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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Do you believe in prayer? - September 28th 2012, 06:31 PM

This is a question for people of all religions, including no religion! Let's try to keep these discussions positive even if they turn into debates. No need for personal attacks.

Do you believe in prayer or the power of prayer?

I believe that prayer is very powerful, however, I do not believe in God. I believe that hope and positive thinking can help you get through tough times, therefore, I believe that prayer "works" even if I don't believe that they were answered by a higher power. I just believe having positive thoughts and hope can help you achieve your goals and prayer helps you do those things.

What about everybody else? Do you believe in prayer? Do you believe in the idea behind it? And good question for those believing in higher powers, why does God(s) pick one prayer to answer and not another?


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 28th 2012, 09:16 PM

I agree with you, Masterpiece. I believe that hope and positivity are very powerful, and that is essentially what prayer is. I am not religious and I do not believe in any god or 'higher power'. But I do believe that having faith and belief is a wonderful thing, and those that have them are lucky.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 01:55 AM

Yes, I do believe in praying. I believe that God already knows what we need before we pray, but that we still should pray for those things as a way of submitting to Him and communicating with Him. It builds a stronger relationship with Him.

To answer your question about God answering some prayers and not others: The bible says that if a Christian prays, God answers them. But, His answer isn't always "yes". If you are asking for something that isn't going to benefit you in the long run, He is going to say no. It's like a child asking their parents if they can play in traffic. Yes it would be temporarily fun for them, but in the long run, they would probably end up dead. God doesn't answer your prayers based on what will temporarily make you happier or more comfortable. God answers your prayers based on what is better for you in the long run. For example, a few years ago, I used to pray that I would marry this certain guy. At the time, it is what would have made me happiest. But, God saw the whole picture. He saw that this guy would have brought me farther away from Him. He saw that He had a better guy for me in the future (who is AMAZING!). He saw all of that, so He said no. I didn't understand why God would want me to suffer, but now I do. The bible says that temporary suffering brings greater endurance. I am so happy now that He told me no.

Sometimes, when you are praying for more serious things like being healed from a serious disease, it is hard to see why His answer would ever be "no". I can't tell you why. I can only say that there IS a reason. Sometimes the reason is obvious, and sometimes it's not.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 01:58 AM

I believe in it when I'm praying for others. Whe I ask God to help me, however, he seems to turn to someone else...

Jay.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 03:27 AM

No.

"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 04:22 AM

I believe prayers are powerful placebos and are great at misdirecting where credit should be due. I find no other use for prayers because you're more likely to get or earn what is desired by unclasping the hands and actually make an effort in the appropriate direction.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 09:58 AM

If hope, positivism and optimism are synonymous to prayer, then yes I do believe in prayer. Although I'm agnostic and I don't think prayers are associated with any supreme power (IF any supreme power exists that is).


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 10:39 AM

I believe in the power of prayer and I believe He answers them. I also believe that if you want something bad enough then He will make it happen. Yesterday, I prayed for a storm to stop and after an hour of insanity, it faded out and stopped within two minutes.

More seriously, I remember getting the news that someone I know has attempted suicide and I remember this person was REALLY beginning to hit the rails and it was looking really bad for her, physically.

I wrote her a letter, thinking it was the last time I was ever going to speak to her. While I was writing the letter, desperation really began to sink in and I was really thinking "please be OK". I just wanted her to survive and I was just telling her in my head, "just hang in there, sweetie, you can do this".

It came right up to the point where I was visualising doing chest compressions every single time I heard about this attempt just as a symbol of desperately trying to revive her and her surviving.

After I finished the letter, I praised Him and it happened. She turned around. I don't know why or how but it happened.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 02:46 PM

I believe in prayer in several different forms, including spell work and magic. Communicating and working with higher beings to bring about a change is what I consider to be praying. I think it can be really helpful for people to sit down and think about changes they wish to make in their life. Whether or not you believe prayer work, at the very least its good for your mental health to have such reflections on your life.




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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 04:29 PM

I'm not very religious but sometimes I do find myself praying, so I guess yes, I believe in prayer. However, people also do have to put in the effort to make the change and not leave it up to some higher power, so it would be more like working with said higher power, if that makes sense.


   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 06:39 PM

I believe in God. I am a Christian, but I am so much more than that. I am also a disciple of Christ. My life is to bring Him glory and to exalt His name on high. Prayer is incredible. It's the best way to communicate to God along with reading His word. The power of prayer could never be understood. It is too powerful. It is too magnificent. It is too praiseworthy and amazing.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 06:50 PM

I'm a believer in Christ and I definitely believe in the power of prayer. Also, I do believe that God answers all prayers. Sometimes, he says no. It's like your mom or your dad - they aren't going to give you everything that you ask for, because it might not be what they want for you. But, they're still going to give you an answer to your question. Knowing that God cares enough to hear my prayers, consider them, and respond to them just gives me this amazing feeling of peace about whatever situation I'm facing.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 08:25 PM

