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Prayer

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the wildcard in all this for me is the nature of spirituality as a whole, and the fact that with my own eyes and senses i have seen/felt things which cannot be explained by the known laws of physics. this is not to invoke a god-of-the-gaps fallacy; these experiences were in the realm of eastern physiological manifestation related to the martial arts and the use of metaphysical powers to harmonize the body, or to heal, or to destroy. with my own eyes and my own body i have seen and felt the effects of what is usually referred to as chi and its projection through oneself.

 

those legends of monks blowing up trees or turning on televisions with their minds or setting fire to a basket of papers without touching it - those legends have more backing them than how cool crouching tiger hidden dragon was. and it is with this caution that i approach christian spirituality, noting how 99.99999% of the western world calls bullshit on eastern physiology and spiritual activity when i know from personal experience that the opposite is true.

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That's good. Jesus didn't technically have to pray but did. I think prayer is in proportion to our humility of realizing we dont have all the answers.

Some of the best prayers in the bible are the most honest ones. Be it angry or fearful or like one guy who beat his chest and just said iam a sinful man.
I don't think God cares about our eloquence or ability to wax poetically but rather being humble in heart.

 

as a christian you don't believe prayer can inspire healing externally? or change a situation through divine intervention?

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Ever watch baseball philly? Notice anything a batter does before they hit? Besides scratching..

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Ever watch baseball philly? Notice anything a batter does before they hit? Besides scratching..

 

so you believe prayer is superstition? 

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i've heard weird stuff from people i trust. like they just had a feeling they needed to send 100 bucks to a friend. turned out the guy needed that money badly. they lived across the country and hadn't talked in years.

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so you believe prayer is superstition?


Nope. Its very similar to what del said. For some its help them focus and lock in on the task at hand.

I like being optimistic enough to think a miracle can happen. If it didn't happen the way I wanted or expected it doesn't mean the lesson learned can't one day be the actual miracle that was needed, not necessarily what was wanted.

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Nope. Its very similar to what del said. For some its help them focus and lock in on the task at hand.
 

 

but that definition of prayer is superstition. it's a glorified version of psyching oneself out. if prayer does not inspire the agency of an external deity than it is not prayer, unless you seek to change the very definition of prayer as it has been understood in the christian tradition.

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When I pray, it's everything from giving thanks, asking for help, asking for guidance, etc.

 

Do I think God directly listens to this and in turn my prayers effect my outcomes?  No.  But, as already said, it can serve as something to help me reflect, focus, meditate, talk issues out, etc. 

 

In the past, it was something I did out of habit/because it was what I was "supposed" to do.  Since I've found myself believing more in a personal and unique relationship with God as opposed to the stereotypical Southern Baptist environment I was raised in, prayer has more meaning to me.  Not only through my faith, but as a person in general, is can serve if nothing else to focus myself and realize everything from how blessed I am to what I need to work on as a person. 

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Can we prove God doesn't hear? Or acts? Hard to prove he does as well so I guess its..its...faith.

Philly I get the impression your mind is already made up. I could be wrong.

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for those interested in the discussion (and because i'm about to copy and paste it into the facebook discussion i'm having of a similar nature) i quote at length bishop spong:

 

 

 

In 1981 my wife, Joan, received a cancer diagnosis that was determined in all probability to be fatal. Because we were a well-known and publicly-identified family in New Jersey, this news became public knowledge almost immediately. The religious resources of our people and our friends were quickly mobilized. Prayer groups throughout the diocese and even in ecumenical settings added my wife to their list of special intentions. Her name was spoken regularly during the prayers of the people in public worship in almost all of our churches. Concern, caring, and love were communicated to both of us by those actions, and we received that caring with deep appreciation. Remission did appear to have been achieved, and Joan lived for six and a half years from diagnosis to death. That was beyond anything that the doctors had led us to believe was possible. As this realization of a prolonged remission began to dawn, the people who were most concerned and whose prayers were the most intense began to take credit for her longevity. "Our prayers are working," they claimed. "God is using our prayers to keep this malevolent disease at bay." Perhaps there was present still that ancient but unspoken assumption that this sickness was the work of the devil and that this evil work was being thwarted by the power of God loosed through the prayers of God's people.

 

Despite my gratitude for the embracing love that these people demonstrated, both for me and for my wife, I could not help but be troubled at their explanations. Suppose, I queried to myself alone, that a sanitation worker in Newark, New Jersey, probably the city with the lowest per capita income in the United States, has a wife who had received the same diagnosis. Because he is not a high-profile person, well connected to a large network of people, socially prominent, or covered by the press, the sickness of his wife never comes to public attention. Suppose he is not a religiously oriented person and thus prayer groups and individual petitions in hundreds of churches are not offered on his wife's behalf. Would that affect the course of her sickness? Would she live less time from diagnosis to death, endure more obvious pain, or face a more difficult dying? If so, would that not be to attribute to God not only a capricious nature, but also a value system shaped by human importance and the worldly standards of social elitism? Would I be interested in worshipping a god who would treat my wife differently because we had opportunities in life that the sanitation worker had not had? Do I want to attribute to the deity a behavior pattern based on human status?

 

 

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Can we prove God doesn't hear? Or acts? Hard to prove he does as well so I guess its..its...faith.

Philly I get the impression your mind is already made up. I could be wrong.

 

if my mind was made up i wouldn't have bothered to make this thread

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Why did people in the bible pray? Jesus wasn't exactly the Great Gatsby and he seemed to make it a point to pray. Especially before encountering large crowds of people. Why would he do that and why would the writer even mention it?

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