awesome ultimate expert hen (mdyesowitch) wrote,
awesome ultimate expert hen

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Why prayer isn't meaningful

I was just saying a prayer for the health of a friend's nephew (3 year old in the hospital for surgery on his stomach) and I don't know whether I've never said this particular prayer for the sick or I've never read the translation, but in the middle of prayer it says something to the effect of, if you do everything right, I won't visit sickness upon you, no women will miscarry, no women will be infertile...etc.

Am I honestly supposed to buy into that?

I can believe in a benevolent G-d who wants to be worshipped, and I can believe in a natural order of things, even considering I think a benevolent G-d wouldn't want us suffer, but I cannot believe that all I have to do in order to not be sick, to be fertile and carry a baby to term is to be flawlessly perfect AND for everyone around me to flawlessly perfect. Are you kidding me? Who thought that concept would bring comfort and healing? Prayers are a man-made construct meant to express our feelings, needs, and desires, but that doesn't mean they should set up unreasonable expectations on either side.

And while I'm reading this prayer thinking, "I can't pray like this. I honestly don't believe it. Not only do I not believe it. I believe the opposite." I do not believe that sickness and death are punishments for bad behaviour. I believe that in ancient times, there was a limited correlation (like leprosy being divine punishment), and in modern times, there's even less correlation.

I know prayers aren't the words of G-d, they're the words of man and man is fallible, but doesn't this just re-emphasize the point I've been making all along, that I need to find my own prayer voice and build on it to create something meaningful, something I can attach to, rather than just mouth while thinking "how stupid is this idea?" If I'm going to say something stupid to G-d or to anyone, shouldn't it be my own stupid thoughts, not just randomly codified stupid thoughts.
Tags: religion

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