Peace Without Prayer
When I first stopped believing in a deity, I remember feeling very lost when something bad happened. In the past, I had prayed… Tornado warning? Pray. Drive by a car accident? Pray. Friend in the hospital? Pray. Prayer had centered me and given me a focus. Plus, of course, the belief that I was actually helping or accomplishing something was nice, too.
Atheists have to DO something. Something REAL. We don’t get to say “I’ll pray for you” and then feel good about ourselves. We have to bring over food to a neighbor, make phone calls, babysit children, volunteer for hospice, donate blood, money, blankets, etc.
And when there is literally nothing we can do, we have to trust other humans to do what they have been trained to do. My grandpa is in the hospital right now with an extremely rare disease. My ex is in the hospital with a heart condition. A family friend is in the hospital with an aggressive cancer. They all live very far away from me, so besides phone calls and flowers, I can do nothing to help them.
But you know what? Trusting in humans to do what they can is ten thousand times better than hoping an invisible deity can be swayed to allow someone to live.
Believers think that even if doctors do absolutely everything they can for a person, it’s still a god that decides whether or not to flip the switch. Where is the peace in that? Basically, everything you do is pointless… it makes no difference whether you “fight” the cancer, because god is deciding whether you live or die.
So now? I do not feel lost without prayer. I do not feel lost without a deity. Life has so much more meaning, more purpose, without a belief in a god. I am at peace trusting in the kindness of other humans, the wisdom of the doctors, nurses and scientists that will treat my family members and friends. And I will do everything I can to support these individuals in their efforts. Without prayer. ~JJ