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Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
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kbell Offline
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Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
What is the purpose of prayer for you? And why do you pray?


These questions have been in my mind for sometime, every time I go to high holidays at a local synagogue. I feel like I'm wasting my time there, and its a 4 hour + service where most the words are how great Hashem is. Very repetitive. The most interesting part is where they read the Torah (or old testament). When I was younger I would go every week and felt content with the length and the service. Went to college and now can't stand being there.

Why I bring this up is that I feel like something foundational is missing. Spirituality. I don't meant this regarding about one religion either. In Peterson's book he mentions religion keeping people functional in society. Without it you tend to slide in nihilism and whatever the trend is of the day.
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2018 10:13 AM by kbell.)
10-07-2018 09:45 AM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Great post!

I think all religions do an excellent job of giving people a basic guide to living a successful, meaningful life. If you dissect each constraint that the religion teaches, you can almost always see its purpose, simply from looking into its void in the hedonistic world we live in.

I see the prayer as no different.

Many Psychologists, sociologists, etc. advice meditating. This is basically clearing your mind from the endless back and forth thoughts that bounce around constantly. I strongly believe the engineers of religion, whether knowingly, or unknowingly, structured the prayer to do the same exact thing.

In addition to this, I think the prayer gives people hope and fights nihilism. When practiced "religiously", I think it has a "brainwashing" effect (not necessarily negative) on the worshiper.
10-07-2018 11:03 AM
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debeguiled Offline
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
For someone who doesn't believe in God, the first prayers are to find out if he exists.

For someone who believes he exists, the next prayers are to find out if he is good.

For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

For someone who knows which God to believe in, prayer is to find a calling in life.

For someone who hasn't found a calling in life, prayer is to keep asking for one.

For someone who has found a calling in life, prayer is to complain about how hard your calling is.

For someone who has done all this, prayer is to ask for guidance, healing for other people. healing for yourself, understanding, favors, express hopes and dreams, or to just sit quietly and wait to see what God has to say to you.

Sometimes these prayers are answered in ways that could be coincidence, sometimes in ways that cannot, sometimes they are answered merely by letting you pour out the contents of your heart so you can come to a new understanding by yourself.

All of the prayers you make for other people are especially powerful, whether you see results or not, because they keep the troubles and needs of someone other than yourself in your mind throughout the day.

It is obvious as well that all of this, even when it doesn't yield tangible fruit, is in fact the deepest kind of therapy possible, because God isn't like a human therapist in that he knows exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Knowing as you go through your day that you are going to pray at some point keeps your deepest feelings, fears, insecurities, pains, hopes for the future, all in your mind to receive conscious attention, so they don't get swept under the rug and ignored, like the women in your life want them to be.

This increases your spiritual and emotional strength to complement your will and your physical stamina. It can lead to a peace and joy even in the midst of chaos that cannot be attained in any other way.

It isn't an easy path though, because often the things that God knows you need are the exact opposite of what you want, and they make it hard to believe that he is a good God.

That's okay though, because he can handle complaint and even abuse.

Better him than your dog.

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

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10-07-2018 11:48 AM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Wow debe that was great

10-07-2018 12:44 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
@chrisblackbeard- perhaps prayer through the repetition forms a mantra, and that lets you offset those modern mental maladies. Year Zero Thinking LOZ likes to say. From a rational point of view it doesn't make sense to keep repeating the same thing, but prayer isn't really rational and maybe that's the point.

@debeguiled- Wow! Awesome post. Perhaps these thoughts are how you guide these mantras (or prayers) in this case. Can you elaborate on this part a bit.

Quote:It is obvious as well that all of this, even when it doesn't yield tangible fruit, is in fact the deepest kind of therapy possible, because God isn't like a human therapist in that he knows exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Knowing as you go through your day that you are going to pray at some point keeps your deepest feelings, fears, insecurities, pains, hopes for the future, all in your mind to receive conscious attention, so they don't get swept under the rug and ignored, like the women in your life want them to be.

