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prayers answered


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Initial post: Nov 1, 2012 10:39:36 PM PDT
Just throwing this one out there.

how many here feel that they have had a specific prayer answered?

and has anyone ever experienced something like what the book of Acts described where people experience vision, word of God, prophetic dreams etc?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 10:49:50 PM PDT
many

perhaps

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 11:11:48 PM PDT
such as?

Pardon my asking, but I tend to seek out stories such as these.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 11:24:17 PM PDT
Jack Vix says:
None, never. I prayed my entire youth. Nothing that wasn't psychosomatic, nothing significant comes from prayer or it would be obvious. It would be a science and we would use it to try and make the world a better place.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 11:28:09 PM PDT
I once prayed that I could get in Laura's panties, and sure enough, after a few dates, she put out like a cougar! So I prayed for the same thing from Kristie, Pam, Debbie, Candy, and Elizabeth, but only got 2 out of 5 on those.

I think God has some quota or rationing system or something that they didn't print in the Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 11:33:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 11:34:04 PM PDT
"None, never. I prayed my entire youth. Nothing that wasn't psychosomatic, nothing significant comes from prayer or it would be obvious. It would be a science and we would use it to try and make the world a better place. "

really? might I ask to whom you prayed to? or if it is not too bazen, what denominational doctrine you found yourself a part of?

for the purpose of being fair, I don't belong to any denomination. And the doctrine you could say I follow could be described as that of the exposition of the faith in the book of Romans in Pauline literature.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 11:47:26 PM PDT
Jack Vix says:
I prayed to God. No particular denomination, I was a Christian. I cherrypicked and just behaved how I thought was decent. I made my own Christianity like most do.

If you mean "brazen", no. I was earnest and not intending it as merely an experiment. At times I would cry and ask for a sign, for guidance, for levity.

Eventually I became disillusioned and got out of my depression. Acceptance. No fear, no hope, no faith.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 11:57:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 11:58:59 PM PDT
"I prayed to God. No particular denomination, I was a Christian. I cherrypicked and just behaved how I thought was decent. I made my own Christianity like most do."

So might I ask how you defined Christianity? What makes a Christian?

"If you mean "brazen", no. "

I was referring to asking if you not minding that I asked.

"I was earnest and not intending it as merely an experiment. At times I would cry and ask for a sign, for guidance, for levity. Eventually I became disillusioned and got out of my depression. Acceptance. No fear, no hope, no faith. "

I am sorry to hear that. Believe me when I tell you that I do understand the feeling of loosing faith. Ironic thing is I don't think I ever asked for a sign but got one.

Have you ever considered that people describing their experiences and signs given to them was itself Him giving a sign to you? Just something I read from the New Testament that makes me ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 12:19:13 AM PDT
Jack Vix says:
How did I define Christianity? I didn't. Everyone who calls themselves a Christian thinks they're what a Christian is. It's just something people call themselves, no one really follows the Bible and what Jesus said.

My mistake, I thought you meant if I was brazen with prayer. Some Christians have that reaction to my dismissal of prayer, claiming I wasn't serious enough, it's insulting so that was my mistaken reaction.

"I am sorry to hear that"

Don't be, it's one of the best things that's ever happened in my life. The dogmatic house I built crashed down and I was left with what is, uncertainty, humility, acceptance.

"Have you ever considered that people describing their experiences and signs given to them was itself Him giving a sign to you?"

I was never that naive, even when I was a believer. If there was an actual sign it would be more obvious than a suggestion. I'm not so easily fooled. Any "sign" I've heard of has been unimpressive. We're pattern seeking mammals, if you look for something you will find it eventually and count the hits, and ignore the misses. It's a self-fulfilling game of probability. People don't understand coincidence, or choose not to, because they want to believe. Desirability is not a requisite of truth.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 12:27:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 12:31:08 AM PDT
"It's just something people call themselves, no one really follows the Bible and what Jesus said."

I do. Read it almost every day. Halfway through the Torah. Read the gospels and of Paul's letters. Focus specifically on what Jesus said and Paul's genuine letters also.

Paul the apostle brought up what a Christian was in Romans. The entire book of Romans was an exposition on the faith and what it meant to be Christian.

Fact. Its the first and only record by an actual apostle of the era who claimed to witness a resurrected Jesus.

