• What Prayer Is Good For — and the Evidence for It

    Whenever there is a national tragedy such as a mass shooting or natural disaster, two phenomena can reliably be observed. First, people offer or ask for prayers. Second, others respond by criticizing, even mocking prayer. They argue that we need to turn to science, not faith, to solve problems. Atheist public intellectuals often make a similar case against prayer: that because evidence that it is effective is lacking, it is a waste of precious time and energy. It appears many critics don’t realize that empirical evidence reveals that prayer can be quite helpful.