praying for someone
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01-12-2013, 10:35 PM
RE: praying for someone
(30-11-2013 06:01 PM)TheStraightener Wrote:  I always wondered how the mechanics of prayer actually work. I heard someone the other day talk about how they were waiting to hear if their job interview was successful and they were asking for prayers so she would get the job... And she had the job and thanked god for answering the prayers.

So let's assume that's true... Did god brainwash the interviewer to give her the job? Did god amend the notes taken at the interview? Was the man about to deny her a position but god called him on the phone? What about the other applicants that also prayed?

People don't sit back and consider these basic things when they thank gawd. It annoys me. Tell me how he helped exactly.. What did he actually do!!

Even though it is a lot more nuanced. In Catholic theology, prayer basically does nothing. It's considered a gift from God so that we can participate in "the divine plan". I don't pray much so I never really looked into it. Please don't ask me to elaborate. Catholics spend a lot of time praying so I mean it when I say that it is a lot more nuanced.

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01-12-2013, 10:55 PM
RE: praying for someone
(01-12-2013 01:00 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(30-11-2013 06:01 PM)TheStraightener Wrote:  I always wondered how the mechanics of prayer actually work.
So let's assume that's true... Did god brainwash the interviewer to give her the job? Did god amend the notes taken at the interview? Was the man about to deny her a position but god called him on the phone? What about the other applicants that also prayed?
People don't sit back and consider these basic things when they thank gawd. It annoys me. Tell me how he helped exactly.. What did he actually do!!

I guess if you're talking about prayer where you're asking God for things in a situation I don't think prayer is just a passive way to get out of doing something. If someone has lost their job I'll quite happily say that I'm praying for them but that doesn't release me from wanting to help them materially- prayer is another way of supporting someone by actively petitioning for them to God. It's when prayer goes from a request to God to a expectation from God that we have a problem.

Either way, you are reducing your mythical "creator of the universe" to a cosmic errand-boy.


Quote:I just handed in an essay for uni which was incredibly stressful to write and I did pray about it. But I prayed for peace, that my mind would be clear, etc. The writing and the content all had to come from me and (unfortunately) God wasn't going to write it for me or magically convince the lecturer to give me 100%.

So, your mythical cosmic errand-boy didn't and won't do anything about it.

Quote:And that's where people trip up I think, where you just pray and think 'I've done my part' and sit back for the problem to magically disappear.

Do you honestly think people really think that prayer will make their problems magically disappear, really? Like, after how many times of praying to their mythical cosmic errand-boy to make their problems disappear, and nothing happens? What did they say about doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?

Quote:In the same way, as one of the musicians at Church, we always pray before the service starts that our contribution will bless others. That doesn't get us out of practising or putting effort into it.

Kinda like idiot athletes making a show of praying to their mythical cosmic errand-boys in hopes of scoring points and winning games.

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02-12-2013, 01:42 AM
RE: praying for someone
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02-12-2013, 01:47 AM
RE: praying for someone
Hi, this is a reply to Taqiyya Mockingbird because once again it's not posting my reply with quotes. Anyone know why that is?
'Do you honestly think people really think that prayer will make their problems magically disappear, really? Like, after how many times of praying to their mythical cosmic errand-boy to make their problems disappear, and nothing happens? '


I think that it's a tempting way of thinking about an all-powerful, loving God at times and a trap that many believers at times can fall into- sometimes out of grief, impatience or as an attempt to get some kind of recognition for how 'good' they've been. I also think that it's a comfortable definition for those looking to criticise religion and prayer because you can always fall back on the Sunday-school level 'I prayed for a pony, didn't get it so God either hates me or isn't there' argument.

My point was that prayer is relational. When I said it's about petition not expectation I didn't mean, as you took it, that either way it's creating some kind of obligation or test for God. The point is that whether or not a prayer is answered in the way we want or expect, we still have the freedom to ask.

