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Does Prayer to a God make a difference?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,096 times Debate No: 58314
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




The first is a simply accepting and open statement.

First I would like to say, I am an atheist and will be debating on the viewing side of an atheist with a scientific view to this. Having been a Christian for 20 years, die hard one at that, I feel I have plenty of knowledge on religious things to make a valid comment.

To begin, I will say that I do not believe, nor do I think they work in anyway shape or form. I will say that I also do know they do not and will explain should my opponent agree to this challenge.


1) Romans 8:28 (NIV 2011)
Ro 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

2) John 16:23,26-27 (NIV 2011)
Jn 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Jn 16:26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
Jn 16:27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

3) 1 John 5:14 (NIV 2011)
1Jn 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Based on these 3 Bible Passages I believe regarding prayer:
1) Prayer to the God of the Bible works. You need to pray in Jesus Name to the Father.
2) God works to good towards those who love Him.
3) What we ask for or petition God for must be inline with His Will if we expect Him to answer us.

There are so many other things regarding prayer to the God of the Bible but I will just start my opening statement with these 3.

God bless : ) ... your move now...
Debate Round No. 1


Berend forfeited this round.


Berend: it's hard to take someone serious who won't be serious in debating them back. Why did you forfeit your round?

I will give one example of prayer to the God of the Bible making a difference:

I and many other Christians were praying over the Hobby Lobby Case before the Supreme Court regarding Abortion Contraception:

As you very well know the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby's right to not have to provide abortion contraception to their employees in the mandated ACA (Abortion Contraception Act).

This was an answer to prayer from the God of the Bible.

Your turn...please no more forfeiting of rounds as I don't like waiting 3 days for a turn to speak.

Debate Round No. 2


OK, so I stated I had other things that had my attention first. So, with that, I will make my rebuttal to you. As I see, you never gave any indication to the topic at hand or even remotely tried to prove your side other then content of the book you consider holy, the Bible. While admiral of you, that does not validate anything. Firs off, I never stated which God and easily could be speaking of the God of Abraham, the Jew God, or the God of Abraham, the Christian God. Hell, even the God of Abraham, the Islam God. I also hope you caught the little humor in that my friend. ;)

Now, I did make an opening statement to our audience, but I wish to almost break the 4th wall and speak directly too you. I am not like other atheist on the internet, nor will you find me talking as one. By that I mean calling you stupid, moronic and asinine. All meaning the same thing, but the point being blunt and clear.

Now, back to the debate topic at hand, which is, Does Prayer to God (Any kind of God) make a difference?

Now, I will dress the first 3 verses, which have nothing to do with the topic or simply have no weight or anything to valid your side.

Romans 8:28, you posted that "Prayer to God of the Bible works." Which was not proven at all, so that claim is not really holding any truth. This was followed by, "You need to pray in Jesus' Name to the Father."

Well, to begin, praying in the name of Jess does not change. This statement and verses hold as much truth as any other religion of answers of their god. Be it Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, etc. Either, God answers with out Jesus being names or in his name anyways, or only Christians get answers. Or it is all fake ideals on answers.

1 - If it is answering all religious beings with out worrying if they say it in Jesus name or not, then your statement and that verse is false. This would also leave questions why God let team Germany win against USA in the World Cup. Yet, if we look, many kids are abandoned, starving, wars going on, people of different faiths or no faiths are killed or jailed. Homosexuals are killed or jailed, even verbally abused. And finally, women and men are getting rapped, no answer stopped this nor man the ones who caused this to have justice while alive. In this case, prayers do something, but there s still no proof or evidence for this hypothesis. It also does not explain why God lets a kid graduate high school and not end world hunger with his magic food from the sky trick.

2. If only Christians get answers, then this leaves many people who, hell, never heard Jesus before, calling for aid and God or Jesus, neither do anything nor answer their prayers, be it another god or being they worship for logical reasons, to be answered and they suffer. This would be similar to God acting as he did in the book of Exodus, when he sided with the Jews and did many horrible things. What it was is not of importance other then calling the Hebrews his children when all humans are his. Be it followers or not. Also, when I say logical reason, I am saying there is a perfectly logical and rational reason why they do not worship Jesus. In this case, prayers do not do much unless you are Christian, and that would not be a very just God.

3 - It is all fake ideals on answers, then they do nothing and really instead of doing something in action, people just pray thinking it helps based on no evidence and only faith. Something I would recommend no one do if we have evidence or answers to the things you pray for.

