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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
Lizzie Offline
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Prayer vs Spell - June 27th 2016, 01:15 PM

Praying and casting a spell are essentially the same thing in my opinion.
  • In both you ask some higher form of divine power for help/guidance/protection, etc.
  • Often times both involve some type of ritual, whether that is hand placement, or a bowed head, sitting in a circle, etc.
  • It can be done either in a group or privately to yourself.
  • Spells have a moral creed: to do no harm. And as far as I am aware there are no rules on what you can pray for.

So what do you think? Are spells and prayer the same thing? If you think they are different, please explain! I love opening dialog on new conversations in spirituality.




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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 27th 2016, 01:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzie View Post
Praying and casting a spell are essentially the same thing in my opinion.
  • In both you ask some higher form of divine power for help/guidance/protection, etc.
  • Often times both involve some type of ritual, whether that is hand placement, or a bowed head, sitting in a circle, etc.
  • It can be done either in a group or privately to yourself.
  • Spells have a moral creed: to do no harm. And as far as I am aware there are no rules on what you can pray for.

So what do you think? Are spells and prayer the same thing? If you think they are different, please explain! I love opening dialog on new conversations in spirituality.
I think prayer is a little different, solely because typically traditional beliefs have this idea that god is omniscient, omnipotent, and that nothing escapes his will. Thus, while modern prayer is similar, traditionally prayer was more or less along the lines of, 'let your will be done', not really asking or demanding god of anything. Hence why we have the lord's prayer:

Matthew 6:9-13New King James Version (NKJV)
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Coincidentally I find this prayer full of irony, however. Jesus is praising god's name then saying, "Your will be done," but then immediately after asks that 'daily' bread be given, and asks for forgiveness. I always wondered what the point of prayer was when I was religious if it will always be god's will irregardless of what you ask. However, if you notice the theme of the prayer itself, it alludes to the idea that god is completely in control, and that whatever happens is god's will...
YOUR will be done GIVE us FORGIVE us DON'T LEAD US, DELIVER US, YOURS is the kingdom, etc. Which meets your first point. As far as a ritual goes, ritualistic prayer wasn't really developed until 200 AD for Christianity when it became a recognized religion, and I see it returning to that manner.

Also Mathew 6:6 says prayer should be done in private: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

This doesn't meet your 3rd point.

I say they share their similarities, but are they the same? I don't think so.


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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 27th 2016, 02:47 PM

All religions believe their God is omnipotent, doesn't mean that people don't still ask. Asking for what may differ: forgiveness, guidance, health, etc. But it is still asking. I don't see the difference in that.




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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 27th 2016, 07:21 PM

I never really thought about it until now, but it does make sense.

I didn't know about spells having a moral creed though! Interesting


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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 28th 2016, 12:19 AM

As someone who went to Catholic school for thirteen years but now practices a pagan faith, this is a really interesting concept to me. That said, I'm by no means an expert in either faith, so what follows is just my opinion.

First, I'm going to assume you're talking about spells vs prayers of petition (as in, prayers where you're asking God for something). Because some of the other forms (adoration, contrition, etc) would probably not be replicated in spells, but would instead be seen in rituals or other faith-based activities.

I would argue that spells don't inherently carry a moral creed. You don't need to follow the Wiccan rede or any other particular moral code in order to perform spells. You can use spells with malicious intent (obviously that's not a good idea, but it's possible), and even potentially without belonging to a faith. You can also pray for bad things, obviously, but that's most likely not going to have any effect (because you're praying to a god who, in most religions I know of, wouldn't grant such selfish or dangerous requests). You also generally wouldn't pray unless you're part of a religion, because otherwise you're not going to know which god you're praying to.

I also think that spells are more direct. In my mind, spells are a way of directing energy towards a particular goal, whereas prayers are asking for a higher power to grant a particular desire (which they may or may do). I've always thought of spells as coming down to the will of the person casting them, while prayers are up to the will of the higher power to which they're directed, if that makes sense (although spells can still be unpredictable, so their results are by no means guaranteed).

There are definitely some similarities between the two, but I've always thought of them as distinct. In some cases they're also mutually exclusive, since a lot of religions that encourage prayer very much discourage spells; so they serve similar purposes but are essentially different, in my mind at least.


