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Thread: What is the purpose of prayer?

  1. #31
    Wrinkly Member Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    A friend of mine tells me he read this on Facebook.

    "I went to church and repeatedly prayed for a bicycle. Again and again. It didn't work. So I stole a bicycle, went to church and prayed for forgiveness." Or words to that effect.

    I have always loved that.
    I trust he found forgiveness.... "God helps those who help themselves" in practice.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangermouse View Post
    I trust he found forgiveness.... "God helps those who help themselves" in practice.
    It's better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
    Thanks from Ian Jeffrey

  3. #33
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Naturally, there is no way to really test such a hypothesis, since causation could never be established. There is no way to know, for example, whether a nominally bad outcome would have been better or worse with prayer than without it, or vice versa.

    One description of the Jewish approach to prayer can be found here.
    Interestingly the majority of what I read there is about ritualistic prayer, which I understand is more about introspection.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    Interestingly the majority of what I read there is about ritualistic prayer, which I understand is more about introspection.
    It really does seem kind of silly to use the same word for a kid praying to god to forgive them for jerking off, or whatever, and this:

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4hvpue9KYns/maxresdefault.jpg

    Right? I mean, really, I'm not so sure that Buddhists aren't atheists, or rather devoutly committed agnostics. Right? They literally meditate to achieve transcendent agnosticism.

    That's so cool.

  5. #35
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    Interestingly the majority of what I read there is about ritualistic prayer, which I understand is more about introspection.
    Whole books have been written about prayer in Judaism, so it is rather difficult to simply boil it down. However, prayer is directed toward G-d, and can be introspective at the same time ... kind of a look inward and then outward. Although ritualistic to varying degrees (and prayer may also be added spontaneously at other times, as well), one must have kavanah. If one is not introspective, one's prayer can only have a limited degree of sincerity - which is a big deal, considering the number of prayers one says during the course of a normal day.

  6. #36
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splansing View Post
    It really does seem kind of silly to use the same word for a kid praying to god to forgive them for jerking off, or whatever, and this:

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4hvpue9KYns/maxresdefault.jpg
    Not really. Both can be just as sincere, if on different levels. However, the picture appears to depict meditation more than prayer. (Of course, one cannot really tell from the outside.)

    Quote Originally Posted by splansing View Post
    I mean, really, I'm not so sure that Buddhists aren't atheists, or rather devoutly committed agnostics. Right? They literally meditate to achieve transcendent agnosticism.
    From what I remember from my Buddhism class in college (this was over 20 years ago, so give me some slack), I do not believe the terms "atheist" or "agnostic," or other such similar terms (including "theist") are really part of the Buddhist conceptual milieu. Were the Buddha to be asked the question, his answer might be something along the lines of "that question does not tend to edification." That is to say, the question of whether G-d in the western sense (i.e., Judaism, Xianity or Islam) will not tell you anything useful, and would be a distraction from recognizing the Four Noble Truths, following the Eightfold Path and contemplating Nirvana. In other words, no matter what the answer, you would not learn anything by being able to answer the question, whether with certainty or uncertainty. Something along those lines.
    Thanks from Redwood Burl

  7. #37
    A Blue Dog Jets Fan Jets's Avatar
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    Prayer for me is my personal connection to God. My faith is my version of self help as well as a source of comfort. The question posed in the OP is subjective. Everyone may have different reasons for prayer that may not fit neatly into explanation.

    Jmo

  8. #38
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil505 View Post
    So there is no need for god, right?
    Just the belief is what heels?
    How could anyone answer this question? For myself, I don't think prayer alters outcomes. The 6 million who died in the death camps surely prayed, and were prayed for.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member aboutenough's Avatar
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    The Purpose of prayer, is the hope that God intervenes in whatever your request is. By faith you are healed.

  10. #40
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aboutenough View Post
    The Purpose of prayer, is the hope that God intervenes in whatever your request is. By faith you are healed.
    And why would God do that? Doesn't everything that happens, happen for a reason? Isn't it all part of "God's plan"? If God is omniscient, and omnipotent, why should God change his plans, just because you asked him to?
    Thanks from Madeline and Friday13

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