The Possibility of Prayer
Posted 2014-02-10 06:07 PM GMT
I have never doubted that prayer is real. I realize that to some such a conviction may seem strange or outdated, but prayer is an integral part of my life. Even though I don't doubt the reality of prayer, I have always had to rely on faith when it comes to prayer's practical feasibility. How can a single Being listen to millions (or even billions) of prayers simultaneously? And even more, how can that Being send a personalized response to each of those prayers? Like quantum physics, I know that it is real, but it is beyond my capacity to understand.
I am satisfied with my limited understanding; I know that prayer works, and I don't feel the need to understand how. However, I have an inquisitive mind and I believe in the teaching power of metaphors to improve my understanding of difficult topics.
I remember as I was first learning how the Internet works, the power of servers was remarkable to me. I began asking questions like, how can a single computer listen to so many requests simultaneously? How can that computer send a personalized response to each of those requests? These questions seemed so familiar.
Google Search responds to over 1 billion queries per day, which is over 11,574 queries per second. And that doesn't include the requests to Google for personal email, calendar information, documents, news, or many other things. Each request to Google receives a personalized response.
Handling such a large volume of requests is truly an amazing feat. I don't intend to argue that God uses algorithms and load balancing to efficiently scale the answering of prayers, nor that the power of Google's servers approaches (or even compares with) the power of God. However, the fact that man has created a system capable of delivering personalized responses to over a billion requests per day certainly says something. If we can build Google, certainly God can answer all of our prayers. God is more powerful than Google.
- highly scalable systems