"I was never that naive, even when I was a believer. "

This was my sign. I heard angels argue with me telling me to repent after I lost my faith. I asked them "how do I know God exists" He answered by letting me feel His presence. Understood the meaning of fear and reverence in a very profound way. It was very direct answer to question I never asked but felt . A few other things afterwards. One time He let me experience just what it meant to know that He loved me. Could only describe it as absolute peace. Kind of like a promise of what's waiting for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 1:18:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 1:22:03 AM PDT
Jack Vix says:
I've known that feeling. Like I said, of course there are psychosomatic or placebo effects. You accept an idea, and you get what you expect. Members of other religions have the same experience only toward their religion, it's hardly impressive. And if the truth of a religion is determined from an inner experience then what's to make of the many that don't have that experience?

I still have that love, what you might call "light". However, I couldn't delude myself so easily as you. I feel the warm bliss just typing about it, it's a totem I've created emotionally. It's something for which I've directed energy at and expressed good feelings.

Your ego seeks a reason to persist, to be happy, it tells you stories to please you, to bring levity to the pain of life, to make sense of all the suffering, it doesn't mean they are real. It's simply part of your self(ego).

Religions promise a city of gold when you're dead, but it's an obvious offer. There's no reason to believe it at all. Life is really really hard, we want there to be a solution, many do all they can desperately to convince themselves there is one, but there isn't. You tricked your mind to feel. The human mind is extremely susceptible to hallucination. It can seem very real, but so can ridiculous dreams and acid trips.

I wish there was a happily ever after, but we're alone, and acceptance is the best we can do if we care about the truth. Whatever is, is. No amount of hope or belief will change reality.

"The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right. you can't all be correct. And what if all of you are wrong? It's a possibility, you know. You must care about the truth, right? Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical. I'm not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about. But in my line of work, they're called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation."
-Carl Sagan

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:35:55 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:36:35 AM PDT
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Posted on Nov 2, 2012 9:26:46 AM PDT
If a person "keeps score" of prayer in a truly objective way, they will then arrive at the inescapable conclusion that:

Despite any prayers offered, hurricanes and other natural disasters hit without regard to whether they miss everyone or kill hundreds, and when they do, it is without consideration of religion, etc. A Catholic farmer who prays for rain is no more likely to receive it than a Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, or Atheist farmer, or a Native American who does a "rain dance". Sports teams who pray for wins achieve them in numbers that give no indication of which team "God" favors. Both "miracles" and calamities pretty much hit not only individuals and groups of different religions equally, but non-believers as well. Lifelong criminals pray and sometimes see them "answered", while there are countless cases of large groups of pious individuals who pray for the recovery of an innocent child, with heartbreaking results.

People will unhesitatingly point to favorable results as "evidence" of "God's" answers, and completely ignore the negative ones (or claim something to the effect that "`God' has special plans, which are unknowable.") They explain the randomness with "God answers all prayer, though not always with positive results." Also, they will offer as "proof" of "God's" disfavor any bad things that happen to those outside their religious group.

Although I have not ruled out the possibility of a "God", the only honest and rational assumption to make from the obvious evidence is that if one does exists, `he' either does not act on prayers offered or does so in such a way as to be almost indistinguishable from chance.

We have no actual empirical evidence that "God" responds to prayer; all we have are anecdotes, and there are many factors which render them suspect.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 11:01:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 11:03:05 PM PDT
"I've known that feeling. Like I said, of course there are psychosomatic or placebo effects. You accept an idea, and you get what you expect"

the problem is I had not accepted anything. I went agnostic and this happened way after that. Its part of what brought me back.

I wasn't a believer when I started experiencing anything.

And part of the reason I asked is because I actually have had prayers answered. Very directly and in very profound ways.

"The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right. you can't all be correct. And what if all of you are wrong?"

I think they are all wrong. No 1 is right and many have elements of truth to them.

However I don't completely belong to any religious organization, I don't follow preachers but I do have a theology, and I do try to take a more academic approach.

Ex. If there is 1000 world theologies and 999 of them have nothing except a story to prove themselves, and fail to meet a historical standard but 1 of them stands out by providing dated documents, firsthand eyewitness accounts by an original member, circumstantial evidence to suggest possibility of the miracle, and recognized lack of alternate naturalistic explanation, by process of elimination you would have a reason to accept that particular theology as accurate above the others.

Theology is not the same as religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 11:35:07 PM PDT
Jack Vix says:
I'm not saying you need to accept it as fact or be religious first, you wanted to be. It's not a completely conscious thing or you would know that you deluded yourself, and if you were aware that you deluded yourself... you wouldn't be deluded. It's not like it takes a lot of conscious effort, if you desperately desire to see something profound in order to put some significance in your life, then you will probably find what you're expecting and attach whatever meaning you hoped you would find onto it.