To the second, "God works to good towards those who love him." Well, those who do not even know his name let alone not worship his do not get answers and many other things from my other comments above also fall into this category.

To the third, no God does not need to be inline, if he has the power to end suffering, he should do it. Why would any loving God let a child suffer in any way yet allow someone to pass a test or win a sport game because the one that loved him prayed? Ridicules and childish on that part if true.

Finally, I will address your only actual form of evidence. The Hobby Lobby rule. Now, this is interesting you brought this up, because simply you and a few others praying for this to happen, and it does happen, does not justify that he answered your prayer. Again to my other statements on the World Cup and children who suffer.

I can pray in the name and to Vishnu or even my TV to make Church and rate happen. If it by some chance does, that does not mean my prayer was answered. You are using a 50/50 chance as evidence. This is not evidence and you can not use something that will be one thing and the other and a better idea of the chances by the judges to say that a prayer worked.

There are many historical accounts of Japanese samurai praying to their Gods and the ones who won claiming it was Hachiman who answered this. This in the same was answered by the God of Shintoism. Does this prove it? No, of course not, this simply has no weight for it.

In order for you or anyone in your side to use their book, let alone the bible, as anything but myths, which by definition they are. As explained by the Oxford Dictionary, a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. [1]

There was one such experiment done just to prove prayers, that of which I can not find a good link too. By next response I should have it. I will say, while the link you send was understandable indeed, I do not take links or any real source that can be taken bias as legit. For example, if thi was avegan debate, I would disregard any and all links to site called "Veganbodybuilder" or even "vegandiet" because the name alone is bias to its cause. This would also mean they would not or ever post anythign against themselves. Things like Science new or even BBC is fine.

Just like you will never hear in church about killing homosexuality. Why? Because ti would not look good on the rleigion teaching itself.

Finally that Hobby Lobby stuff is stupid. Denying Birth Control because of religious belief in my opinion... Well, it is an opinionand I rather stay on topic friend.


Here is an example of Romans 8:28 coming true in my family's life:

Romans 8:28 (NIV 2011) - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

My wife got into a car accident in late July of 2013. I pray every morning for safety for my wife. God answered my prayers in this way:

1) Wife was kept safe in the accident. Nobody else was hurt. No property damage either. Only our car got hurt.

2) My wife grew closer to the Lord Jesus as a result of the accident.

3) We got a sizeable tax deduction for donating the car to charity...more than we would have if we had sold it in working condition since I don't know very much about the value of cars...

4) As it turned out in our limited budget we could no longer afford to maintain 2 cars so it was good we got down to one car as my monthly budget could later testify too.

5) Having only one car means I cannot travel to volunteer my time while my wife is away during the day so it showed me that God's will for my life right now is to keep posting all things Jesus and the Bible on the internet.
Debate Round No. 3


Well I see you took to addressing me directly. This is good, but my point still applies. Just like the bible, unless validated or proven, simply stating something good happens does not make it true. So, my opponent stating he prayed to God to make things better and things seems to get better, does not validate it as true. This is also a personal experience that is not and can not be tested.

Now, do I know how his wife was fine and safe? No, this would require me to be there and test many variables to see if it was what it is. So many things could have done that. I have been in wrecks and unhurt but the car, not a prayer at all.

I also again find it funny, how this God, of the bible, can grant a wish like this and to people to win a football game yet not aid those in needs.

I would like my opponents to answer this one question of mine. If God is all powerful, all good and all knowing, willing to answer prayers. Why does he not stop someone praying to him or asking him to not be raped, yet the rapist still manages to rape the victim. The women being raped and no answer. The kids in Africa, etc. How come this happens if God is all powerful and answers prayers? I truly want an answer to this.
So, before I end this, I also want to add, I will not accept personal experience as proof, nor will I accept praying and it happens to be real when I have explained already. It is a 50/50 chance.

I also point to the prayer test conducted by people to see if it works. The test showed prayer did not work in scientific means. [1]


1) Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion.


"Now, do I know how his wife was fine and safe? No, this would require me to be there and test many variables to see if it was what it is."

