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Thread: The Problem With Prayer

  1. #1
    IncitingRiots
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    Default The Problem With Prayer

    I never understood why people prayed for things. To me it makes more sense to go out and actually do something constructive towards achieving your goals rather prayer from some supernatural being to do it for you. I have heard countless stories of kids getting sick with diseases that could easily be cured by doctors, but the parents decide to try and use prayer instead. The result? Their children die. All the parents had to do was take their kid to a doctor, but no, they would rather put there trust in some god. The whole thing just seems pathetic to me.

    If you are going to pray to God; why not pray to a bottle of glue as well? Isn't it just as effective? If I were to pray and pray to a bottle of glue for some money, and by some stroke of luck I recieve a check in the mail for $20; did the bottle of glue do it? Did my prayer to this bottle actually result in me getting that money? "Surely not" you would say,"It is just a coincidence." How is praying to God any different?

    ***uming there is a god, with all these people praying for different things is it really worth the effort? It seems that the amount of compe***ion would make it useless to even try.

  2. #2
    Senior Member disciple's Avatar
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    Greetings IR,
    As created beings I believe God instilled in all of us the desire to turn to the Creator when we are in need, similar to the way children turn to their parents when they have a need or a problem. Christians pray because we believe God is sovereign, involved in our lives and is able and trustworthy to act on our behalf, but we also understand that our requests must be in line with His will.
    Many people turn to God last only when they are desperate or have exhausted every other means of help, foolish, I would rather trust the Creator before the created being. The kind of praying God has in mind is not about being selfish or lazy, having a heavenly butler to wait on you but to want what He wants. here is a good quote from Charles Spurgeon, "It is God that writes intercession upon men's hearts. All true prayer comes from Him, but especially that least selfish and most Christ-like form of prayer called intercession--when the suppliant forgets all about himself and his own needs--and all his pleading, his tears and his arguments are on behalf of others."

    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    I never understood why people prayed for things. To me it makes more sense to go out and actually do something constructive towards achieving your goals rather prayer from some supernatural being to do it for you. I have heard countless stories of kids getting sick with diseases that could easily be cured by doctors, but the parents decide to try and use prayer instead. The result? Their children die. All the parents had to do was take their kid to a doctor, but no, they would rather put there trust in some god. The whole thing just seems pathetic to me.

    I have to agree with you on this one, if my hair is on fire I'm going to throw water on it, not pray that God will put it out. God gave us intelligence and He expects us to use it.

    If you are going to pray to God; why not pray to a bottle of glue as well? Isn't it just as effective? If I were to pray and pray to a bottle of glue for some money, and by some stroke of luck I recieve a check in the mail for $20; did the bottle of glue do it? Did my prayer to this bottle actually result in me getting that money? "Surely not" you would say,"It is just a coincidence." How is praying to God any different?

    Because God is sovereign there is no such thing as luck, if you pray to a bottle of glue and get $20, God was involved. What is different is that God has proven to be trustworthy, glue has not.

    ***uming there is a god, with all these people praying for different things is it really worth the effort? It seems that the amount of compe***ion would make it useless to even try.

    It is God's nature to be good and fair and reliable, making an effort to have a
    relationship with Him is a real good idea and there is no compe***ion, He loves you just as much as He loves me or anyone else. God is really great IR, when I first read your post my first inclination was to pray that you would learn to love Him too.

  3. #3
    Trinity
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    People always confuse God with Aladdin. God is not a djinn. Prayers does not exist to take advantage of God.

    Trinity

  4. #4
    inmourning
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    The problem isn't with prayer. The problem is that God must know you first. You stated "***uming there is a god" communicates that God does not know you; therefore, you can not know God.

    Only those known by God (true Christians) are commanded to pray and if our prayers are done in the name of Christ, our prayers will be answered.

    Ending our prayers with the phrase "I ask in Jesus' name" is not the same as asking in His name. Asking in His name means to ask in His nature.

