One of the proofs that one of my atheist friends suggests would swing him towards faith is some sort of observable scientific testing of prayer.
The problem with this is that too often they then demand the test meet some “observable” criteria, that they set, like growing an amputee’s limb back…
I think prayer works, my personal experience of prayer suggest that it works, but then I tend to pray within the constraints of rational possibilities (eg not that an amputee will grow a limb back) consistent with instructions on prayer from the Bible.
There is however, another side of the coin. Where people can pray in stupid ways that just lend themselves to atheists pointing and laughing.
Like this 63 year old Indian man who has refused to bathe for 35 years as part of his regular prayer ritual.
I would suggest, that if you’re hanging on to some sort of superstition in order to achieve a particular, and stated aim, that 35 years is too long. Particularly if the aim is to have a male child.
An Indian man who fathered seven daughters has not washed for 35 years in an apparent attempt to ensure his next child is a boy, newspapers report.
Kailash “Kalau” Singh replaces bathing and brushing his teeth with a “fire bath” every evening when he stands on one leg beside a bonfire, smokes marijuana and says prayers to Lord Shiva, according to the Hindustan Times.