweet formula for answered prayer. It’s a not-so-secret recipe after all. But looking at it that way, as the formula that it is, does not bring someone hope. It doesn’t glorify God. It doesn’t really glorify anything at all. It only speaks to what we call natural processes, and who would want to limit their God to something natural?