#WDYS — What Have I Got To Lose?

Hey man, are you praying?

Yeah, I’m praying.

I didn’t think you were into that.

I’m not. Not really.

Then why are you praying?

I’m praying for my momma. She’s dying.

I’m sorry to hear that, man. But do you think praying for her is going to do any good? Do you really think some magical being in the sky is going to hear your prayer and keep your momma from dying?


Then why are you praying?

The doctors said there’s nothing more they can do. They said it’s in God’s hands now. So I’m praying to God that she doesn’t die. Not yet, anyway.

When have your prayers ever been answered? I think you need to prepare for your momma’s death.

I know my prayers won’t make a difference, but it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I’m doing something. Besides, what have I got to lose?

You’re right, what have you got to lose? I’m going to sit next to you and pray with you, if that’s okay.


Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo credit: Pavel Danilyuk@Pexels.

34 thoughts on “#WDYS — What Have I Got To Lose?

  1. Marilyn Armstrong November 15, 2022 / 2:11 pm

    As often as not religion falls into the area of “what have I got to lose?” If there IS a God, you win. If not, you’re in the same place you were before. Besides. Prayer works. I don’t know why, but it does. Not in the “We’re sending prayers” kind of thing where no one is sincere because in fact, no one is really praying — but when you are committed to prayer, it works. Even if you don’t believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 15, 2022 / 6:47 pm

      I guess if you believe in prayer, whatever happens, pray gets credit if it works or blame if it doesn’t.


      • Marilyn Armstrong November 19, 2022 / 12:37 pm

        You needn’t be snide. I get that you don’t believe in anything, but one of the things I have ALWAYS hated about religious people IS exactly that snideness, that non-verbal undercurrent that if YOU don’t believe what they believe, you are somehow deficient.

        A lot of things we don’t understand work even though we really don’t know why including (as an example) software. We write — type — code. It’s just a set of instructions and computers obey them. WHY? Why do those instructions work? Why aren’t they just a bunch of lines written to nothing? Why in the world would electronics obey those instructions?

        Then there are the things we don’t understand at all, like weather. If we understood weather, other than explaining what we think will probably happen, you wouldn’t have a drought and no place would flood. We could write a script, like we do with electronics, and the weather would obey. But weather obeys nothing that we know of or, if it does, nothing that lies within the realm of human science.

        No need to be snide. We don’t understand many things. We work with what we know, but what we know doesn’t always work. We don’t understand why one person survives cancer and another dies. I knew a pair of twins. One died of cancer. The other is fine. Why? Do we know what happened? Does anyone even pretend to know? Medicine is an art. We call it a science, but we don’t understand a lot more than we DO understand.

        Why do flowers bloom and why do birds and fish return to the same places? Why do Americans think we need to eat a lot of meat when most of the rest of the world does fine with lentils and beans and other forms of protein? We do we die? If we maintain a perfect lifestyle — eat all the “right” (are they right or is it just what we think is right at the moment?) foods, exercise — do ALL the “right” things we are supposed to do — but we die anyway, why does that happen? Why can’t we cure a common (COVID virus) cold? Why do some people get dementia or Alzheimer’s or some other brain-destroying ailment while their siblings don’t?

        WHEN we can actually understand everything and KNOW everything, then we can be snide and smirk at the fools who don’t “get it.” But in the meantime? I know what I know and I also know that everything I know is nothing in a world full of things I do NOT understand and never will — much of which no one else understands either.

        This is why science is based on “theories.” We don’t even know for 100% certain that planets revolve around the sun because no one can stand still out there and watch to see what’s happening. We make our best guess based on our math, but maybe our math is wrong. A lot of previous truths turned out to not be true and many of OUR truths will ultimately turn out to be wrong too.

        Do I believe in a big bearded god sitting on a cloud knowing everything about everyone and counting up the points? Of course not. That doesn’t mean I have no faith in anything. I believe the flowers will bloom and that maybe, despite all evidence to the contrary, humans will wake up and save themselves and this version of earth for future generations. That IS faith. That prayer works? No one knows why, but lots of studies have been done and the results show that it does work. Is it because belief alters something else and all things are linked in some way so when you believe it, it causes something else to occur? Do YOU know if that’s true? I don’t know. Neither does anyone else.

        Either there is a god-like presence or there isn’t, but there’s no proof one way or the other. Everyone is free to believe and no one is entitled to smirk at them because they don’t agree. That is exactly what has ALWAYS been wrong with religion.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango November 19, 2022 / 2:46 pm

          My intention wasn’t to be snide or to ridicule those who believe in prayer. I believe in prayer to the extent that it makes the person praying feel better about himself or herself. But since I don’t believe in God, which is the entity that most are praying to, I don’t believe there is anyone or anything to hear those prayers, much less to act upon them.

          And for what it’s worth, your suggestion that I don’t believe in anything is a mischaracterization of me. I believe in a lot of things. Just not in the existence of some supernatural deity who is looking down upon us, watching everything we do, judging us, and who hears and answers (or not) our prayers. That’s one thing I definitely don’t believe in.


