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Is Prayer a form of Petition?


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#1    Ashyne

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 10:25 PM

Quote

Petition; noun: a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a particular cause.

I have always wondered about the reasons for religious people praying to their God when something goes wrong or when they hope for a change. For example, someone is involved in an accident and is fighting for their life and their loved ones are praying to their God for blessings or help. Sometimes these people go on social media (like Facebook or Twitter) to set up and spread hashtags pleading for others (mostly strangers) to pray for the blessing of their loved one who is in critical condition.

To me, an Atheist, this seems no different from a petition. A petition as I quoted above, is basically the same idea of having a group of people raising their voices to be heard by an authority figure, with the more people signing up for the petition, the likelier they are to be heard and listened to. Is this not similar to prayer, when huge groups of people pray to their authority figure (their God/deity) and using the power of many voices to influence the attention of their deity?

Why, then, would a God, benevolent as he is, be so selective and specific as if to say, for example: "If I do not get 10000 prayers, I will not save his person's life!" Would not their God, omnipotent and all-knowing, already have known of this person's struggle which would make redundant the need for prayers in the first place? And if he already knows of the situation and yet does not help the dying person, how would having 100, 1000 or 10000 prayers influence their God's choice to save or bless a person unless that same God is an egoistical being, whom the religious faithful will disagree with?

This absolutely makes no sense at all. Can the religious faithful explain this to me?

Edited by Ashyne, 04 September 2014 - 10:26 PM.

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#2    aka CAT

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 10:51 PM

Persons, as you state, are generally petitioned
by those whom reserve prayer for God.  That
is the case not by reason of some popularity
contest.  Whereas those regarded closest to
God are most petitioned, it is with prayer that
our kind share in His glory.

0:-) MGby.


#3    Ashyne

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 11:01 PM

View Postaka CAT, on 04 September 2014 - 10:51 PM, said:

Persons, as you state, are generally petitioned
by those whom reserve prayer for God.  That
is the case not by reason of some popularity
contest.  Whereas those regarded closest to
God are most petitioned, it is with prayer that
our kind share in His glory.

0:-) MGby.

Why are you writing poetry? And it makes no sense too.

Edited by Ashyne, 04 September 2014 - 11:02 PM.

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#4    bubblykiss

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:16 AM

I often think of prayers and faith as the meat and bread of gods. Food that sustains them.

And I also seem them as the bureaucratic burden of being god....drowning in billions of hopes, wishes, desires, petty lusts and so forth.


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#5    aka CAT

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:59 AM

If I'm rhyming,
it is for God's being love
that my heart is chiming.

May love ultimately prevail.


#6    Opus Magnus

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:01 AM

God knows your prayer before you have entered in the make it.  He already knows what you need, and will supply it if you ask for it and do his will.  He's not going to give you something wrong if you ask for something right.


#7    DieChecker

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:03 AM

View PostAshyne, on 04 September 2014 - 10:25 PM, said:

Would not their God, omnipotent and all-knowing, already have known of this person's struggle which would make redundant the need for prayers in the first place? And if he already knows of the situation and yet does not help the dying person, how would having 100, 1000 or 10000 prayers influence their God's choice to save or bless a person

This is what I see as your question. And as a Christian, who does pray regularly, I agree that God already has a plan for every person. But, the how and when of that plan is not set in stone. Plus, there are the actions of the Enemy, Satan, the Devil, which (supposedly... I'm not convinced of this) can affect God's plan for a person. Praying is a way for a person to ask (Beg?) for some blessing, or miracle, that would affect something beyond that person's ability. A slight edit to how the Plan will happen.

Plus prayer serves a social binding function, in that it can be a group activity, bring a community closer together. Also it can act as a mental/emotional aid, in that knowing so many people care about you can give a person hope. And many times, that hope is what brings someone through. The same effect could be done in other ways, but prayer is a tradition that is very deep.

Prayer can edit what happens to a person, but it can only be done by God's blessing. It is not magic but asking.

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#8    Archangel Oger

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:18 AM

View PostAshyne, on 04 September 2014 - 10:25 PM, said:

I have always wondered about the reasons for religious people praying to their God when something goes wrong or when they hope for a change. For example, someone is involved in an accident and is fighting for their life and their loved ones are praying to their God for blessings or help. Sometimes these people go on social media (like Facebook or Twitter) to set up and spread hashtags pleading for others (mostly strangers) to pray for the blessing of their loved one who is in critical condition.

