It is one of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos. How fast is prayer? A group of scientists, working in conjunction with the clergy, claims to have calculated the exact velocity of prayer.
"It's a complicated and baffling process," explained prayerologist Desmond Wilkins. "When you press your hands together, close your eyes, and wish really hard for something, the 'prayer' gets sent out to a series of relay stations near the Arctic Circle. These prayer towers then boost the signal and beam it into space, where it takes about eight hours at sub-light speed to reach the Local Prayer Dispatch #42 just beyond the orbit of Saturn. And that's on a good day."
But not everyone's prayers are being answered. "I wanted a white BMW with tinted windows and custom rims, and I prayed really, really hard for it," complained lawyer Ned Hobbs, "and nothing happened. What's the deal?"
"Here's the deal," said astro-theologist Reginald Dumson. "At Local Dispatch #42, billions of prayers are bundled together daily and faxed to Central Prayer Processing (C.P.P.) in the Horsehead Nebula, about 54 light years away. Once received, a committee of dwarves must read each prayer and file them based on priority and good spelling. After a tedious 'weeding out' process, the chosen prayers are sent up to the Lord God Almighty. Every third Tuesday of every other month, He picks five of his favorite prayers, and answers them. It's kind of like a Holy Lottery."
"So where's my pony?" said impatient seven year-old Tabitha McQueen. "I prayed for it over a month ago!"
Due to the laws of physics, nothing can travel faster than light speed. But in certain cases, prayers have been detected traveling across the galaxy almost instantly. However this is only available with the Express Prayer Deluxe Package ($8599.99 per month), which expedites your prayer and puts it at or near the front of the line. And then there's the Divine Platinum Prayer Package (just $93,750 per month). This includes All-You-Can-Pray, with unlimited instant answers to your deepest (and shallowest) wishes.
"I prayed for a yacht. A purple one, filled with hookers," said billionaire televangelist Slick Withers, "and next morning, there it was, right alongside my other yachts. Praise Jesus!"
But for most people, the average speed of prayer is a meager 47 miles per hour. That's equivalent to heavy traffic on a rainy day. "That's the speed of prayer," said God, from His gated mansion near the center of the universe. "And don't pray for faster answers to your prayers," He said, "that's against the rules."