We need to get over the idea that those who pray the hardest get special favors from God and if he doesn’t answer our prayer requests then we are simply not praying enough. In my mind that is total fabrication and rationalization. Like so many other things, the religious establishment has had centuries to hone this particular message.
Yes, I frequently pray to God. Except for thanking her for the previous day and asking for a good one today in the shower each morning I seldom ask for special favors. When I pray to God I ask him to help guide me in doing the right thing in all the situations I find myself in that day. I do ask for that guidance several times a day.
The biggest fall back when things don’t go as planned is that “God works in mysterious ways”. That is often the explanation used when personal tragedy strikes. I remember that was the line used to a family in my church years ago when their nine year-old girl fell and drowned in the bathtub. How can that be consoling? When they got that answer they never entered that church again.
I will say it as simply and maybe crudely as possible
Yes, I believe that God is always around to guide us in how we respond to the events of our lives, but he leaves much of what happens in the world in the hands of Mother Nature and other external forces. He put it all in motion, but he is not constantly tweaking it as special favors to one person or another. As an example, my wife loves snow, and I am, as usual, the opposite. I certainly don’t believe that every time it snows, as it is right now, that God answered her prayers and dissed mine.
This pandemic doesn’t spare Christians who prayed especially hard from dying of this deadly virus. It kills just as many Christians as atheists. Tornados destroy churches as well as homes and businesses. To me God works on a different level than always giving special favors to those who pray the hardest.
One thing I frequently do is pray to God to thank him for all the miracles of science and medicine he has given us. The death from this pandemic would likely have dwarfed the pandemic of a hundred years ago if he had not given us the knowledge to defeat it this time around.
Jesus told us to take everything to God in prayer. But to me, that means to always try to do everything we do with God in mind. It means following the teachings of Jesus every day and every second, not just for an hour or so every Sunday.