Prayer to the Father in Jesus' Name REALLY Works: Here's another example you might believe because of something known as "Embarrassment Criterion":

Romans 8:28 (NIV 2011) - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I was hospitalized for a Psychotic Break in March of 2013 (72-hour hold that was extended to a 14-day hold). I had people praying to the Father in Jesus' Name for me. I got out 8 days later. Less than a year later Social Security decided to review my eligibility to continue benefits (SSDI). I believe it was in part due to my hospitalization less a year ago that my benefits for Disability got renewed even though I am on much less medication now.

I went into the hospital taking 4 Psychtropic Drugs (I used to take 6). I came out on only 1 Psychotropic (8mg of Risperidone). Over a year later I am only 4mg of Risperidone now. Social Security should have claimed I was getting better and did not need my benefits anymore which I rely on. However due to the fact I was hospitalized at the time of Social Security renewing my benefits less than a year later after the hospitalization then they could not really deny me my benefits.

I'll state the verse one more time:

Romans 8:28 (NIV 2011) - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Remember: Embarrassment it on Wikipedia if you don't know what it is. I can absolutely guarantee I am being trueful with you : )
Debate Round No. 4


Thank you Jikpamu, I learned something, I really did. However the case, your point on the Criterion of Embarrassment does not validate the bible. That will be explained below. Now, as you all know, I tried to cover the following in my past arguments.

  1. Simply taking a verse does not validate anything as true.
  2. Simply asking or praying to something and something happens to happen does not validate it as true.
  3. The chances of prayer working are basically 50/50.
  4. You can not base it as a prayer working if you got the heads of the coin.
  5. In order to validate a verse, you must first validate the book or its coming. If the bible can not be proved true, neither can the verse, thus using them to prove anything or the prayers in a book or bible, does not and can not be used as anything or any type of evidence.

Since this is my closing statement, I wish to make a few points. My direction was not to pose a god being evil or fake, rather the concept of prayer to a god is nothing more then speaking aloud or to yourself. Both on the same level as that of an imaginary friend. It only serves purpose to the delusion of your mind, but has no affect in the real, physical, realm.

If something is a 50/50 chance, which has yet to be proved otherwise by my opponent, then how can one claim what happens p be prayer when it happens? Take for example the following situation. If you were told you had AIDS because the one you slept with had AIDS,you might pray before getting the test. Upon a week later you get the results saying you have AIDs and are clean of the HIV virus. How is this not a prayer answered you ask? Because based on supported evidence of many survivors who had become ill from the Black Death plague, signs show that decedents of this survivor have been able to be injected with the HIV virus and still not get it. [1][2][3]

This here shows that there was a logical reason as to why you were safe and did not contract the virus, not a prayer. However, if you have the mental concept that there is a God, that the information I told you, you did not know, and you believed in prayer, it is very obvious that you have a high chance to simply say that a god or gods answered your prayer to him/her or them. This is in no way evidence of a prayer answered and now that I explained why that situation proves that it was not a prayer, many will tell you that God did not answer it and when people who meet the requirements for the 'prayer' to work and nothing happens, they blame "He does not need to answer all" or even the famous, "He works in mysterious ways. Both subject to a level we has rational and intelligent beings should not be doing.

This really is very close and is the same as someone explaining until completely proved otherwise, that lightning is God's doing, the rainbow is a answer that he will not flood the earth when really, when proved otherwise their ideals change. This concept is called, "God of the Gaps". This is a basic argument made by many theist to explain what is not yet known, either by all or simply them. So when someone tells me they prayed for the safety of their loved one and they remain fine, only the car was effected, this tells me they do not know anything of the situation, and the simple case of the 50/50 direction it could go, they say it was God since what they wanted happened. Had it now, it would be some argument to justify their irrationality of the area that covers why everything there happened as it did.

People, we are adults, we are rational beings. We have a brain and have science that has helped answer our prayers. Saying that the luck of the 50/50 of something happening and it does happen as proof of prayer making a difference is the same as Bill O'Reilly telling David Silverman "Tides go in Tides go out. you can't explain it" as a rational reason to and why he believes in God. Same with him basically saying he believes and follows what the bible says about everything and God being real because Science has yet to answer it. This is the same concept with prayer and this should not happen. [4] [5]

If God cares enough to interfere, he shouldn't need you to pray when he can just do it out of love and already knowing. Read the Bible yourself, by yourself, no help, front to back with a rational, open, scientific mind. You will see the utter incorrect and some even wrong things in the first chapter. This is not absolute truth, so why would we want to take anything that is not nor has been, and again has many false information and is in it, as validation that prayer works? We shouldn't. And with this I hope, if you do not take my word, just read the bible, observe the world, test prayer out yourself. Don't say it was a prayer simply because you want to think it was. Believing something is real or happened, does not make is so. You should lead were the evidence is. I have provided a good enough evidence of sources for others to take in or follow with their own accord, my opponent has not. The only thing you seem to get is the concept of verses fro ma book that can not be validated, thus the verse not validated. Personal experience does not mean so, just as I can say a clown talked to me, this is not truth.

