I am not an entirely religious man. That is to say more specifically, I’m not a follower of organized religion but I am a person of faith. It sounds contradictory but I assure it is not. I can be a rational human being with a fundamental understanding of how the logical world works but can still marvel in the unknown.
I have a relative who is undergoing one of the most extreme health battles of his entire life. In this time of struggle I did indeed turn to prayer. I asked God to help him and give him strength and for a speedy recovery. I asked God to make the hands of the doctors sure and that medical science saves the day. I did this because I am a man helpless to do much of anything in the face of such odds. I’m not a doctor. I’ve no formal medical training. What I know I’ve picked up from my years sitting at a desk reading medical records as they relate to insurance claims.
It takes a lot to give in to a higher power and ask things of it. I’m no fan of dogmatic recitation of formulaic prayers or the highly ritualized practice of the Church. But I can still open my mind to the possibility of a benevolent, loving, higher power that wants to see his experiment do well. So I turn to prayer.
We are creatures with free will and the ability to make choices. I choose to believe in science and the human ability to better ourselves though good acts and curiosity. I think blind devotion to a 2000 year old doctrine is a failure to explore the uniqueness of humanity. And yet, I still pray.
I am a man of faith. I have faith that all things will work out as they are supposed to simply because they have no other choice. One way or the other, good or bad, things will work out. I pray because without some ability to existentially remove ourselves from our humdrum lives we would have never moved out of the Stone Age. The building of temples and religious sites led to discoveries in mathematics and science and community which strengthened the minds of our ancestors. They had faith that their survival depended on one another.
So bearing that in mind, I look to the God that helped man discover the science of us and I pray that all that we’ve learned since provides for the safety and well being of my relative in this great time of need.