    Jesus told His disciples in John 14:13 (NIV), "And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

    "It is better to die on our feet than live on our knees" is an interesting quote.
    Read the account of Jesus at Martha's house and what He said to her in Luke 10:38-42, then continue through chapter 11 which deals with prayer.

  5. #5
    IncitingRiots
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    "People always confuse God with Aladdin. God is not a djinn."

    Aladdin wasn't a djinn either. Of course, now that I think about it, for all I know they could be one in the same. They are both just as real to me.

    "The problem isn't with prayer. The problem is that God must know you first. You stated "***uming there is a god" communicates that God does not know you; therefore, you can not know God."

    Oh I can ***ure you that the problem is with prayer. Why not do something yourself to make what you want happen, happen? And I can honestly say, with all the wars, hatred, etc. that comes from the Judeo-Christian religions, I want nothing to do with any god.

    I don't believe God loves everybody the same. Mainly because I don't believe there is a god, but also because if that were true god wouldn't allow the the horrible **** that goes on to take place. Nor would god send anybody to hell.

  6. #6
    Trinity
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    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    Aladdin wasn't a djinn either. Of course, now that I think about it, for all I know they could be one in the same. They are both just as real to me.
    The djinn was the demon (genie) inside the magic lamp. I used this tale as a metaphor. From the book of One Thousand and One Nights.

    There is nothing wrong with the people who want to pray, and this from all religions. Many studies have revealed that it could be a healthful practice. It is also alright if some do not want to pray. People are free to be spiritual or not. Speaking for myself, I pray and I meditate.

    Trinity

  7. #7
    Senior Member MacG's Avatar
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    Default I get some of it, some makes me cringe

    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    I never understood why people prayed for things. To me it makes more sense to go out and actually do something constructive towards achieving your goals rather prayer from some supernatural being to do it for you
    Praying for stuff because you are lazy will be a net zero gain. If it is answered it will be a coincidence.

    I have heard countless stories of kids getting sick with diseases that could easily be cured by doctors, but the parents decide to try and use prayer instead. The result? Their children die. All the parents had to do was take their kid to a doctor, but no, they would rather put there trust in some god. The whole thing just seems pathetic to me.
    It is to me as well especially since one of the gospel writers was a physician. To be sure though not all kids that go to a Doctor get well either. Granted there is a better chance if they do. Some groups misinterpret scripture badly and to go to a doctor is seen as a lack of faith so there is fear and peer presure involved. Certainly not what was intended.

    If you are going to pray to God; why not pray to a bottle of glue as well? Isn't it just as effective? If I were to pray and pray to a bottle of glue for some money, and by some stroke of luck I recieve a check in the mail for $20; did the bottle of glue do it? Did my prayer to this bottle actually result in me getting that money? "Surely not" you would say,"It is just a coincidence." How is praying to God any different?
    Has someone ever had a conversation with you but did not actually engage you in that conversation? It happens to me at work all the time. Just about the time I try to join in, it's on to the next person. Why? Because there is no real relationship there. Same thing with prayer. Now I do understand that some people can have a relationship with a bottle of glue and that they would have some other pretty eccentric ideas as well. The again some people have the personality of a bottle of glue but who am I to judge?

    ***uming there is a god, with all these people praying for different things is it really worth the effort? It seems that the amount of compe***ion would make it useless to even try.
    Compe***ion makes not worth it? JB Phillips wrote a skinny little book "Your God Is Too Small". Your posit is addressed in there among others. God cannot be overwhelmed by our prayers as He is not limited by having only two ears and limited attention span. Jesus once said "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Now this seems to be a nonsequiter because I lifted it out of context but if God can keep track of the sparrows and quickly changing numbers of hair on my head then the ***umption is that he can handle engaged conversations/prayers. Another aspect is that not even Jesus got everythig that he prayed for: "And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup p*** from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot p*** away unless I drink it, Your will be done." Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more." Three times he prayed for a way for the cup to p*** (basically the impending crucifixion). Paul, a significant figure in the New Testament known to heal many even left a man behind on a missionary journey becasue that man was sick and advised Timothy a discipled of his to take a medicinal treatent for his stomach. These men were not healed neither was Paul himself. I guess all prayers are answered. Sometimes even for our greats, it's "no". And sometimes it "Yes".

