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Featured Answered prayer or coincidence?

Discussion in 'Monotheism' started by Thirza Fallen, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Thirza Fallen

    Thirza Fallen Crazy Cat Lady

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    How are we supposed to know if something happens because it is answered prayer or just coincidence? So confusing.
     
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  2. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Someone on here said yearsss ago that coincedences are god's way of speaking to is.

    With that in mind, answered prayers are an unusual amount of coincedences, de ja vu, luck, human nature (two love birds know each other's thoughts), and meditational results confirmed by practice and/or scripture.

    It's both.
     
  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Not confusing. We do not know.
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    You're a pantheist, right? That means that you think divinity lies within and without, correct?

    So if you prayed, wouldn't such an outcome, by default, be an answered prayer?
     
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  5. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    In this context I would say no, because the outcome for the pantheist would be a natural outcome regardless of what you prayed for.
     
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  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    Precisely.
     
  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I asked something similar once of a wise man. One hint was intuition comes unbidden, and the other was that when a prayer is answered you feel a mystical euphoric rush as if a burden was lifted. It feels good, an 'Ah Ha"" moment.

    Not everyone experiences life the same way though.
     
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  8. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    You wouldn't. I will try to answer it in a slightly weird way, that might make sense or not. But maybe ask yourself what would define an answered prayer and how we decide whether it were or not :)

    In a lottery in which you pick 6 numbers from a possible pool of 49 numbers, your chances of winning the jackpot (correctly choosing all 6 numbers drawn) are 1 in 13,983,816. That's 1 shot in almost 14 million.

    The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.

    The annual risk of being killed in a plane crash for the average American is about 1 in 11 million. On that basis, the risk looks pretty small. Compare that, for example, to the annual risk of being killed in a motor vehicle crash for the average American, which is about 1 in 5,000.


    So imagine you pray for something and it happens, how would you know that it was not just a coincidence just as the odds are above for the varies things?
     
  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    I thought I would add that my response is in the pantheist context only. The Baha'i view of prayer does not preclude praying for things, but not in self interest. The prayer in the Baha'i Faith is predominantly praying for guidance to know the will of God on earth, and to guide humanity to the healing harmony and unity to end and resolve the conflict and violence on earth, and in our personal lives.

    O my God! O my God! Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal to them Thy great purpose. ... God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, “the Kingdom is God's”, may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.. - Baha'u'llah
     
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  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I agree, but some people "believe" that they know. :D
     
  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    We have to stop meeting like this @ Nimos :D

    You could never know, although there are some people who would swear on the Bible that they know.

    Imo, this comes from their need to believe the All-Loving God is always there answering prayers.
    What they completely miss are all the people who say prayers and never get an answer. :(

    I do not think they miss this, they just don't want to look at it because it messes with their beliefs.
     
  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Aren't Baha'is supposed to accept the Will of God, whatever that is? So if we prayed, wouldn't the outcome, by default, be an answered prayer, since whatever happens is the Will of God? o_O
     
  13. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Humans have free will to a degree that they can oppose the will of God. The Baha'i pray (prayer cited is an example) for not only that they may follow the will of God, but the that the people of the world may embrace the greater healing harmony and unity that reflects the Will of God and the end of violence and tribal cultural division that plagues humanity.

    The embrace of pure Monotheism and the unity and harmony of humanity beyond the cultural and tribal beliefs of individual belief systems and religions is the object of prayer.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    But can we? If, as Baha'u'llah said in Gleanings (p. 209), "the world and all that is therein is held firmly in the grasp of His Will" doesn't that mean that whatever happens is God's Will? How can we oppose God's Will? Are you saying that we can choose to do what is against God's Will and it is God's Will to allow us to do that? o_O
     
  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    True, ultimately, but it is acknowledged in the writings that humans may oppose the Will of God temporally.. The following reference goes into this in detail, but it is a bit long to cite here.

    The Bahá’í Philosophy of Human Nature
     
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  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Okay thanks, that certainly is long article but I will be sure to read it as soon as I have time....

    I do not want to oppose the Will of God. What concerns me is whether I am "doing" the Will of God or acting according to my own will. I sure wish there was a way I could know that because it would make my life a whole lot easier, since I would simply follow the Will of God, knowing that is in my best interest and what God wants.

    Does God want me to retire this year and if so when? How can I know? I can't know because God ain't talking. :rolleyes:
    And there are many more examples like this one.
     
  17. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I think you're supposed to have "faith", which is the cunning theological route to evading this kind of difficult question. :cool:
     
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  18. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    Exactly, that have actually been made studies into the effect of prayers.

    One review of past studies found that praying for someone else has small health benefits for the person being prayed for. Another showed no effect at all.

    And one study suggests that prayer may make things worse. This study, published in 2006 in the American Heart Journal, found that people who knew that someone else was praying for their recovery from heart surgery had higher rates of complications than people who weren’t being prayed for.


    So wouldn't one assume to see a somewhat improved effect of those being prayed for compared to those which are not? To me it seems that either people are praying wrong or that they simply have no effect, or maybe God is on a break :D
     
  19. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    The main problem with that is that there has never been a definitive hypothesis agreed by the proponents of this kind of prayer, setting out what actually needs to be done and what effects are predicted. When these experiments don’t work (or are conclusive), the believers can just say “You didn’t do it right” or “You can’t test God”.
     
  20. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    I believe the writings are the guide, and of course no one wants to act against the will of God if they believe.

    You could not likely know. Your retirement is a personal issue considering your health, financial situation, and personal relationships. My view is that retirement would give you an opportunity to serve humanity in many personal ways.
     
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