If you are skilled in cautious optimism, you won't need to pray.  You won't need to be prayed for.  In fact you will rule these things out for they only alter your power of discernment.  You start to wonder if a God is planting discernment in you or doing it for you.  Cautious optimism is better than prayer and prayer sends a bad message.  As God comes first and prayer is a component of your relationship with him it follows that prayer comes first.  This does not fit our experience.  Prayer does not come first when it won't put bread on your table and you have to go out and buy a loaf.  Prayer is based on distortion.  Claims that prayer will improve your discernment must be met with, "But you would tell me that anyway!"

People talk about prayer working.  Others talk about manifesting, that is using the idea that thoughts become things so good thoughts turn into real material benefits.  This is the law of attraction.  These things blame the victim if the victim is unable to accept things she or he cannot change.  They imply that the murder victim murdered himself for thinking bad thoughts.  They exonerate the killer or play down the killer's role.  They imply the evil victim turned that person into a killer, to some extent, as well.  Supporters would not admit it so make them admit it. If they want to imagine evil in others that is not there that is because they want the evil to be there. 

Prayer and manifesting involve telling yourself you are helping when you are not.  You see no evidence of good results and you say it probably helped in some unseen way.  Aside from the fact that it does not work, the thinking behind it is bad and you cannot use a problem to solve a problem.  It is safe to say that false confidence in the power of prayer and manifesting is the reason people are not doing more for each other. When somebody is in trouble and tells x, x seems to have an automatic and defensive reflex and ends up saying, "I am sending you good vibes" or "I am praying for you.".  This comes across as relief that they are not dealing with it and that it is you so they virtue-signal to hide this.  People love to take credit for good outcomes that they have nothing to do with.  It is easier to say, "I pray for you" than to say, "I am here for you" and mean it.

They may even tell you not to look for help from God or his love and they will come.  "Love comes when you don't look for it."  If God is bigger than our sin or mistakes then this is true but we know it is NOT true.  It does not stop people saying that God is the maker of all and evil is only something that it out of place so God's love and mercy are bigger than any evil that happens to us or that we do.  Because God loves you, sin cannot really effect you and if it does you are not asking for his help.  This comes dangerously close to arguing that the best way to help somebody is not to help.

Another problem is that religion acts like politics and is a form of politics in its own way and impacts on politics.  Like politics, it has to do good works to try and hold onto its esteemed place in society and its power.  Not everything that does good is good.  Not everything that barks is a dog.  Prayer is a large part of this alleged goodness which makes this a very alarming insight indeed.

For all of our existence, we humans needed to be part of groups and hunt and recognise danger. We are still hunters today though we delegate that role to farmers and those who kill animals for our food. We would do it ourselves if they took retirement. We are hunters in principle still.  Our brains need certainty. We get scared and feel threatened by the unpredictable or the uncontrollable. Your brain will inspire you to fight. Maybe you will go numb. Or maybe you will run away from the perceived danger.

The thing that is bigger than you and which you cannot control or even bargain with looms.  Your working memory will start to get more unreliable. You will not think straight. You will not retain the insights you need. You will distort information. You will not be able to deal as well with the threat. However if you tell yourself that you can get a good result when there is a problem and that it may be hard work you feel less threatened. Positive thinking as in how easy it will be is dangerous and will ruin you when you get a setback. The fear and shame will cripple you.  The disappointment may even leave you ill. You need to be more realistic than that. Real optimism is about real action and real bravery. Half the battle may be with showing more candour.  So speak out firmly but non-aggressively.  Remember that if you don’t speak your mind after informing yourself carefully you are missing out on the empathy you can receive with a problem and increasing danger and risk by encouraging non-transparency. Learn to be candid and open communication helps identify threats and how best to deal with them. Others will be involved.  Even if they avoid getting involved they can't do that for long for you are part of society and so are they.  You need to keep the talking lines open so you can get help and people can help each other.

Anything like the law of attraction -

"thoughts turn into real things"

 "have faith and God will hear"

"your prayer to accept the terrible evil that has hit you and that you can do nothing about will help you accept - perhaps it is God or a placebo or both?"

none of that is good for you.

Grow up.  You have others to consider too.

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