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  1. #11
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I have never successfully 'prayed' or 'meditated' -- but I have a technique where I breathe, pace and re-calibrate my thoughts, and that relaxes me.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Operator error.

    First, I consider prayer and meditation to be very similar, or at least for myself, doing the first involves the second almost always. By "operator error" I mean you might be doing it wrong, or not so much wrong, but not in the best way for yourself. Prayer and meditation styles vary as much as beliefs do. Doing what brings peace, or inspiration, or confidence to someone else might do nothing for you. Perhaps you have just not found the right method for yourself.
    +1

  3. #13
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Because some people believe there is someone listening to them. It's not a magical peace coming over them... it's the same as if you vent to a trusted friend you know cares for you; you will likely feel better afterwards just to get it off your chest. All they do is listen. But if you don't genuinely believe there is someone listening to your prayers who cares, then you won't have that effect.

    For people who believe in a personable God (or gods), they often study & reflect on God's qualities through some holy book &/or forms of worship. This makes their God real to them. They often believe they must demonstrate their faith, and this includes acting in-line with what they pray for & with their God's moral standards, which of course puts them in the right mindset to proactively deal with whatever it is they're praying about. It helps them focus on what is a moral way to deal with something effectively, as opposed to being overwhelmed with emotion.

    All of this makes prayer have a real effect.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #14
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    If prayer worked for some and not for others, it would say something about the capriciousness of the deity.

    But in the absence of a deity, prayer that works and prayer that doesn't work can be accurately explained by statistics.

    In the same way, the incidence of lightning can be explained by capriciousness of the God Thor.

    But in the absence of Thor, the incidence of lightning can be accurately explained by statistics.

    And in the same way, winning or losing at gambling can explained by the capriciousness of luck.

    But in the absence of luck, winning and losing at gambling can be explained accurately by statistics.

    And in the same way the position or the momentum of atomic particles are capricious, but with statistics we can accurately predict the movement of atomic particles with unbelievable accuracy.
    Last edited by Mole; 02-19-2014 at 08:07 PM.

  5. #15
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't know if it works for me or not. I think I can't get past the idea that God does not revolve around me. Like, maybe my well-being is not the most important consideration God has at any given time. I think, assuming there is a God and I do, that he does want my well-being, but there is a bigger picture. And also, not everything that is good for my ultimate well-being and development are pleasant things. Nor does my belief in God make me immune from the common condition of man: "the rain falls on the just and the unjust."

    So I do pray and I think sometimes it gives me the sense of control you get from being able to do something when you really are materially helpless. But it doesn't work for me like it does for people who believe it is reasonable for God to disrupt the universe because their kid has a little league game and rain would ruin it or that bad things don't happen to good people.

    Distraction generally helps me as much as prayer does, to be honest.
    “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

  6. #16
    Senior Member NK258's Avatar
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    belief. The difference is the internal spirit or person or whatever, actually believing. They've done some really interesting studies on this actually. They've studied women in prayer groups, Buddhists chanting, and people praying of other faiths and all the brains of all the people light up in the same regions. Another doc I saw did a study where people were given pain and those who had belief, felt less pain, but only when viewing an image of whomever they worshiped and believed in. It's believing in whatever it is , just something outside ourselves that is bigger than who we are. That whatever it is that holds all life energy on this planet in some unifying plane of existence. I don't really think it matters who you pray to. So long as you pray to something. Or meditate and channel your mind in some way. If someone was a total non believer, who is to say they can't prey to the universe or the unknown itself ? Or maybe, they could pray and meditate towards their inner wisdom they haven't consciousness of.
    6w7 Sx/Sp (621 or 612. Same diff :p).

  7. #17
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    "DEER gotT,

    "If u arE Teh REalz, tehN wy doz mah 'buTT Hurt sO mUch? WaaAH mAh parENTz haet MeeE whY GoTT hAve yOo aBAndOned us? goD yoO maEk mAh haRtz fEEl saD by AbADDoning ur KREashuns. wY do frICkin iNNoceNts peePLZ dIE iF GotT Iz reelZ?"

    Come on, people. Show some depth. If you think God does not exist, explain your logical basis for why you believe this, don't relate your butthurt life experiences.
    And people who do think a God exists, this goes for you to. Finding your car keys isn't a good enough basis. Explain the logic behind your belief in a god.

  8. #18
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Because some people believe there is someone listening to them. It's not a magical peace coming over them... it's the same as if you vent to a trusted friend you know cares for you; you will likely feel better afterwards just to get it off your chest. All they do is listen. But if you don't genuinely believe there is someone listening to your prayers who cares, then you won't have that effect.

    For people who believe in a personable God (or gods), they often study & reflect on God's qualities through some holy book &/or forms of worship. This makes their God real to them. They often believe they must demonstrate their faith, and this includes acting in-line with what they pray for & with their God's moral standards, which of course puts them in the right mindset to proactively deal with whatever it is they're praying about. It helps them focus on what is a moral way to deal with something effectively, as opposed to being overwhelmed with emotion.

    All of this makes prayer have a real effect.
    This is my theory.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  9. #19
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The question of why prayer works for some and not others, is similar to the question of why the movies work for some and not for others.

    But surely, you ask me, don't the movies work for everyone, just like prayer?

    Admittedly it is difficult to find those for whom the movies don't work, but it has been done.

    When we made first contact with tribes in Papua New Guinea, we showed them movies, but they did not understand the grammar of movies, and did not understand what the movies meant, or how to view the moving images.

    It's the same with prayer.

  10. #20
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    First you need to have faith in some higher power. Then you need to have faith that your prayers will be answered. If you pray and your prayers aren't being answered its likely you'll stop praying and assume it doesn't work.
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