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Thread: What is the purpose of prayer?

  1. #41
    SWED Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    Okay. I guess what I am trying to understand is what is the specific purpose of prayer? What does prayer accomplish that can't be accomplished by, say, deep breathing exercises, and centering?

    "Hope, finding inner strength, speaking to a higher power, etc is what is being accomplished... to ultimately move forward, move on, something."

    Okay. This is meaningless gibberish. You are saying that prayer accomplishes praying. REALLY?!?!? So, what you are saying is that praying for something actually has no real, demonstrable effect, other than "It makes you feel better,".
    Understood. I'm not going to satisfy the OP no matter what I say, but I'll try.

    - pray to instill hope thus to get hope
    - pray for forgiveness thus to get forgiven
    - pray for love thus to get love
    - pray for recovery so that someone will recover
    - pray for guidance to get guidance
    - pray for the winning lotto numbers to win the lottery

    A strength someone believes comes from a higher power. I'm not certain it has any demonstrable effect, but that's something that we all personally decide for ourselves. And hopefully it does make people feel better. If people pray to feel better, good. People should feel better and I don't think anyone should have a huge problem if it's not hurting anyone or pushing it on anyone who is sensitive to that.

    I don't really pray all that much but it always appeared to be a trick to get people to look within themselves.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member Solitaire Champion, Inspector Parker Champion Red Eft's Avatar
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    The simplistic answer would be to talk with/connect with God....though there are people who expect prayers answered.

    Looking at it from a biological/psychological POV, I think it depends on a couple of factors....the person praying, the type of praying, the length of praying, the intensity/focus on praying. It can be a coping mechanism, stress reliever (unless you're asking for something which you don't get), help a person enter a meditative state, it can create a sense of connection/not feeling alone, and it can help with self control (remember reading some research about that a while ago <my degree is in psychology>).
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  3. #43
    A Blue Dog Jets Fan Jets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    Understood. I'm not going to satisfy the OP no matter what I say, but I'll try.

    - pray to instill hope thus to get hope
    - pray for forgiveness thus to get forgiven
    - pray for love thus to get love
    - pray for recovery so that someone will recover
    - pray for guidance to get guidance
    - pray for the winning lotto numbers to win the lottery

    A strength someone believes comes from a higher power. I'm not certain it has any demonstrable effect, but that's something that we all personally decide for ourselves. And hopefully it does make people feel better. If people pray to feel better, good. People should feel better and I don't think anyone should have a huge problem if it's not hurting anyone or pushing it on anyone who is sensitive to that.

    I don't really pray all that much but it always appeared to be a trick to get people to look within themselves.
    Very well said!
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  4. #44
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    Understood. I'm not going to satisfy the OP no matter what I say, but I'll try.

    - pray to instill hope thus to get hope
    - pray for forgiveness thus to get forgiven
    - pray for love thus to get love
    - pray for recovery so that someone will recover
    - pray for guidance to get guidance
    - pray for the winning lotto numbers to win the lottery

    A strength someone believes comes from a higher power. I'm not certain it has any demonstrable effect, but that's something that we all personally decide for ourselves. And hopefully it does make people feel better. If people pray to feel better, good. People should feel better and I don't think anyone should have a huge problem if it's not hurting anyone or pushing it on anyone who is sensitive to that.

    I don't really pray all that much but it always appeared to be a trick to get people to look within themselves.
    Well, at least that's honest. Kinda makes the point that prayer doesn't produce supernatural involvement, though, doesn't it?

  5. #45
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    It's a nicety people say to people on Facebook when they have to put Fido down or their Aunt Emma passes away at 148.
    Sounds better than 'That fucking sucks'. Thoughts & Prayers.
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  6. #46
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    Well, at least that's honest. Kinda makes the point that prayer doesn't produce supernatural involvement, though, doesn't it?
    How could it?

  7. #47
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiocracat View Post
    It's a nicety people say to people on Facebook when they have to put Fido down or their Aunt Emma passes away at 148.
    Sounds better than 'That fucking sucks'. Thoughts & Prayers.
    No, it's not just this. It helps the powerless cope with pain and loss (at times.)
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  8. #48
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    No, it's not just this. It helps the powerless cope with pain and loss (at times.)
    It works a lot like that in Judaism, which includes special prayers.

    Judaism 101: Life, Death and Mourning

  9. #49
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    How could it?
    Askin the wrong person here. I'm an atheist. I was asking theists to explain their position, and reason for prayers like "Please guide the surgeon's hands...", "send your angels to soften the heart of the interviewer, that I may get this job...", "destroy this demons of cancer in my aunt...", etc.

  10. #50
    Veteran Member aboutenough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    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?
    That's why I pray Gods will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I make a prayer request, but its not my will to be done, its Gods. He has a plan for every person. If a person has cancer and they ask me to pray for them I will try to pray, but it may be that persons time to go to heaven. It happened to my wife's best friend 3 years ago, died of Colon Cancer.

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