"god can do everything if you pray a lot"

mother mary, cool my house down!Supposedly the virgin mary has appeared on an air conditioner in Texas. Apparently America is getting bored with these sightings since they've become so common lately, because this is on the local news down there, but I haven't heard of it spreading yet.

Personally, I think it looks more like an alien coming out of somebody's stomach.

EDIT: Upon reflection, I am really thinking it looks like those things from Harry Potter, what the hell were they called? The soul eater things that guarded the prison? It totally looks like one of them.

Here's the whole writeup from the above link:
Valley resident finds what she believes is an image of the Virgin Mary on her air conditioning unit.
Antonia Ruiz Hernandez says the image has actually been on the unit for a couple of years.

Why the image appeared, Hernandez says, "I don't know probably a miracle in there. God can do everything if you pray a lot.”
Hernandez has built a makeshift shrine around the air conditioning unit.
She lives along Mile 10 in Mercedes and says people are welcomed to stop by her house and take a look for themselves.

So, god can do everything if you pray a lot. Is that so? I just had the weirdest idea. I'm sure it's not something I can do. Maybe I can enlist the help of a devout christian? Ash, maybe you can do it! :D What I am wondering is, if you prayed for one simple thing every day, how long would it take for that thing to come true, for god to make it happen?

If I prayed to god earnestly, as a test, I have a feeling he wouldn't listen to me, since I'm a rather vocal atheist (and god doesn't exist). But if someone really believed, and really prayed every day, are there rules that say that god would answer? Or are there so many excuses and loopholes that no matter how many years passed, no one would ever hold god to one simple prayer?

Are there any devout christians willing to pray for a miracle as an experiment? Let me know! Of course, there will be controls and such, and we can't just take your word for it. This would be a real, albeit unofficial, experiment.


  1. I think it looks rather like a left profile of Horton the Elephant from Horton Hears a Who. His trunk is either bunched up holding the clover or it got chopped off. I haven't decided yet. The "Mary" part would be his left ear. ;-)

    I find the verse in Mark 11:24 interesting, though. "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

    And Matthew 21:22... "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

    It seems the key is to BELIEVE and you'll get what you pray for. So if you don't get it, it's probably because you don't believe strongly enough.

    The whole idea of prayer is sort of odd, though, when you consider that it's prayer directed to an omnipotent, omniscient god. He should already know what you want and if He hasn't given it to you already, it means it's not in His plan. Praying seems like an attempt to ask God to change his mind. That's rather presumptuous. ;-)

  2. Dementors! Those were the guards of Azkaban that suck the happiness out of people and leaves them with just despair (from Harry Potter).

    That proves it! Harry Potter is real! All you muggles are in denial!

  3. "It seems the key is to BELIEVE and you’ll get what you pray for. So if you don’t get it, it’s probably because you don’t believe strongly enough."

    But... but... in that case, I should be able to fly! I wished for that when I was a kid, and as a kid... well, on the "Faith can move mountains" scale, I could raise at least half an Everest. (As an adult, the best I can do is measured in centi-Alps.)

    On the other hand, if there's some sort of secret formula to distinguish between "prayer" and "wishing really hard out loud", maybe mine didn't count.

    Michael Mock
    who still wants his Vast Supernatural Powers

  4. Yes! Thank you April. Butch (my nearly perfect husband) and I were sitting here trying to remember the names of the Dementors, but we just couldn't think of them. THANK YOU!

  5. Hmm.. you're a blasphemer, Dan. I don't see Horton, so you must be wrong and you're going to burn in HELL! Oh, wait.. sorry.. had a moment there. :P
    Thanks for the quotes. I think you nailed it, it's all about belief. Isn't that what that hack said in The Secret too?
    So, even as an atheist, all I have to do is BELIEVE and god has to answer my prayers too? HA! A loophole! :P

    I totally agree. Prayer is ridiculous for the exact reasons you mentioned. But I did like the video from Betty Bowers that I posted the other day about it. Prayer is a pushy way to ask god for stuff you're too lazy to work for yourself.

  6. I know, right? I was so devout as a kid. I prayed so hard to the sweet baby jesus and his dad for stuff and none of it ever happened.

  7. That's not the virgin Mary! That is CLEARLY the Loch Ness monster, which in turn proves that dinosaurs and man not only did once, but STILL, exist at the same time as us and God wants us to know about it, so, bingo! More proof that the earth is only 6000 years old!