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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 28th 2016, 07:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzie View Post
Praying and casting a spell are essentially the same thing in my opinion.
  • In both you ask some higher form of divine power for help/guidance/protection, etc.
  • Often times both involve some type of ritual, whether that is hand placement, or a bowed head, sitting in a circle, etc.
  • It can be done either in a group or privately to yourself.
  • Spells have a moral creed: to do no harm. And as far as I am aware there are no rules on what you can pray for.

So what do you think? Are spells and prayer the same thing? If you think they are different, please explain! I love opening dialog on new conversations in spirituality.
I really like the points you've brought up regarding prayers and spells. I do agree that spells are done for good, they are not meant to do harm. While you can pray harm comes someone's way.

At the same time, I think they both differ. Prayers are when you ask a higher being to do something for you, whilst spells are done by the individual themselves.

They are similar in that they use the four forces of the universe in its work.
   
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Re: Prayer vs Spell - June 30th 2016, 07:18 PM

Firstly before I say anything else I am a Christian!! Christianity is complex! The difference between praying which is Christianity and casting spells which is basically pagan belief, I believe is how you feel. When you are casting spells you never feel safe. You are in the continual danger call. Everything and anything worries you! But with Prayer you are left with peace not just peace of mind but all peace of life. You are also left with joy, in the midst of all darkness the light of joy shines!

In fact one of your facts is wrong. With prayer you do not need to do a ritual. You can pray anyway and anyhow! You do not need to lift your hands, people do this to show surrender of everything to God. You do not need Tito bow your head even though its a sign of respect even in the world. You do not need to close your eyes this is just for concentration. You also do not have to kneel this is just another sign of surrender! With prayer you can express yourself in anyway you like as long as it is pure and sanctified.

In no way is casting spells the same as prayer. Casting spells is dark magic and anything done in the dark is bad! Prayer is done everywhere and is not hidden! No painful and wrong sacrifice has to be done in prayer. Prayer is righteous! Prayer has been done since the beginning of the world. Prayer is conversing with God! It is our way of talking to God! It is no way a ritual but a way of life!!
   
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Re: Prayer vs Spell - July 2nd 2016, 11:54 AM

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Originally Posted by Shalykat View Post
The difference between praying which is Christianity and casting spells which is basically pagan belief, I believe is how you feel.
You bring up an interesting point, but it's important to note that Christianity isn't the only religion that advocates prayer, nor is paganism the only religion in which spells take place (unless of course you're meaning paganism in the more tradition sense of non-Abrahamic religion). Prayers are vital to many religions, such as Islam and Judaism, and spells can form part of other religions, such as Satanism.

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Originally Posted by Shalykat View Post
When you are casting spells you never feel safe. You are in the continual danger call. Everything and anything worries you!
I'm curious as to where this opinion comes from. You mentioned you were Christian, so am I right in assuming that you have never performed any spells? And if that's the case, are you relying on testimonies from other people (and, more to the point, are they people you know)? What you described could be seen in many religions as a sign of someone who isn't comfortable with the faith they're following. Feeling unsafe and on edge, such as you described, suggests that the person hasn't put complete faith in their chosen path, which isn't something only seen in pagan religions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalykat View Post
Casting spells is dark magic and anything done in the dark is bad! Prayer is done everywhere and is not hidden!
Another interesting point, but there are some very good reasons why spells are often hidden - ranging from skepticism and discrimination right up to open persecution. New Age religions (for lack of a better term) have long been discriminated against, which means that practitioners are more likely to practice their religions in private. This isn't the same as doing it "in the dark". Prayer is much more widely accepted than spells are, so it follows that the latter won't be as publicly visible. I also seem to recall a verse or two in the Bible about how Christians shouldn't flaunt their faith but instead will be more amply rewarded if they perform their prayers in solitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalykat View Post
No painful and wrong sacrifice has to be done in prayer.
Since you specifically mentioned paganism, I'll answer from that perspective: most magic doesn't require sacrifices at all. In fact most pagan paths, including Wicca, don't encourage or perform sacrifices. I won't deny that there are some people out there who do perform magic in this way, but I'm sure there are also people out there who pray for bad things to happen to people they don't like.

As I've said, you do have some very interesting points (and thank you for sharing your opinions), but I just wanted to set a couple of things straight about paganism so that we're not leaving misconceptions floating around out there.


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