I’m a Buddhist, but I really enjoy your articles. I admire your love and compassion for others.
In Buddhism we view prayer as a necessary component for achieving enlightenment. We don’t care what the prayer or its motivation. We believe that any prayer expressed as Buddhist practice will reform the individual which is the most important benefit besides the actual proof of the prayer being specifically answered. If we knew exactly what was in our power to make a difference, then we would just do it; there would be no need for prayer. Our desires (whether altruistic or selfish), if we are freed of delusion, can reveal how we are reacting to the present effects of our own past causes. We need to establish new habits; to break the chains of karma. To change our destiny we need to react to obstacles in a new way, a value-creating way; instead of re-enforcing old bad habits. We need to reach our enlightened self, to rid ourselves of delusions, grasp the potential of the moment, and to find the wisdom to change ourselves.
A famous quote by Nichiren, the founder of the Buddhism I practice, reads: “Now Nichiren and others who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo… burn the firewood of earthly desires and behold the fire of enlightened wisdom.’