    Sorry, it's the morning, feeling a bit goofy.

    So she prayed for the image to show up in her air conditioner then? Truly there are no limits to what prayer can achieve. Maybe the thing to do Neece is to take the advice so often given to open yourself up to God - if you truly do so, maybe he'll shave a virgin Mary fur circle on one of your pooches for you. If he doesn't, well, you'll know you're praying the wrong way.

    I can't remember if you posted about this already, but Harvard and the Templeton Foundation did a controlled (as much as a test on prayer can be I think) study on the effect of prayer on the recovery of cardiac bypass patients:

    I suppose maybe they were praying to the wrong god, or just weren't true believers, or something...

  8. it looks like the grim reaper raising his right hand to strike me down...

  9. i'd get that thing off my house.


  10. No kidding! Lady, clean your air conditioner! Sheesh!

  11. Yeah! The Grim Reaper! Or what were those things called in Lord of the Rings? Those black ghosty things? Like those! Either way it looks pretty creepy, I agree!

  12. I thought it was the space slug going after the Millenium Falcon.

    Regardless, I agree with Dan- even if I were a believer, the efficacy of prayer would seem rather... silly.

    I mean, if god knew that just days after he created man and woman those two douchebags were gonna goof up his garden because they didn't know any better and did it anyway, he's clearly not a rational guy. Add to the mix a sociopathic tendency, volatile rage, omnipotence and omniscience and you've got a recipe for, well, the Christian god. At that point, prayer seems moot.

  13. I kinda see Anakin Skywalker, after he went darkside.

    BTW, the Lord of the Rings things are Nazgul. Or Numenorean's, if you go by what they were before they got their rings.

  14. It's true, prayer is ridiculous, but.. but... I want free stuff for very little effort! COME ON! LOL! :P

  15. Thanks Kaion! Yeah, the Nazgul. :D

  16. How about the surprise you get in a box of cereal. Free stuff for little effort... ;)

  17. HA! Yeah, but it's always Crap! LOL! :D
    Hmm... the metaphor continues.. HAHHAHAHA!

  18. I prayed for the ability to fly... and to be able to turn invisible.

    Never happened. :-(

  19. Me too! I used to dream about flying every night. And I wished for it so hard for a long time. Never happened.

  20. anti-supernaturalistJune 16, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    ** just what is prayer? -- it’s not about what you want.

    The lack of “God”’s direct response to prayer is not a response of 'no.' It's simply a non-response. Moreover, it is really important that “God” never respond directly.

    Jesus admonished his followers against prayer as asking-for-stuff -- "consider the lilies of the field" -- or prayer as public performance -- "they have their reward."

    Ritual too often substitutes for religion as Quakers realized making central to their practice heeding an "Inner Light" -- the equality of all believers, without clergy or hierarchy, to be open to a divine presence here and now. (Quakerism seems as mild a non-rational religious perspective as one could find in the West.)

    Getting rid of dead formalisms, prayer amounts to an alignment of a person's intentions with "the will of God."

    The word 'prayer' simply gets redefined until the action it points to is rendered into attitude adjustment. All that matters is your attitude -- are you prepared to submit?

    The common answer is then -- it's your problem. Or better yet, you are your problem.

    Religion and psychology are one in creating fictitious "illnesses" for which each offers sham cures at premium prices.

  21. anti-supernaturalistJune 16, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    Or, how about some fundie idiocy

    . . . straight out of 'The Handmaid's Tale':


    don't know Margaret Atwood's novel? See:

  22. HA! Yes! Of course! You make so much sense.. err.. well... NONsense. LOL

    I do believe that's the same study I've talked about before. Thanks for the link! :)

    In the study I talked about, the one you link to, the people who knew they were being prayed for did the worst. Very telling! Then again, the christian god is known to be quite a fickle, jealous guy. Maybe he didn't like being put on the spot so he made them worse! What a jerk he'd be, if he existed, which he doesn't. :P

  23. That was a good book. Quite disturbing to read. I read it years and years ago. They made it into a movie, didn't they? I don't think I've ever seen it. Has anyone seen it? Is it any good?

    That first link is disturbing. I don't get it. Their god lets a kid get hit by a truck, but if we all clap our hands together and pray, he'll let the kid live.. maybe as a vegetable, maybe as a paraplegic... who knows. Oh god's infinite wisdom and mercy! PUH-LEASE! What mindless drivel! Do they not see how flawed and INSANE their logic is?

    The second link cut itself off for the book: