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Old 05-02-2005, 06:40 PM   #31
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Wow. Thanks for sharing that VertigoGal. I appreciate you posting that even though you're not sure about God.

I wouldn't call them stupid prayers either. I believe God hears them. How's your aunt btw?

You're right, you're not supposed to test God, but I don't think that's exactly what you're doing. To test him, you have to believe he exists. You're just wanting him to reveal himself, right?

Instead of asking him to do certain things to prove his existence, why don't you just ask him to simply reveal himself to you?

This may sound cheesy and you may not care, but I know God wants a relationship with ALL of us —*certainly you — and I'll be praying for you and for him to reveal himself to you.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:59 PM   #32
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Thanks coemgen...even though I don't necessarily share your beliefs, you've always made me feel very welcome.

I don't really know what I want as far as God revealing himself to me...I mean, of course I'd like to just believe in some loving, Big Brother-type God, but it's not that easy. I can't just make myself believe in something like that, and I'm somewhat confident that if I do someday come to believe in a god (which I won't rule out), it won't be in any Jesus, Adonai, Allah, etc. They seem too man-made to me, but that's me.

I think I'm just going to try to continue living my life as an agnostic, and if I ever come to change my beliefs or become drawn to a certain religion, then so be it.

my aunt is doing great! she was just down here with my cousin during Easter, meaning she can actually travel and fly, so that's great. she seemed really happy. in a lot of ways, I think this was sort of a blessing. she's completely stopped drinking and is in recovery (she had no choice really!), and that's better for everyone in her family. also, it's really brought my mom and her (who had been sort of estranged) a lot closer together, since my mom can relate & play "mentor" (relate to the drinking, not the aneurysm! lol)...so it's actually worked out great.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:07 PM   #33
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I pray often, i've seen results also:

-- a couple of months ago I had lost my keys and was getting extremely fustrated and was even throwing stuff around, i had looked for about an hour and a half -- i then decided to calm myself down said a prayer, and within literally 5 minutes i found them and was on my way--

I think God is teaching us lessons all the time, even if it's in the little things that happen.
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:55 AM   #34
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an honest question.

how do you pray? I have prayed before obviously, just curious as to methods. Maybe I could do it better, at least differently.

more pointedly, if you believe that prayer worked for you, how did you go about it.

what I am getting at is, is this an inner dialgoue? Where you don't actually speak out the words and such? Do you need to meditate?

What works for you?

use Biblical quotes if you want that would be fine.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:01 AM   #35
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double post*
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:04 AM   #36
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Perhaps God answers some people's prayers. He doesn't answer everyone's. One person finds a ruby ring; another person dies of starvation. I guess that starving person didn't have enough faith or his death fit some greater good in God's plan. Anecdotal evidence that prayer works for some people offers no comfort to the desperately unhappy whose prayers have never been answered.
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:30 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by learn2kneel
I pray often, i've seen results also:

-- a couple of months ago I had lost my keys and was getting extremely fustrated and was even throwing stuff around, i had looked for about an hour and a half -- i then decided to calm myself down said a prayer, and within literally 5 minutes i found them and was on my way--

I think God is teaching us lessons all the time, even if it's in the little things that happen.
With this kind of thing though, I sort of agree with Irvine's way of thinking...it seems most likely that God didn't actually find your keys, but that you found them because you'd calmed down and cleared your head.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:05 AM   #38
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Hey U2DMFan, those are good question. There really isn't any specific way to pray. It's really just about talking to God and opening your heart. The heart is what God's after. However, there are things that are important when you pray.
I found some stuff in a book that explains it all with some verses since you requested them.

Prayer should be directed to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:20; Matthew 6:9; 1 Peter 1:17)
Prayer should be made in the name of Jesus Christ. (John 14:13 and 15:16)
The power for prayer is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 6:18) Prayer is never made to the Holy Spirit.

