...or at least make a statement!
Here's the idea. Once 2012 is out of the way, and there're no "prophecies" to get in the way, there would be an event advertised. Well in advance, the event is advertised and theists are challenged to pray as much as they want to affect the outcome. This event would be a test of prayer. This is how it might work:
Imagine a large perspex box, say 2m x 2m. The floor of the box is covered, to a depth of a foot or two, with dry wood. A block of ice is laid on top of this, then the box is sealed. A countdown or time limit is given, and the audience watches. The challenge that the theists prayed for is: If (any) God is real, let him burn the wood to ash while leaving the ice intact.
Of course this isn't possible, but if a god exists, if he wants people to know it, and if he answers prayer, there is no logical reason why it shouldn't happen.
So, ideally, when people see that this should have happened but didn't, they'll realise that prayer doesn't work. Ideally though, the test would be something that can also be shown to be possible through scientific means.
Down side is, they'll probably just come up with excuses..
You forgot the last part of the joke
A philosopher challenged the devil to "send me to heaven"
What happened to him?
It clearly states in the bible that The Lord cannot be tested.
Boom. There's your excuse ;)
I was alluding to that.
But that is a wasted quote, if one does not believe in either God, or the word of God. (allegedly) It does not hold any water, even though people have cited other books as if they are somehow god experts.
Instead do this:
All you need is a dime, an object and a religious friend.
Tell them to pray to god for a dime, wait for a few minutes.
Now, take the object and tell your friend the object will answer their request if they ask it. The object will either tell them yes, no, maybe or wait. Make sure you say request and stuff, stay away from things like "prayer", just jokingly say it's a magic object. Now, tell them to ask the object for a dime. Ask them what they thought the object would say to them if it could speak. Repeat this until they give you a straight answer (yes, no, maybe, wait)
If they say it says yes, give them a dime(or better have it under your shoe and move your foot to uncover it then point it out if they don't see it)
If they say it says no, don't give them the dime
If they say it says maybe, give them the dime and tell them the object lead you to do it :U
If they say it says wait, give a dime to them in a day to a week, just as long as it's still somewhat in their memory that you had the conversation.
I for one don't believe that a test like this will convince believers (should it not work out in their favour) of anything at all. The simple point of the matter is if they want to believe they will find any reason (excuse) to hold on to that belief.
I can already see believers responding with something like "[insert deity here] didn't do anything because it doesn't pander to simple tests but rather only intervenes on matters it deems important".
My response to this hypothetical scenario would be that a test like this should be seen as important to the deity because it would be seen as evidence for [insert deity here]'s existence and would answer a lot of questions once and for all for those who doubt and provide those who perhaps believe in an "incorrect" deity with some information on the identity of the correct deity they should be following.
But at the end of the day, it is my opinion that 90% of all deities have come across as sadistic, egotistical tyrants who do not deserve to be worshiped on ethical grounds and I for one am glad there is no evidence for the existence of them other than tales concocted by men.
Just my thoughts...