Prayer and compassion

The rationalist indulges himself so much in the demolition of prayer that he fails to realize a significant product of its practice: compassion. Though prayer may be, as he argues, pointless in relation to the divine, irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, it is nevertheless a chance for us to demonstrate our compassion, our care for fellow human beings. When we say that we will pray for our family and friends, for those in need and those in illness, we are in fact saying that “I care for you and wish for your happiness”. And it is this kindly intention that matters far more than the indefinite consequence of the prayers – and rightly so, since the consequences are beyond our foretelling. So even if prayer achieves nothing, gains no favor from the divine, it will always, as long as we remember to pray for each other and not just for ourselves, remind our spirits of compassion.

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