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power of prayer
07-31-2009, 08:59 AM
Post: #1
power of prayer
Has anyone ever truly seen, felt, heard, or witnessed the true power of prayer? I believe I have. Many years ago, I was in Utah, staying with my brother. It was a fairly bad time in my life, or at least I thought so. I began to feel the need to return to California, since I had a girlfriend there I was pining for, and my life was in neutral while living in Utah. I decided to leave on a December morning. It was not too cold, not for Utah in the wintertime, so I decided to hitch-hike to L.A. County. The news the night before was warning of snow and colder weather, but I thought I could make it. I mean it is only a 14 hour drive, right? Anyway, about 70 miles into my trip the snow fell hard. It did not last too long, but piled up very fast. When the snow stopped I continued on my way. I got a ride fairly quickly, but only for a few miles. I found myself stuck on a remote highway, with almost no traffic, and cold enough to freeze the roads solid, requiring chains for vehicles. And night was approaching fast, dropping temperatures even lower. As darkness fell, so did the number of cars on the rd. First car, no. Second car,no. Seems like hours go by, and nothing. There are no houses or farms in the area to ask for help, so I keep walking. Finally the third car. I can hear it approaching, because of the tire chains on the icy road. I sort of half-heartedly stick out my thumb, being denied so many times. The car kept going, my hopes sank. Finally, at a fork in the road, they stopped. It was a mother and her teenage son. At first, they were only intending to take me to the next town so I could find another way. I fell asleep almost immediatly. When I woke up, I learned they decided to shelter me for the night, and take me to the freeway the next day. When I finally got home, my dear mother was standing outside, crying. We hugged for a bit; my mom told me she was worried about me and the worry started the previous morning. She said she was praying for me. I believe I could have died of exposure on that remote road in Utah without the prayers of my mother, and I believe those good people who stopped for me were directed to do so by the power of those prayers. Anyone with similar experience?
WORSHIP GOD-PRAISE JESUS-LIVE THE LIFE-AMEN
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07-31-2009, 09:46 AM
Post: #2
RE: power of prayer
You would have died of exposure if not for that wonderful mother and son. Do not take away from their good deeds by bringing myth into it.

Experiments into the power of positive thinking are inconclusive, but controlled experiments into the power of prayer turn out negative every time. Also, lets be honest here, countless people pray every single day for things like the life of their families. Consider all the starving christians in the world right now, all the christians dying of deadly diseases. Do you really think god spared your life because he likes you, and decided not to spare all of theirs?

It's a bit of a cliche and a contrived argument, but if there is such a thing as prayer, why don't amputees ever grow limbs back?

A very selfless mother and child took you in and kept you alive. They should be praised for their goodwill, the sort of goodwill that makes the world a better place. Don't cheapen it by pretending they had to because your mother was praying.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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07-31-2009, 10:05 AM
Post: #3
RE: power of prayer
(07-31-2009 08:59 AM)mint57 Wrote:  She said she was praying for me. I believe I could have died of exposure on that remote road in Utah without the prayers of my mother, and I believe those good people who stopped for me were directed to do so by the power of those prayers. Anyone with similar experience?
WORSHIP GOD-PRAISE JESUS-LIVE THE LIFE-AMEN

I suppose prayer can be many things, but in the case of intercession I would say that it is about bringing a situation into God's presence, and then leaving the rest to him. It is not for anybody, including GTSeng, to dictate what the outcome should be.
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08-02-2009, 01:54 AM
Post: #4
RE: power of prayer
I believe that prayer has power. Of course we can't assume that prayer forces things to happen, in part because of the very things GTseng cites (I don't think that those things constitute a disproof of the power of prayer, but they certainly demonstrate that we can't force God to make things happen). I think it very possible that those good people were directed to stop because of the power of prayer, that, in a sense, prayer was a message sent to God which was relayed on to a mother and child, and they listened to the message.
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08-02-2009, 08:51 AM
Post: #5
RE: power of prayer
I agree with GT in one aspect. The mother and child that took you in should be praised. However, God did that. He sent the spirit to tell them to take you for a night. Prayer is NOT a myth nor is God.
I have too experienced the power of prayer.
I was 15 going on 16 and my mom was very ill with cancer. I prayed night after night for her to be better. This went on for about 2 weeks. She finally passed a week after my 16th birthday. Now this didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. He answered my prayers just not in the way I wanted him to.
This happens to all Christians at any given time.
She was better at that point because she wasn't sick or feeling pain anymore. It took me almost 18 years to realize that he answered my prayers.
You should never pray with a preconceived notion of how it should turn out. He will answer your prayers. Just not always the way you want to.
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08-02-2009, 11:08 AM
Post: #6
RE: power of prayer
What? He answered your prayers, just not in the way you want to?

