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The Power that Prayer does not Have


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#1    Ben Masada

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:45 PM

THE POWER THAT PRAYER DOES NOT HAVE

This might prove to be a time bomb, considering that approximately 95% of theists won't agree with me. Prayers cannot make God change His mind, that's the point. I mean, requesting prayers. That's not simply my opinion but my understanding of Numbers 23:19 in the Torah, where we have that God is not like a man to change His mind.

Prayer, by definition, if we seriously think it through, is an attempt to make God change His mind. I mean, as far
as requesting prayers are concerned. When we pray about something that is missing in our lives, whether in the health sector or something similar, we are simply trying to make God change His mind from the state of ignoring our condition or of being unaware of it into becoming reminded of something that has gone wrong with creation.

Now, allow me to bring into your attention that this thread is not meant to vandalize with the building blocks of faith throughout generations of mankind's existence on earth. But if we are to pray for another who is ill, for instance, it might be effective, but we must let him or her know that we are doing so; otherwise, nothing will happen. Even if we forget it or change our mind, it will be good for both the praying agent and the one we are praying for.

In conclusion, there are three different kinds of prayers: Requesting prayers, thanksgiving prayers, and song prayers. Most Jewish prayers are made by way of songs. But both thanksgiving and song prayers are very salutary. The only problem is with requesting prayers, which implies the pretense to change God's mind. This only causes anxiety. Thanksgiving prayers are good to preserve a happy spiritual mood; and song prayers contribute to elate one's heart into a condition of happiness. The Psalms are of the song kind. Hence, at the rivers of Babylon, when asked to sing, the Jews would decline on the basis that they could not sing songs of Zion in a foreign land. (Psam 137)

Ben


#2    joc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:17 PM

Quote

This might prove to be a time bomb, considering that approximately 95% of theists won't agree with me. Prayers cannot make God change His mind, that's the point. I mean, requesting prayers. That's not simply my opinion but my understanding of Numbers 23:19 in the Torah, where we have that God is not like a man to change His mind.

In my opinion, requesting prayers, are proof that, as a species, our cognitive development is really not all that evolved.  Assuming the point however, that there is in fact a God to pray to:  Suppose I passionately and fervently pray to God for rain...while my neighbor,  passionately and fervently prays to God for no rain.

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#3    GreenmansGod

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:19 PM

Keep that in the books. :yes:  That reasonable and sane.

typo

Edited by Darkwind, 22 September 2012 - 09:03 PM.

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#4    Ben Masada

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:53 PM

View Postjoc, on 22 September 2012 - 08:17 PM, said:

In my opinion, requesting prayers, are proof that, as a species, our cognitive development is really not all that evolved.  Assuming the point however, that there is in fact a God to pray to:  Suppose I passionately and fervently pray to God for rain...while my neighbor,  passionately and fervently prays to God for no rain.

That's the point of the thread. If in this case, rain comes or stays put, it is just the way it goes. IMHO, God won't be moved by the human attempt to change His mind.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada, 22 September 2012 - 08:53 PM.


#5    Ben Masada

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 22 September 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

Keep that in the books. :yes:  That ireasonablele and sane.

Okay, but I am afraid I need some more feedback to understand what you mean by "ireasonablele." What does it mean, is it a foreign language term?

Ben


#6    joc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 22 September 2012 - 08:53 PM, said:

That's the point of the thread. If in this case, rain comes or stays put, it is just the way it goes. IMHO, God won't be moved by the human attempt to change His mind.

Ben
I view prayer in the same light as I view hope.   People hope for things that they have absolutely no ability to control....if they did, they would.  People pray for the same reason, to affect an outcome that cannot be affected by them.   Both Prayer and Hope are desperate acts of desperate people.

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#7    Still Waters

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 22 September 2012 - 07:45 PM, said:

Prayer, by definition, if we seriously think it through, is an attempt to make God change His mind. I mean, as far
as requesting prayers are concerned. When we pray about something that is missing in our lives, whether in the health sector or something similar, we are simply trying to make God change His mind from the state of ignoring our condition or of being unaware of it into becoming reminded of something that has gone wrong with creation.
Not always. A person can pray without looking to God for an answer, and doesn't expect something to happen in response. Just praying can give comfort to some, there doesn't always have to be more to it.

