Nearly every religion employs the idea of prayer, and most people view prayers as a way to alleviate their suffering. If such a thing were possible, it would encourage the sinner to continue sinning and use prayer to be pardoned. Conversely, if such a thing were impossible, then the skeptic could ask: If God can take away my suffering, then why doesn’t He? Is He too weak to take away the suffering or is He not kind enough to pardon my sins? Both alternatives present problems, and this post discusses why sometimes prayer works, and other times it does not. It also discusses the purpose of prayer, which is not to remove the external causes of suffering, but the internal attitude that creates it.