Why Prayers Aren't Answered
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16-05-2017, 05:13 AM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2017 05:16 AM by TheInquisition.)
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:47 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I was once banned from a website for arguing this point so I'll just keep this straightforward. No honest person would say the NT, or Christian belief in general, says God will answer any prayer of petition. It's a special kind of stupid in the strawman game.

Matthew 18:19- Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven.

John 15:7 -If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Matthew 21:21 -And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.

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

John 14:14 -If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Matthew 21:22 -And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

John 14:13 -Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

So this is something definitely presented in the New Testament, it certainly is not a strawman, though someone wanting to dodge the inconvenient fact of prayer not being answered could fall back on the "god doesn't answer prayer" excuse, but it is definitely taught by many Christian sects based on pretty straightforward biblical verses.

And there are things like this:

Victoria Osteen tries to justify praying for a parking spot

Yeah, the Christian god answering prayer is actually a thing.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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16-05-2017, 05:22 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:47 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I was once banned from a website for arguing this point so I'll just keep this straightforward. No honest person would say the NT, or Christian belief in general, says God will answer any prayer of petition. It's a special kind of stupid in the strawman game.

I have heard xians who hold that position but I have also heard many who do believe that prayers of petition do get answered. When you have verses like "And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" and faith being able to move mountains and examples in the NT of Jesus being asked to raise people from the dead and cure diseases and his granting the request I don't see that it is a strawman at all. It may not be your belief but that doesn't mean that others do not hold to it.

The main problem is that you can find scriptural support for so many different positions that it is impossible to say what is and is not believed by xians. That's why we have thousands of denominations that differ on so many points of doctrine. Unless you have a way to demonstrate your claim then it is just another interpretation from the big book of multiple choice.

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16-05-2017, 05:31 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:47 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I was once banned from a website for arguing this point so I'll just keep this straightforward. No honest person would say the NT, or Christian belief in general, says God will answer any prayer of petition. It's a special kind of stupid in the strawman game.

So just wondering, if a god never answers prayer, then how do you distinguish between a god that never answers prayer and a god that doesn't exist?

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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16-05-2017, 07:00 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:41 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  Prayers aren't answered, because god(s) don't exist.

On a similar topic, using logic, how to people think Prayers even work? Like if you talk/think whatever you are saying, surely the deity of choice could hear you no matter what position you physically strike before saying it? Like why sit on your knees/close your eyes/hands together at all? I don't really understand the thought process behind it. "the only way to talk to my god is kneeling with my hand clasped together, what about you?" "Well my god requires one eye open, balancing on one leg whilst having my mouth wide open and thinking about my prayer", It's exactly the same. It suggests we all telepathically transmit our thoughts/speech into outer space or something like that, mind boggling.
It wasn't presented to me that way, and I don't think it is presented that way to most believers. I was taught that god can hear any sort of prayer and that there is no particular ritual or formula involved; it is simply that it helps us to maintain respect for god to approach him "reverentially" and so we have those customs. Indeed, my denomination cautioned against the pursuit of empty form, or elevating form over substance.

The other factor is that anything you do habitually tends to become rote and that is the birth of tradition / ritual / custom.

The real problem with prayer is not how some Christians claim you must do it in order to "do it right", it is that you are talking to thin air and it produces no demonstrable and consistent results.
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16-05-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:47 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I was once banned from a website for arguing this point so I'll just keep this straightforward. No honest person would say the NT, or Christian belief in general, says God will answer any prayer of petition. It's a special kind of stupid in the strawman game.
You won't get banned here for that, but you can and will be ridiculed.
Quote:If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? -- Jesus (Matt 7:11)

Then, there's this:

Quote:Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. -- James 4:3

One asks for things and doesn't get them, not because god doesn't answer petitions, but because you don't ask for the right things. Indeed, the prior verse ends with, "You have not because you ask not". Clearly teaching that one should ask for things from god, in order to get them, provided they are not simply selfish requests for trivialities.

Quote:Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. -- Phil 4:6

Now ... if you have noticed that god doesn't grant petitions, and have just decided not to cherry pick these kinds of scriptures, of which the above is a tiny sample ... that's one way to try to cope with it. But rather an exhausting one I would think. It's far simpler and more honest to simply acknowledge that the unambiguous and lavish promises of god's abundance just waiting to burst upon the faithful who will simply request it, is a lie.
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16-05-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 07:00 AM)mordant Wrote:  It wasn't presented to me that way, and I don't think it is presented that way to most believers. I was taught that god can hear any sort of prayer and that there is no particular ritual or formula involved; it is simply that it helps us to maintain respect for god to approach him "reverentially" and so we have those customs. Indeed, my denomination cautioned against the pursuit of empty form, or elevating form over substance.

