Does Prayer Work?

Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby tommy525 » 06 Mar 2011, 13:00

dashgalaxy86 wrote:
tommy525 wrote:It only does when your wishes are in alignment with that of the good Lord. And most of the time it aint.

So when I was ten and I prayed to God that my grandpa and grandma wouldn't die until they had great grandkids, and the next day my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer, I guess God had some seriously different wishes that I simply could not align with.
For a long time I hated God for that. It felt like a serious "Fuck you". After that, I pretty much loathed anyone who said "The Lord works in mysterious ways", including the Blues Brothers, and I equally hated those who tried to say anything about God's plan. The one time I got in trouble at school my whole life, I told my Religion teacher in 6th grade (when I was 12) that she had "no idea what the hell" she was talking about when she discussed God's plan with the class.
I've become an atheist since then, and I've found happiness and contentment.

But even today, I am a little offended by tommy's statement.


A Christian will say to you. Perhaps you need to become really really offended, so much so that you re-examine your beliefs, maybe to the core of your being...for:


Revelation 3:20 (King James Version)

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

unquote

Maybe going to Church and "arguing" your views may be in order. Since the beginning of time MAN has sought to leave God and go his own way but God has never left MAN.

p.s. sorry tomthorne, even though we are more diverse then similar perhaps. At least we share the first 3 letters in our handle :)

p.p.s to dash. Your story about your grandpa is very sad . And often in life we are faced with very sad situations that we have a lot of trouble dealing with. And many things we can not explain. Why do the good die young, etc. Why me, why her, why him. why why? Perhaps the Lord looks upon one's whole life as like a movie. We can't understand some situations frame by frame, but the Lord understands because he sees the beginning and the end of everyone's life. Into each he has added a measured amount of sorrow, of happiness,of sadness, of exhileration, of despair. All these ingredients he has added to educate our soul. LIfe is a school for the soul.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Gao Bohan » 12 Mar 2011, 01:19

Naughtius wrote:
the chief wrote:Sure, many folks will ask for guidance, support, and that they and their loved ones will be watched over and maybe helped through a particular trial.
And sometimes those requests are answered.
But sometimes they ain't.

I think this is the definition of coincidence.


And there's the answer to the OP's question. Prayer is not falsifiable. Claiming that prayer works is the same as claiming that unicorns are trotting around the forest, but they and any trace of them disappears when a person walks by. Such claims are completely meaningless.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby ThreadKiller » 12 Mar 2011, 02:45

tommy525 wrote:
dashgalaxy86 wrote:
tommy525 wrote:It only does when your wishes are in alignment with that of the good Lord. And most of the time it aint.

So when I was ten and I prayed to God that my grandpa and grandma wouldn't die until they had great grandkids, and the next day my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer, I guess God had some seriously different wishes that I simply could not align with.
For a long time I hated God for that. It felt like a serious "Fuck you". After that, I pretty much loathed anyone who said "The Lord works in mysterious ways", including the Blues Brothers, and I equally hated those who tried to say anything about God's plan. The one time I got in trouble at school my whole life, I told my Religion teacher in 6th grade (when I was 12) that she had "no idea what the hell" she was talking about when she discussed God's plan with the class.
I've become an atheist since then, and I've found happiness and contentment.

But even today, I am a little offended by tommy's statement.


A Christian will say to you. Perhaps you need to become really really offended, so much so that you re-examine your beliefs, maybe to the core of your being...for:


Revelation 3:20 (King James Version)

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

unquote

Maybe going to Church and "arguing" your views may be in order. Since the beginning of time MAN has sought to leave God and go his own way but God has never left MAN.