The reason the bible is no so is because of the Criterion of Embarrassment. This was used as a defence as you know, however, it is very clear if someone wanted to say something is true, like Jesus being God, then of course it would be used. Many point to a good version of this as truth or evidence because of the CoE with Jesus on the cross, a most embarrassing thing. However chances are that happened cause he committed blasphemy and, stating that is a good way to work to "He rose form the grave" as more of a way to say he is God. This does not prove anything and simply shows ignorance of the writers.

In order to be validated, it must be proved, Jesus must be proved to be God, Prayers to work, etc. As I have explained already, test have been done and if a god gave a damn, he would have intervened for those children, especially the ones with Cancer and AIDS. With that, I rest my argument and hope you people will take this in, make the choice yourself. Do not believe something simply because you are told it is true. Even from me, look and research yourself. Do not think I am right simply because I provide something, even my opponent, read what we say with a rational and open mind. Examine it, read the bible or any other holy book, read my links and his. Investigate and question everything. Just because it sounds good, does not make it so. There can be a good explanation to why something happens, do not assume prayer. Thank you. And Thank you Jikpamu for taking on this challenge. I enjoyed your debate with me.


1) Black Plague, AIDS Immunity, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, David Brown,

2) Black Death AIDS, BBC,

3) Why Some People Are Immune..., Cosmos Mag/Online,

4) The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly & David Silverman, Fox NEWS, YouTube -

5) Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reailly Factor, Fox NEWS, YouTube -



1) The chances of a prayer working depend on God, what is being requested, and the righteousness of the person doing the requesting.

2) I am validating verses like the one from Romans by giving real-world examples of it coming true.

3) Let the real world examples of Bible Verses coming true be validation for their truthfulness.

4) In regards to AIDS, you cannot expect God to hear your prayers regarding AIDS when you disobeyed God's Laws by being promiscuous which led to the disease. AIDS and Diabetes in other words are not the same thing.

5) Jesus didn't rise from the grave???? Why did the Disciples give their lives for what they would have known was a lie according to you. Everyone of them was tortured to death except John who lived to a ripe old age but even he was boiled in oil for his faith. Also, have you found Jesus' bones yet? The Talpiot Tomb is not good evidence in case you decide to quote this.

6) A final example of prayer working:

Thomas Scarinci wrote 2 books about his near death experience: "Ten Days Dead" and "After the Last Heartbeat". The doctors asked his wife to remove him from life support since he had no chance for recovering. She would not. She prayed for her husband. 10 days later he recovered. His own doctors claimed it was a miracle. Tom even remembers what people said in his room while he was technically dead and even remembers floating above the room and meeting Jesus. This man was my Associate Pastor and Psychologist also for 7 years.

*** Conclusion: Based on everything I have presented in these 5 posts I would say that prayer to the God of the Bible makes a difference. : )

Believe on Jesus for the remission of sins.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
Not an answer, a rebuttal. Yes I can and I am on another tab. ;O
Posted by Jikpamu 7 years ago
Jikpamu you can post your answer : )
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
No, I was distracted with work that I forgot to jump back on here. Sorry about that. lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit. As to arguments, I find myself surprised at the tack Con took. There are actual scientific studies on the efficacy of prayer, that I would urge Con to take a look at as ammunition for next time he decides to debate this topic. Similarly, Pro, I would point out that anecdote is not the same thing as scientific evidence. Still, Con seemed to be a bit disorganized in his responses, and never really rebutted the points Pro raised. Further, Con extended beyond the scope of the debate, wondering why prayer should even be necessary in the first place. The question here is whether prayer makes a difference, it either does, or it does not. Whether it should not, is largely irrelevant. I think Pro's arguments were VERY weak (The Hobby Lobby point, in particular, I don't think Pro could possibly support as divine intervention). But Con's failure to adequately rebut the points, gives arguments to Pro. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.

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