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I understand that Muslims pray before their body is destroyed by a bomb within their clothing. That implies they pray to get benefits in the "afterlife".
I'm sure many non-Muslims also pray for afterlife favors, but only if they don't commit suicide, however.
How about in the CURRENT life?
Do you believe that praying helps you have a better life
-- compared to those of us who don't pray?
What prompted me to discuss this is the seemingly sad case of Jessica Joy Rees, a 12-year-old girl who died Thursday from brain tumors. I'm sure she learned to pray correctly (?), since her father is a pastor for a Lake Forest church. Although she developed inoperable cancer cells, she wanted others to pray "for other children with the illness".
I can understand praying to end misery (which was successful in her case), but her blogs indicate that she thought praying will help other victims recover from similar diseases (50,000 American CHILDREN have cancer).
In my opinion, praying seems to help as a "placebo", or psychological comfort food for the "soul".
Believe it and it will be true -- in your subjective mind, at least.
To be honest, I'm feeling very sad and angry at any omnipotent being that would allow innocent children to suffer ...