The other point I was making was that praying to God doesn't release us from our obligations to ourselves or others around us. Faith (shown through prayer) and deeds need to exist together. Even bringing it back to what some people have said about a Christian promising prayer and an atheist offering to keep a person in their thoughts, in both cases if that person did that and turned a blind eye to the practical help they could give to that person, they would not be acting in a way true to either religious belief or common decency.
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02-12-2013, 01:49 AM
RE: praying for someone
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid432105

Sad, but typical Theist logic.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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02-12-2013, 01:57 AM
RE: praying for someone
When I hear the phrase, it makes me sad honestly. "I will talk to myself, believing that I'm talking to an imaginary sorcerer father of mine, who I think is real, hoping that he will solve a problem or help in some way, because I think that's nice." I mean..it's just sad.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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02-12-2013, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2013 02:24 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: praying for someone
(02-12-2013 01:42 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(01-12-2013 10:55 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Do you honestly think people really think that prayer will make their problems magically disappear, really? Like, after how many times of praying to their mythical cosmic errand-boy to make their problems disappear, and nothing happens?

I think that it's a tempting way of thinking about an all-powerful, loving God at times and a trap that many believers at times can fall into- sometimes out of grief, impatience or as an attempt to get some kind of recognition for how 'good' they've been. I also think that it's a comfortable definition for those looking to criticise religion and prayer because you can always fall back on the Sunday-school level 'I prayed for a pony, didn't get it so God either hates me or isn't there' argument.

My point was that prayer is relational. When I said it's about petition not expectation I didn't mean, as you took it, that either way it's creating some kind of obligation or test for God. The point is that whether or not a prayer is answered in the way we want or expect, we still have the freedom to ask.

The other point I was making was that praying to God doesn't release us from our obligations to ourselves or others around us. Faith (shown through prayer) and deeds need to exist together. Even bringing it back to what some people have said about a Christian promising prayer and an atheist offering to keep a person in their thoughts, in both cases if that person did that and turned a blind eye to the practical help they could give to that person, they would not be acting in a way true to either religious belief or common decency.


The {quote} brackets following the end of Taq's post was missing the / before the quote.

It looked like {quote} when it should be {/quote} to complete the proper formatting (while using the correct [] brackets as well). Every quote needs an ending /quote or you break the formatting and the post appears blank. So make sure to preview your post, if there are any code formatting issues they will appear then, so you can fix them before you publish your post.

Hope that helps. Thumbsup

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02-12-2013, 02:36 AM
RE: praying for someone
Thanks Smile
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02-12-2013, 08:19 AM
RE: praying for someone
(02-12-2013 01:47 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  Hi, this is a reply to Taqiyya Mockingbird because once again it's not posting my reply with quotes. Anyone know why that is?
'Do you honestly think people really think that prayer will make their problems magically disappear, really? Like, after how many times of praying to their mythical cosmic errand-boy to make their problems disappear, and nothing happens? '


I think that it's a tempting way of thinking about an all-powerful, loving God at times and a trap that many believers at times can fall into- sometimes out of grief, impatience or as an attempt to get some kind of recognition for how 'good' they've been. I also think that it's a comfortable definition for those looking to criticise religion and prayer because you can always fall back on the Sunday-school level 'I prayed for a pony, didn't get it so God either hates me or isn't there' argument.

My point was that prayer is relational. When I said it's about petition not expectation I didn't mean, as you took it, that either way it's creating some kind of obligation or test for God. The point is that whether or not a prayer is answered in the way we want or expect, we still have the freedom to ask.

The other point I was making was that praying to God doesn't release us from our obligations to ourselves or others around us. Faith (shown through prayer) and deeds need to exist together. Even bringing it back to what some people have said about a Christian promising prayer and an atheist offering to keep a person in their thoughts, in both cases if that person did that and turned a blind eye to the practical help they could give to that person, they would not be acting in a way true to either religious belief or common decency.


But there are those who'd argue against prayer being associated with "common decency".

At best - it's a crap shoot. No?

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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02-12-2013, 08:21 AM
RE: praying for someone
Hey Yasmin, can you respond to Chas' question? Post #17. I'm curious what your answer will be.
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