How is it the deepest type of therapy? I read in one mindfullness book to offset your daily concerns to a higher diety takes huge load of your mind, is this what you mean?
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2018 12:56 PM by kbell.)
10-07-2018 12:54 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Prayer is the only time when I feel God is truly listening. And I thank Him (Jesus) for the small and great things in my life, from my health down to my pets. If everything seems to be caving in on my business plans or love life... I just think of Job in the Old Testament who, if memory serves, had a bonafide reason to complain (not that God agreed with it, of course).

Then I think about North Koreans in work camps or Afghani children and thank Him I don't have it THAT bad.
10-07-2018 08:58 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-07-2018 12:54 PM)kbell Wrote:  @debeguiled- Wow! Awesome post. Perhaps these thoughts are how you guide these mantras (or prayers) in this case. Can you elaborate on this part a bit.

I don't do mantras. Seems like you should start with your own tradition and its prayers.

Otherwise, find a quiet spot and sit down, show a little reverence, and speak from the heart. Then wait.

Quote:It is obvious as well that all of this, even when it doesn't yield tangible fruit, is in fact the deepest kind of therapy possible, because God isn't like a human therapist in that he knows exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Knowing as you go through your day that you are going to pray at some point keeps your deepest feelings, fears, insecurities, pains, hopes for the future, all in your mind to receive conscious attention, so they don't get swept under the rug and ignored, like the women in your life want them to be.

Quote:How is it the deepest type of therapy? I read in one mindfullness book to offset your daily concerns to a higher diety takes huge load of your mind, is this what you mean?

Yeah, that is part of it. Mostly I was trying to connect prayer to an activity that people already understand to help explain it.

In my earlier post I left out one of the most important parts of prayer, which is forgiveness. When you pray, you can apologize for the things you have done to others and know you are forgiven, so you don't have to carry your regrets around for the rest of your life like everyone else. You can let them go.

That connects to the therapy aspect as well.

Anyway, there are a million different traditions with their own approaches. I like the simple personal approach, speaking in your mind to God like you would to a loving father. Works better than something like the rosary or the Jesus prayer for me, but again, everyone is different.

Or you could just learn Ge'ez, and follow the instructions on an Ethiopian scroll or something.

[Image: IMG_20180316_104444-16a1ty3.png]

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

911
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2018 11:40 AM by debeguiled.)
10-08-2018 11:15 AM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-07-2018 08:58 PM)Soothesayer Wrote:  Then I think about North Koreans in work camps or Afghani children and thank Him I don't have it THAT bad.

I was about to mention this. Many people pray because they are grateful. For the first time in human history half the world is middle class or rich. You should be grateful to be born in this group and in this time period.

[Image: 20180927_futuredevelopment_fig1.png?w=76...;amp;ssl=1]
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-de...wealthier/
10-08-2018 12:06 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
ALL of it is subconscious mind programming when you remove the facades..

If you're going to program your mind over and over again through prayer or affirmations or anything, make sure that YOU come up with the code that's going to be burned into your subconscious mind, or at least be very selective from the available pools of ideas.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2018 05:49 PM by JackinMelbourne.)
10-08-2018 05:48 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-08-2018 05:48 PM)JackinMelbourne Wrote:  ALL of it is subconscious mind programming when you remove the facades..

I think there are other threads to debate the existence of God, or Facade, as you call him.

KBell was asking about prayer, to be educated on the true nature of his views.

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

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10-08-2018 05:58 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
If you really think about it, prayer is sort of like asking God to change his mind.

Also, I've often questioned how prayer is related to faith since prayer is clinging to something and faith is suppose to be letting go and not clinging to anything.

But I definitely don\t have all the answers.
10-08-2018 06:55 PM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-08-2018 05:58 PM)debeguiled Wrote:  
(10-08-2018 05:48 PM)JackinMelbourne Wrote:  ALL of it is subconscious mind programming when you remove the facades..

I think there are other threads to debate the existence of God, or Facade, as you call him.

KBell was asking about prayer, to be educated on the true nature of his views.

I was referring to programming your own mind, that's what prayer really is. You are god, we all are and god is everything. But as you said, there are probably other threads about that and about religion(s).

