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Old 05-04-2005, 04:52 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

but can we agree that it is a choice to believe in God and the efficacy of prayer?
Yes I'd say that's true. But I don't think that choice is set in stone - one never knows what can happen in one's life . I don't question anyone's choice in a personal matter like that. It's just tough for me to intellectualize this subject, I approach it from my heart and from a deeper place than heart or head. But I also understand and respect the way you and others approach it.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:03 AM   #47
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Originally posted by Irvine511
but can we agree that it is a choice to believe in God and the efficacy of prayer?

Yes, for now.


Romans 14:11
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:52 AM   #48
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i suppose that the notion of choice is all i'm really getting at. i respect all those who pray and i respect all those who see God working in their lives and leading them to the answers, or non-answers, to their prayers. if you believe it to be true, then it is true, for you. what this is linked to, for me, is the way in which some people (no one in this thread, i mean this as a very general statement) assert that "this is what God is saying" or that "all God wants is ..." and assume to know the will of the unknowable simply because they pray. like Mrs. Springsteen says, things like prayer come from deeper places than the mind or even the heart, but as such, and due to their intensely personal and, yes, relativistic nature, to assume that there is one way to do things, one way to pray, one way to understand God, one way to receive God, one way to be a Christian or even a person of faith, is almost by definition flawed?

i suppose all i'm trying to say is that i'm moved by the intensely personal responses to prayer that people here have shared. no two people understand God, and how God works in their lives, in the same way. and this affirms my belief that religion/God is a personal experience -- it cannot form the basis of legislation, government, or organization due to it's very subjective nature.

and it also might start to provide a window for someone like me to eventually find his way back to what i understand to be God.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:56 AM   #49
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Once in a while I will pray but unfortunately I feel that it doesn't work. I have this feeling of bitterness at times.
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Old 05-04-2005, 02:46 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i suppose that the notion of choice is all i'm really getting at. i respect all those who pray and i respect all those who see God working in their lives and leading them to the answers, or non-answers, to their prayers. if you believe it to be true, then it is true, for you. what this is linked to, for me, is the way in which some people (no one in this thread, i mean this as a very general statement) assert that "this is what God is saying" or that "all God wants is ..." and assume to know the will of the unknowable simply because they pray. like Mrs. Springsteen says, things like prayer come from deeper places than the mind or even the heart, but as such, and due to their intensely personal and, yes, relativistic nature, to assume that there is one way to do things, one way to pray, one way to understand God, one way to receive God, one way to be a Christian or even a person of faith, is almost by definition flawed?

i suppose all i'm trying to say is that i'm moved by the intensely personal responses to prayer that people here have shared. no two people understand God, and how God works in their lives, in the same way. and this affirms my belief that religion/God is a personal experience -- it cannot form the basis of legislation, government, or organization due to it's very subjective nature.

and it also might start to provide a window for someone like me to eventually find his way back to what i understand to be God.
But Irvine, noone here has stated that there is one way to pray, one way to receive God, etc..it is a very personal thing, I do think we all agree on this one.
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Old 05-04-2005, 02:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by the soul waits


But Irvine, noone here has stated that there is one way to pray, one way to receive God, etc..it is a very personal thing, I do think we all agree on this one.


as i said in the post, "no one in this thread."

i'm trying very hard to differentiate between what i see here, and what i hear out in the media and on my television screen. i'm taking these examples, and extrapolating to make a larger point.

if i haven't expressed myself well, i apologize.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:13 PM   #52
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Irvine, I have to say I appreciate your comments because it's helped me understand the perspective you kind of represent. I know something like prayer is maybe hard to wrap your mind around for those who may not pray often or ever. I also appreciate the respect you've shown in asking some of us questions. You're the coolest.

I just wanted to say that you can actually know the will of God and what God wants. Again, I know this may sound a bit out there, but it's true. That's partly why he wants a personal relationship with us, so he can share his will for our lives and, therefore, we can live our lives as he intended us to and get the most out of them.

For all of us on a general level, we can know God's will through his word. The Bible guides us as a whole on the basics of his will. As I'm sure you know, it's full of commands, advice and wisdom shared through personal stories, parables, letters and many other things.
As far as God's will for our individual lives, he can reveal that to us through prayer and again, reading his word. There's been many times when I read the Bible in the morning I just kind of flip through after I pray and I find verses that actually answer questions I asked God in my prayer. I know that sounds like a bunch of nut-filled crap and I'm just reading into it too much, but it's true. Some are pretty specific verses. Then sometimes I just feel convicted to do something or say something to someone. That's the work of the Holy Spirit, a.k.a. God. I know you probably wince when you hear people talk about God "talking" to them, and you should, I guess. Some people are full of crap and they say that to give them authority (and yes, there are "Christians" who do this.) However, it is still possible and real to many others, and available to all who accept Christ and seek God.

