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Old 09-19-2002, 12:25 PM   #1
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Prayers - are they useless or are they useful

I see many people praying many times a day. I really really wonder if prayers are useful. I mean, there is no absolute
reason to believe a prayer should help. Is it only to feel good ?
In that case is it not self-bluffing. Praying time - Isnt that a waste
of millions of man hours. Something that can used for something productive.

Praying isnt logical, it is not proved to achieve something. If you get something by praying, how can you prove that you would have not got that without praying. Or worse still, you might be losing because you might be spending a lot of time praying instead of doing something what you want.

I admire qualities of self-determination , will-power, humbleness and hard work but praying..I am very cynical about it. and it is not required (IMHO) to achieve any of those qualities.

I would apreciate if people replying to this would stick to
telling why or why not praying is useful instead of listing 100s reasons why praying is better than some XYZ. A logic like " Praying is better than taking drugs instead. So we should pray. or God wants us to pray and hence we should pray" would make no sense to me atleast . Also " praying gives me self-determination etc " would no sense to me.

Thanks a lot,

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Old 09-19-2002, 12:45 PM   #2
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Well call it what you like but I love talk to God. It's very comforting.
I view it like any other friendship, I've been angry at him before and I've voiced that, I've been sooo happy with something that I've thanked him to no end.

He's a great friend and I won't have you saying that I'm wasting my time talking to this friend.

Just the other night me and a few friends were just sitting on this dock we like to relax at. We are all going though a difficult time trying to get our lives figured out with respect to our band, so one of the guys started talking to God.
His eyes opened, looking around...just talking to Him.

It was a cloudy night but there was a tiny spot where you could see the night sky.
as he was praying a shooting star went through that small opening and I immediatley felt a comfort I cannot explain. Tears even came to my was the most beautiful thing God could have ever done for me. He is truly an artist

perhaps a lot of people would argue we're talking to nobody. that we're insane
but they just don't understand how beautiful it all can be

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Old 09-19-2002, 12:54 PM   #3
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Hello Acrobatman,

I believe praying is a form of meditation, affirmation, and dealing with life’s problems and perhaps a way of letting go. Most who do it will say they do it because of their faith or belief system.
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:23 PM   #4
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An interesting question and I am glad you asked.

Prayer, in a nutshell, is talking to God (and when I say God, I mean Jesus). I begin each day with prayer, not in a formal, ritualistic mode, but quietly, alone on my knees.

I find prayer goes well beyond simply asking God for stuff. Prayer is a process where the believer is changed as the relationship with God grows closer. It is a time to "clean the slate" before God - confessing sins and asking for forgiveness (which God freely gives by His grace).

My time in prayer will involve praise of God for who He is, thanking God for what He has done, confessing to God where I go astray, and asking God to intervene in my life and the life of others. Sometimes I find it helpful to pray with an open Bible before me - if I can't find the words, what could be better than God's Word?

The result of my prayer - an increased peace, comfort, confidence. I trust that God will grant me the wisdom I seek, the words to say, the love to show. I trust that God will protect my family, my friends. I trust God will show me how He wants to use me each day, at home, at work or in my community.

I fnd my worst days are those that don't begin with prayer - where I try to do everything on my own or with unconfessed sin in my life.

Prayer is a powerful thing, but the power begins with faith in Christ.

I hope this helps.....
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:56 PM   #5
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I personally think all prayers are just another form af meditation. The part of it I dont like is when people expect prayer to get them everything in life. Instead of going out there and doing something, they sit back (kneel perhaps) and pray. I think prayer is usless for somethings, and useful for other. It is useful to help let go of something, and useless if prayer is expected to bring everything on a platter.
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Old 09-19-2002, 02:07 PM   #6
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I think it depends largely on your view and conception of God, if you have one. If you view God as a being who knows all and ordains all, then prayer seems to me to be little more than a way of self-comfort and ultimately pointless in changing the things that happen in life. However, the view that I am coming to hold is that God allows us humans to actively make choices and to participate in a give-and-take relationship with him. Therefore, prayer seems to me to be an actual meaningful communication. How and if it is answered in the way we want or expect is another thing altogether. If I have free will to do what I want and God respects that by allowing me to make choices, then it would follow that he won't necessarily interfere in the free will decisions of another moral agent.
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 09-19-2002, 05:54 PM   #7
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Talking to God is a useful way to spend time. I don't ask for things, but guidance; help in making decisions, knowing which path to take when more than one is evident. I ask for strength to handle difficult situations. I get almost tangible results from these prayers. I can feel what the answers are. I know more clearly which way to go; I can feel the strength pour into me.

I've been on the other end of prayer, and that was tangible, as well. We had a horrible family tragedy 9 years ago, and my husband and I could feel the prayers of those who were praying for us. Truly, we could feel it!

So, no, I don't feel it's wasted time for me.
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Old 09-21-2002, 04:43 AM   #8
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They are useful.

I think if you are praying for a certain person f.e., it has an influence. Science doesn´t know everything yet, and scientists are only guessing around what to do - there are direct connections from brain to brain. And "religious intelligence" (don´t have any better expression) is part of everyone, I think, having been sent from God.

You can communicate that way, too.
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:13 AM   #9
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Hey, it's a Sula!

Anyway, what I mostly pray for these days is one of two things:

1.) Thanks to God for blessings in my life; or,

2.) Strength to get through tough situations.

I try not to pray to God for specific things or outcomes of specific situations, although that's hard. Just last night I asked God to help things work out between myself and someone I really like. I know that maybe that's the wrong thing to ask God for, but I sort of couldn't help it.

I think prayer works, if for no other reason that prayer has never let me down. I feel pretty blessed, for example, to be living in a not-bad place, with a nice house to live in and food to eat. I know I'm lucky to be employed and to be attending a good school. I also know that I've never ended it all because I couldn't handle a situation, and sometimes I know I was so overwhelmed God had to be helping me through.
and you hunger for the time
time to heal, desire, time

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Old 09-21-2002, 04:46 PM   #10
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it has to be believed to be seen

one of life's cannot get a scientific answer about prayer and it's power.
Whatever form, silent, private, loud congregational...humans have been using it for a long long time.
I haven't belonged to a church for a long long time , but I do refer to and offer prayers for friends.
By that I mean I will at some point in the day, either light a candle or some incense, pick a flower , go for a walk, sing a song...lots of options...but for that period of time I focus my..."well whatever it is" and will, hopefully for their support and benefit. I have no idea what that achieves, but there are a lot of stories of hope and faith.

I once read the AMORC members worldwide collectively meditate at a certain time each week. A joining of it a waste of their time? I don't think we can ever know.

I told someone early in the year that I was going to start trying to get fitter and stop smoking.
I loved her concise response.... it "Well it can't hurt!"
Same with prayer maybe.
I have a new friend, who is very serious about the presence of angels.I must admit she read something from a book about them to me and it floored a nice way.

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