Prayer is a mysterious and murky business. That much is clear. It’s one of those things we do without thinking. A little like breathing. Or pacing. Or riding streets. Even people who don’t believe in prayer kind of pray.
It’s probably the go-to-church praying that gets some people wound up. All menu, no food. I don’t know.
As the writer Frederick Buechner likes to say regarding church attendance: “If it doesn’t ruin my day it was a good experience.”
They say AA is where atheists go to pray. It’s true, I’ve been there. Not that everybody who attends AA is an atheist. It just gets real basic in those meetings. Not at all like church. You’re expected to be honest and speak candidly because your life depends upon it. Kind of at the level of what writer Anne Lamott talks about in her new book: Help,Thanks,Wow: TheThree Essential Prayers.
I think God likes atheists reaching out to him. Probably prefers it. Who wants to meet up with people who already think they know all about you, know you better than you know yourself? That’s like dating your mother. Pretty obnoxious stuff. Meet him on your own terms I say, like you-don’t-even-exist terms.
“Hey, I know you don’t exist but what’s happening? How you doing?”