© 2005 Tim Simmons
Contrary to what Christians claim, one can never reclaim the years the locusts have eaten. Time lost is time lost. There is no time machine. I often recall the times in my youth that I now consider to be wasted and wish I could somehow get back that time. Not all idle time was wasted but how many times did I hit the replay button on my Super Nintendo system?
Most people don’t dwell on the past and I suppose that isn’t a bad thing but often it is a good thing to look back with the advantage of hindsight and see if you can piece together some truths that may help guide your future. The saying that those who forget the errors in history are bound to repeat them is true.
Am I wasting time typing this? If I didn’t have an overall goal then it’s possible. Perhaps it falls under the category of therapy. If you can postpone the urge to yell “hypocrite” for a moment, I’d like to make my point.
How much total time has been wasted in prayer since Christianity began?
No one can really say but I will attempt to quantify it if only in a very crude estimation.
Let’s ignore the billion Muslims and other praying folk and just consider Christians. First, we need to ask how much time is spent in prayer by the average Christian in a week’s time. Let’s say they go to church twice a week (that’s 30 minutes) and somehow manage to pray a couple more times that week for 5 minutes each. That’s another 15 minutes. But we need to average in the really righteous ones who pray each day at many different times. We can assume a five-minute prayer several times a day or one long one. Either way, let’s give them a total of one hour per day. Let’s assume also that the really righteous ones are outnumbered 10 to 1. So, we average that up and we have 450 minutes/day plus 60 minutes/day giving 510 minutes a day for every 11 Christians. That’s 3,570 minutes per week in prayer.
Now, to get the yearly total we multiply by 52 and get 185,640 minutes that are wasted by a mere eleven Christians. According to www.religioustolerance.org, Christians comprise approximately 33% of the world’s population. The current population as of 2005/05/01 is approximately 6,517,000,000 people so that gives us a total of well over two billion Christians.
So, in the year 2004, how much time was wasted by Christians in prayer?
We need to divide 2,000,000,000 by 11 to get our base chunk (that gives us 181,818,181). Multiply that times the amount of minutes wasted by 11 Christians in a year and we get 33,752,727,120,840 minutes wasted in prayer for the year 2004. Yes, that is 33 trillion minutes which equals 64,217,517 years.
Sixty-four million years were wasted on prayer in 2004. How many human lives does that equal? Simply divide it by 75.
I won’t do the math. I don’t think I could bear to see that number in writing.
Remember, that’s just one year. If you really want to scare yourself, multiply that by 2,000 years and don’t forget to factor in the correct world population.
This time is gone and can never be redeemed. How much good could have been accomplished using the 64 million years that was wasted on prayer in 2004? What will you do with your time today?
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)