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Thread: Prayer

  1. #11
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    let me clarify myself...it's not that my take that God picks and chooses who he helps or doesn't. i think he helps everyone. he will help everyone do one's mission in life, whatever that is.
    Excuse me if I come off as abrasive, but this is the same cop-out I hear sometimes phrased as "God answers prayers, and we are supposed to pray for God's will." Loaded dice.

    Edit: That was really not abrasive at all....hmm.
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  2. #12
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    Excuse me if I come off as abrasive, but this is the same cop-out I hear sometimes phrased as "God answers prayers, and we are supposed to pray for God's will." Loaded dice.

    Edit: That was really not abrasive at all....hmm.
    i'm not sure i understand you. petitioning for things is but one form of prayer, and sometimes the answer is no. maybe you can restate yourself more directly?
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Yes, I guess I am wondering what you think about miracles, about praying for miracles, about God giving miracles...

    Of course my signature talks about it, and perhaps it is merely a way of perceiving things rather than something so cut-and-dry like divine intervention. I don't know...
    admittedly, i don't think i have an expert understanding of miracles so i had to think about this. in the modern world i guess we are naturally skeptical of any kind of supernatural divine intervention, because we qualify objective truth with scientific measures. so indeed, i too am not completely sure what to make of miracles. i certainly don't rush to label this or that a miracle.

    but i do believe in intervention, so i also choose to accept miracles. i think what we are specifically talking about here is physical miracles. again, anything goes in prayer, so i think you are perfectly ok in praying for such a miracle.

    why would god do miracles to one but not another? truthfully i doubt i can give you a satisfying answer to that. but i would ask instead "are miracles, even ones of personal physical recovery, supposed to help only one?" i think not. i think miracles should be looked at as signs of God, which should help all in their faith, as signs like this are meant for all. so in this sense, god actually is helping and intervening for all.

    perhaps others can offer more on this, and i hope they do.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  4. #14
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    It's rather nice to ask someone what they would like you to pray for.

    And then in turn, they ask you what you would like them to pray for.

    And it seems important to ask for something specific.

    This has the advantage of reciprocity. And also we are not praying for something we want ourselves but for something someone else wants.

    So it takes us out of ourselves, and into company. And whosoever is gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of you.

    And if we do this about once a week, we are building a relationship. You might say we are building a little bit of heaven.

  5. #15
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    Thanks Victor and Take Five, for the thoughts.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Thanks Victor and Take Five, for the thoughts.
    Yes, those that pray together, stay together.

    And as well as praying for one another, we can wash one another's feet.

    First your feet are washed in oil, and then washed in salt over the oil. Then your feet are washed in warm water to dissolve the salt. And then finally your feet are washed again in oil.

    Then turn and turn about, you wash someone else's feet with oil, salt, warm water, and then once again, with oil.

    And then, after we have prayed for one another, and washed one another's feet, we eat together in communion.

    And there is only one rule. And that is, you cannot feed yourself, but you can feed anyone else.

    Yes, we share prayer. We share the washing of our feet. And finally we share our tucker, feeding one another.

    For a little bit of heaven.

  7. #17
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    I don't believe in religion so I don't pray, but I have a friend that is extremely religious. The other day he was having a conversation about prayer with another friend and he expressed his dislike for praying in public. He says he prays multiple times during the day but will never do so in public and always does it quietly. He had a laundry list of reservations about praying in public... and he wouldn't discuss what he prays for. So I'm guessing there might be a lot of people like him who pray silently and privately and most people would never know it.

    edit: I also think that for some people prayer gives them comfort and helps them feel as though they have control over a situation that they'd otherwise be helpless in. If you believe in God or some sort of higher power then it would be reasonable to believe that he/she/it would respond to your pleads for help and guidance, even if the outcome wasn't what you expected... the typical belief about a god/deity would suggest that he/she/it would at least grant you/the loved one the "strength" to handle the life events that you are experiencing. So personally if you believe in a higher power then I don't see the harm in praying and asking for guidance, help, a different outcome, or whatever else.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    Excuse me if I come off as abrasive, but this is the same cop-out I hear sometimes phrased as "God answers prayers, and we are supposed to pray for God's will." Loaded dice.
    well, with this and other complaints...

