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Thread: Prayer

  1. #1
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    Talk to me about prayer, folks.

    People who do not believe in prayer are of course welcome to share their thoughts, but please remember that this can be a very personal topic, so be respectful.

    What does it mean in your life? To whom or what do you pray (if anyone)? Do you focus on a particular goal as you pray, or let it happen, or try to clear your thoughts and emotions of everything? Do you believe that prayer has the power to alter the course of events? How so? Do you ever 'ask for' particular outcomes, petition deity or something like that? Do you speak particular words each time?

    I just want to understand the different roles which prayer has for people and the different definitions, etc.

    My aunt had part of her brain removed recently and is currently going through chemotherapy. It is kind of scary. I don't know what me praying for her would do though. Part of me thinks that this is absurd, that God does not heal some people and not others. But part of me is very touched by the idea (like when my mom told me how so many people from her [my mom's] church have been praying for her sister, including this entire family, even the little children are praying for her). I can't imagine how my aunt wouldn't feel touched by that either.

    I don't know. Is there a point to it, beside it being beautiful and a way to show someone you care about them and remind yourself that you care about them when there's not much you can do on a day-to-day?

    Then there's another kind of prayer, which I think of almost more like introspection, feeling in touch with the higher portions of myself (maybe this is God). I find myself much more comfortable with this.

    I don't know. I guess I just want some feedback...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    I have never done it in my life and I probably never will. (to say it in short)

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    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Praying for people like that is fine. You have the right to pray for such things, and it won't do any harm. God will do what he will with the situation, and so will everyone else involved. If you are praying directly for recovery, you might consider adding on to that by praying that God pushes the aunt and the doctor in the right directions and attitude toward a recovery. Above all pray for acceptance of what God wants, whatever that is. You could pray that she finds grace and healing in whatever way God wants most, what is best for her soul.

    just the act of praying for someone else alone shows love for another, which in itself pleases God
    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

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    I don't know if it's my upbringing or my nature, but I would have to work really hard at not praying.

    I'm a Protestant Christian so I pray to the Abrahamic God and to Jesus.

    When I am concerned about something or thankful for something or afraid, I pray.

    Sometimes it's a wordless plea and sometimes I will ask that he intervene in a situation or give blessing or wisdom along with an acknowledgment that his will is supreme, if that makes sense. And sometimes I just thank him for the good things in my life or that I see.

    I struggle with the concept of prayer at times because if God knows everything and loves me, why do I have to ask? I also am no good at the kind of concentrated prayer I've seen other Christians do. I can't focus that long and I rarely feel or hear anything like other people seem to.

    As far as the effectiveness of prayer -- somebody having good thoughts and goodwill towards another person is never a bad thing, IMO. And I've heard of some pretty amazing stories of stuff that has happened when people have prayed. Whether prayer made the difference or it would have turned out that way anyway, I can't say.

    Instinctively (or intuitively?) I believe in God and I believe that he hears and answers prayer. Intellectually, I don't think we can really know. I just figure that's the way I do faith.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Senior Member mr.awesome's Avatar
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    i had never thought about the introspection part of that...
    on that side, for me, its just be being upfront about my weaknesses and fears, and thats most often when i pray intently is when im in need of miraculous help.
    on the spiritual side.. i pray to the creator, my Lord. when i pray, like i said its often about things im fearful of or need help with. its basically an introversion rant with blunt confessions i often dont do when im not praying.
    often though i express my thanks for everything, so it isnt always 'can you help a brother out' haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.awesome View Post
    i had never thought about the introspection part of that...
    on that side, for me, its just be being upfront about my weaknesses and fears, and thats most often when i pray intently is when im in need of miraculous help.
    on the spiritual side.. i pray to the creator, my Lord. when i pray, like i said its often about things im fearful of or need help with. its basically an introversion rant with blunt confessions i often dont do when im not praying.
    often though i express my thanks for everything, so it isnt always 'can you help a brother out' haha
    Thanks for the perspective, mr.awesome.

    Do you ask for tangible things or more for help in facing something difficult or something more abstract like that?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I have never done it in my life and I probably never will. (to say it in short)
    Very concise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Praying for people like that is fine. You have the right to pray for such things, and it won't do any harm. God will do what he will with the situation, and so will everyone else involved. If you are praying directly for recovery, you might consider adding on to that by praying that God pushes the aunt and the doctor in the right directions and attitude toward a recovery. Above all pray for acceptance of what God wants, whatever that is. You could pray that she finds grace and healing in whatever way God wants most, what is best for her soul.

    just the act of praying for someone else alone shows love for another, which in itself pleases God
    Don't you have issue with this? God helping some people but not others? I don't know if I can believe in a God like that...



    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    As far as the effectiveness of prayer -- somebody having good thoughts and goodwill towards another person is never a bad thing, IMO. And I've heard of some pretty amazing stories of stuff that has happened when people have prayed. Whether prayer made the difference or it would have turned out that way anyway, I can't say.

    Instinctively (or intuitively?) I believe in God and I believe that he hears and answers prayer. Intellectually, I don't think we can really know. I just figure that's the way I do faith.
    Yeah I like this.


    Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I appreciate it.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post



    Don't you have issue with this? God helping some people but not others? I don't know if I can believe in a God like that..
    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. but you also have to factor in the actions of others who act contrary to god, and all the imperfections that come along with life on earth. i think god's help is subtle, elusive to picking up. it doesn't always correspond with what our immediate human desires are and you won't always understand it. perhaps what you are questioning is miracles? that is anoher story, but as far as prayer goes, anything goes in prayer. it's your time with God who knows you completely, you can't hide anything from him, so pray what you will
    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

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    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...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    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.
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
    "Eternal Love also created me"

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