By "facade" I was referring to everything masking what prayer is at it's core. Why I pray, and the purpose of prayer? To program the sub-conscious mind with correct material.

You might (probably not) notice that there is a LOT of corrupt programming going on via media, internet, society etc. People don't notice how it's incorrectly programming the sub-conscious mind. Thoughtful prayer, affirmations or self hypnosis with clear intent guards against sub-conscious corruption from external sources with ulterior motives.
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2018 04:33 AM by JackinMelbourne.)
10-09-2018 04:20 AM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
[The following post is comprised of six different posts bundled together into one long post. Take your time when reading this post and any associated links. Don't rely on what I think based from my post, but make your own interpretations instead.]
_______________________________________________

(10-07-2018 09:45 AM)kbell Wrote:  What is the purpose of prayer for you? And why do you pray?

[...]

Why I bring this up is that I feel like something foundational is missing. Spirituality. I don't meant this regarding about one religion either. In Peterson's book he mentions religion keeping people functional in society. Without it you tend to slide in nihilism and whatever the trend is of the day.
#101
When I pray, it's usually in gratitude for being alive today to experience this wonderful world. It's a prayer of thanks for having a good family, a home for shelter and daily food & water. I also pray to seek guidance as I gradually find the truth through "precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little". As it's said in Daniel 12:4, "many shall to go and fro, and knowledge shall be increased". Lastly, I pray for reassurance whenever I go off the bullseye of good and venture outside the center where sin resides.

One thing I learned in this life is to differentiate the inherent, natural truth from whatever doctrines any religious organsation tells people to do. In order to be free, a person has to ignore the conventions of the world, as well as its programming. If a person is a true believer, they wouldn't follow any of the commandments by "mere men", even if costs them everything in this world.

The spiritual condition of the world today is the most confused one in history. There appears to be a type of inverse relationship between material wealth and spiritual wealth. A quick look at the events across the world over time has demonstrated this confusion of the spirit. They say there are prophecies waiting to be fulfilled. My view of this subject is to "wait and see".

If anyone here wants a reality check or to bring themselves in line, read the entirerty of the Book of Ecclesiastes.
_______________________________________________

(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who doesn't believe in God, the first prayers are to find out if he exists.

For someone who believes he exists, the next prayers are to find out if he is good.

For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

For someone who knows which God to believe in, prayer is to find a calling in life.

For someone who hasn't found a calling in life, prayer is to keep asking for one.

For someone who has found a calling in life, prayer is to complain about how hard your calling is.

For someone who has done all this, prayer is to ask for guidance, healing for other people. healing for yourself, understanding, favors, express hopes and dreams, or to just sit quietly and wait to see what God has to say to you.

For anyone here wondering what debeguiled is discussing here, please refer to the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13:3-9:
Quote:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The following four types from the parable are as follows:
  • The first type doesn't have a chance to hear the call because an external influence snatched away the opportunity.
  • The second type possesses a superficial belief and has no real conviction. As soon as adversity occurs, they'll fold and quit.
  • The third type has real conviction that was lacking from the second type. However, the problem for this third type is that they still have a strong attachment towards material things or worldly abstract concepts. They are "stuck in thorns" so to speak, thus preventing them from finding the unadulterated truth.
  • The fourth type is the one who completely understood the call and completely accepted it at some point. Those whose fruits multiply the most are usually either those with the strongest convictions or those with the biggest turnarounds from evil. The apostle Paul is one such example. He, as Saul went from persecuting the early Christians to, as Paul, becoming one of the most devoted and dedicated apostles of Christ.
With any of the types, a person will usually go between each of the second to fourth types if they've understood the call. If a person is currently clueless about this, the first type applies to them. Only with full submission to the truth can a person multiply their fruits & remain as the fourth type.
_______________________________________________

(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  Sometimes these prayers are answered in ways that could be coincidence, sometimes in ways that cannot, sometimes they are answered merely by letting you pour out the contents of your heart so you can come to a new understanding by yourself.