    Well, there is no proof of anything. If life within religious community has taught me anything, it's that I'll never be able to validate "God" by the response to someone's prayer. Whatever reality we live in, we're not in a world where we pray for stuff and it always happens. So the response of the supplicant is based on their own faith in God.

    If one chooses to believe in the goodwill of deity, then one will assume that said deity has "better reasons" for not granting the request... or that perhaps the response has been "not yet" rather than "no."

    If one chooses to not believe in the goodwill (or efficacy) of deity, then one will assume that the deity doesn't care, or is mean-spirited/fickle, or just doesn't have the power to grant the request even if the request is something desirable.

    My personal experience in prayer... I've never done really well with formal prayer. I was raised in a more structured religious environment but never really felt at home there. I felt more connection with deity either when I was out in nature or just in "talking to God" in my head throughout the day rather than in formalized prayer time... to me, if God was part of my life, then God was always there and there was familiarity. Not like God was my "pal" but simply that intimacy was always present and I could have running conversations from my end. From a purely analytical POV, I had no way to validate the experience, I'd just perceive various feeling states in my communication with the Divine, but in terms of the experiential end of things, I felt like God was there and listening and I was communing.

    But in terms of supplication... I guess I gave up a long time ago expecting a certain outcome or pushing for it. Sometimes I do, I guess, especially relationally; but it's more like I am pouring out my heart about a particular person and what's happening between us, and I don't expect a miraculous solution... I still end up feeling like I need to live my life in such a way as to contribute to the change(s) in myself and others that I would hope to see. God isn't really a computer system or a request machine and I do not approach him that way; he's more like an intimate who I share my life with, more like a parent after I've reached adulthood. I've plead for some things, wept tears sometimes, but it was more about being honest rather than expecting easy answers to any situation.

    I've watched people pray for healing before and seen their prayers go unanswered. I think there is a certain percentage of cancer that goes into remission spontaneously without medical explanation at this time (I think it's 10%), but people seem very apt to credit it to prayer... while 90% of the other prayers go unanswered. To me, it often seems like random. I've watched people who were very faithful and devoted to God wither and die without relief; and I think it's sort of intellectually disenguous to assume it was God trying to teach people some positive lesson by letting someone die in pain. It could be, but at the same time we're not machines or object lessons, we're people; would I treat my child that way? I just don't think we can say either way, rationally; our view of the efficacy of prayer is personal in nature, and a faith choice, not a rational one.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    Prayer doesn't work. And if you think it does work, then you either haven't run enough experiments or you pray for things that are likely to happen anyway. I recently met some Christians and one of them wanted to pray over my broken foot. Naturally I allowed them to, though it was a waste of my time. (The foot took twice as long to heal as it should have, but God doesn't owe me anything so I'll let it slide). There are people who would that prayer can heal people with terminal illnesses such as cancer. This means that God intervenes on a cellular level - which is small...and yet considerable. If God is capable of physical intervention on a cellular level, I would expect (most Gods that are prayed to are omnipotent) that he could intervene on a slightly larger level, dealing with many cells at the same time. Granted, this would probably require a great deal more concentration, but God can create all the Adderall He needs. It is a curious question then - why God leaves amputees in the cold. Perhaps God heals cancer patients because practically every cancer patient that exists gets prayed for.

    If praying makes you feel better, then do it, by all means, do it. But I hope you have a sense of humor as you heed that little part of yourself that is quite aware that you are talking to yourself.

    I think you're just jealous because all those faithful people aren't praying to you.

  10. #20
    Riva
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    I pray every morning.

    Makes me feel good and prepared. I do this every morning. Not every alternative day or when I just feel like it.

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