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why should we pray

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by robtex, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    "I still haven't received a satisfactory answer to why should anyone pray?"

    MdmSzdWhtGuy said the above qoute. It is a great question. Why pray?

    I have to think that prayer is two things:

    1) Mankinds acknowledgement that he is powerless to stop or change some things in life

    2) The condition of the human personality to never give-up even when there is nothing they can do about the situation at hand.

    original post:

    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25679&page=1&pp=10

    So the debate is why pray?
     
  2. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    For our benefit, not God. to develop a relationship with him. Your wife knows you love her, but you tell her to keep that love at the surface, not buried. God knows what our needs are. And by asking, is acknowledging his presence in your life.
     
  3. Flappycat

    Flappycat Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I've generally found that it's a lot more effective to find something useful to do, even if it isn't particularly useful. We build monuments for people after they've died, for example. It isn't as if we can give them the monument, but making it satisfies the urge to "do something."
     
  4. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    Because God has designed prayer to have an effect on Him, so that when we pray it has an effect . . . prayer is the radio in the battlefield . . . we have to call for support often
     
  5. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Great question. I rarely pray. It's just never something that I've been able to dedicate myself to. I've been like that my entire life as far as I can remember. I figure that if there is a God, he can see me and knows what I need. He knows of my gratitude to him through my actions.

    If there is something in my life that I am struggling with I'll get down on my knees, but I've never been able to figure out the usefulness of praying day and night.
     
  6. Flappycat

    Flappycat Well-Known Member

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    It's always a "battlefield" with these people. Why?
     
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  7. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Why do we pray?

    Andrew Murray once postulated that we pray for precisely the same reason we see a doctor: we feel the need. As Jonny so aptly pointed out, if you don't feel it does any good, they why do it?

    Do I feel the need to pray? Continually. To me prayer is a two way street! I try to express to God what my feelings or dilemmas are and he uses this time to change my heart and lead me to understand his will. As the song writer aptly pointed out: Sometimes he calms the storm, and sometimes he calms his child. Prayer is my mantra. It's my "I think I can" chant as I approach life's many problems. It helps me to focus on just what I need to do and gives me the resolve to carry it through.

    Are there other reasons to pray? As many as there are stars in the heavens. I would love to hear some more from others! :D
     
  8. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    if for no other reason than to remind ourselves what we have to be greatfull for.
    Prayer is in my faith primarily a way to express thankfullness, to Creator, the ancestors and spirits who guide, protect and provide for us.
    Once in a while asking for a little guidance doesn't hurt either. :cool:

    wa:do
     
  9. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    I like this:

    "The Eternal has His intentions from all eternity. If prayer accords with His immutable wishes, it is quite useless to ask of Him what He has resolved to do. If one prays Him to do the contrary of what He has resolved, it is praying that He be weak, frivolous, inconstant; it is believing that He is all these things; it is to mock Him. Either you ask Him a just thing, in which case He must do it, and the thing will be done without your praying Him for it --entreating Him is even to distrust Him. You are worthy or unworthy of the grace you implore: if worthy, He knows it better than you; if unworthy, you commit one more crime by asking for what you do not deserve.

    In a word, we pray to God only because we have made Him in our image. We treat Him like a pasha, like a sultan whom one may provoke and appease. In short, all nations pray to God: wise men resign themselves and obey Him. Let us pray with the people, and resign ourselves with the wise men."-selection from Voltaire.

    I think this is a good description of the inanity of praying for. This is what I think of when people ask for prayers when someone is suffering. Humans suffer. If God would relieve us of suffering through prayer then I doubt there would be more than one religion and everyone for their own selfish health would be a believer.

    However, I note that many if not most people I know do not pray for intervention. My hats off to jonny.
     
  10. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong. This isn't something that I'm pround of. It's just the way I am. I've tried praying regularly, but the only thing that motivates me to do it is peer pressure... Sad, isn't it.
     
  11. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    I'm kind of like that, too, but I'm making huge efforts to pray every day. Here's why.

    Yes, god can see my actions and knows the reasons behind what I'm doing. He knows if I'm greatful for stuff or not. But sometimes, I don't (at least not conciously). It's one thing to be subconciously greatufll for something, but quite another to have to conciously think about the many blessings in my life. It helps me remember. Also, it strengthens my faith. If I spend a few minutes praying in the morning and in the night, it makes me think about why I even bother. It helps me ponder my faith in God and Christ.

    Hmmmm, I had something else, but I don't remember what.
     
