We ask you, humbly, to help us.

We hope you enjoy this web site and what it represents.
If so, fantastic!

The thing is ... we're an independent group of normal people who donate our time to bring you the content on this website. We hope that it makes a difference.

Over the past year, expenses related to the site upkeep (from research to delivery) has increased ... while available funds to keep things afloat have decreased. We would love to continue bringing you the content, but we desperately need your help through monetary donations. Anything would help, from a one-off to small monthly donations.

$3? $5? $15? The option is yours. Regardless, your help would be appreciated.

Please click HERE to be taken to our donation page. Thank you so much.
Bruce Robinson, Founder.


About prayer


Can humans assess God's will through prayer?

horizontal rule

A range of views exist:

Essentially all Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in the existence of a kind, loving deity who values the fellowship of humans, and to whom one might pray to determine God's will.

For example:

  • Among Christians, there is an important Bible verse at James 1:5 which says:
  • "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (NIV)

Presumably, "ask God" refers to the act of prayer.

  • Among Muslims, there is a specific prayer for guidance in Islam called "Salat-I-Istikhara." One translation from the original Arabic to English is:

    "Oh, Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

    Oh, Allah! If in Your knowledge, (*) is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, (this matter*) is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it."

* The individual who is praying inserts a description here of the item for which guidance is sought.

Most followers of these three religions, and of other monotheistic religions, have an active prayer life, and many sincerely feel that they regularly receive a response.

  • Atheists, by definition lack belief in the existence of any deity. Agnostics are not certain whether one exists or not; some of them beleive that we can never know whether God(s) exist. Most consider it very unlikely that a person's prayer to God can have a useful outcome. If an Agnostic had some indication that God was responding to their prayer, then this would be proof that a deity does exist.

  • Deists believe in a God who created the universe and its physical laws, and started it up. God then left, and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Many consider it unlikely that prayer would work with such a deity.

Believers in a deity often feel that assessing God's will through prayer will help them make correct decisions about important topics in their life. Many others believe that what is perceived as God's responses to prayer are only coming from within the individual's mind. So it is important to study whether prayer can actually access the will of God. If people make important decisions based on an incorrect belief that they have assessed the will of God, then disastrous results could occur!

A note about "God":

To make this section more easily read, we will refer to deity simply as "God" in the essays attached to this menu. This matches the beliefs of most North American adults, who believe in a single deity, who is often viewed in practice as male. They believe that God the Father is omnipotent, omnipresent omnibeneficient, etc. If you view deity as plural, female, male and female, as gender-neutral, as absent, as evil, as lacking in power, etc. please mentally substitute a title or description of your choice.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

Site navigation:

 Home > Science vs. religion > here

 Home > Christianity > Christian history, etcPrayer > here

or Home > Religious Information > Religious practicesPrayer > here

Copyright 2001 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-JAN-12
Latest update: 2018-MAY-28.
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or the Science vs. religion menu, or the Christian history, beliefs... menu, or the Religious practices menu, or choose:

To search this website:

Click on one of the links ^^ above at the < < left, or use this search bar:

search engine by freefind

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.