Most Christians would deny that god is somebody who tallies prayer totals before responding – but the simple act of asking other people to pray for a specific request would seem to suggest that most believe that the accumulation of prayers add up to perhaps persuade god to ‘divinely intervene’ (or at least make it more likely that he will listen).
I can only imagine god standing in heaven thinking: “Hmmm, I have a request to help Jake get well soon. I need a few more. The kid better ask his family to pray. Okay, okay… up to 15 now. I’m thinking he should ask his classmates and church congregation as well. Ahhh… there we go, 500 prayer requests – good enough for me! Time to intervene* and save the day!”
*Note: It’s a known god-code that intervention must always be done in a way that seems consistent with the natural world just in case anybody is searching for god with any hint of skepticism. God thinks mystery is way more fun.
So when asking for prayer requests, what is god’s tipping point? One prayer isn’t enough? Five prayers? A whole congregation? More?
If the prayer request is worthy of god’s response, shouldn’t it be worthy of his response regardless of how many people are praying? If so, why ask others to pray as well? And if it is truly worthy of altering ‘god’s plan’, then shouldn’t god have planned better?
I sometimes wonder if the appeal for prayers is just a Christian-way to ask for moral support, while veiling it in a religious context… not sure. Thoughts?