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Christians Only: What is The Purpose of Prayer?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Deeje, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    It seems to me that on social media and other places including RF there is sometimes a call to prayer for someone who is very ill, or who may have fallen on hard times and needs help that is often beyond human capacity to provide.
    I notice that many, when they hear of someone who is dealing with difficulties, the first thing they do is say...."I'll pray for you".

    When asked to pray, or when prompted to when someone is in trouble, what do you pray for? And what do you expect as an answer to your prayers? IOW, what are you expecting God to do?

    Why do so many sincere prayers go unanswered and why do some seem to have their prayers answered as if by a miracle? If it is from God, why aren't all prayers answered in the same manner? He is the most powerful Being in existence, so he could fix everything in an instant.....so, why doesn't he?

    Jesus said to his apostles: “If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name. . . . Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:23-24) “Whatever it is that you ask in my name, I will do this, in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

    This is often taken to mean that any Christian can ask anything of God and he will give it to them....but since so many prayers go unanswered how are Jesus' words to be taken?

    Thoughts?....
     
    #1 Deeje, Jan 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  2. Eddi

    Eddi reformed crackpot

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    The purpose of prayer is to develop and improve one's relationship with God

    Not to get him to do stuff for you or to give you things, that's not what he's there for

    However: Luke 11:11
     
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  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    That is all very true.
    So, why did Jesus pray? He already had a very close relationship with God.
    When he gave us the model prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) what was he teaching us?
     
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  4. Dave Watchman

    Dave Watchman Active Member

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    I feel like you already must know the answer but are baiting us, luring us, into a trap.

    Whenever I talk to a JW or an SDA, they seem to already have the answers from their respective playbooks.

    I don't pray as much as I should.

    Jesus said we had to have faith.

    Even as much as a mustard seed could move a mountain.

    The other thing, in the verses you quote, Jesus seems to be speaking to His disciples.

    Twice Jesus used the term "at that day, or "in that day.

    "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

    "In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.​

    I'm not saying that our prayers are ignored, but there seems to be some specification in John 16 that relates specifically to the first century disciples situation.

    Also remember in Daniel 9 when Gabriel came to him and said:

    "At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.​

    Daniel is a man that is GREATLY loved by God.

    I know that WE are also loved by God because:

    "the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.​

    But remember how Ezekiel said:

    "Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD.​

    Even if THESE three men were to pray for another outcome, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

    Even Noah, Daniel and Job.

    So we have to always make sure that we are praying for something that is in the Father's will.

    “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me;
    yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
    Thy Kingdom come,
    Thy Will be done.

    Peaceful Sabbath.
     
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  5. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    Context is important in order to gain a proper understanding of a passage. let's add a little context to a verse you quoted.

    Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
    Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
    Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    The context of the above passage speaks of Jesus going to the Father in order that he would send the Holy Spirit gifts to believers. Therefore, just as Jesus was able to heal the sick through the power of God's spirit so too would certain of his disciples be enabled with that same power. Each disciple was given a certain measure of the gift of Christ.

    1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
    1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
    1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

    If someone had the gift of healing, he could ask in the name of Jesus that a person be healed, and the person would be healed.

    However, I understand that those miraculous gifts of the spirit have ceased.

    1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    What remains after the gifts of the spirit had ceased are faith, hope and charity.

    I copied the following from the JW website:

    "18 When Jesus grew up, he cast out demons, healed the sick, even raised the dead in the power of holy spirit. Some of his followers also performed miracles and powerful works. These special abilities were gifts of the spirit. What was their purpose? Just as earlier miracles had done, they furthered God’s purposes and revealed his power. Moreover, they demonstrated the genuineness of Jesus’ claim that he was sent from God; and later, they proved that the first-century Christian congregation was God’s chosen nation.—Matthew 11:2-6; John 16:8; Acts 2:22; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Hebrews 2:4; 1 Peter 2:9.

    19 The apostle Paul, however, said that such miraculous manifestations of the spirit belonged to the childhood of the congregation and would pass away, so we today do not see such miracles wrought by holy spirit. (1 Corinthians 13:8-11)" Jehovah’s Gift of Holy Spirit — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY (jw.org)
     
    #5 LightofTruth, Jan 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  6. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    It is clearly a way to express our connection to the neighbor and God...the universe.
    It is a way to test one's willpower.
     
  7. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    If Jesus says no, then pray to the Virgin Mother to intercede on your behalf. Because you have to figure that sometimes Jesus needs a break too. Does anyone really want to work 24/7..? I think not.
     
  8. Different Mind

    Different Mind New Member

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    What are Prayer?

    Prayers are the Words that Speak Volume to the Souls of Another, In This Religiosity; Christendom has performed (Much) lip service; because it has never been taught of the Properties of Prayer. Unless the Seed of Wheat Falls to the Ground and Dies; It Takes a Persons Sacrifice to Make a Prayer Come About; In Many Donations, People Do not Pray Like the Women Who Gave All She had Vice the Intent of the Heart's. Thus is it not Heard by the Lord; Because the Sincerity is not Matched.

