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elbanditoroso's avatar

Is prayer likely to be of help in finding flight 370 and its passengers?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15235 points ) March 19th, 2014

I was driving by a church on the way to work today – one of those that has a message board up front. Usually there is some inspirational saying or verse being displayed.

Today’s message was “Pray for the passengers on MH 370”.

Is this likely to be effective in finding the plane?

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15 Answers

ucme's avatar

Sounds like going off on a wing & a prayer to me, but hey, can’t hurt.

hominid's avatar

@elbanditoroso: “Is this likely to be effective in finding the plane?”

Intercessory prayer doesn’t work. And in certain situations it can hurt, although this is likely related to expectations and belief, etc.

If and when the plane is found, it wouldn’t hurt for the church to be able to attribute their prayer for contributing to its discovery.

But I try to interpret messages like this as simply a way that many theists express that they are thinking of and concerned for people. “Pray for the passengers” might simply mean, “let’s hope these people are found and are safe”.

Symbeline's avatar

Agree with @ucme. Personally I don’t think it will do anything, but it also doesn’t hurt. I mean, can’t be any more harmful than people on message boards discussing it and talking about aliens and shit. XD

janbb's avatar

You cannot petition The Lord with prayer.

ucme's avatar

Haha @Symbeline, nowt like a good old mystery to bring out the residents of dorksville with their crazy theories.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Remember the talk of sending good vibrations, “vibes”, during the sixties? I think mass prayer does have good effects at times simply because it is uniting several minds on a subject of good, bringing more power to the good of existence. Maybe it can’t bring the desired outcome, but at least it gives strength to hope, and the comfort of knowing that neighbors near and far care deeply about a tragic thing.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I see the majority here want to mock the power of prayer. I feel praying to God is sure not going to harm anyone and would give consolation to the family members who are waiting for News of their loved ones.

I’m willing to bet that many (if not all ) of those family member are praying to their God for the courage to accept what might happen.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb

Great Doors reference. I caught it. Soft Parade. great song.

hominid's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat: “I see the majority here want to mock the power of prayer.”

So far, 5 people have responded to this question. We’ve received 3 “It can’t hurt” replies and no mocking, from what I can see. I’m not a statistician, but I think this calculation is off.

Kropotkin's avatar

It won’t help because most people pray to a God that doesn’t exist. Whilst Christians, Muslims, and Jews babble away, exhorting Allah, Yahweh et al, to help them with this and that—Zeus is looking down from the heavens and saying: “Get the name right, you fools.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

Maybe. It would be interesting if they came back with a story of Divine Intervention wouldn’t it? Would most people even believe it if that happened though?

It’s basically like saying, “Hey I believe in God and I’m praying my God keeps you safe”, it’s a nice gesture.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso A friend recalls that I once leaned over in synagogue and whispered it to him.

Pachy's avatar

Prayer may help fortify one with inner strength and courage but, in my opinion, it won’t conjure up intervention by some mythical heavenly being.

ucme's avatar

Maybe the power of song could help…“I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know whe…”
Yeah, perhaps not :(

kritiper's avatar

It will make you feel better if you believe it will but it won’t do any good any other way.

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