Friday, 28 April 2017
Does Prayer Work And, If So, How?
Morte D'Arthur by Alfred Lord Tennyson;
A Circus Of Hells by Poul Anderson;
The Sunrise Lands by SM Stirling.
Tennyson: "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." See here.
Interesting but how does he know it?
When Anderson's Djana asks God to have mercy and to send back pursuing Merseians, the Merseian craft recedes because the prayer focused Djana's psychokinesis. What mattered was not intervention by a deity but belief in him. We know that gods can be powerful through their followers but also that Vikings sometimes spoke of "Odin the faithless" when they ran into battle full of confidence and came to grief.
Stirling's Father Ignatius thinks:
"...prayer is more powerful than armies, in the end..." (Chapter Four, p. 60)
Is it? Would you invest more effort in killing the enemy's clergy than their soldiers? "...in the end..." is an important qualification.
But he continues:
"The sword is useless without the heart and will."
And prayer focuses heart and will.