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Ben Masada

The Power that Prayer does not Have

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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

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

typo

Edited by Darkwind

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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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.

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

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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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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 ..

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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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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

I would never presume that God can't change his mind, or He'd probably change His mind just to spite my insolence.

Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

If the way everything happened was already God's will, then religion itself that has changed so much over the millennia wouldn't exist in the first place. The existence of religion requires us to believe that God changes his mind, unless we are resigned to believe, after picking the religion of our choice, that God didn't exist before that religion.

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Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Defenition of repent:

1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life

2a : to feel regret or contrition

b : to change one's mind

Sounds like they repented by turning from their evil ways (definition 1)

And God repented by changing his mind (definition 2)

If he could change his mind for repenting, he can't through prayer?

Edited by Realm

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Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Defenition of repent:

1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life

2a : to feel regret or contrition

b : to change one's mind

Sounds like they repented by turning from their evil ways (definition 1)

And God repented by changing his mind (definition 2)

If he could change his mind for repenting, he can't through prayer?

God creates man.

Man makes God mad.

God punishes man.

Man prays to God.

God decides not to punish man.

*phew*

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Wouldn't God ( being so all knowing ) already know exactly what man will or will not do? And God would already know the outcome BEFORE it ever happens? So punishing is pointless God saw it before man did ...........If God said - Timmy - Do not travel to Scotland... the time is not right.......Well if Timmy went regardless God would have known what Timmy's next move was before Timmy...!!!!!! Poor Timmy lol

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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.

If God really knows everything, then He already knows the outcome of a prayer request - He knew it before it was asked. If He already knows what will happen, then there isn't any point to prayer, because God CAN'T change His mind, because that would change the outcome. So prayer is a waste of breath.

Doug

P.S.: But that means there is something that God can't do, so God is not all-powerful. So why are you praying to a God that can't do anything about it, anyway?

Religion gives me a headache.

Doug

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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.

In turn, I view prayer in the same light as I view faith. While faith says all about the faithful, hope says all about the thing hoped for. If the prayer of the faithful does not come to fruition, the faithful is to blame for a faulty faith. If the thing hoped-for does not materialize, it is not the fault of the one who hopes but of circumstantial reality.

Ben

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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.

IMHO, the prayer for comfort is of the class of thanksgiving prayers and prayer songs. We acknowledge God's providence without testing His power to prove His generosity beyond the nature we have been created with.

Now, to pray without looking to God for an answer, why would one do that? That would be to pray without faith. The answer, already improbable due to the hope that God would change His mind, on one hand, became impossible for the lack of faith, on the other hand.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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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.

When man was commanded to grow and multiply, according to Genesis 1:28, it didn't mean only to populate the earth but to develop our intellect and to make good use of our free will to help each other. That's the share of God in the wellbeing of man: By using men to help men. Then, our prayers should be of the sort of thanksgiving prayers for having God made that possible by way of His natural laws.

Ben

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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 ..

Most definitely, I agree with you. It is healthy to pray; but requesting prayer is dangerous, as it causes anxiety and disappointment. I mean, if we are in a pressing situation, we ought rather to thank God that our state could be worse and live it at that with praises to the Lord. If God is Omniscient, won't He know what's going on?

Ben

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I would never presume that God can't change his mind, or He'd probably change His mind just to spite my insolence.

Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

If the way everything happened was already God's will, then religion itself that has changed so much over the millennia wouldn't exist in the first place. The existence of religion requires us to believe that God changes his mind, unless we are resigned to believe, after picking the religion of our choice, that God didn't exist before that religion.

You started this post of yours with the right note. Indeed, it would be an insolence to presume that God would change His mind. (Num. 23:19) But that presumption is found in your first quotation of Mark 11:24. The quote of Mat. 7:7, I see as the pursuance of knowledge and research to get enlightened with the Truth.

Religion is no evidence that God changes His mind. Otherwise, it would be a contradiction to God's own Word. IMHO, a church, synagogue, mosque, or any other religious gathering is the least probable place God is to be found. So many crimes and murders have been committed by and in the name of religions that, if God could act like a man, He would loath religions.

Ben

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