The Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer

  • Daniel Howard-Snyder Western Washington University
  • Frances Howard-Snyder Western Washington University

Abstract

The fact that our asking God to do something can make a difference to what he does underwrites the point of petitionary prayer. Here, however, a puzzle arises: Either doing what we ask is the best God can do or it is not. If it is, then our asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it. If it is not, then our asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it. So, our asking won’t make any difference to whether God does it. Our asking is therefore pointless. In this paper, we try to solve this puzzle without denying either that God must do the best he can or that petitioning God can make a difference to what he does. 
Published
2010-09-23
How to Cite
Howard-Snyder, D., & Howard-Snyder, F. (2010). The Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 2(2), 43-68. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v2i2.367
Section
Research Articles