The New York Times on "Addictive Prayer"
Try it. The first one's free ...

Over at The New York Times, op-ed guest columnist T.M. Luhrmann discusses "addictive" prayer, World of Warcraft, and the case of Sigfried Gold, an atheist smoker who kicked his habit after praying for 30 minutes a day to "... a god he doesn't believe exists: a large African-American lesbian with an Afro that reached the edges of the universe."

You can't make this stuff up.

Luhrmann is almost convinced to try prayer out as a means for such personal improvement, but also warns us about the dangers. Because prayer, in her experience, is addictive. Much like Mr. Gold's nicotine.

"Should we all drop to our knees and pray? In general, I have to admit I'm impressed with the evidence. But it's also true that while I was doing research on evangelical spirituality, there were times when people got so engrossed with prayer that they seemed almost addicted — so compelled to pray that they could not stop."

Maybe we should start a hotline.

August 06, 2013

Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments


August 07, 2013  8:39pm

"Also, for being written by an anthropologist, the article just seemed disjointed and sloppy." Yeah, I noticed that too; but I felt that Paul wasn't really structuring his observation around the NYT article so I left it out and focused on the WP article instead. In fact...Paul, for my own edification, why did you include the NYT article?

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Matt Miles

August 07, 2013  7:24am

I agree with Sheer on this one. Also, for being written by an anthropologist, the article just seemed disjointed and sloppy. She seemed to take shortcuts to make the subjects fit together, and in doing so made all Bible-believing evangelicals sound like something between Pentecostals and Animists. Her observations of Warcraft players seemed more on track; the generalizations of Christians were lacking. I'd expect more from someone in her field.

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August 07, 2013  1:00am

Um...hmm. I read the WP article, and...I'm kind of it really prayer, or is it meditation? I admit that I am not fully versed on all the nuances of the latest fads of "do-it-yourself-positive-thinking-into-a-better-you!" but it seems to me at least that is what he did. And don't get me wrong, good for him that he quit..but...I'm not sure we would call what he did...prayer...or am I missing something here?

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