All of the prayers you make for other people are especially powerful, whether you see results or not, because they keep the troubles and needs of someone other than yourself in your mind throughout the day.

It is obvious as well that all of this, even when it doesn't yield tangible fruit, is in fact the deepest kind of therapy possible, because God isn't like a human therapist in that he knows exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Knowing as you go through your day that you are going to pray at some point keeps your deepest feelings, fears, insecurities, pains, hopes for the future, all in your mind to receive conscious attention, so they don't get swept under the rug and ignored, like the women in your life want them to be.

This increases your spiritual and emotional strength to complement your will and your physical stamina. It can lead to a peace and joy even in the midst of chaos that cannot be attained in any other way.

It isn't an easy path though, because often the things that God knows you need are the exact opposite of what you want, and they make it hard to believe that he is a good God.

Expanding on this point, for any prayer to be understood, a person has to look beyond only good or bad. A person must take their intent to account when praying. I think there's no point in wishing for a benefit if it's at the cost of others since it's the same as wishing misfortune of others. Just look at the system of law today. It's clear that the law doesn't account for the "spirit of the law", or intent. Just look at the recent Judge Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation circus to understand the unaccounted component of intent today.

Strange things have occurred throughout history. They may or may not have involved prayer or the fulfilment of prophecies. If any prophecies are to actually occur, they are only ever understood at the time of fulfilment, or in everyday terms, as they occur.

(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  That's okay though, because he can handle complaint and even abuse.

Better him than your dog.

Just look at the Old Testament. One of the main themes I got from reading the entire Old Testament is the complete lack of faith and constant complaining. The constant complaining and lack of faith over the centuries culminated in the Crucifixion and the rejection of the truth confirmed with the stoning of Stephen. It's no wonder the descendants of the ancients from the Old Testament are cursed and generally despised since then, and even in today's world.
_______________________________________________

(10-08-2018 11:15 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  In my earlier post I left out one of the most important parts of prayer, which is forgiveness. When you pray, you can apologize for the things you have done to others and know you are forgiven, so you don't have to carry your regrets around for the rest of your life like everyone else. You can let them go.

That connects to the therapy aspect as well.

In order to be free, a person needs to let go of anything that's disrupting their spiritual growth. It is said in Matthew 18:21-35 that forgiveness must be given "not up to seven times, but seventy times seven". While the statement may be exaggerated, the principle of the statement is that a person should be as patient as possible with others and not get too worked up with honest or misguided mistakes.

I heard this saying from an elderly man & I don't know if he got this from someone else or if he just made it up. He said that "the quality of a person's life experiences is inversely related to the amount and depth of unrepented regrets".

It reminds me of that nurse who described the top 5 regrets of the dying.

(10-08-2018 12:06 PM)Kish Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 08:58 PM)Soothesayer Wrote:  Then I think about North Koreans in work camps or Afghani children and thank Him I don't have it THAT bad.

I was about to mention this. Many people pray because they are grateful. For the first time in human history half the world is middle class or rich. You should be grateful to be born in this group and in this time period.

https://i1.wp.com/www.brookings.edu/wp-c...99px&ssl=1
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-de...wealthier/

I know there's plenty of memes about this, but it looks like the current generations may live long enough to witness an unprecedented event within their lifetime.
_______________________________________________

(10-08-2018 06:55 PM)LINUX Wrote:  If you really think about it, prayer is sort of like asking God to change his mind.

Also, I've often questioned how prayer is related to faith since prayer is clinging to something and faith is suppose to be letting go and not clinging to anything.

But I definitely don't have all the answers.

Once God has decided on doing something, that's it. However, people change all the time, whether it's our bodily structure, actions, or beliefs. No human will know the whole truth within their lifetime and that applies to everyone, from the greatest to the least.
_______________________________________________

(10-09-2018 04:20 AM)JackinMelbourne Wrote:  I was referring to programming your own mind, that's what prayer really is. You are god, we all are and god is everything. But as you said, there are probably other threads about that and about religion(s).

By "facade" I was referring to everything masking what prayer is at it's core. Why I pray, and the purpose of prayer? To program the sub-conscious mind with correct thought.

