Another Prayer Experiment!

I was thinking about a follow-up study to The Great Prayer Experiment. By the way, that prayer was April 7. It is now the 19th, 12 days later. Results: Null. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Nein.

So here's my new study.

  1. Pray to God for something specific.

  2. Pray to something else for something completely different and equally specific.

  3. Ask myself for something specific.

See which, if any, produces results.

So what should I pray for? It needs to be tangible, not like the last prayer which was too open-ended (but it was a pilot study), and it needs to be within a set time frame. God should be able to handle this easily if he's omnipotent.

Here's my prayer to God (the Abrahamic God, to be specific):

Dear God,

I earnestly want to know if you exist. While I don't have faith in you, I am willing to entertain the idea if you will just give me a sign that I can confidently attribute to you. Please hear and answer my prayer to help my wonderful husband Butch who works hard at his job. Please give him the promotion he was promised before May 1, 2011.

Thank you,



The second thing I pray to will be my computer. I spend countless hours communing with it, it makes me feel connected, I can get things through it, etc.

Here's my prayer to my computer, Einstein:

Dear Einstein,

You have been my daily companion for over a year. You have helped me in innumerable ways, tirelessly doing things for me that I couldn't do on my own. I pray to you, for the sake of my dear friend Jeff, that you help him sell an item for exactly $850. This item should come from a box lot that he purchases for $5. He needs to receive payment for the item before May 1, 2011. This should be in addition to his normal sales, please.

Thank you again,



And here's my request to myself:

Dear Self,

I've worked very hard to lose weight and get in better shape these past 4 months. Let's work to lose 1 more pound before May 1, 2011.

Go Me!


For the two prayers I decided to ask for things that will help others. I figured this is less selfish than asking for something for myself. What I asked for is for three things that would be very much appreciated and/or are really needed, aren't easy to come by, are very specific and won't happen randomly on their own.

I think they are all fair requests though. If God is omnipotent, my request for Butch is a simple thing that will be so easy. For Einstein, he's connected to Google and eBay so I think he has just as much chance as God in success. And for me, well, I'm the control. And I'm in control so I can take responsibility for my behavior to achieve my goal of losing another pound. (I've been plateauing so it's not a given that I can get a pound off in under 2 weeks, but I will really try!)

For Butch and Jeff, I haven't told them what I'm praying for so that they don't subconsciously take action to make the goal happen on their own. For the control, I know exactly what my goal is and basically how to get there.

So let's see who does best!


  1. Wait, if Butch's promotion was "promised" doesn't that mean it IS likely to happen at some point anyway?

  2. Good question Marcia, I should have clarified a bit more. Butch was promised a promotion that fell through. Basically for it to go through in the next 13 days would be a miracle. It could happen maybe in late summer, but most likely won't ever happen. So it's a good test. If it happens in the next 13 days, I'll do another experiment to verify the results for sure!

  3. Nein is merely German for "no", "nichts" is nothing and "Null" is, um, well, you know what. :P

  4. Thanks Frans. Next time I try to use other languages, I'll have to consult with you first. :P

  5. I only speak Dutch, English, and German reasonably well. :P

  6. I am surprised at what passes as a miracle now a days. It used to be (supposedly) that miracles were amazing things to behold, like walking on water, feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, pillars of fire, burning bushes, etc. Now when we pray to god we pray for what? A promotion? However improbable it may be, (best wishes Butch!) it would not in any way indicate that there is a supreme being answering prayers.

  7. I guess I've lowered my standards, haven't I? Well, in my last prayer I asked that all the abused children and animals be taken care of. That didn't happen. So yeah, I have lowered the bar.
    But you're right, Joe. A miracle would be all the amputees getting their limbs back.

    To be fair because of how things are going where Butch works, the promotion is basically impossible. So it really would be beyond amazing. But I think I agree that I've used the word too casually.

    Thanks for calling my attention to that. I should hold God to higher standards. I was trying to make this prayer "easy".

  8. Good to know, Frans. That's better than me and my English. I can't remember the Spanish I took in high school anymore. :P

  9. If you put it like that I also speak some French because I haven't forgotten *all* of it. :P

  10. HA! On a happy note, your ability to speak several languages has been shown to help prevent diseases like Alzheimer's. :)

  11. My nickname is Niece - pronounced the same was as Neece. Thats pretty cool. Both love cats both atheists. Maybe Facebook is God.

  12. Don't tell anyone, Niece, but my given name is also Denise! It's an Easter Miracle!!! But I thought Google was God? Now Facebook is too? The problem with Facebook as God is the sacrifices it requires. :P