    With that Said; Prayer is Like Drawing from a Cistern of a Well; The Deeper it goes; the Purer the Water. In Different Circumstances it is Depicted Differently; But for this Scenario i Will Speak on the Well Seen it is a Prior to Have a Clean Cistern. Most Are Not heard because of Righteousness; The Impurity of their Lives in the Utermost; Keeps them From being heard. For Most, Most are not as Close to G-d then they Seem to Admit in their Lip Services and Hardening Of Hearts. When they See Done Good unto Other's; They Shrink internally in the Hope They Demise. Thus is their Righteousness Without Power; Because they do not attain to Godliness Which Speaks of Give unto your Neighbor as Unto Yourself. A Hard Remedy to Most Seen it is to Put you behind the Person's Prayed For, To Suffer For Righteousness Sake; Thy Will be Done: to Love thy Neighbor as yourself and to do it upbraideth not. In However of a Degree, it comes back to Righteousness. In Which it Stems to Give to Your Neighbor as if it were yourself and to Have Faith in Doing So. The Criteria are Simple, but hard to Uphold. The Flesh seeks it's own Liberation as of any Entity, Under the Premise against the Women Who gave her Last Talent to the Poor. It is hard to fight against the Flesh in all the Characteristics and Virtues that a Prayerful and Meaningful Life Makes Meaning off; Because of it; Prayers fall amiss.

    You May want to Listen to Keith Green and his Definition of a Life in Prayer; because it's the Most Extensive Recollection that you can Grasp in the Meaning of Life and Prayer!


    A (True) Christian Life is hard; and Not as Them That Make it seem at ease; Because Righteousness is to be Established in Many & Most aterm's. But for Whatever You Do; It's Good to Pray outloud and IN Quiet seen your apparatus is to Find a Prayer That Speaks No Words:

    In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. - Jochanan

    The Premus of Faith is to be Infused with the Father's Will, that you No Longer Pray for yourself; but that as it is written [That): And When You pray, do not use vain repetitions like the pagan, Heathen and Gentiles do, for they think that in their many words they will be heard. "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

    Does Prayer Makes More Sense to You Now? This is Where a Seasoned Warrior is to Get to; Till the Fulfilment of the Son of Man; to Pray: Father' Not My Will; But Your's Be Done.

    Christ Displayed the Possibility in his Life-Death and Resurrection that all These Things be Possible to them Who Believe God and Love him. But the Harvest is Plentiful; But their are but a FEW Workers. Because off babes are many but Not Many Mature eating Meats. Not Many Laborers are send out Thus Did Jesus Pray and Beseech the Lord for.

    The Mindset of a Christ Like Nature; is to Believe in God to the End as Peter (Cephas) Promised to But never was Attendant Able to. Because He Did not Die For you as Paul Said; Neither Apollos; But Christ Did. So we Get a Mix of Denominations that are Childs Play contrary to the Faith Which is of the True Essence. That Which has/Holds Power. Does it then Make sense Why Most Prayers Go unanswered Due to Unrighteousness? I Included Many Verses Without Depicting their Locations; Seen that a Seasoned Warrior Ought to know them by Heart. Thus is the Faith True; And Thus is it with Power. But with Power Comes Responsibilities, as to Whom Much is given; Thus is Required. So Consider If You Wish to be as Paul and Peter; Tossed too And (Fro) Like the Reed Sought out in the Wilderness [Hint: John, The B.]. For before Christ May Come into Your Life; You Must have all Righteousness Fulfilled. Christ Called Many, But Few are Chosen; for he said unless you your Faith becomes as these Little One's; you will in No wise Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Life is simple as it is; the Former Written has already been Concluded. If You Seek to Fight the Good War of Faith; You Now Know What is Required. If you Wish to Make your Life a Prayer unto Christ in God; Then Pray as the Centurion did: "Lord, I do not Am worthy that you come under my roof. But just say (a) word, That my servant will be healed." This Person was Muslim (Submissive) to the Will of G-d. In All Degree's to the Faith; Your Iman (Faith arabic.) Shall Not Rest. Then have You Been Vigilant at the lord's Visitation. Then have you Heard the Cry of the Vigilant.

    Without intending to agitate any Christian Readers of the Islamic Way; Their Difference is not My Difference as i Live the Religion in My Own Premis; But the Concluded Scriptures Follow Up With Mohammed; seen that Christ did not Form the Christendom; But a Reality Factor of Life; Thus is the Mainstream of Proper to them Who Maintain a Upbringing; But to them Who Fight the Good war of Fight; a Faith lacking. So i will not Promote Islamicism beyond the Scope already Presented in This Brief Mentioning above. But it holds True that ALL Scriptures are Valuable; And that Faith May Grow in Regions Where Apples Meet the Banana Smooth Without Intending Why. All Summation of These Words Were Written and Prophesied. To them Who Theirfore Hear, More May be Given; To them Who do not Hear, Peace and Grace from the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Scene Unfold's, it is Given it's Reign in the Divinity; Without WORDS it is GIVEN to the HEIRS of the FAITH; if you have Quarrel with the Conclusion, Visit the Interfaith Section of Worldly Depiction of What Sum of Faith Christ Held in it's Truth. For Whatever Value you may See, the World is Greater then a Single Entity and Community at LARGE. We May See That G-d Has Children; Of Which you Do not Know; Thus are them Who are Called Christians not Christians and Christians; Christians. Because the Lord is Able to Make out of These Rocks Children unto Abraham.