It is important to ask for forgiveness of sins when praying. Psalm 66:18 says "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
It's also good to thank God for blessings he's given you. You're letting him know that you appreciate his work in your life. (Ephisians 5:20) Then it's good to pray for others in your life. People you may know who are sick, going through financial trouble, whatever. (Ephesians 6:18) Then you can pray for your own needs. (Hebrews 4:16)

Also, it's good just to listen and be silent. That's an important part many people forget. I'm not saying you'll hear an audible voice thundering down or whatever, but sometimes, through the Holy Spirit dwelling within you, something may be on your mind or heart.
This, by the way, should never go against what the Bible says.

For me, I try to follow these things, but I try not to let it become formulaic, you know? It's really just about your heart. If you pray a formula, it doesn't mean anything. It's about your heart, which God looks at much more than any words you use.

There's also a verse, I'll try to find it after lunch here, that talks about not praying in public because you may look like your showing off, and not to babble and use a lot of big words trying to impress God. Like I said, he could care less what words you use, it's about your heart.

Hope that helps. Sorry about the rambling.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:46 AM   #39
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You're not rambling, as far as I'm concerned I love this thread.
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Old 05-03-2005, 11:41 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Perhaps God answers some people's prayers. He doesn't answer everyone's. One person finds a ruby ring; another person dies of starvation. I guess that starving person didn't have enough faith or his death fit some greater good in God's plan. Anecdotal evidence that prayer works for some people offers no comfort to the desperately unhappy whose prayers have never been answered.

Oh, I have plenty of prayers that have never been answered. I think the thing that's happening here is that I'm not always accepting God's will for my life. The secret is waiting for God to act in my life according to His will and not mine.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:00 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76



Oh, I have plenty of prayers that have never been answered. I think the thing that's happening here is that I'm not always accepting God's will for my life. The secret is waiting for God to act in my life according to His will and not mine.


other than through faith, can you objectively prove that God has intervened?

i suppose i don't like the idea of "God's will" -- if i break my neck and am paralyzed, did God want that to happen to me? how awful of him. i know that i can then turn around and choose to take my paralysis and use it for good in many different ways, but i'd like to think of that as my own self-empowerment rather than God planning to have me break my neck in order to teach me such self-empowerment tools.

does that make sense?

i also want to quickly say that i pose these as very honest questions an i mean, in no way, to belittle anyone's belief in the efficacy of prayer or the role that prayer plays in their life.

i'm truly curious and posing questions out my passionate agnosticism -- that is to say that i don't know if God exists, and i'm skeptical of everything, but i'm also open to anything.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:56 PM   #42
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not everything can be objectively proven my friend and I happen to think God is all about self-empowerment.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:27 PM   #43
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i agree.

but can we agree that it is a choice to believe in God and the efficacy of prayer?
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:54 PM   #44
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coemgen, thanks for your reply, that's basically what I was looking for.
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:51 PM   #45
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No problem U2DMfan.

Irvine — I'll be honest, and this is just my spur of the moment opinion, but I don't know if you can objectively prove God working in our lives. Think about it —*you're trying to prove the work of a being that surpasses all human understanding and exists outside of this world and in it. It's GOD, you know? Maybe somebody disagrees with me and I'm totally open to hearing their perspective.

I guess the thing for me is just not only the number of prayers that have been answered for me, but how specific they are.

My wife and I were living with my parents after we got pregnant and it was really tough on everybody. We prayed constantly about finding a place to live and being able to afford it. We just didn't have enough to cover rent along with all our bills together because a job opportunity my wife was pursuing fell through. We kept praying for God to just help us out in whatever way he could. The next time we went to church, our pastor pulled us aside after service and asked about our living situation and how things were going with that and why we hadn't gotten a place yet. (Keep in mind we hadn't told anyone about our situation —*we were too embarrased and prideful.) We told him everything and he then said the church could cover our rent for three months. He knew it was important for us to get out of my parents house and for us to start our marriage out with just the two of us.

That's just one example of many. I'm sure one could always say "It's just a coincidence," or "You're just looking into it too much," and deny God working in your life, but what if there really is a God and he really is working in your life?

If it is just coincidence, then the worst thing is that you're "creating God." If it isn't and you deny it, then the worst thing is you're denying a personal relationship with God and reducing the value of his blessings.
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