    One last thought on prayer (though there is much more). In the Old testament, Abraham being alarmed for his brother's life upon learning God's plan for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah quizzed God (prayed/conversed with) "Surely if there are fifty righteous in the city you will not destroy it?" "If there are fifty, I will not destroy it". "Forty?" "No." It went like this down to ten. Abraham did not take his query down to one, he stopped at ten apparantly satisfied. Prayer sometimes changes us as we come to understand who God is.

    Blessings,

    MacG

  8. #8
    IncitingRiots
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    There is nothing wrong with the people who want to pray, and this from all religions. Many studies have revealed that it could be a healthful practice. It is also alright if some do not want to pray. People are free to be spiritual or not. Speaking for myself, I pray and I meditate. Trinity
    I never said there was anything wrong with people who want to pray. It is a personal choice, to be sure. I was simply stating why I feel it to be a useless endeavor. The true mark of a lazy person who is always looking for a quick fix. You say that many studies have revealed it to be a healtful practice. Well I am skeptical any time someone uses the phrase "studies show" or any variation thereof. Since there have been many studies done, you wouldn't mind providing me with one would you?

  9. #9
    Trinity
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    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    I never said there was anything wrong with people who want to pray. It is a personal choice, to be sure. I was simply stating why I feel it to be a useless endeavor. The true mark of a lazy person who is always looking for a quick fix. You say that many studies have revealed it to be a healtful practice. Well I am skeptical any time someone uses the phrase "studies show" or any variation thereof. Since there have been many studies done, you wouldn't mind providing me with one would you?
    This study below was realized in my country.

    "In one early study done at the McGill University in Montreal by Dr. Bernard Grad, eighteen children with terminal leukemia were old to pray to God every night before going to bed. Another eighteen children with terminal leukemia were not told this. Ninety percent of the praying children survived an average of fourteen months. Only thirty-seven percent of the nonpraying children lived that long. Notice that this study does not prove that prayer CURES terminal leukemia. It only prolonged the children's lives. It did not necessarily heal them. Also note that the praying children at were very much aware that faith was being used to help them. We cannot rule out the psychosomatic effect here. Similar successes have been achieved when adults with terminal cancer were simply given psychological counseling during their fight for life. The counseled group lived longer than the noncounseled group This study does show that prayer is good for one's mental health and that improved mental health can prolong life."

    Recommended books:

    Healing Words
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...rioconsultanA/

    Prayer Is Good Medicine: How to Reap the Healing Benefits of Prayer (I have read this one)
    http://www.amazon.com/Prayer-Good-Me...ref=pd_sim_b_2

    You can call this a placebo effect or a psychosomatic phenomenon but you cannot deny that praying could be healthful. I also understand that it is a controversial issue. However, this is an issue discussed into varied medical journals, and more research are done about the potential of the prayer or meditation into an healing process.

    Can Spirituality Improve Your Health?
    Larry Dossey, MD
    Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

    "In US medical schools, one of the fastest growing areas of study is the healing power of... prayer. Seventy-nine of the nation's 125 medical schools now offer courses on prayer and spirituality. A decade ago, only three medical schools offered such cl***es.

    Is there any scientific evidence to support the use of prayer in the prevention or treatment of disease? Researchers have conducted approximately 200 scientific studies on prayer and health. About two-thirds of these studies have shown positive results in patients with chest pain, heart attack and AIDS.

