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Thinkin' about prayer again. (Still)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by WalterTrull, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    I fairly often ruminate about this one:

    “Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” - Mark 11:24 (King James)

    To me it hints at a very close, powerful, and even a bit scary relationship ‘tween God and man. Wish I could really grasp it fully.

    Any thoughts? (briefly please, I’m old ya know.)
     
  2. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    When I read that alongside Luke 6:24-26, the message I get is something like "be careful what you wish for."
     
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  3. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Yeah, biblical guys are big on woe.
    I've always (well not always) thought the woe stuff was admonition against sand castles. Just me , I guess.
     
  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It's mostly BS if taken too literally. But prayer can help us to stay focused, and persistent, and that certainly will help us to achieve our desires.
     
  5. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Hmmm.... your version sounds a little like therapeutic self deception. Whatever works I guess, but I have a hunch there's more to it than that.
     
  6. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I agree... and I don't think we have the full understanding of it either.

    There is so much in that verse as well as the ones before it and after like :25 "And when you pray, forgive". I think unforgivess short-circuits the prayer of faith.

    Vs 24 does given the understanding that you receive it spiritually first before you see it physically.
     
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I think prayer is less for God than it is for us. I don't expect God to cater to my desires, whatever they may be, but prayer gives us the opportunity to evaluate where we're at and which way is the best and most moral way to go.
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    Although there is a truth in what you said, I think it is just a small portion and desires are important to God... please note:

    Mark 10:51
    And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

    Matthew 8:2-4 King James Version (KJV)
    2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
    3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

    Matthew 17:15
    Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

    Every one of these (an many more) had to do with people's desires.

    Now, if our desires are selfish... of course, that is another story:

    Matthew 12:38
    Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
     
  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I'm no youngster either.....but at least my brain still works. [​IMG]

    When reading a verse out of context, you can make it say whatever you like really.

    In context certain things will become obvious that were not so when taken alone.

    Mark 11:19-25....
    "When it became late in the day, they went out of the city. 20 But when they were passing by early in the morning, they saw the fig tree already withered from its roots. 21 Peter, remembering it, said to him: “Rabbi, see! the fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 In reply Jesus said to them: “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you that whoever tells this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but has faith that what he says is going to happen, he will have it happen. 24 This is why I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for, have faith that you have received them, and you will have them. 25 And when you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your trespasses.”

    So who was Jesus talking to? He was addressing his apostles, not his disciples in general. These alone had the power of holy spirit initially. He was talking about having faith in the power of that spirit.....to move mountains if necessary. Was he speaking literally? Probably not because moving literal mountains would not really accomplish much....but moving mountain-like obstacles was in the realm of which he spoke. Some of those mountain-like obstacles were impediments to people hearing the good news that Jesus preached. His cursing of the unproductive fig tree may well have pictured the teachings of the fruitless religious leaders of the day, teaching the traditions of men instead of God's word. (Matthew 15:7-9) He cursed them in no uncertain words. (Matthew Ch 23)

    At 1 John 5:13-15 John wrote....
    "I write you these things so that you may know that you have life everlasting, you who put your faith in the name of the Son of God. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that no matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us concerning whatever we are asking, we know that we are to have the things we ask for, since we have asked them of him."

    The highlighted words here are important I think. Whatever we ask "according to his will, he hears us".
    So prayer must be in accord with God's will. He will not answer selfish prayers or alter anything in this world to suit our will. Everything God does is in accord with his will and serves his purpose. (Isaiah 55:11)

    That is how I understand that passage.
     
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  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But ya gotta remember that I'm on the lunatic left-wing fringe, thus I very often take some things found in the scriptures with a grain of salt.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I do pray, and I do hope that my prayers are "heard", but I still tend to believe that these prayers are more for me to contemplate that which is right and moral under Jesus' direction, and then commit myself to act on this. Reminds me of a story about Jesus that didn't quite make it into the Gospels:

    One day after a heavy rain, Jesus and the Twelve were walking along a path and came across a man whose donkey was stuck in the mud, and he was pulling to try and get him out while cursing at this situation. Jesus told the man, "Here, we'll help you get the donkey out", and they did.

    A bit further down the path they came across another man whose donkey was also stuck in the mud, and the man was kneeling on the bank praying "Lord, please get my donkey out". Jesus just shook his head and moved on.

    Now the apostles were quite confused, so Peter asked Jesus "Why did you help that man who was struggling to get his donkey out but was cursing, but then you walked right by the man who was kneeling and praying?". Jesus answered, "Because the latter man wanted me to do all the work".

    So, I look at prayer not so much that I expect God to do whatever, but more along the line that I need to think of what God wants me to do. :shrug:
     
  11. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    Both at correct :) in as much as faith without works is dead

    - But, as James the brother of Jesus said... "Ye have not because ye ask not". Can't rule out Jesus because we can do nothing of ourselves, even as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it abide on the vine

    Or, as Jesus said, "7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

    I like what Jesus said :)
     
  12. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake ️️️️️️️️️️

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    Christians often don't consider what they don't 'know', or think they know.

    Not a good idea.
     
  13. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    It evidently doesn't work, does it? Are all prayers answered by the person receiving what he desired?
     
  14. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    As do I, and I consider the Sermon On the Mount as fully stating the utmost importance of living out of the Gospel and not just paying lip-service to it (I'm not accusing you of doing the latter by any means, just to be clear).

    Jesus said "I came to serve, not to be served", and to me that was him downplaying himself and accentuating his message, and that basic message [simplified] was and is "love one another as I have loved you". What's interesting is that this form of "love" ("agape" in Koine Greek) is considered to be an active noun. IOW, one doesn't just have "agape"-- one lives "agape". However, you probably are already aware of that, so I'm just preaching to the choir. OTOH, if I sing to the choir, church is gonna empty out early.
     
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  15. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    We are definitely seeing the same diamond but at a different angle :D
     
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  16. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't get all the emoji in, so here goes...

    :hearteyes::joycat::smiley::hugehug:

    and last but not least...

    :shrug:
     
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