The power of prayer?

I’m reading a novel in which one of the characters, going through a difficult crisis and feeling desperate, does this thing which he used to do but hasn’t done in years: he lowers his head and brings his hands together on his lap and begins to pray.

He starts out feeling self-conscious but then the self-consciousness goes away and he feels what he sees as “the onset of a proper humility”. “Because I am nothing, he thought, just an ordinary man, a tiny speck of consciousness on a half burned-out star, precisely because of that I lower my head and pray. And it seemed to him at that moment that it did not matter if there was nobody listening; the very act of prayer was an acknowledgement of his humanity, a reminder of true scale.”

What struck me, though, was his thought afterwards:

“How foolish, he thought, to imagine that words uttered by him could change the world in the slightest way” – I feel this really touches on a very common misunderstanding Continue reading