6. There are those who contest the effectiveness of prayer on the grounds that, as God knows all our needs, it is useless to enumerate them to Him. Those who think this, then add that seeing that everything in the Universe is linked together by eternal laws, then our petitions cannot change God's decrees.
Beyond all doubt there are natural and immutable laws which cannot be annulled at the caprice of each individual; but from this fact to the belief that all circumstances in life are submitted to fatality is a long step indeed. If it were like that, then Man would be a passive instrument without free-will or initiative. In this hypothesis it would only remain for Man to bow down his head in submission before all occurrences, without making any effort to avoid them, and should not try to ward off dangers. God did not grant reason and intelligence for Man not to use them, willpower for him not to desire things, nor activity for him to remain inactive. As Man is free to act one way or the other, for himself and towards others, the consequences depend on what he does or does not do. By his initiative there are events which forcibly escape fatality and yet do not destroy the harmony of the universal laws, just as the quickening or slowing down of the pendulum of a clock does not annul the law of movement upon which the mechanism is based. God then can accede to certain petitions without destroying the immunity of those laws which govern the whole, as consent is always dependant on His Will.