    How was the research conducted? One of the most impressive studies is being conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center. The research, which will soon be published in the American Journal of Cardiology, shows how prayer affects heart patients."

    http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/art...ticle_id=30204

    Trinity
    Last edited by Trinity; 01-18-2009 at 06:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Kogseeker
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    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    I never said there was anything wrong with people who want to pray. It is a personal choice, to be sure. I was simply stating why I feel it to be a useless endeavor. The true mark of a lazy person who is always looking for a quick fix. You say that many studies have revealed it to be a healtful practice. Well I am skeptical any time someone uses the phrase "studies show" or any variation thereof. Since there have been many studies done, you wouldn't mind providing me with one would you?
    You can actually do your own, foolproof study IncitingRiots. All ya have to do is try it for yourself.... Maybe ask God to reveal himself to you, see what happens.

  11. #11
    Heart2Heart
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    Quote Originally Posted by IncitingRiots View Post
    I never understood why people prayed for things. To me it makes more sense to go out and actually do something constructive towards achieving your goals rather prayer from some supernatural being to do it for you. I have heard countless stories of kids getting sick with diseases that could easily be cured by doctors, but the parents decide to try and use prayer instead. The result? Their children die. All the parents had to do was take their kid to a doctor, but no, they would rather put there trust in some god. The whole thing just seems pathetic to me.

    If you are going to pray to God; why not pray to a bottle of glue as well? Isn't it just as effective? If I were to pray and pray to a bottle of glue for some money, and by some stroke of luck I recieve a check in the mail for $20; did the bottle of glue do it? Did my prayer to this bottle actually result in me getting that money? "Surely not" you would say,"It is just a coincidence." How is praying to God any different?

    ***uming there is a god, with all these people praying for different things is it really worth the effort? It seems that the amount of compe***ion would make it useless to even try.
    Miracles still happen. A baby was born with defective knees. Her parents prayed for her, because she would not be able to walk. Both of her knees were born backwards. The doctors suggested the baby should get an operation. Her parents and the church members prayed for several days. A week later, her knees were in proper place, no operation! To this day, the miracle has baffled the doctors. By the way, my parents know these parents.

    Blessings....

  12. #12
    sayso
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    Prayer is for people who hope. I remember a time in my life when I had absolutely no hope concerning anything.

    And prayer is certainly not for those looking for a quick fix. Some things I pray about and I get an answer within minutes, hours or days. Also, most times the answer isn't what I want or think it should be, but in the long run is what is best for me.

    Other things I have been praying about for 30 years and still have not seen an answer. But I still hope for it and still pray for it.

    I don't pray for "things" because when I was born I brought nothing into the world and will take nothing with me when I leave. If I have enough for today then that is enough.

    I believe time is the most valuable thing we are given. Each of us has been allotted a certain amount and are free to spend it as we choose. I want to get the most out of what I've been given. I don't want to waste a minute.

    I think part of the reason I feel this way is because my father died when I had just turned 14 years of age. I missed him growing up and I still miss him. But the things I remember about him are not what gifts he bought me but the time he spent with me.

    We didn't buy a kite to fly in the spring, he made them always and boy did they fly high. He loved fishing and I went right along with him (I am female). He taught me to do things for myself. I had to put the worms on the hook, take the fish off the hook, untangle my own snags and tangled line, and if I chose to take the fish home I had to clean it.

    God has taught me what things are truly valuable in life; people and your relationship with them. Prayer isn't just asking for things you think will make you happy, it is talking to a heavenly Father with Whom you have a relationship.

  13. #13
    Trinity
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayso View Post
    Prayer is for people who hope. I remember a time in my life when I had absolutely no hope concerning anything.

    And prayer is certainly not for those looking for a quick fix. Some things I pray about and I get an answer within minutes, hours or days. Also, most times the answer isn't what I want or think it should be, but in the long run is what is best for me.

    Other things I have been praying about for 30 years and still have not seen an answer. But I still hope for it and still pray for it.

    I don't pray for "things" because when I was born I brought nothing into the world and will take nothing with me when I leave. If I have enough for today then that is enough.

    I believe time is the most valuable thing we are given. Each of us has been allotted a certain amount and are free to spend it as we choose. I want to get the most out of what I've been given. I don't want to waste a minute.