You might (probably not) notice that there is a LOT of corrupt programming going on via media, internet, society etc. People don't notice how it's incorrectly programming the sub-conscious mind. Thoughtful prayer, affirmations or self hypnosis with clear intent guards against sub-conscious corruption from external sources with ulterior motives.

Everywhere, people face temptations every day. Read these passages and make your own interpretation of each one.

Ephesians 2:2 KJV
Quote:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV
Quote:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Daniel 7:23-25 KJV
Quote:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Matthew 24:4-14 KJV
Quote:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:32-41 KJV
Quote:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
_______________________________________________
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(This post was last modified: 10-09-2018 05:45 AM by Built to Fade.)
10-09-2018 05:43 AM
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RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
C.S. Lewis, Work and Prayer

Quote:https://redeeminggod.com/work-and-prayer-by-c-s-lewis/
Even if I grant your point and admit that answers to prayer are theoretically possible, I shall still think they are infinitely improbable. I don’t think it at all likely that God requires the ill-informed (and contradictory) advice of us humans as to how to run the world. If He is all-wise, as you say He is, doesn’t He know already what is best? And if He is all-good, won’t He do it whether we pray or not?

This is the case against prayer which has, in the last hundred years, intimidated thousands of people. The usual answer is that it applies only to the lowest sort of prayer, the sort that consists in asking for things to happen. The higher sort, we are told, offers no advice to God; it consists only of “communication”…with Him; and those who take this line seem to suggest that the lower kind of prayer really is an absurdity and that only children and savages would use it.

I have never been satisfied with this view. The distinction between the two sorts of prayer is a sound one; and I think on the whole (I am not quite certain) that the sort which asks for nothing is the higher or more advanced. To be in the state in which you are so at one with the will of God that you wouldn’t want to alter the course of events even if you could is certainly a very high or advanced condition.

But if one simply rules out the lower kind, two difficulties follow. In the first place, one has to say that the whole historical tradition of Christian prayer (including the Lord’s Prayer itself) has been wrong; for it has always admitted prayers for our daily bread, for the recovery of the sick, for protection from enemies, for the conversion of the outside world, and the like. In the second place, though the other kind of prayer may be “higher” if you restrict yourself to it because you have got beyond the desire to use any other, there is nothing especially “high” or “spiritual” about abstaining from prayers that make requests simply because you think they’re no good. It might be a pretty thing (but, again, I’m not absolutely certain) if a boy never asked for cake because he was so high-minded and spiritual that he didn’t want any cake. But there’s nothing especially pretty about a boy who doesn’t ask because he has learned that it is no use asking. I think that the whole matter needs reconsideration.

The case against prayer (I mean the “low” or old-fashioned kind) is this: The thing you ask for is either good – for you and for the whole world in general – or else it is not. If it is, then a good and wise God will do it anyway. If it is not, then He won’t. In neither case can your prayer make any difference. But if this argument is sound, surely it is an argument not only against praying, but against doing anything whatever?

In every action, just as in every prayer, you are trying to bring about a certain result; and this result must be good or bad. Why, then, do we not argue as the opponents of prayer argue, and say that if the intended result is good, God will bring it to pass without your interference, and that if it is bad, He will prevent it happening whatever you do? Why wash your hands? If God intends them to be clean, they’ll come clean without your washing them. If He doesn’t, they’ll remain dirty (as Lady MacBeth found) however much soap you use. Why ask for the salt? Why put on your boots? Why do anything?

We know that we can act and that our actions produce results. Everyone who believes in God must therefore admit (quite apart from the question of prayer) that God has not chosen to write the whole history with His own hand. Most of the events that go on in the universe are indeed out of our control, but not all. It is like a play in which the scene and the general outline of the story is fixed by the author, but certain minor details are left for the actors to improvise. It may be a mystery why He should have allowed us to cause real events at all, but it is no odder that He should allow us to cause them by praying than by any other method.