I am a believer in Christ. I have a strong Catholic Christian faith, and I absolutely believe in the power of prayer.
While I don't think you should just sit back and pray for everything without action, I do believe that prayer alongside action or prayer-guided action is stronger than action on its own.
I also believe in prayer as a comfort. We ask people to pray for us, or people offer to say a prayer for us, and it's comforting/relaxing for us. When I was in the hospital for my car accident, the ladies' ministry at my church made me a prayer shawl. People constantly told me they'd pray for me. The deacon and priest at my church visited me and prayed with and for me. Yes, I was getting medical treatment from physicians of course, but I'm a firm believer that my treatments and healing wouldn't have gone nearly as well without prayer.
My mom and dad used to run fire and rescue. Both of them had a routine where they would pray in the ambulance or fire truck on the way to a call, even if it was something as simple as, "Lord, give me strength to handle this call to the best of my ability."

When I feel like I have nothing else to hope for or when I've lost all of my personal strength, my response is to pray. Pray for guidance on the next step, pray for strength, pray for comfort. Whatever it is, prayer helps. Even if God's answer is "No," or, "It's not the right time," that's okay.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 09:43 PM

when I was taking my driving theory test, I jokingly prayed to odin to give me the knowledge to pass, I did, and when I left the building the first thing a saw was a raven (the symbol of odin), it turned it's head, looked at me, and flew away. it could be that it was a complete coincidence, or it could have been an answer to my prayer, I don't know.

at any rate, I believe that praying works, regardless of who you pray to, even if the answer is just in the form of the belief that it was successful

p.s. I don't actually believe in odin :P

I think


Women are women, regardless of sex,
and men are men, in the same respects.

You can be both, or a mix of the two,
or you can be neither, if that's what suits you.

But people are people, whatever their parts,
because what really matters, is inside of our hearts.

*Some poem I found on the internet*
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 29th 2012, 09:44 PM

when I was taking my driving theory test, I jokingly prayed to odin to give me the knowledge to pass, I did, and when I left the building the first thing a saw was a raven (the symbol of odin), it turned it's head, looked at me, and flew away. it could be that it was a complete coincidence, or it could have been an answer to my prayer, I don't know.

at any rate, I believe that praying works, regardless of who you pray to, even if the answer is just in the form of the belief that it was successful

p.s. I don't actually believe in odin :P

I think


Women are women, regardless of sex,
and men are men, in the same respects.

You can be both, or a mix of the two,
or you can be neither, if that's what suits you.

But people are people, whatever their parts,
because what really matters, is inside of our hearts.

*Some poem I found on the internet*
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 30th 2012, 04:33 AM

I believe more in doing something to fix the problem than talking to a fictional character.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - September 30th 2012, 04:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
I believe prayers are powerful placebos and are great at misdirecting where credit should be due. I find no other use for prayers because you're more likely to get or earn what is desired by unclasping the hands and actually make an effort in the appropriate direction.
What I came in here to say. Well put.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 2nd 2012, 10:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
I believe prayers are powerful placebos and are great at misdirecting where credit should be due. I find no other use for prayers because you're more likely to get or earn what is desired by unclasping the hands and actually make an effort in the appropriate direction.
Absolutely what I wanted to say. There is no phenomenon of cognitive bias quite so widespread as the belief in prayer.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 4th 2012, 05:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellybean. View Post
I'm a believer in Christ and I definitely believe in the power of prayer. Also, I do believe that God answers all prayers. Sometimes, he says no. It's like your mom or your dad - they aren't going to give you everything that you ask for, because it might not be what they want for you. But, they're still going to give you an answer to your question. Knowing that God cares enough to hear my prayers, consider them, and respond to them just gives me this amazing feeling of peace about whatever situation I'm facing.
So if something happens that you prayed for, then it proves that God answers prayers, but if what you asked for doesn't happen, it also proves that God answers prayers but that he sometimes says no. So at this point, there is no outcome in which you are not right. FLAWLESS LOGIC.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 4th 2012, 08:53 PM

Oh, hell to the no. I used to get upset and be like, "Maybe I should pray," and now I think, "Maybe I should go and do something to make it better instead of just wishing it would." The last time I prayed was maybe nine or eight months ago. I prayed to God to give me faith because at that time I stopped believing. I used to go through week or two long theist stages before I got more serious about atheism.

A week later I realized nothing was going to happen and I had a conversation with the sky. If there ever was a prayer to answer seems like it should have been that one.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if people just prayed to make things better and no one took any action?
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 5th 2012, 01:10 AM

Nope nope nope. And the two people I work with are very religious and they are constantly talking about praying and that when they pray they hear God answering them. It takes everything I have not to roll my eyes when they are talking about these things. I believe that if you want something to happen in your life it's your job to make it happen.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 5th 2012, 11:17 AM

I believe in God and prayer. I pray for my family and my best friend and so many others.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 5th 2012, 11:25 AM

I have a story to tell, it's a true story.
Okay, I knew this guy with cancer, it was stomach to his groin, live or something like that. I told him I'd pray for him. So I went home and did just that, but I didn't ask for him to be healed (he's old so I knew he'd have to go sometime, right?) but for after his surgery for him not to be in pain.