Also, you're right — God does want an individual relationship with us. You said realizing this "might start to provide a window for someone like me to eventually find his way back to what I understand to be God."

I sincerely hope so, man. It's the greatest thing ever.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:01 PM   #53
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Well it depends on if you mean "prey" or prey. If you mean recite an actual prayer (hail mary or whatever) it was probably a year or two ago since I've done that at a funeral. If you mean "prey" as in some sort of sincere attempt to communicate with God, haven't done in it since age 9. The conversations were very one sided, like talking to a person in a coma whom you can't see. Though being born a catholic, if I recall correctly God can only talk to the priests, not to me. Not that that part matters really since I've been an atheist since about third grade...
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:03 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




as i said in the post, "no one in this thread."

i'm trying very hard to differentiate between what i see here, and what i hear out in the media and on my television screen. i'm taking these examples, and extrapolating to make a larger point.

if i haven't expressed myself well, i apologize.
I'm so sorry, I should have read your post with more attention, Irvine. My bad.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:55 PM   #55
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no worries at all.

lots to think about.

i suppose i'm hungry for what i call authenticity, and i don't know how or what would be an authentic encounter with God, especially since i trust my own senses and rationality so much -- unless there was some kind of revelatory experience, i feel fairly confident that i could explain any event in my life not as God's will or God's interaction but as a rational series of events.

but that's just me. i know others are different, and while i might view their recounting of their experiences with skepticism, i would never assume that they're wrong or whatever. i would just think that it's an experience different from my own, but just as real.

as for myself ... with all that's gone on in my life, and the world, these past few years, rational explanations for events and circumstance make much more sense, to me, than do divine interpretations.

and i have such an aversion to rules, heirarchy, and "correct" ways of knowing and understanding. i can't stand it when people claim to speak for God, to to know -- without hesitation or questioning -- what the Bible "says."

my big point is that, due to the very personal, subjective nature of how faith and God manifest themselves in the life of the person of faith, how could we ever claim to know what is best for other people, i.e. that we all should be one particular kind of Christian, or even Christian at all?

that's all i'm trying to say. that these stories of faith and prayer simply support my distaste for fundamentalist, literal understandings of any and all religions.

but they give creedence to the idea of God. again, for me.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:31 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

my big point is that, due to the very personal, subjective nature of how faith and God manifest themselves in the life of the person of faith, how could we ever claim to know what is best for other people, i.e. that we all should be one particular kind of Christian, or even Christian at all?

that's all i'm trying to say. that these stories of faith and prayer simply support my distaste for fundamentalist, literal understandings of any and all religions.

but they give creedence to the idea of God. again, for me.
A little more for you to consider: You've already thought of this, but let me remind you that a deep, personal, and very satisfying and meaningful relationship with God does not have to be based on Christianity at all.

At all.
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Old 05-05-2005, 05:25 AM   #57
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Re: Prayer

Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen

I'm just wondering what people here think of prayer. Do you pray? How often?
NOt more than thrice a year..thats for sure


Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen

What about?
Well asking something for someone or myself.. Its like asking from the creator of the universe..some help or something like that...sometimes..to thank Him for something He has done.

Some of the times I pray only to give others company.


Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen

Do you think it works? What if nobody prayed?

I dont think it works unless it is backed by effort . In that case whether prayer helped or effort help...the results are always inconclusive.

Nothing will happen if no one prayed...it will save million of man hours per day


Sometimes I pray to Goddess of Wealth for some luck in stock market
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:43 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


A little more for you to consider: You've already thought of this, but let me remind you that a deep, personal, and very satisfying and meaningful relationship with God does not have to be based on Christianity at all.

At all.


good points, agreed.

perhaps i do pay too much attention to assertions that "the only way to God is through Christ."
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:04 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


A little more for you to consider: You've already thought of this, but let me remind you that a deep, personal, and very satisfying and meaningful relationship with God does not have to be based on Christianity at all.

At all.
My own younger sister believes in God but she's not a Christian.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:26 AM   #60
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Hi, I am getting to this thread late, but have really enjoyed it.
Has anyone seen the movie "What the bleep do we know?" It has so much to do with this thread I want to write all about it here, but really what you should do is go rent it. A bunch of quantum physics people talking about the nature of god and how we create our realities-all based on science... and it supports the concept of prayer/meditation and god...
As for me, yes I pray. Part of my daily meditation is to pray. Although I do alot of informal prayer (chatter, and sometimes bitching, to the Goddess) I say a simple one every morning which is :
"Who is this flower before me and what is the work of this god? I would know myself in all my parts."
It is part of a poem by victor anderson, and widely used as a morning prayer in my tradition. I really like it as the start for my day...
Coemgen, although we practice different religions, I think we have more in common than I realized after reading this thread! That is a heartening thing to know!
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