    I think part of the reason I feel this way is because my father died when I had just turned 14 years of age. I missed him growing up and I still miss him. But the things I remember about him are not what gifts he bought me but the time he spent with me.

    We didn't buy a kite to fly in the spring, he made them always and boy did they fly high. He loved fishing and I went right along with him (I am female). He taught me to do things for myself. I had to put the worms on the hook, take the fish off the hook, untangle my own snags and tangled line, and if I chose to take the fish home I had to clean it.

    God has taught me what things are truly valuable in life; people and your relationship with them. Prayer isn't just asking for things you think will make you happy, it is talking to a heavenly Father with Whom you have a relationship.
    Very good post Sayso.

    Trinity

  14. #14
    sayso
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Very good post Sayso.

    Trinity
    Thank you very much for saying so Trinity. It certainly means very much to me coming from you.
    Not meaning that you would never be so gracious because I've seen you be that many times. However, you and I don't agree on a lot of things. Thanks again!
    Last edited by sayso; 01-20-2009 at 04:53 AM.

  15. #15
    Blueskies
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    Inciting: One must have faith and a belief in God before they would understand the importance of prayer. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray when he was asked. It's important to pray and not only during times of need but to praise God, thanking him for what you have been given.
    Are you married? Do you have children, a home, good health? All these things are blessings given to you by God who loves you. I have seen what prayer can do. I've been on the receiving end of prayers. Now don't get me wrong, prayers aren't always answered. When my mother's health began to decline I prayed everyday for her to get well but it wasn't meant to be. This is where faith comes in for I had to accept that God had his plan for my mom.
    God would love to hear from you, he's waiting patiently. You can talk to him just as you would a friend. I hope you will.

  16. #16
    IncitingRiots
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    Well, technically all prayers are indeed answered. You either get what you want, or you don't. This is does not mean that I believe prayer actually works. And if God already has a set plan why would you dare to try and interrupt that plan by asking for something other than what has already been planned?

  17. #17
    Blueskies
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    Inciting: We were commanded to pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." As I was saying in my first reply, God wants us to come to him in prayer. He delights in hearing from us as he is our Father, just as our earthly Father loves to hear from us as well. Prayer isn't always about seeking things for ourselves. It's not about begging but to go humbly, having FAITH and giving thanks for the things most of us take for granted. Also, our prayers need to fit in with God's will, or his plans. Since we don't know what God's plans are for any of us, that is why we go to him in prayer. If our prayers are not answered the way we wanted them to be, then we must accept that God had other plans and remain faithful, trusting that He alone knows what is best, for he knows everything about us. He knows every hair on our heads. He can see the big picture which we can't. He can see into the future for he created it. We can't call him, omnipresent if he's not everywhere present, which means he's in the past, present and future all at the same time. To me he is awesome. His love for me is always there, it never fails. God bless and I hope you will one day turn to God and thank him.

  18. #18
    alanmolstad
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    Like Jesus in the garden....Like Paul who asked for relief......like *** who wanted an answer.....Most of the time when we pray for 'something' we end up disappointed.

    The truth is that most of the prayers we offer to God tend to be of a type where we attempt to convince God to take our side and come up with something that will really help us out of a tight situation we are stuck in.

    But as with the garden prayer of our Lord.....in the end we have to face the reality that prayer does not change God's plans in even the smallest amount.

    but in the act of offering a prayer, it is us who actually is changed.

  19. #19
    alanmolstad
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanmolstad View Post
    Like Jesus in the garden....Like Paul who asked for relief......like *** who wanted an answer.....Most of the time when we pray for 'something' we end up disappointed.

    The truth is that most of the prayers we offer to God tend to be of a type where we attempt to convince God to take our side and come up with something that will really help us out of a tight situation we are stuck in.

    But as with the garden prayer of our Lord.....in the end we have to face the reality that prayer does not change God's plans in even the smallest amount.

    but in the act of offering a prayer, it is us who actually is changed.

    I still can not improve on what I said above....

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