Does Prayer Work?

Does Prayer Work?

Postby maoman » 03 Mar 2011, 18:45

ThreadKiller wrote:I'd just like to say that of course prayer doesn't work (except as a calming influence for one's self).

I disagree. Prayer focuses my spiritual mind and strengthens my spiritual health in much the same way that exercise improves my physical health. For "calming influences", my dog does the trick, and failing that, there's always Xanax. :)
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 03 Mar 2011, 18:51

ThreadKiller wrote:Forgive me for adding my :2cents: I've stayed away from the R&S forum for a while - and perhaps for a good reason.

Not wanting to insult anyone's interpretation of events in his or her own life, I'd just like to say that of course prayer doesn't work (except as a calming influence for one's self). The fact that no believer can post any empirical evidence for the efficacy of prayer makes this clear. People can only provide testimony, and with so many people praying in the world, coincidences are going to happen. When I believed, I sometimes thought God was opening doors for me. Now that I don't believe, I realize that doors were (and are) opened because I applied myself or because of pure luck.

I know that anyone who believes will tell you: "Faith can't be tested". I agree. And for me it doesn't make sense to believe in something that can't be tested. No decent God would expect that from any of us.


That was well said.

I believe that everyone should be true to what makes sense to them. Any other reason is pure foolishness.

What bothers me, is that so many dive into a belief system (and athiesm is a belief system) to please someone or because of how they feel about someone.

We have a recent, terrible example in the Westboro Baptist Church near Topeka, Kansas. Why would ANYONE want to become a Christian, if those yahoos are an example of what it means to be a Christian?

For myself, I truly believe that God hates Westboro Baptist Church.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Dr. McCoy » 03 Mar 2011, 18:59

When I started going to church in Taiwan I asked God to help me be more charitable toward my fellow man. I don't mean money, but I don't want to look at anyone with contempt and disgust when I don't know anything about them. I find myself doing it a lot. But I prayed about it and I worked on it, but I never spoke out loud to anyone about it. I think I got better. And I think that going to church had something to do with it. Whether or not it was God is still a great mystery in my mind.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby divea » 03 Mar 2011, 19:17

Prayer works. It always has.

I am not arguing, and it's a genuine question, the ones who don't believe in prayer, have they prayed?? Not just saying Father thou art in heaven.....but just closing your eyes and saying thank you. Not necessarily to god, but to life itself??? And have they ever felt blessed?? Not fortunate, or lucky, but blessed?? I guessnot, if you don't believe, that there is grace beyond human form. I may sound argumentative, but I am really curious.

Thanks.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby zender » 03 Mar 2011, 20:52

Like ThreadKiller, I've tried to stay away from the R&S forum for a while. I'm just concerned that showing disbelief can make some uncomfortable, and I'd hate to lose friends for speaking my mind. I know most of you are strong enough not to be swayed by anything I'd post, so I hope this post and link aren't taken as condescension.

I also feel that intercessory prayer doesn't work (except as a calmer ). My mother (Roman Catholic) believes.

The second link that Jimi provided is the best scientific study I've read on the subject. I got the impression it was done by people who believed in IP and wanted to show it really worked. Unfortunately, it seems that if people knew you were praying for them, they did even worse than expected. Otherwise, prayer had no effect.

One site that I think is interesting on this subject is "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?"

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/gumball.htm
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby Battery9 » 03 Mar 2011, 21:10

The act of praying works..it makes you feel less alone and calms you down. But prayers isn't going to change anything. I believe God is listening, but not acting on it. Otherwise it would be sunny every day all over earth???!!!!
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby divea » 03 Mar 2011, 21:12

Yeah Jimi was wondering where you were and I thought you went to the Ho's, you non-believer you :raspberry: Welcome back!
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby RobinTaiwan » 03 Mar 2011, 21:24

maoman wrote:
ThreadKiller wrote:I'd just like to say that of course prayer doesn't work (except as a calming influence for one's self).

I disagree. Prayer focuses my spiritual mind and strengthens my spiritual health in much the same way that exercise improves my physical health.
It works very much like that for me. Without the dog and the Xanax. A healthy mind also contributes to being physically healthy, in my opinion.

Scientifically speaking, praying for others will not help them. There is no evidence supporting such claims so it is rejected by the scientific community. What scientists do know is that thoughts and emotions cause observable activity within the human body. It is also accepted by the scientific community that such activity within the human body generates observable vibrations. Whether these vibrations are picked up by other individuals or not is still unknown. It's fairly safe to infer that there is a purpose to these vibrations.

Whales can feel the slightest vibration miles away under water. It's one example of how well they adapted to their habitat. What's to say that we don't actually have the ability to pick up vibes from other people? It doesn't have to be a conscious thing. Maybe it just affects our moods.

It's all a mystery to me too, but I think it's nice to think that my friends and family can send me good vibes and that I can do the same when the going gets tough. And it does get tough sooner or later for all of us.
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby jimipresley » 03 Mar 2011, 21:28

I agree with you, Rob, but does one need to channel those "vibes" through a deity in order for them to be effective? Isn't it just ultimately psycho-somatic?
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Re: Does Prayer Work?

Postby RobinTaiwan » 03 Mar 2011, 21:56

jimipresley wrote:I agree with you, Rob, but does one need to channel those "vibes" through a deity in order for them to be effective? Isn't it just ultimately psycho-somatic?


Maybe it is but if it works, it means that praying works. Good old God might be onto something. :wink:
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