Intercessory prayer is pointless
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01-09-2017, 12:54 PM
Intercessory prayer is pointless
With all the talk of Hurricane Harvey, it's reminded me how pointless intercessory prayer is. People are praying for relief from the flooding and praising God when the rains recede. Ignoring how weird it is to not be mad at God for causing/allowing a flood, but praising him for fixing it, the whole idea makes no sense. This is all based on Christian's own ideas that God is effectively "able and willing" to fix a problem that he caused/allowed, and also that he has a will, and his will will "be done".

The sad thing is, regardless of if you're talking about a sickness, natural disaster, or some other "act of God" type of problem, the outcome is always the same. There are three ways and only three ways this can play out. For this discussion, we won't worry about why God caused or allowed the problem. That will be chalked up to [mysterious ways]. Starting from that point, one of three things will happen:
  • God caused/allowed the problem for some reason, and he plans on fixing it. Perhaps this was to strengthen people, or whatever. The reason is moot. He caused/allowed it, and he's fixing it, anyway. Prayer does nothing in this case.
  • God caused/allowed the problem for some reason, and he is not fixing it. Again, the reason doesn't matter. Maybe it's just that person's time. Regardless, prayer does nothing in this case.
  • God caused/allowed the problem and will make it persist unless people pray to fix it. Then, and only then, does God fix the problem. So, the good news is prayer works in this case. The bad news is, the problem only exists in the first place so God can coax people into asking him to fix it. What the shit?
And that's it. There's no magical fourth option that both has prayer working and God not being a massive twat. I knew a guy like that in college. He'd cause problems just so he could fix him, and everyone hated that guy. We didn't sing his praises; we cut all ties with him.
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01-09-2017, 01:05 PM
Intercessory prayer is pointless
Intercessory prayer simply doesn’t work.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/he...193902.stm

http://www.realitylove.eu/Eye-Openers/pr...t_work.htm

from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/Treatmen...and-prayer

The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment reported that a survey of articles published in the Journal of Family Practice over ten years found that 83% of studies on religiosity found a positive effect on physical health. Another study of 2 major psychiatric journals over 12 years found that for the studies that measured religiosity, 92% showed a benefit for mental health, 4% were neutral, and 4% showed harm. Religiosity was measured by participation in religious ceremony, social support, prayer, and belief in a higher being.

An analysis of 43 studies on people with advanced cancer noted that those who reported spiritual well-being were able to cope more effectively with terminal illnesses and find meaning in their experience. Major themes of spiritual well-being included self-awareness, coping with stress, connectedness with others, faith, empowerment, confidence, and the ability to live with meaning and hope.

Research has also been conducted on the effects of intercessory prayer in coronary care patients. In the late 1980s, a study in San Francisco found that heart patients who were prayed for by others appeared to have fewer complications, although length of hospital stay and death rates did not differ between those who were prayed for and those who were not. A larger study at a Kansas City hospital coronary care unit reported similar findings. Although overall length of hospital stay and time in the critical care unit did not differ between groups, the group that had been prayed for had 11% fewer complications. These results suggested that prayer might be helpful when used with conventional medical care, although more research was needed to confirm that. The studies drew a great deal of public attention, and several other studies were done to confirm the findings, with mixed results. When a research group reanalyzed 14 of these studies, they concluded that intercessory prayer had no effect on any medical outcomes.

In a further study, a group of Harvard researchers studied more than 1,800 patients who were undergoing heart surgery in 2006. The patients were randomly assigned to 3 groups. The first group was told that prayers would be said for them, while the second and third groups were told that they might or might not have prayers said for them. The first and second groups received prayer, and the third group did not. Complications occurred within 30 days for 59% of the first group, 52% of the second group, and 51% of the third group. Prayer did not reduce complications for those who had heart surgery in this large, well-controlled scientific study. At this point, available scientific evidence does not support claims of reduced complications in those who receive prayer.
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01-09-2017, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2017 01:16 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:05 PM)Rachel Wrote:  Intercessory prayer simply doesn’t work.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/he...193902.stm

http://www.realitylove.eu/Eye-Openers/pr...t_work.htm

from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/Treatmen...and-prayer

The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment reported that a survey of articles published in the Journal of Family Practice over ten years found that 83% of studies on religiosity found a positive effect on physical health. Another study of 2 major psychiatric journals over 12 years found that for the studies that measured religiosity, 92% showed a benefit for mental health, 4% were neutral, and 4% showed harm. Religiosity was measured by participation in religious ceremony, social support, prayer, and belief in a higher being.

An analysis of 43 studies on people with advanced cancer noted that those who reported spiritual well-being were able to cope more effectively with terminal illnesses and find meaning in their experience. Major themes of spiritual well-being included self-awareness, coping with stress, connectedness with others, faith, empowerment, confidence, and the ability to live with meaning and hope.

Research has also been conducted on the effects of intercessory prayer in coronary care patients. In the late 1980s, a study in San Francisco found that heart patients who were prayed for by others appeared to have fewer complications, although length of hospital stay and death rates did not differ between those who were prayed for and those who were not. A larger study at a Kansas City hospital coronary care unit reported similar findings. Although overall length of hospital stay and time in the critical care unit did not differ between groups, the group that had been prayed for had 11% fewer complications. These results suggested that prayer might be helpful when used with conventional medical care, although more research was needed to confirm that. The studies drew a great deal of public attention, and several other studies were done to confirm the findings, with mixed results. When a research group reanalyzed 14 of these studies, they concluded that intercessory prayer had no effect on any medical outcomes.