The other factor is that anything you do habitually tends to become rote and that is the birth of tradition / ritual / custom.

The real problem with prayer is not how some Christians claim you must do it in order to "do it right", it is that you are talking to thin air and it produces no demonstrable and consistent results.

It's one of many things that when you sit down and really think about it, it's just "odd" to say the least.

I know it's not really presented at all, to theists, just "this is how you pray to god" and bosh, people copy what they are told and begin praying. I just don't get how theists don't work out that if there is a omnipotent being who can hear you talking/hear your thoughts...he can also probably here those dirty thoughts you have about Brenda next door, and all the weird "non-christian" things you'd like to do to her.

Just me thinking about it too much I think, but I don't see the difference in placing your hands together and talking, than just generally talking whilst staring at the ceiling lol.

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16-05-2017, 07:17 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 07:13 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  Just me thinking about it too much I think, but I don't see the difference in placing your hands together and talking, than just generally talking whilst staring at the ceiling lol.
Well if it helps, I generally did the latter, and I am what I am today largely because I grew weary of it. The proximal cause of my deconversion was the same as someone who leaves a marriage because their spouse never pays any attention to them.
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16-05-2017, 10:12 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
(16-05-2017 04:47 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  No honest person would say God will answer any prayer.

You got that right. Then again, neither does the Tangra answer prayers. I wonder why this might be Drinking Beverage

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16-05-2017, 11:45 AM
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
Perhaps Biblegod has outsourced prayer services to a call centre in Hades. Of course, the underworld contractors failed to meet the KPIs, but then that's no change from the previous system.

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16-05-2017, 02:03 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2017 02:16 PM by sea_tiger.)
RE: Why Prayers Aren't Answered
From PM:
Airportkid Wrote:
sea_tiger Wrote:Lets imagine God to be the ultimate Emperor.
You can make request to him.But fulfilling requests is all up to him.
He is not obliged to work on your requests.
Hi -

Curious you've responded by PM rather than in the thread itself. Anyway, my point in the OP is more an indictment of those doing the praying, not the being any prayers are directed to. Prayer is fundamentally selfish and lazy; it seeks adjustment of natural course of events according to what the praying party thinks best without any regard for larger consequences, and substitutes lazy vocalization instead of genuine efforts to make the desired adjustments to nature.
My point is that prayer also disregards the true power of the agent, asking it for commonplace trifles rather than broad rectification. It's sticking a wad of gum into a roof that always leaks instead of calling for replacement of the roof outright, or calling for an end to all precipitation, all of which is presumably within the agent's power to perform.
In one sense it's fortunate that prayer asks for trifles instead of more sweeping corrections to nature for the reason I mentioned above: no thought is given to larger consequences. The saving grace of having to adjust nature via doing it ourselves is that doing it ourselves requires research, time & social cooperation, so the consequences get more or less taken into consideration. My point is that most prayers being trivial underscores their basic thoughtlessness, the heedless selfishness of the act.

Thanks for your comment.

Quote:Prayer is fundamentally selfish and lazy.

Prayer can be done for others.Example:church prayers->for poor,for sinners,
non-christians & non-believers [so that they accept Jesus]


Quote:My point is that prayer also disregards the true power of the agent, asking it for commonplace trifles rather than broad rectification.
Quote:My point is that most prayers being trivial underscores their basic thoughtlessness, the heedless selfishness of the act.

In case of personal prayers, maybe.Not always true, prayers can be thoughful and selfless.,Example: church prayers-->asking God to guide the political leaders so that they can understand God's plan for us and lead us in God's wisdom, asking God to bless all of humankind,asking God to bring peace to a war torn country etc.


Pouring your heart out to others help form bonds with others.Similarly , when you pray to a divine agent [may not exit in reality but your in mind] and put forward your fears,insecurities and need for guidance and help for small things in your life you form bonds with him.[Personal relationship with divine agent].
It can help you bear harshness of everyday life,sadness,loss,grief.It can be therapeutic.
It can be a floating log in a turbulent sea.
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