          • Marleen November 19, 2022 / 3:01 pm

            There is certainly something beyond our collective awareness, though. All our studies and collected experience don’t tell us everything in a solid sense.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Marilyn Armstrong November 20, 2022 / 2:25 pm

            At the risk of pointing out the obvious, prayer is not necessarily directed at your idea of a god. Prayer is not one thing and may have little or nothing to do with your concept of “religion.” Your perspective on religion is a trifle narrow. It seems to include everything you can’t prove scientifically, though you already do thousands of things that can’t be proven. Yet all that “unprovable stuff” works. Our lack of understanding notwithstanding, the world doesn’t wait for us to understand. We aren’t that important. The world IS. Humans didn’t create this world. It created US.

            Simple answers to complicated questions are ALWAYS wrong.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango November 20, 2022 / 6:01 pm

              My concept of religion — or at least western religions — is that it is based upon the belief in and worship of a supernatural deity, which I believe is the generally accepted definition of religion. And prayer is generally defined as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. Hence, my linking of prayer and religion.

              I’m not sure what “unprovable stuff” it is that you think I believe in. But whatever it is, if anything, I don’t pray to it (or them).


  2. donmatthewspoetry November 15, 2022 / 2:51 pm

    Ooops Pressed send before finished. Now where was I?

    “but when you are committed to prayer, it works.”

    I can’t see any logic in this statement. What proof is there that your praying has made it work. To me it’s just coincidence.

    I have a gun at my head. I am committed to prayer. Please God, don’t let this person pull the trigger.

    Hello Don. Because I like you I have frozed his hand. Just walk away and give him the finger. Thankyou God. Your welcome my son…….Ain’t he nice Fan

    Or he could say

    Hello Don. You too too bad a boy . No can do. Sorry . BLAM….. Shit Fan, and I even prayed nicely. What’s going on? I thought he was a nice God and answered our prayers?…..

    Reminds me of people who put complete trust in God to solve their problems without doing anything to help themselves. e.g. Covid everywhere. Let’s all gather in the church for a pack-tight-huggaround praying session. No masks. Unnecessary, God will save us from this little bugger. Hallelujah.. What’s that? No I need my assault weapon with me. Protection…….|

    End of rant…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 15, 2022 / 7:57 pm

      People are going to believe what they believe, evidence or not.


      • donmatthewspoetry November 15, 2022 / 10:58 pm

        I agree. I guess my view is if it pleases you and doesn’t hurt others all is fine. Whatever floats your boat. Who said that? If you believe God can cure you (despite no evidence) and this belief is not hurting others, fine by me.

        If you believe Trump is the Messiah, sure, but that belief is held by 1,000’s and is doing great damage. So in my books not fine at all….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango November 16, 2022 / 7:31 am

          And now Trump has officially declared that he’s running for re-election in 2024. How can he permitted to do so when he inspired a violent insurrection against his own county’s government just shy of two years ago?


          • donmatthewspoetry November 16, 2022 / 1:49 pm

            Exactly. Something rotten in the state of Denmark. I read that even if he is in jail, but not convicted? he can still run for president. I don’t think this should be allowed. But I’m just a lowly poet……….

            Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen November 19, 2022 / 1:57 pm

            I hope, against multiple disappointments, that Merrick Garland’s appointment of Special Council will finally hold the jackass accountable for something. He has to be convicted to be barred from office. I worry that this nice man is too weak to follow through.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 20, 2022 / 3:34 pm

      Did I — or anyone — say we were relying on god for everything — or anything? I didn’t say that. NO ONE said that. Oh, wait — YOU said it which must mean that you think that’s what we meant even though no one said anything like that.


      • donmatthewspoetry November 20, 2022 / 10:07 pm

        Some people rely on God to solve their problems without doing anything to help themselves…….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong November 21, 2022 / 9:50 pm

          I’ve heard that, but in reality? I have never met anyone who believed for a moment that god, God or the Gods were going to pay their bills. Never once in all 75 years. I think that’s one of the myths non-religious people have about people who believe. No one prays that God will pay the mortgage. Not counting the sleazy ones on TV or “social media” soliciting everyone for money because that’s neither faith NOR religion. Didn’t we used to call that “bunko”?

          Liked by 1 person

            • Marilyn Armstrong November 22, 2022 / 3:39 pm

              Yes. Prejudice and misconceptions are not limited to religious people. Non-religious people have their own beliefs based on nothing real. If we would ALL stop DOING THAT it would be a much better world.

              Liked by 2 people

  3. donmatthewspoetry November 15, 2022 / 2:53 pm

    Having said that if it makes you feel good, why not? Whatever floats your boat…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje November 15, 2022 / 3:07 pm

    Praying, if nothing else gives a peace of mind. Thanks Fandango for joining in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shweta Suresh November 15, 2022 / 8:38 pm

    I pray mainly because I get some peace and calm after that. A very thought provoking post, Fandango

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jay November 16, 2022 / 5:03 am

    I’m not particularly religious, but it has been proven that having faith helps you get some peace of mind in a difficult situation. Of course it doesn’t have to be faith in a divine being, it can be faith in yourself, nature, karma, fate, or what have you. So prayer works as well as any other form of grounding yourself. While I don’t personally believe prayer WORKS as in ‘it will actually solve the problem’, I’d never try to discourage anyone from doing so if it helps them feel like it gives them hope.

    Really nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 16, 2022 / 8:31 am

      Thanks. I agree with you. If praying makes someone feel better or that they’re doing something beneficial, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 November 24, 2022 / 12:17 am

    Prayer or coincidence … does it really matter as long as it happened?

    Liked by 1 person

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