p.s. sorry tomthorne, even though we are more diverse then similar perhaps. At least we share the first 3 letters in our handle :)

p.p.s to dash. Your story about your grandpa is very sad . And often in life we are faced with very sad situations that we have a lot of trouble dealing with. And many things we can not explain. Why do the good die young, etc. Why me, why her, why him. why why? Perhaps the Lord looks upon one's whole life as like a movie. We can't understand some situations frame by frame, but the Lord understands because he sees the beginning and the end of everyone's life. Into each he has added a measured amount of sorrow, of happiness,of sadness, of exhileration, of despair. All these ingredients he has added to educate our soul. LIfe is a school for the soul.



tommy252, no matter how much I usually enjoy reading your posts, I am absolutely dumbfounded. Why would telling dashgalaxy how God works in mysterious ways help him see the light when he has just spoken of how a tragedy brought him to despise this explanation?

It's not really an explanation for tragedy anyway, is it? Question: Why does this happen if there is a God and he is good? Answer: We don't know. He knows.

I'm happy that I don't need to worry about a question like this. For me, life is just about making sure that I and as many people as I can effect are happy or more comfortable in a world that is both beautiful and harsh.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 24 Mar 2011, 01:28

All I know on this subject is that when Grandma prays, things happen. Visas are granted, jobs are offered, money appears, weather gets warmer, relationships get better, etc. etc.

We figure that she just prays so often, Whoever The Guy Upstairs May Be just gives her what she wants to get her off his back for a day or so.

It's to the point where if she prays for you to have a baby, you go to the doctor and get a contraceptive shot... just in case (my mum actually did this).
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby maoman » 24 Mar 2011, 01:32

ThreadKiller wrote:tommy252, no matter how much I usually enjoy reading your posts, I am absolutely dumbfounded. Why would telling dashgalaxy how God works in mysterious ways help him see the light when he has just spoken of how a tragedy brought him to despise this explanation?

It's not really an explanation for tragedy anyway, is it? Question: Why does this happen if there is a God and he is good? Answer: We don't know. He knows.

I'm happy that I don't need to worry about a question like this. For me, life is just about making sure that I and as many people as I can effect are happy or more comfortable in a world that is both beautiful and harsh.
The late William Safire published this in the New York Times in the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean:

In the aftermath of a cataclysm, with pictures of parents sobbing over dead infants driven into human consciousness around the globe, faith-shaking questions arise: Where was God? Why does a good and all-powerful deity permit such evil and grief to fall on so many thousands of innocents? What did these people do to deserve such suffering?

After a similar natural disaster wiped out tens of thousands of lives in Lisbon in the 18th century, the philosopher Voltaire wrote "Candide," savagely satirizing optimists who still found comfort and hope in God. After last month's Indian Ocean tsunami, the same anguished questioning is in the minds of millions of religious believers.

Turn to the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. It was written some 2,500 years ago during what must have been a crisis of faith. The covenant with Abraham - worship the one God, and his people would be protected - didn't seem to be working. The good died young, the wicked prospered; where was the promised justice?

The poet-priest who wrote this book began with a dialogue between God and the Satan, then a kind of prosecuting angel. When God pointed to "my servant Job" as most upright and devout, the Satan suggested Job worshipped God only because he had been given power and riches. On a bet that Job would stay faithful, God let the angel take the good man's possessions, kill his children and afflict him with loathsome boils.

The first point the Book of Job made was that suffering is not evidence of sin. When Job's friends said that he must have done something awful to deserve such misery, the reader knows that is false. Job's suffering was a test of his faith: even as he grew angry with God for being unjust - wishing he could sue him in a court of law - he never abandoned his belief.

And did this righteous Gentile get furious: "Damn the day that I was born!" Forget the so-called "patience of Job"; that legend is blown away by the shockingly irreverent biblical narrative. Job's famous expression of meek acceptance in the 1611 King James Version - "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" - was a blatant misreading by nervous translators. Modern scholarship offers a much different translation: "He may slay me, I'll not quaver."

