Prayer & Meditation


Regularly at this season, children write to Santa Claus with their wish list for the holiday. That there is no such person as Santa does not keep them from engaging in this exercise. Prayer may or may not be a similar activity. If the God of the theists exists and is a personal, caring being, then prayers may be both heard and answered. But suppose that the only god who exists is Aristotle’s god, or that of deists, such as the United States founding fathers. Such a god is not a person. The deists would not pray to such a god because they understood that no one was listening. However, silent prayer has some features in common with meditation. It is well recognized that mindfulness meditation has many serious psychological benefits. To the extent that silent prayer is similar, it may also have benefits, even if no one is listening.

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