Pascal says that God “instituted prayer in order to allow His creatures the dignity of causality.” It would perhaps be truer to say that He invented both prayer and physical action for that purpose. He gave us small creatures the dignity of being able to contribute to the course of events in two different ways. He made the matter of the universe such that we can (in those limits) do things to it; that is why we can wash our own hands and feed or murder our fellow creatures. Similarly, He made His own plan or plot of history such that it admits a certain amount of free play and can be modified in response to our prayers. If it is foolish and impudent to ask for victory in war (on the ground that God might be expected to know best), it would be equally foolish and impudent to put on a [raincoat] – does not God know best whether you ought to be wet or dry?

The two methods by which we are allowed to produce events may be called work and prayer. Both are alike in this respect – that in both we try to produce a state of affairs which God has not (or at any rate not yet) seen fit to provide “on His own”. And from this point of view the old maxim laborare est orare (work is prayer) takes on a new meaning. What we do when we weed a field is not quite different from what we do when we pray for a good harvest. But there is an important difference all the same.

You cannot be sure of a good harvest whatever you do to a field. But you can be sure that if you pull up one weed that one weed will no longer be there. You can be sure that if you drink more than a certain amount of alcohol you will ruin your health or that if you go on for a few centuries more wasting the resources of the planet on wars and luxuries you will shorten the life of the whole human race. The kind of causality we exercise by work is, so to speak, divinely guaranteed, and therefore ruthless. By it we are free to do ourselves as much harm as we please. But the kind which we exercise by prayer is not like that; God has left Himself discretionary power. Had He not done so, prayer would be an activity too dangerous for man and should have the horrible state of things envisaged by Juvenal: “Enormous prayers which Heaven in anger grants.”

Prayers are not always – in the crude, factual sense of the word – “granted.” This is not because prayer is a weaker kind of causality, but because it is a stronger kind. When it “works” at all it works unlimited by space and time. That is why God has retained a discretionary power of granting or refusing it; except on that condition prayer would destroy us. It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say, “Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rules of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you must come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then – we’ll see.”

It's not his most interesting essay in my opinion (he has some amazing essays), but that's probably because I don't think of an active God.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2018 07:57 AM by heavy.)
10-09-2018 07:57 AM
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Mage Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-08-2018 12:06 PM)Kish Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 08:58 PM)Soothesayer Wrote:  Then I think about North Koreans in work camps or Afghani children and thank Him I don't have it THAT bad.

I was about to mention this. Many people pray because they are grateful. For the first time in human history half the world is middle class or rich. You should be grateful to be born in this group and in this time period.

[Image: 20180927_futuredevelopment_fig1.png?w=76...;amp;ssl=1]
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-de...wealthier/

Not quite

Most people stop praying when everything becomes good for them. Most people only pray when in need. This is why there are so many atheists in developed welfare countries and so few atheists in shitholes.

Of course this is pretty much the opposite of what a person should do. The most effective prayer is coming from gratefulness, It should be done when in wealth and when everything goes well.

When you are poor it is harder to find something to be grateful for, but it is still necessary. A begging prayer for material gain will not normally be fulfilled. It's better for an ungrateful person to stop believing in higher power and just work.
10-09-2018 07:58 AM
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Post: #16
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

So what is your answer for the phenomenon that the supposedly single God seems to answer to different people differently to this question?
10-09-2018 08:04 AM
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Post: #17
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-09-2018 08:04 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

So what is your answer for the phenomenon that the supposedly single God seems to answer to different people differently to this question?

My answer is that Paul was given a thorn that God would not take away, and I was given Mage, who I humbly accept with God's sufficient grace.

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

911
10-09-2018 11:27 AM
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alex homer Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Also, I've often questioned how prayer is related to faith since prayer is clinging to something and faith is suppose to be letting go and not clinging to anything.