The point of Job's gutsy defiance of God's injustice - right there in the Bible - is that it is not blasphemous to challenge the highest authority when it inflicts a moral wrong. (I titled a book on this "The First Dissident.") Indeed, Job's demand that his unseen adversary show up at a trial with a written indictment gets an unexpected reaction: in a thunderous theophany, God appears before the startled man with the longest and most beautifully poetic speech attributed directly to him in Scripture.

Frankly, God's voice "out of the whirlwind" carries a message not all that satisfying to those wondering about moral mismanagement. Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal "I read the Book of Job last night - I don't think God comes well out of it."

The powerful voice demands of puny Man: "Where were you when I laid the Earth's foundations?" Summoning an image of the mythic sea-monster symbolizing Chaos, God asks, "Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a hook?" The poet-priest's point, I think, is that God is occupied bringing light to darkness, imposing physical order on chaos, and leaves his human creations free to work out moral justice on their own.

Job's moral outrage caused God to appear, thereby demonstrating that the sufferer who believes is never alone. Job abruptly stops complaining, and - in a prosaic happy ending that strikes me as tacked on by other sages so as to get the troublesome book accepted in the Hebrew canon - he is rewarded. (Christianity promises to rectify earthly injustice in an afterlife.)

Job's lessons for today:

(1) Victims of this cataclysm in no way "deserved" a fate inflicted by the Leviathanic force of nature.

(2) Questioning God's inscrutable ways has its exemplar in the Bible and need not undermine faith.

(3) Humanity's obligation to ameliorate injustice on earth is being expressed in a surge of generosity that refutes Voltaire's cynicism.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby tommy525 » 24 Mar 2011, 02:01

Good one Maoman !

Yes unfortunately believing in God or being a good man , even in God's eyes is no guarantee bad things will not happen . They do happen. We can only pray in good times and bad times that the Lord be merciful and not test our faith more then we can handle.

Believing in God is also no guarantee of wealth or success in life either. For many wealth will lead them astray and it is better they be poor in this life then be led to hell in golden riches. (I tend to like this one because I rarely have more then two coins to rub together and chances are those were borrowed :) )
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Charlie Phillips » 24 Mar 2011, 02:17

dashgalaxy86 wrote:
tommy525 wrote:It only does when your wishes are in alignment with that of the good Lord. And most of the time it aint.

So when I was ten and I prayed to God that my grandpa and grandma wouldn't die until they had great grandkids, and the next day my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer, I guess God had some seriously different wishes that I simply could not align with.
For a long time I hated God for that. It felt like a serious "Fuck you". After that, I pretty much loathed anyone who said "The Lord works in mysterious ways", including the Blues Brothers, and I equally hated those who tried to say anything about God's plan. The one time I got in trouble at school my whole life, I told my Religion teacher in 6th grade (when I was 12) that she had "no idea what the hell" she was talking about when she discussed God's plan with the class.
I've become an atheist since then, and I've found happiness and contentment.

But even today, I am a little offended by tommy's statement.


I can understand people who take a theistic position and those who are atheistic, but I find it difficult to understand this kind of position which is 'grandpa died so I hate god and anyone who talks about god'.

You and I will all die one day and it doesn't mean shit to this argument or anything else. Death doesn't contribute to this argument on one side or the other. Death is meaningless. Everyone experiences the death of grandparents unless one dies first, which is even more tragic.

To blame God for someone's death and at the same time claim to be an atheist is oxymoronic.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby divea » 24 Mar 2011, 02:59

Charlie Phillips wrote:
To blame God for someone's death and at the same time claim to be an atheist is oxymoronic.

:thumbsup: Bingo!
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Gao Bohan » 24 Mar 2011, 04:47

divea wrote:
Charlie Phillips wrote:
To blame God for someone's death and at the same time claim to be an atheist is oxymoronic.

:thumbsup: Bingo!


You two misread his post. He was still a believer for some time after his grandpa died, the difference being that he hated instead of loved God. Now, he is an atheist and does not believe in God at all. That's fairly common.
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