If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Prayer is a Harmful Affirmation
I'm not sure if affirmations, statements you recite over and over to yourself until you program yourself to make them true, really work. But assume they do for the moment.
The most dangerous negative affirmations are, "Obey God," "God is better than you" and, "God has all power and you can't get the better of God." They are omnipotent in the obvious or subliminal or implicit damage they do.
It is so important to give no support to any religion or teacher who fails to preach the principles of positive affirmations and their magic. Staying away from negative people and negative religions is a mammoth must.
The most dangerous negativity of all is the subtle kind, the kind that looks caring and respectful. Prayer is an example. Subtle negativity can seem to produce good results but it merely sets you up for a fall. Better the enemy that looks as an enemy should look!
Affirmations command things to happen psychologically and implies that you are developing the confidence that you will succeed. Prayer is not commanding or drawing on your inner resources at all and is a sign of poor confidence. You are calling on God to intervene to fix your bad confidence instead. Affirmations reflect the idea that you are God for yourself and over yourself and therefore will not be asking any other God for help. If you ask for help, that is really helping yourself as opposed to really depending on anybody else. Affirmations are trying to help yourself without devotion to God. They have nothing to do with prayer and they deny the need for prayer. The person who improves their own life is better off than the person who gets somebody else to do it for them. They will naturally have a higher level of happiness. It is nice to be independent and self-made. The resulting self-fulfilment is stronger and more confident because it doesn't depend on any attachment to another person or anybody else.
If you believed in God, you would be able to order what you want down to the finest detail. You are entitled to think that the universe should be your way and that God should comply. It has to be somebody's way and so why not yours?
Positive affirmations are better than prayers. Prayer is at the very bottom of the effectiveness scale - at best. It belongs there because using it is to affirm that you don't deserve to practice the best affirmations. It's a negative affirmation! Prayer might seem to work and to help but it does not. People often make the error of thinking that things work when they don't and when the so-called results are just coincidences. We just remember the time prayer seemed to work. Atheists feel that life works for them but they see this as mere coincidence. They are blessed without praying. If you are conscious of how life can change for the better just like that you can live in hope and confidence. Needing God to have that awareness is sad because there is no reason why you cannot just have it God or not!
Prayer is a negative affirmation. Instead of admitting that you can make yourself happy, prayer says you need God to do that for you. Instead of commanding help to come now, prayer asks. This is saying you cannot take supernatural control of your own life. Another problem with asking is that it is requesting help that may never come because it is not God's will or help that may not be given for another fifty years! Prayer undoes the work of affirmation. Prayer is a bad affirmation.
Prayer shows what is going on in our hearts and we project our desires out to God. It shows things about us. A truly good person might pray that all suffering will end right now. A godly one will say that it is okay to ask for that as long as you also ask God not to bother if it is not his will. To desire that evil will happen if it is God's will is to become evil. It is too extreme considering you cannot know there is a God but only believe or think there is one. Belief or thinking does not justify you assenting to bad things happening.
It is thought that we will not pray unless we at least hope there is a loving God. That is not true. As long as the person gets a response he does not care if God is really loving or not. Acceptance of bad things happening is only right if nothing can be done. It is not the same as giving up. If you leave all in God's hands that is giving up! You should be saying, "Damn you, little Joey in the hospital still has cancer! I asked you last week to help him!"
If as many suspect, most prayer (if not all) is instrumental and about getting something from God be it virtue or a new car, then it is not about God but us then it is clear why religion leads to so much hatred and evil and violence.
We are all so intimately connected that others praying for us harms us. Others praying for us harms us. We pick up vibes from others. Their attitude towards us has an effect.