    My Love Goes Out to the [Crying) Tears. Like This Song It Speaks of them Who Hear; And on that Day, Many Will Say Lord Lord; Have we not... and Have we not: And he will say... I Never Knew you! Depart of Me ye Workers of Unrighteousness.

    My Fear is that i'm not among the Worthy, in However of a Digestion it seems that Life Have Brought me a CurveBall. So I Must Simmer through the Thought of I; And Live the Life i Breathe. In the Time of His Visitation; Will the 5 Virgins be with lamps; or will the 5 virgins be without oil. The Conquest Is Still in it's Decision; For the Path is narrow and the Gate is straight.



    Thanks for the Post​
     
    #8 Different Mind, Jan 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    In the matter of prayer, we have to follow Jesus' example which is in our playbook...the Bible. :)

    That is a question we could all ask ourselves....

    Where does faith come from, do you think? Its not exactly something you can order from Amazon and have it home delivered. :p

    Faith has to be a wall that separates us from a powerful adversary on the other side.
    You build a wall by laying a firm foundation and then building that wall brick by brick....so its not something that happens overnight....so what is the foundation? What are the bricks? And most importantly, what is the mortar that gives it strength?

    Well picked up. [​IMG]
    He was not speaking to Christians in general, but to those of the "elect" or "the chosen ones". So context is very important when we are reading scripture.​

    When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray he said..."Pray then this way"....I think too many people miss the significance of what he was teaching there. He did not say "Pray this Prayer" but demonstrated the things to include in our own prayers and in order of importance.

    What was first? (in the words of the KJV as most people were taught it)
    "Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name" ...so the sanctification of God' name was the first consideration. How many people even know that God has a name? (Psalm 83:18 KJV)
    It is not one that humans gave him, but one he revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:13-15...
    From the Tanakh....

    "13 And Moses said to God, "Behold I come to the children of Israel, and I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"

    14 God said to Moses, "Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I will be what I will be)," and He said, "So shall you say to the children of Israel, 'Ehyeh (I will be) has sent me to you.'"

    15 And God said further to Moses, "So shall you say to the children of Israel, 'The Lord God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is how I should be mentioned in every generation.
    טווַיֹּ֩אמֶר֩ ע֨וֹד אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה כֹּ֣ה תֹאמַר֘ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ יְהֹוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֗ם אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִצְחָ֛ק וֵֽאלֹהֵ֥י יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב שְׁלָחַ֣נִי אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם זֶה־שְּׁמִ֣י לְעֹלָ֔ם וְזֶ֥ה זִכְרִ֖י לְדֹ֥ר דֹּֽר:"


    "The Lord God" is יְהֹוָ֞ה ....Yahweh...Jehovah in English.
    Its not like we don't know God's name, however we pronounce it in our own language. But God's name must be important because it was given to the Israelites and they were told to "mention" his name throughout their generations. They failed to do that.

    Next was the request for God's Kingdom to "come" and for God's will to "be done on earth as it is in heaven".

    How many Christians know what God's Kingdom is?....How it "comes"?.....What its purpose is?....What that will mean for all of us? :shrug:

    Having enough "bread" for the day......not the week or the month.....just for that day.

    Forgiving those who trespass against us is also important, because it means that God will also forgive us.

    Can't argue with that. :)
     
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  10. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Yes, and the gifts accomplished their objective (as you quoted) .....to demonstrate God’s backing of the disciples of His Messiah and his rejection of the Jewish system of worship, which had become so corrupt that Jesus condemned their religious leaders to “Gehenna”. (Matthew 23)

    I am not a fan of the KJV’s rendering of that passage because if you consult other translations, you will find not “charity” but “love”, which are in English not the same at all. The Greek “agape” conveys a kind of love that rises above all barriers. When Jesus tells us to “love” our enemies, it is not the kind of love that requires warm affection, but one based on principle. In Greek, there are four words that convey various expressions of “love”.

    The Greek Scriptures mainly employ forms of the words a·gaʹpe, phi·liʹa, and two words drawn from stor·geʹ (eʹros, love between the sexes, not being mentioned). A·gaʹpe appears more frequently than the other terms.

    So, our one word "love" does not always convey the deeper nuances and why there are different expressions of love. e.g. the love of love songs (eros) is not the love of siblings or parents. Brotherly love is phi·liʹa from which we get "Philadelphia".

    Exactly. :)
     
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  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    You really think that Mary is a mediator? That is not what the Bible says....

    1 Timothy 2:5-6..."For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time." (RSV Catholic Edition)

    "One mediator" means that Mary can't be in that capacity. This is Jesus' exclusive assignment. Besides which fact that Jesus is no longer a mortal human with a need to take "a break". He is the mighty spirit King of God's Kingdom....he does not dwell in a realm of 24/7....the spirit realm is timeless.
     
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  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Prayer is nothing more or less than deep relationship with God.
     
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