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What exactly is prayer for and suppose to do?


Premium Member
To me, prayer is talking to God. Formal prayer I do the kneeling thing but most of the time I just talk to God (not out loud unless I am totally alone, I don't anyone to think I am nuts).

Mister Emu

Emu Extraordinaire
Staff member
Premium Member
Communication with the divine...

There are many types of prayers, including prayers of thanksgiving and petitionary prayers...


Veteran Member
Often times its asking god to do stuff he wouldn't do on his own initiative, catering to his need to be needed. "Please god cure my s . . .tu . . . tu . . . tutering." Sometimes it's thanking him for correcting crap he had set in motion or let get out of control. "thank you heavenly father for putting an end to the fury of hurricane Katrina." Then there are prayers of gratitude for sparing one from the misery that befell others. "Thank you lord for saving me from dying in the plane crash that took the lives of so many others." An important one is the teddy bear pleasure one gets when talking to a kindly parental figure. "Hey, god, remember last time we talked about my trouble with hitting high F in choir? Well . . . ." Lastly, there's this weird compulsion to attribute outcomes to stuff he had no hand in. "Thank you god for the new job I start next Monday."


Ninja Master
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7: 7-11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. "


Well-Known Member
I use some prayers as mantras or as a form of meditation. I pray for others when they ask me to, but more as a way of cultivating compassion than believing that prayers can supernaturally affect anything. I use it to connect to aspects of myself, including entities, although I tend to think these entities are a product of my brain as much as my ego rather than actual spirits. And I use it for other purposes as well....

I also practice meditation and mindfulness.


RF Goddess
Staff member
Premium Member
Of course prayer is supposed to do something. Imo, meditation is the best form of prayer. It isn't so much about 'talking', it's about forming a conscious connection with the Divine.


Well-Known Member
It isn't so much about 'talking', it's about forming a conscious connection with the Divine.

This is how I see it. Even the prayers I use with words are ultimately to still my mind, like a mantra. I don't see prayer as a wish list to Santa, though many treat it that way.


Well-Known Member
ChristineES said:
To me, prayer is talking to God. Formal prayer I do the kneeling thing but most of the time I just talk to God (not out loud unless I am totally alone, I don't anyone to think I am nuts).

What is talking to God for? What is it supposed to do?


Veteran Member
fantôme profane;2181302 said:
Are you saying that a response is not supposed to do anything?
In this instance yes I am.
I look at the ocean and my response is a smile. It's along the same vein.

Kilgore Trout

Misanthropic Humanist
It's a self-soothing, psychological mechanism, like biting your nails or reciting lists in your head. I'd say it generally does what it's supposed to.

Eliot Wild

Irreverent Agnostic Jerk
Since God is omniscient and already knows what I'm going to tell him when I pray, prayer for me is usually a futile effort at making God laugh:

"Hey God, did you hear the one about Peewee Herman, Osama bin Laden and the Catholic Priest? Pshaw, of course you did. Okay, but did you hear the one about the talking Donkey and the bald monkey? Oh, really, heard that one too, huh. Well, did you hear the one about . . . "

It can be a bit frustrating trying to find a punchline that'll catch God by surprise, that I'll admit.


Just me
Premium Member
Just as worship is a ritualization of the relationship with the world that is love, prayer is a ritualization of the inner dialogue with the world that is conscious existence.


Veteran Member
prayer is having a conversation with yourself while being as objective and truthful as you can be


Well-Known Member
stephenw said:
It's not supposed to do anything - it's a response.

Very interesting. So all these people who cite instances of prayer "working" because it had an effect...these people are actually demonstrating that what they experienced was NOT prayer.