God is not FateThe main problem people have with God is confusing God with fate. If something bad happens God is punishing us and if something good happens then God is rewarding us. This quickly falls apart though as we come to realize that even the most pious believer however meek and mild still suffers misfortune.
So, an infant gets cancer and dies, There is no explanation for this in a theistic sense. Likewise for prayer. If you pray for something to happen and it does then your prayers were answered. If you pray for something and it doesn’t happen then you were unworthy.
To see God as a gift giver or a punisher is to limit God. Our destiny is a combination of our past choices and the choices of others with whom we interact. You cannot control the choices of others but you can control your own choices and to this extent you have some control over your personal destiny.
Prayer has a purpose but it goes way beyond this “punish/reward” vision of God, Prayers are focused consciousness. One is humble in prayer. This then is the true purpose of prayer. Right thinking means right action. Right action means harmony with the universe. Harmony with universe means a peaceful mind and an elevated spirit.
๑ Samsaran ๑