If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

Prayerful Petition is Demeaning
  
Christianity says that prayer comes from a loving heart so if there is a God then your prayers connecting with him and reaching him depend on your spiritual and humble and virtuous disposition.  To tell somebody you will pray for them is to tell them how great you are!  And to say that God will listen to you for you are holy enough!!

 

WHAT GOD DOESN’T LIKE ABOUT PRAYER
 
Prayer is communication with God. It is union with God and believers say it is two way. God unites with you when you pray and you unite with him.
 
Prayer is not necessarily vocal it can just be an attitude you carry around in your heart. It can just be an intention that you don’t put into words.
 
Petitionary prayer, prayer that asks for something, either influences God or it does not. Or it is meant to influence God or it is not. All prayer is intended to be petitionary for even when you don’t ask for a favour but just want to be with God you must necessarily intend that he helps you be really with him.
 
PRAYING FOR PROTECTION IS FANATICAL
 
It is fanaticism to pray for protection, physical or spiritual, for yourself or others. Yet all reverent prayer contains the intention that God will protect your soul against vice.
 
If you pray to God then you are praying to the most powerful entity there is. So it follows that praying for a seriously ill person is far more important than getting the doctor. Believers will get the doctor but that does nothing to allay the fanaticism in their attitude. If they had to either pray or get the doctor and they could only do one of these they would pray. The fanaticism means they cannot object when they go that far if God forbids getting the doctor so it is plain murderous. To prefer death for another is like willing it so it is a black heart that would do it. Prayer is meant to lead a person to better submission to the Church and its fanaticism implies, “If I can regard prayer as more important than doctors because of the influence of the Church then by logic I should heed and obey everything my Church commands for God speaks through the Church”.
 
Prayer brainwashes. If you would put your relations on a shipwreck in the hands of a God whose existence you cannot be very sure of then you are mad for you feel you love them but how can you when you are doing that? Would you love them if you prayed to Sinbad the Sailor to save them? No for that is like asking a complete stranger to look after your little daughter. When you ask God to save a life you are resolving you will accept it if he does not do it so you are confessing God has the right to kill. To approve of death for the sake of a hypothetical God is very unreasonable and callous. To say that such evil may be compatible with God’s plan in some unknown way is to make evil permissible while to say that evil is useless gives it what it really should get, total intolerance. We must will it not to happen. Full stop. God is an evil hypothesis and so prayer is evil and dehumanising.
 
Though God knows exactly what we need before we ask him, he asks us to pray. It is not to tell him what we want or to tell him what he should do because he already knows and if he should do something he will do it without prayer but to be humble and show him that we are so inferior to him and so make a sacrifice of time and our powers to please him alone (Question 82, Radio Replies Volume 3; page 180, In Defence of the Faith). This is degrading unless you are more sure that God exists than you are that you exist which is impossible for you experience your own existence. That is the simple fact though many religious people lie that they are that sure and say they are surer God exists! You come first and you are meant to love what is outside of you by and through loving yourself. It is as degrading as bowing before an idol and not being sure enough that it is a god. But the Church commands all to pray and even has agnostics doing it.
 
Young people tend to pray to do well in exams. In essence, this is not praying to become a better and holier person whatever happens and through whatever happens so God will not listen to it. He wants you to be more interested in being holy than in success. Praying to pass or do well is simply asking God to help you to cheat. You want God to make sure only the material you are familiar with or succeed in remembering will come up which is cheating for the purpose of exams is for you to know everything on your course so that you will be prepared for anything that comes up for anything could.
 
If you are not trying to cheat then why don't you pray, "God, help Johnny to pass the exam and don't worry about me." Praying for yourself to pass and not thinking of Johnny is trying to cheat. Christian virtue says we must be centred on the needs of others so this implies this logic is correct.
 
Confidence in God’s power to keep you safe or to undo the damage you do is dangerous for it will lead to a lack of effort on your part to at least some extent. When you won’t act, God has to if he is good for the sake of other people. He cannot let the worst happen intending to make amends later for that does not justify it. That is all very well but what if there is no God? Religion is usually reluctant to make sure that everybody knows all about the doctrines its has. Religion tells people to turn to God in prayer for answers and that is a dangerous approach if there is no God. It is fanatical. Psychics are often bad news but this is no better.
 
We know that belief in miracles is bad and irrational. Prayer makes no sense unless you think that God is tweaking the way things work by secretly miraculously intervening to do what you ask. It would be extreme arrogance to hold that God has to do such things over you.
 
Prayer is inhuman. 
 
CONCLUSION
 
Prayer is bad because religious belief is.
 
Atheists have a right to see prayer as an evil activity. It conditions people to prefer God’s rights to human rights and to deepen the religious hold on the world with all the terrible disasters that brings. Prayer insults people. The view of God that it proposes for us is vile and has resulted in the vile hypocrisy that is so common in people of faith. One wonders if people who are unaffected by its poison really believe or only imagine that they believe. Prayer implies God should let good people suffer for he has the power to save them and won’t. It can only lead to trouble. If people didn’t see the need for praying they wouldn’t see the need for believing in God so prayer must be exposed.
 
The benefits of prayer do not come from prayer at all which is why we should challenge people’s faith in prayer and have no regrets. The benefits are nothing compared to the damage that is done.

The WEB
 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12608c.htm
Catholic Encyclopaedia. This discusses Quietism.
  
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
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AQUINAS, FC Copleston, Penguin Books, London, 1991
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, Association for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1960
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Veritas, London, 1995
CHARITY, MEDITATIONS FOR A MONTH, Richard F Clarke SJ, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1973
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED, Edited by John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship, Minnesota, 1973
CRISIS OF MORAL AUTHORITY, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1995
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, VOL 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
ECUMENICAL JIHAD, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM, London, 1963
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
MADAME GUYON, MARTYR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Phyllis Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986
RADIO REPLIES, 1, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
RADIO REPLIES, 2, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
RADIO REPLIES, 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE BRIEF OF ST ANTHONY OF PADUA (Vol 44, No 4)
The Dark Side, How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, Valerie Tarico, Ph.D, Dea Press, Seattle, 2006
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, Thomas A Kempis, Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Universe, Burns & Oates, London, 1963
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD, Brother Lawrence, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1981
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE, Michael Molinos, Christian Books, Gardiner Maine, 1982
THE STUDENT’S CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982