In a further study, a group of Harvard researchers studied more than 1,800 patients who were undergoing heart surgery in 2006. The patients were randomly assigned to 3 groups. The first group was told that prayers would be said for them, while the second and third groups were told that they might or might not have prayers said for them. The first and second groups received prayer, and the third group did not. Complications occurred within 30 days for 59% of the first group, 52% of the second group, and 51% of the third group. Prayer did not reduce complications for those who had heart surgery in this large, well-controlled scientific study. At this point, available scientific evidence does not support claims of reduced complications in those who receive prayer.

The more interesting aspect to me is that while intercessory prayer has no foundational basis, intracessory prayer does appear to.

#sigh
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01-09-2017, 01:29 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
While efficacy would matter in terms of the result, it's still operating in a paradigm where it only works if God causes/allows the problem for the sole purpose of getting people to ask him to fix it. Every prayer that "is answered" only serves to make God look more creepy.

Now, I suppose a clever apologist could argue that the "real purpose" of prayer is to get people to submit to God, or something similar. It's a nice sounding platitude, but all it really does is ignore the issue I brought up. They're using obfuscation to hide that they're actually saying "God causes/allows a problem solely to make you submit to him". Again, I fail to see why God would deserve praise in that situation.
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01-09-2017, 01:59 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:29 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  While efficacy would matter in terms of the result, it's still operating in a paradigm where it only works if God causes/allows the problem for the sole purpose of getting people to ask him to fix it. Every prayer that "is answered" only serves to make God look more creepy.

Now, I suppose a clever apologist could argue that the "real purpose" of prayer is to get people to submit to God, or something similar. It's a nice sounding platitude, but all it really does is ignore the issue I brought up. They're using obfuscation to hide that they're actually saying "God causes/allows a problem solely to make you submit to him". Again, I fail to see why God would deserve praise in that situation.

I think your argument holds if we presume there is actually a problem. Considering that Judo-Christian religions emphasis on the unreality of this world and its pain and pleasure, I think it's reasonable to assume that the flood is not a real problem within the context of Judo-Christian religions.

If one loses his family in a seemingly real dream, he might be grateful about the bad dream after waking up, no matter how bad it was, it has made him realize how important his family is for him.

So I think intercessory prayer within Judo-Christian religions can be understood as a means of helping believers to surrender, yet the threat is not real, it's merely a show to help them grow in terms of surrendering to their God.
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01-09-2017, 02:09 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:59 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(01-09-2017 01:29 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  While efficacy would matter in terms of the result, it's still operating in a paradigm where it only works if God causes/allows the problem for the sole purpose of getting people to ask him to fix it. Every prayer that "is answered" only serves to make God look more creepy.

Now, I suppose a clever apologist could argue that the "real purpose" of prayer is to get people to submit to God, or something similar. It's a nice sounding platitude, but all it really does is ignore the issue I brought up. They're using obfuscation to hide that they're actually saying "God causes/allows a problem solely to make you submit to him". Again, I fail to see why God would deserve praise in that situation.

I think your argument holds if we presume there is actually a problem. Considering that Judo-Christian religions emphasis on the unreality of this world and its pain and pleasure, I think it's reasonable to assume that the flood is not a real problem within the context of Judo-Christian religions.

If one loses his family in a seemingly real dream, he might be grateful about the bad dream after waking up, no matter how bad it was, it has made him realize how important his family is for him.

So I think intercessory prayer within Judo-Christian religions can be understood as a means of helping believers to surrender, yet the threat is not real, it's merely a show to help them grow in terms of surrendering to their God.

Slow clap for bullshit Smile Of course these clowns have all sorts of caveats to avoid ever having to face reality, that their prayers are just comfort-blankets.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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01-09-2017, 02:13 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
My theory:
God doesn't show himself to us because he doesn't want us to see how ugly he gets when he's starved from lack of prayer feeding. But we can tell when this happens because he spews some natural disasters to encourage prayer production. The irony is we get to see exactly how ugly he looks and he's damn ugly! Dodgy

It's either that or he doesn't really exist and these disasters have nothing do with a god at all. Angel

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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01-09-2017, 02:16 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:09 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  The more interesting aspect to me is that while intercessory prayer has no foundational basis, intracessory prayer does appear to.
Placebo effect I guess.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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01-09-2017, 02:20 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:59 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think your argument holds if we presume there is actually a problem. Considering that Judo-Christian religions emphasis on the unreality of this world and its pain and pleasure, I think it's reasonable to assume that the flood is not a real problem within the context of Judo-Christian religions.

If one loses his family in a seemingly real dream, he might be grateful about the bad dream after waking up, no matter how bad it was, it has made him realize how important his family is for him.

So I think intercessory prayer within Judo-Christian religions can be understood as a means of helping believers to surrender, yet the threat is not real, it's merely a show to help them grow in terms of surrendering to their God.
I think most Christians recognize that these disasters look bad and it does actually bother them at some level that God allows them to occur, but they then excuse it all by assuming there is a rationale reason within God's plan and someday in heaven they will understand.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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01-09-2017, 02:29 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(01-09-2017 01:59 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think your argument holds if we presume there is actually a problem. Considering that Judo-Christian religions emphasis on the unreality of this world and its pain and pleasure, I think it's reasonable to assume that the flood is not a real problem within the context of Judo-Christian religions.

If one loses his family in a seemingly real dream, he might be grateful about the bad dream after waking up, no matter how bad it was, it has made him realize how important his family is for him.

So I think intercessory prayer within Judo-Christian religions can be understood as a means of helping believers to surrender, yet the threat is not real, it's merely a show to help them grow in terms of surrendering to their God.

So, the true reason for prayer is when God mercy-kills someone and they get to experience reality?

Also, given your view, why do Christians feel suicide is a sin?
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