Day 6 of the 30 Days of Paganism meme. This will be another short one like the Day 5: Magic post because my attitude and use of both concepts are very similar.
Given that this asks about the POWER of prayer/reciprocity rather than solely the belief, I’ll take this literally and answer this as I don’t think there’s a whole lot of external power to prayer. Rather, it acts internally to relieve anxieties and restore a sense of control in one’s life.
Course, that armchair-psychology approach to it hasn’t stopped me from praying to the foxes (more on them later), ancestors, or to certain gods when I was in need of something like a job or even a good grade. What was the American saying, that there’s always going to be prayer in schools as long as there are tests? It’s meant to be a joke but it’s a sad truth.
Even if I believe that it doesn’t actually do much, I still make sure to reciprocate and give offerings to whoever I prayed to for their help, especially if my request was fulfilled. Do I know for sure if what I wanted happened because of chance or because of who I asked? No, but I’ll live as if the latter was the cause.