The Point of Prayer

OK, I’m once again confused. In fact, I feel as though everything I once knew about the Faith is slipping away.

I found the attached image on an atheist’s Instagram, along with plenty other ridiculous ones, but this one really has me thinking. I have a feeling there’s a misunderstanding or faulty logic, but I couldn’t point it out.

Take a look at the image. The conclusion he draws is “Prayer serves no purpose”. He arrives there by presenting a dichotomy between Yes and No based on the question “When you pray for something, is this something in God’s plan?”. If one answers yes, the argument goes, “prayer is redundant”. If one says no, “prayer is futile”.

Thus, I struggle to understand the relationship between Divine Providence and prayer.

Thanks for your help.

The point of prayer is not to use God like a vending machine, it’s to communicate with God. Just like your spouse, you spend time talking to them each day, getting to know them better and more intimately. Likewise for God, prayer is opening your heart and mind to God.

Petitionary prayer (asking for something) may be dependant upon us asking for it. Venerable Fulton Sheen once suggested a prayer with the line “But just in case you are waiting for me to ask for it [whatever the person is praying for], I’m asking.” God wants us to approach Him, confide in Him, and know Him, not just in a factual sense, but a relational one. And by knowing God, we can allow Him to operate through us, and make us into who were are meant to be - saints.

So prayer is a necessary step on the road to eternal life. Actually, prayer is every step on that road.

The image you displayed is a false depiction of prayer. Any conclusions drawn from it are not valid.
Please consult the Catechism being here to learn what prayer actually is.

Why do I always open threads about things that are dealt with in the Catechism? :shrug:

One other thing: Why would we pray for something if God already knows what we want/need?

The topic is of critical importance in our reaching our destination in heaven. As such, the Catechism addresses this very important topic.

[quote=CCC] today’s promulgation of the Latin typical edition, therefore, the task of composing the Catechism, begun in 1986, is brought to a close and the desire of the aforementioned Extraordinary Synod of Bishops is happily fulfilled. The Church now has at her disposal this new, authoritative exposition of the one and perennial apostolic faith, and it will serve as a “valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” and as a “sure norm for teaching the faith,” as well as a “sure and authentic reference text” for preparing local catechisms (cf. Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, no. 4).


One other thing: Why would we pray for something if God already knows what we want/need?

Because we need to demonstrate to ourselves that we are dependent on God and that we trust Him.

notice that the potential title might not match the conclusion; if that is not cleaer enough…take reference in wikipedia about the word meaning to ‘fallacy.’

i can read that the statement, although is a flow chart, also makes a circle-it could be a circle of fallacy; the wikipedia definition suggests that a fallacy explaination-may make a circle, a circle of fallacy…at any rate, baptism offers a new life, then in short there is a gurantee of the holy spirit…he is a person to relate…so my statement about faith, it might be belief written in black and white, words for those to read and get a point…but faith,is personal-a sharing of good news…what is the good news about christ? there is a loving spirit that makes life a bit less lonely…as people can be in a crowd and even still feel lonely’ but in contrast there is this verses aloneless, being alone with God, when doubt and holiness clash …there is a self efficacy in prayer and apartness from the world, which would gurantee self efficacy; a spiritual life being discoverd more than chance, more than fate, this is the good news,christ was born, christ has died, christ has risen, and christ has ascended, and christ will come again…thx patrick

The basic fallacy is to equate petition with prayer as if prayer is nothin else than asking for something.

Prayer of course serves other purposes - we praise God, express sorrow for sin to Him and simply spend time in an intense awareness of His presence.

It’s a bit like suggesting that it is useless for a child to ask its parents for something because parents know what their children need and want and either plan to cater to those needs and wants or not, regardless of the asking. As if the asking does nothing for the child.

And then, having supposedly established that asking is useless, that therefore all communication (verbal and non-verbal, for whatever reason) by the child is useless.

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