people pray to a "god" for all sorts of reasons...mostly it's psychological....and good die with the bad no matter what. it has nothing to do with any "god" or supreme being supposedly watching over all this crap on earth...it's just the way things are.
if you expect any "god" to intervene like the fairy tales in the bible, you are in for a major disappointment. man controls his destiny...not any alleged god.
ok...we derailed form the OP. christians who favor beating kids in an effort to drive out the devil are no better than those "horrible taliban" we hear so much about.
i have said it many many times: we should count our lucky stars that america has CIVIL laws to protect us from RELIGIOUS laws, because if we didn't, the christian idiots would be enacting laws rivaling those of the taliban.
mga, I grew up in a Christian household, and it was always very natural that we "pray about it," or "just let God take care of it after you've prayed about it to him." Then, when I had prayed about it and it didn't work out the way I'd wanted, I felt somehow cheated! Of course, that was a child's reaction, but it still stayed with me as an adult when I began to question the feasibility of religion. In a way, asking for things in prayer is a very conceited thing to do. To think that the "ruler of the universe" will run to my assistance is the height of arrogance, I believe.
If it happens, if a prayer is "answered," it implies that everyone else, such as other human beings, are "de-selected", unfavored by this ruler, and that I am special, above it all. When it doesn't happen, like you said in your post, does that mean that the god of the 'enemy' is better than the god I've been praying to? Does his think more of him than my god thinks of me?
Most Christians have doubt, but their religion seems to make them feel somehow validated in that doubt if their god doesn't answer their prayers. OR it makes them very compliant by saying, "Well, I guess he didn't think I deserved what I was asking for."
Guilt and acquiesance can create a gullible personality. And such people are also ripe pickings for the Bushies and other arrogant types who want to abuse the power religion has given them.