To me, an Atheist, this seems no different from a petition. A petition as I quoted above, is basically the same idea of having a group of people raising their voices to be heard by an authority figure, with the more people signing up for the petition, the likelier they are to be heard and listened to. Is this not similar to prayer, when huge groups of people pray to their authority figure (their God/deity) and using the power of many voices to influence the attention of their deity?

Why, then, would a God, benevolent as he is, be so selective and specific as if to say, for example: "If I do not get 10000 prayers, I will not save his person's life!" Would not their God, omnipotent and all-knowing, already have known of this person's struggle which would make redundant the need for prayers in the first place? And if he already knows of the situation and yet does not help the dying person, how would having 100, 1000 or 10000 prayers influence their God's choice to save or bless a person unless that same God is an egoistical being, whom the religious faithful will disagree with?

This absolutely makes no sense at all. Can the religious faithful explain this to me?

It's not about those you pray for the person, it's about what the person on their death bed wants prayer to be...If that makes sense.


#9    Archangel Oger

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:21 AM

View PostArchangel Oger, on 05 September 2014 - 05:18 AM, said:

It's not about those you pray for the person, it's about what the person on their death bed wants prayer to be...If that makes sense.

And one more thing, "God" doesn't know what human beings will do read Genesis, it plainly states that he doesn't...Genesis 6:5-6


#10    Archangel Oger

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:26 AM

View PostOpus Magnus, on 05 September 2014 - 01:01 AM, said:

God knows your prayer before you have entered in the make it.  He already knows what you need, and will supply it if you ask for it and do his will.  He's not going to give you something wrong if you ask for something right.

If "God" already knows what you need then why pray for it?  "Christ" warned against that did he not?


#11    DieChecker

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:01 AM

Prayer is also a form of Relationship with God/Jesus/Spirit. Along with worship, prayer is how people communicate with the Divine. It is Relationship with Jesus that should be a Christians primary goal, and thus prayer is a major tool for having that relationship.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#12    Paranoid Android

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:13 AM

While prayer can take the form of a petition, it is not always the case.  At its heart, prayer is simply talking to God.  This can be as simple as sharing your day with him, telling him about what went on.  He already knows, he doesn't NEED you to tell him what happened, but that's how relationships work - communication.  Sometimes that does mean asking for help with something.  And while I've never personally sent out a hashtag request for prayers, I can see why people do.  And usually it's more about letting people know that you're going through a tough time, so if you pray for them, you'll feel better that people are silently offering you their moral support, and if that makes it easier on you, then it's done its job.  If it helps with the problem itself and God intervenes, then even better.  But numbers don't count when it comes to prayer.  If one person prays or a million people pray for something, it won't affect God's grand scheme.  It's about the talking to God that's important, the relationship building between mankind and its creator, and God will intervene as he wills, within his plan.

That's how I see it, at least :tu:

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#13    XenoFish

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

Prayer is a form of release. A means of getting one's thoughts and feeling out of themselves. Just a way of letting go. Express it, don't repress it.

Edited by XenoFish, 05 September 2014 - 09:41 AM.

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#14    Magnanimus

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:01 AM

No, God doesn't check His Facebook and His screen name is 216 characters long, so He never bothered with Twitter.

But what you're describing is the sad, b****** offspring of ancient tradition and the convenience of the internet.

It's been well established that the power of prayer from a community has a tremendous effect on a persons ability to come back from trauma or illness. The faithful side of me will tell you that it comes from the deepest subtleties of spirituality that exist outside of logical comprehension. Then the pragmatic side of me also reminds me that any communal animal has a much higher chance of survival, and that whether someone is consciously aware of a supportive community or not, their unconscious will be aware of it and rise to the occasion.  As much as we want to think that we're our own person, there is no single greater motivator than social pressure, or the pressure to perform to our community's expectations.

Remember that a church is a congregation, not a building. Social media has taken off with the idea of alerting a community of one of their own's troubles and twisted it into a way to get attention from other people. It's not about uniting a community in spirit to take care of one of their own, if anything it dilutes it; depersonalizes it.


#15    fullywired

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 02:06 PM

What nearly everybody seems  saying here is that it is a waste of time and will not make a wit of difference to God

  fullywired

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