  12. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    God knows my heart. But when I confess my thoughts to him and ask him for guidance or for reassurance...I feel so much closer to him. Sometimes it's during prayer and praise that I really feel the Holy Spirit work in my life...I'll be directed to scripture that I need to be focusing on...problems in my life will come into focus or I'll receive spiritual confirmation or reassurance regarding specific issues. Prayer (along with praise with me) really helps me grow spiritually.

    And when you make a habit of praying and praising God as much as possible...you kind of get locked in "praise and worship" mode. I find I'm far less vulnerable to Satan's influence...because my focus is pretty much locked on God. And it doesn't get much groovier than that. :D

    "See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
     
  13. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hmm,

    thanks for starting this thread Robtex, but I still don't really see where people are getting much out of praying they couldn't get from meditation. Anyone here beleive that they are getting thier prayers answered?

    When you pray, aren't you asking for things? Do you ever get any of the things you are asking for?

    Or do you just tell God about all the various sins you have committed. If so, do you think you are telling God something He doesn't already know?

    I grew up in a family that prayed before every meal, played baseball for a coach who had us praying before every game, and was in church 3 times a week witnessing people ask other paritioners to pray for them. I never really saw anyone gain anything tangible from these prayers, and was just wondering if anyone is personally getting anything out of prayer. Anyone who had a finger or hand amputated pray for it to be regenerated, and it grew back? Or anything along those lines.

    B.
     
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  14. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Daily prayer AND meditation are part and parcel of the Baha`i Faith.
    We have our choice of three daily obligatory prayers.
    As to meditation:
    "31. O SON OF BEING!
    Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds."
    (Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

    "Bahá'u'lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time -- he cannot both speak and meditate.
    It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed. 175
    You cannot apply the name 'man' to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.
    Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit -- the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.
    The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.
    Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.
    This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God."
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 174)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  15. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Howdy. :D

    In some ways, prayer is very similar to meditation. I pray silently...reflectively...loud and joyfully...I talk to God about anything and everything. Truly, he's not only my Heavenly Father, he's my great psychiatrist. :D I pray about myself...I pray about others (a lot). I pray for my country...for other countries...for people I don't even know sometimes....I pray about everything.

    And yes, I see prayers answered constantly. In fact, I would say God answers ALL of my prayers...maybe not in the way that I would want or in my timing...but trust me, he knows better for me than I do. So, you know...

    And yeah...I also confess my sins to God. My sin has already been bought by Jesus Christ but I have to repent.

    God knows everything. But when I speak with him...I'm connecting with him...I WANT to hear, see...feel anything that God wants for me to hear, see or feel. So...prayer (and praise) is a nice way to try to build an intimate relationship with him through Christ.

    My phalanges are in tact. :D So, I haven't had to pray for limb or appendage regeneration but I HAVE layed hands on people and have prayed and have seen GOD work with my actual eyeballs...:eek:

    And the Bible says that when we pray...we're to believe on what we're praying for...Faith is a really powerful thing . When I pray and ask for things...I try to approach God in faith...I actually thank him in advance sometimes for providing for me and for leading me out of difficult situations. He provides...he's never let me down...

    "For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain "Be removed and be cast into the sea" and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says" Mark 11:23

    "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them." Mark 11:24
     
  16. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    Those two passages indicate that there will be an answer to the prayers, and that if you have faith, then that answer will be the one you are looking for, such as moving a mountain. Anyone ever moved a mountain by prayer? Or produce anything supernatural by praying? (e.g. grow back a severed digit or limb, etc. . . . )

    I am looking for real anectodal evidence of the benefits of prayer, and thus far have not seen any.

    B.
     
  17. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    When you find it...I'd love to see it.:D

    I think the whole reference to moving a mountain was symbolic of large issues in our lives, although...anything is possible in Christ...so you never, never know...

    The Bible says that ANYTHING is possible in Christ. But I think for the most part, you have to have belief in Christ and faith to "move mountains" or regenerate severed limbs. :D

    Much of the mystery and beauty of walking by faith are all the things that you CAN'T actually see with your eyeballs.
     
  18. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Wow...so amazing how repetitive my posts are...:bonk:
     
  19. Snowbear

    Snowbear Nita Okhata

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    'cause He asks us to?
    And to me, the words to live by. That I try to achieve every day and seem to fail miserably as I break down in tears:
     
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  20. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Asking for actual anecdotal evidence of answered prayers really killed this thread didn't it?

    Nobody ever prayed for anything that required supernatural intervention and got what they were asking for?

    Hmm. . . .

    B.
     
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