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Faith and Philosophy


published on January 12, 2018

Martin Pickup

Answer to Our Prayers
The Unsolved But Solvable Problem of Petitionary Prayer

There is a concern about the effectiveness of petitionary prayer. If I pray for something good, wouldn’t God give it to me anyway? And if I pray for something bad, won’t God refrain from giving it to me even though I’ve asked? This problem has received significant attention. The typical solutions suggest that the prayer itself can alter whether something is good or bad. I will argue that this is insufficient to fully address the problem, but also that the problem requires another assumption which can be doubted, thereby opening up a new way to solve the problem.

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