Theology is a data-less game of pretend. If it's not worth doing, it's not worth doing well. Organized or not, religion is inherently irrational. There's no reason to believe things without evidence, which, by the way, anecdotes are not.

There's no reason to believe the historical reality of any mythology. What lacked a naturalistic explanation? Care to give an example of one of these supposed "answered prayers"?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 10:01:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012 11:18:32 PM PDT
"I'm not saying you need to accept it as fact or be religious first, you wanted to be. It's not a completely conscious thing or you would know that you deluded yourself, and if you were aware that you deluded yourself... you wouldn't be deluded."

As if you knew anything about me. your statements are pure arrogance in your self assurance of lack of theological validity. Assuming that you are correct in that there is no data, you could just as easily be deluding yourself by a desire not to believe which would explain your arrogant claims that people are only deluding themselves.

Point is, that its rude to call people deluded without knowing anything about them. Sorry if i was rude by the way.

"Theology is a data-less game of pretend."

Agree to disagree. Most theologies might be what you say, but if you had 1 theology that had a tendency to stand out by doing what others normally don't. What if 1 would actually present data to back up several of its claims. Such as the historical data for the conversion of Paul by the standard of historical data. Data exists in many forms. Historical data is the one I am referring to. Its a rare thing for theology to have that, so if you find 1 that can provide, its good to at least investigate. Another example, the historical data that supports the authorship of Lukan literature accuracy, the recognition of Pauline authorship of 7 letters. The recognition of the authors belief in the information presented in those letters to support separate traditions from other literary works. The description of an event before it took place in the book of Revelation describing an army from the east of over 200 million in the end times fulfilled today in the east in china, as no other country in recorded world history, a prediction that a lost language of Hebrew, would be recovered in the end times, a unique event in history, taking place in the restoration of Israel.

I repeat, theology and religion are not the same.

"Care to give an example of one of these supposed "answered prayers"? "

1)A friend of mine was dying, I prayed that he be given more time and to grow up after he had been diagnosed terminal with a few months to live and never leaving the hospital.

1 week later, he told us all that he saw an angel lay hands on him, the same week his status got upgraded to maintenance and he went home. His entire atheist family became believers. He grew up taller than either parent.

2) I had tried everything and was almost completely broke with my family. Then we tried what we never did for the case and prayed for a little help. A little later my father told me he heard God speak to Him about things turning around. The next day after we prayed we got a check to save our rent payments and about that time I got called for a lot of interviews several of which said yes and I managed to get a better paying job.

3) when I was just a boy I was in a very bad situation, I remember praying to God to bring my dad home early because he was not due back for a while. Not long later I saw my dad come back from out of state earlier than expected.

4) I had a horrible experience where I was very much awake in bed but could feel something grabbing my throat, keeping me physically paralyzed in my bed. It pressed on top of me and whenever I tried getting up I got shoved back down. I prayed and forced the name Jesus out and I was able to move and breath freely again.

Just a few.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 5:40:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 5:40:42 AM PST
Alan says:
if one accepts that the God to whom one prays is omnipotent, omniscient and all loving then he already knows what one needs and therefore does not require instructions as to what he should or should not do. Asking any God for things to one's advantage is an insult to that God.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 5:43:12 AM PST
The reason for prayer is OUR communication. Going about one's life with a background sense that "God knows what to do" is not communion with Him.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:19:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 6:20:16 AM PST
Alan says:
Clarissa,

Surely such communication can consist in praise and thanks or praying for wisdom and guidance. Why ask for 'things'?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:27:39 AM PST
We are God's children. He knows we care about "things" and will listen to us.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:32:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 6:34:09 AM PST
Alan says:
He would already know. Perhaps the need to ask would suggest doubt in his beneficence.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:47:53 AM PST
As I mentioned, OUR communication with God is important; registering our interest, as it were.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:57:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 6:59:40 AM PST
Alan says:
I suppose my view of prayer is coloured by the fact that I am not a Christian and do not accept the authority of the Bible. I am more comfortable with a deistic approach.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 7:04:48 AM PST
Alan,

You are, nevertheless, very interested in why people pray.

This Forum is good for learning about others' views, isn't it? I know I have learnt a lot.

Clarissa
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  92
Initial post:  Nov 1, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 10, 2012

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