But I definitely don\t have all the answers.
[/quote]


I listen to Allan Watts and he also says similar things. I like when you said "I definitely don't have all the answers. have a nice day/evening
10-09-2018 06:29 PM
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Post: #19
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Knowing is better than believing. People pray because they don't believe strongly enough. So they try to reinforce what they believe through prayer (wish fulfillment). If their wish is granted their belief strengthens, and if it is not the faith crumbles. My suggestion would be to search for enlightenment. When you find it, you won't really need prayer anymore, because you'll understand, and know that God is.
10-09-2018 08:54 PM
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Post: #20
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
I think if we the know the properly then it is better to believe in it. Unless, if we don't know anything then it is difficult for us to believe. So to believe on, I think we first try to understand the thing.
But in some cases, we have to believe.
10-10-2018 12:07 AM
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Post: #21
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-09-2018 11:27 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  
(10-09-2018 08:04 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

So what is your answer for the phenomenon that the supposedly single God seems to answer to different people differently to this question?

My answer is that Paul was given a thorn that God would not take away, and I was given Mage, who I humbly accept with God's sufficient grace.

1. You didn't answer my question.

2. You made this all about you - proving you are very subjective if not outright solipsistic about your beliefs. Sorry, other people - their beliefs and questions don't exist to serve or grace you.
10-10-2018 09:02 AM
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debeguiled Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-10-2018 09:02 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-09-2018 11:27 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  
(10-09-2018 08:04 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

So what is your answer for the phenomenon that the supposedly single God seems to answer to different people differently to this question?

My answer is that Paul was given a thorn that God would not take away, and I was given Mage, who I humbly accept with God's sufficient grace.

1. You didn't answer my question.

2. You made this all about you - proving you are very subjective if not outright solipsistic about your beliefs. Sorry, other people - their beliefs and questions don't exist to serve or grace you.

[Image: giphy.webp]

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

911
(This post was last modified: 10-10-2018 10:07 AM by debeguiled.)
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kbell Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
I asked this question to a member of Hankmoody’s church (the only time I have really been to a church) and he mentioned the concept of rote or freeflow prayer. Judaism seems more rote or fixed formed. I’d love to hear your guys input on that. He also mention gratitude and other things. It doesn’t seem like an easy question to answer and seem to cause very long answers.

@LINUX- I wonder how you would do both? They do seem contradictory. The repetition seems like your clinging something, yet you are supposed to let go for faith to happen.

@built_to_fade- Wow that’s very well researched. I have trouble understanding King James English. Be thankfull for what I have is something I need to work on. I tend to overfocus on what I don’t have. When you seek guidance to receive it? Or is it your mind clears up and the answer is there?

@heavy- great reference. I guess the question there to ask is when to work and when to pray?
10-19-2018 11:49 AM
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Post: #24
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
Funny little story about prayer. I recently had a pretty bad day and was reading a random post by Scorpion which had nothing at all to do with prayer or anything when, all of a sudden, I started whining & bitching to myself, thinking about my crappy day and doing a lot of this:

(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who has found a calling in life, prayer is to complain about how hard your calling is.

And I started wondering why God keeps letting me suffer, and whether he's even there, and why he doesn't talk to me, etc., etc.

And then I looked down at the bottom of Scorpion's post and saw his signature

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” - Romans 8:18

and I just completely burst out laughing. 10/10 God. He sure has a sense of humour.
10-19-2018 09:23 PM
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Post: #25
RE: Why do you pray? Or the purpose of prayer
(10-10-2018 10:04 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  
(10-10-2018 09:02 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-09-2018 11:27 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  
(10-09-2018 08:04 AM)Mage Wrote:  
(10-07-2018 11:48 AM)debeguiled Wrote:  For someone who believes he exists and believes he is good, prayer is to find out which God to believe in.

So what is your answer for the phenomenon that the supposedly single God seems to answer to different people differently to this question?

My answer is that Paul was given a thorn that God would not take away, and I was given Mage, who I humbly accept with God's sufficient grace.

1. You didn't answer my question.

2. You made this all about you - proving you are very subjective if not outright solipsistic about your beliefs. Sorry, other people - their beliefs and questions don't exist to serve or grace you.

[Image: giphy.webp]

So you have no answer and resort to posting pics of cats for some reason that has probably something to do with wrongly attacking me ad hominem.

Very well, you lose.
(This post was last modified: 10-20-2018 06:23 AM by Mage.)
10-20-2018 06:19 AM
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