A few weeks later I saw him again, I ran over and he grinned. He told me that after his surgery he'd been on the smallest dosage of morphine and when the doctors asked if he needed more, he refused because it DIDN'T hurt. Nothing did! It was painLESS! And I'm talking a very very small dose of morphine because it would cross react with on the meds which they had been flushing from his system so they were allowed to amp it up after that. The guy didn't know what I was praying for, I just told him I'd be praying. Oh, it was lung cancer and stomach cancer! Whole family are smokers.

I know I'm in for an arguement or two but I am really bored and don't want to fall asleep for the nightmares are lurking in the shadows waiting for me.

Jay.


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 5th 2012, 11:50 AM

No. If God was real and prayers were real then they would have found April Jones alive by now, people wouldn't be starving in Africa and innocent people wouldn't be in pain.

I also wish people would take damn responsibility for their life rather than calling it "fate" or "God's plans"


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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 5th 2012, 02:14 PM

I do not believe in prayer. I'm agnostic, so although I don't necessarily believe God doesn't exist, I don't believe prayer really helps with anything.



   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 03:12 AM

Anecdotal stories with perfectly natural causes are not proof prayer works.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 04:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post
Anecdotal stories with perfectly natural causes are not proof prayer works.
I have a strong belief that I would be dead right now without God and without prayer. I have no "perfectly natural cause" for why my neck broke the way it did in my car accident. Or why, when I crawled out of my car, my neck didn't snap from the movement. Every doctor, EMT, and police officer cannot explain why I'm alive and not paralyzed.
It may seem silly to some people, but I believe in God and prayer with my whole heart.
Regardless, you can't prove whether prayer works or not either. Even if there's a natural, scientific explanation, you can't prove that prayer didn't have a hand in it.


“Don't get too comfortable with who you are at any given time. You may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be." ~Jon Bon Jovi

   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 05:12 PM

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Originally Posted by TakeTheLeap View Post
I have a strong belief that I would be dead right now without God and without prayer. I have no "perfectly natural cause" for why my neck broke the way it did in my car accident. Or why, when I crawled out of my car, my neck didn't snap from the movement. Every doctor, EMT, and police officer cannot explain why I'm alive and not paralyzed.
It may seem silly to some people, but I believe in God and prayer with my whole heart.
Regardless, you can't prove whether prayer works or not either. Even if there's a natural, scientific explanation, you can't prove that prayer didn't have a hand in it.
You're jumping to the conclusion a god did it. And wasn't he the one who let you get in car accident in the first place? There are also other people in accidents that paralyzed them or killed them, so I guess prayer didn't work too well for them. If there's a natural, scientific explanation we know it's not a god because there's a perfectly natural, scientific explanation.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 05:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeTheLeap View Post
I have a strong belief that I would be dead right now without God and without prayer. I have no "perfectly natural cause" for why my neck broke the way it did in my car accident. Or why, when I crawled out of my car, my neck didn't snap from the movement. Every doctor, EMT, and police officer cannot explain why I'm alive and not paralyzed.
It may seem silly to some people, but I believe in God and prayer with my whole heart.
Regardless, you can't prove whether prayer works or not either. Even if there's a natural, scientific explanation, you can't prove that prayer didn't have a hand in it.
Huh, odd how God didn't stop the car accident from happening though.
   
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  (#30 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 10:17 PM

At this point in my life, I'm confused. I've been thinking about this thread a lot in the past week and I've come to somewhat of a conclusion. Basically, I believe in God. I believe in praying. But I don't believe in the whole "praying gets you what you want" thing. I believe that people have control over their own mind and positive thinking can get you to a more positive place. However, negative thinking has the exact same effect... just negative. It's psychologically proven. Hope that made some sense. It made sense in my head.

Last edited by Stargazed.; October 7th 2012 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Clearing some stuffs up. :]
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 6th 2012, 11:04 PM

I believe in prayer, but not to a greater power. I don't believe in God. I don't pray to any body or anything in particular, but for me its basically just positive thoughts. I don't think that some higher power can solve all your problems or make things better. Positive thinking can lead to feeling better yourself but other things are all depending on your actions. Those are my thoughts.





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He said, "Why put a new address on the same old loneliness?"
When breathing just passes the time
Until we all just get old and die
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 9th 2012, 03:19 AM

Not in the slightest.


Self pity will not rescue you.
Sometimes we have to save our own lives,
not because no one else cares, but because no one else can.

Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number, stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive is what makes us who we are.

Dreamed up the maps, give me the charcoal and the paper
We invent paths they cannot see, and they're too scared to walk


Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything.
   
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Re: Do you believe in prayer? - October 9th 2012, 08:52 AM

No. * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
   
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