"All FB friends please pray that my nephew's car starts in the morning. He has a very important job interview."
Doesn't that sort of crap get annoying? I wonder if there have been any studies on the effectiveness of facebook prayer? I'm pretty sure it does absolutely nothing.
Haven't there been studies that prayer is effective, provided the person knows they are being prayed about?
So, if the person being prayed over is also on Facebook and sees the request...
Like Caroline said, I think the effect was the opposite. Those who were prayed for and knew it did slightly worse, at least in one study.
That was for recovering from an illness, though. Praying isn't going to help your car start whether you know people are praying for it or not. You might as well ask people to "use the force" to make the car start. :D
Speaking of prayer, why don't Christians ever pray for Satan? Wouldn't he be the most in need of their prayers?
Like Mike Huckabee said in his "sorry-I'm-not-running-for-President" speech the other day: It surpasses all human understanding. (Which is how I defined Donald Trump's popularity as a presidential candidate, btw).
That's how faith works: Don't even TRY to understand anything...leave it in god's hands. God's shapeless, invisible, non-existent hands....that's comforting, isn't it? Sounds very arbitrary to me... unsettling, too.
Richard Dawkins has a great section in "The God Delusion" entitled "The Great Prayer Experiment"...it focuses specifically on the hospital setting. I think somebody else hinted at this experiment earlier in this discussion. But I imagine the effectiveness of Facebook prayer could be tested in a similar fashion! Researchers found that patients who knew they were being prayed for actually suffered more complications because they suffered from a kind of "performance anxiety": "Wow, all these people are praying for me so I'd better get well....how serious is this illness if I need all these people praying for me? Suddenly I'm feeling WORSE." It put more stress on the patients who KNEW there were people praying for them than the patients who DIDN'T KNOW! I find that ironic, don't you?
I believe there was also a study in which people were being prayed for but did not know whether they were in the prayer group or the control group, and the study showed no effect whatsoever. Sorry I'm no good at remembering names of authors or publications, but I kinda laughed at that one, because it was a foregone conclusions, was it not?
And I sort of resent my taxpayer dollars being spent on such fluff, because this study will not change the minds of the true-believers, anyway!