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#8    joc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:04 PM

View PostStill Waters, on 22 September 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

Not always. A person can pray without looking to God for an answer, and doesn't expect something to happen in response. Just praying can give comfort to some, there doesn't always have to be more to it.

...and I should stipulate regarding my posts that I am speaking of only Requestng Prayers...such as Please heal my Heart problem, etc.   There are, as the OP said in his opening thread many kinds of prayers.

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#9    GreenmansGod

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:13 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 22 September 2012 - 08:56 PM, said:

Okay, but I am afraid I need some more feedback to understand what you mean by "ireasonablele." What does it mean, is it a foreign language term?

Ben

sorry ben typo, I fixed it. "Reasonable" was the word.

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#10    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:52 PM

We use "requesting" prayers as a sort of "first step" in emptahy and compassion training with the kids we teach here in Aussie Catholic schools, "asking God to help someone" means we've identified that someone needs help, then we can refine it into seeing what exactly that person needs and eventuslly into what we can do to help that person.


#11    joc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:36 PM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 22 September 2012 - 09:52 PM, said:

We use "requesting" prayers as a sort of "first step" in emptahy and compassion training with the kids we teach here in Aussie Catholic schools, "asking God to help someone" means we've identified that someone needs help, then we can refine it into seeing what exactly that person needs and eventuslly into what we can do to help that person.
Am I to infer from that then, that when you are asking a request of God, that you are not actually asking a request of God, but rather it is just a tool to identify the problem and help you find your own solutions?  I.E.  Dear Lord, James heart hurts, please make it better.  problem: James heart hurts  Possible Solutions: See a heart specialist....that sort of thing?

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#12    Golly Buster

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:45 PM

Praying is like an icecube making an effort to melt so that it becomes a little bit closer to the ocean around it.


#13    joc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:56 PM

View PostGolly Buster, on 22 September 2012 - 10:45 PM, said:

Praying is like an icecube making an effort to melt so that it becomes a little bit closer to the ocean around it.

Or....maybe it is like the ocean, making an effort to freeze so that it becomes a little bit closer to the icecube that it yearns to be.

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#14    Ninhursag

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

I Think Prayers Are Healthy .. Take Away Prayer From Men And There Is Nothing To Live For .. There Would Be No Hope For Better Days Or Curing Illnesses .. The Power Of Prayer IMO Is Very Strong Solely For The Fact That People Believe They Are Praying To Someone Who Is In Greater Control Of Their Lives ..

However, I Do Agree People Should Realize That Request Prayers Should Be Exchanged With Song Prayers And Thanksgiving Prayers .. People Should Learn To Accept Their Situation And Pray God (Or Whoever They Pray To) To Give Them Strenght To Find A Solution To The Problem Instead Of Praying God To Make The Problem Disappear .. Which We All Know Won't Happen ..

And A Propos This, It Links Well To That Post Someone Made About Those Horrible Parents Praying God For Their Sick Son Instead Of Taking Them To The Doc ..

~ Nothing In Nature Is By Chance... Something Appears To Be Chance Only Because Of Our Lack Of Knowledge. - Brauch De Spinoza ~

#15    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:35 AM

View Postjoc, on 22 September 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

Am I to infer from that then, that when you are asking a request of God, that you are not actually asking a request of God, but rather it is just a tool to identify the problem and help you find your own solutions?  I.E.  Dear Lord, James heart hurts, please make it better.  problem: James heart hurts  Possible Solutions: See a heart specialist....that sort of thing?
in a way, I teach five year olds mostly, but the School is a Joesphite one - as in Saint Mary of the Cross McKillop and her famous credo "never see a need without doing something about it", intercessionary prayers are used as part of the "seeing a need" process when exploring actionable charity/compassion.

But there is still the dimension of 'aking God to help"





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