This is not evidence of prayer. George Carlin said it best. In one of his better comedy routines, he explained that he no longer prayed to god. He prayed to Joe Pesci, because Joe Pesci just seemed like the kind of guy who could get things done. And remarkably enough, his prayers were answered by Joe Pesci at about the same rate as his prayers to god.

It's a ridiculous game. If something turns out the way you prayed for, praise god, my prayers were answered! And if it doesn't, praise god, his will was done rather than mine! Which is utterly ridiculous. What is prayer good for, then? If god only answers prayers that are in accordance with his will, why pray at all? If it's god's will, it will happen anyway, and if it's not god's will, your prayers are absolutely useless. What, do you seriously think that if you had not prayed to god, that mother and son would never have been driving down that road? They probably left to go on that trip long before you started praying. Do you seriously think that your mother's cancer progressed because of your prayer? I know plenty of people who died in terrible agony who were being prayed for constantly, your mother just happened to get lucky and be one of the few who stopped feeling pain.

Any way you look at it, prayer only serves one purpose - it makes us feel like we are doing something. Which may seem like a good thing, until you realize that it is all an illusion, and it prevents us from ACTUALLY doing something.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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08-02-2009, 01:19 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2009 01:19 PM by Anglican.)
Post: #7
RE: power of prayer
(08-02-2009 11:08 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  What? He answered your prayers, just not in the way you want to?

This is not evidence of prayer. George Carlin said it best. In one of his better comedy routines, he explained that he no longer prayed to god. He prayed to Joe Pesci, because Joe Pesci just seemed like the kind of guy who could get things done. And remarkably enough, his prayers were answered by Joe Pesci at about the same rate as his prayers to god.

It's a ridiculous game. If something turns out the way you prayed for, praise god, my prayers were answered! And if it doesn't, praise god, his will was done rather than mine! Which is utterly ridiculous. What is prayer good for, then?

It's not surprising you are an atheist. The amazing thing is that you were ever a Christian. Prayer is meant to be good for anything; anymore than whispering into your beloved's ear is meant to be good for something.
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08-02-2009, 01:38 PM
Post: #8
RE: power of prayer
Consider this:

As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7: 7-11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

Now I know that some of you are not convinced (notably GTseng), but the point is to realize that an all-knowing God doesn't need us to tell Him what we want, but it can be better for us, for the sake of learning and growing, to need to do something to receive blessings. In particular, prayer reinforces the reliance that we have on Him.
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08-02-2009, 02:20 PM
Post: #9
RE: power of prayer
"What? He answered your prayers, just not in the way you want to?
This is not evidence of prayer."

It is evidence of prayer you just don't want to see it. Just because you pray for something and wish it to turn out the way you want it to does NOT mean that it will. The proof is that he took her out of pain. He did heal her.

"It's a ridiculous game."

Really~ prayer is a game? Prayer is not a game. It is devotion of faith. You should try it sometime. However this is your opinion.

"What, do you seriously think that if you had not prayed to god, that mother and son would never have been driving down that road? They probably left to go on that trip long before you started praying."

The whole point is do you really think in today's society people just pick up strangers? No they don't. The point of that was that the Holy Spirit spoke to those people as they drove down the road. The fact that they initially passed this person then waited for him to catch up and then picked him up is proof that God the father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are very much real. It also proves that they hear the prayers of the people.

"Do you seriously think that your mother's cancer progressed because of your prayer? I know plenty of people who died in terrible agony who were being prayed for constantly, your mother just happened to get lucky and be one of the few who stopped feeling pain."

Hello~these other people stopped feeling agony as well. They may not have been cured while on earth but they have no more pain because they passed. My mother was in pain until the moment she passed. She wasn't pain free when she passed. Something you don't understand is that well before this I prayed that God not take my mother from me. The doctor said that she only had 6 months to live and that she was not going to make it to Christmas of 1987. Se didn't die until I prayed that God take the pain away and make her better. That was in October of 1988. But I guess that isn't proof enough for you.

"Any way you look at it, prayer only serves one purpose - it makes us feel like we are doing something. Which may seem like a good thing, until you realize that it is all an illusion, and it prevents us from ACTUALLY doing something."

I have prayed about a lot of things. All of which God has answered in one way or another. You continue to believe what you are going to believe that is fine for you. Unfortunately I can't even begin to think of my life without the higher power and level of forgiveness and understanding that is brought forth due to my faith in God. My opinion is that you are not Atheist but that you are very confused. I am in no way trying to insult you I am trying to understand why you feel the way that you do GT. May God bless you in all that you do and offer you comfort in your times of need.
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08-02-2009, 03:32 PM
Post: #10
RE: power of prayer
Anglican, when I whisper in my beloved's ear I get immediate and very favorable results. That's a very poor example.

Now, godlover, in today's society people do pick up strangers. When I moved into my current home, there was a man hitching down the side of the road. He looked fairly clean, and had a well-groomed dog, so I figured he wasn't a mass-murderer or anything, and he was heading in my direction. So I picked him up, he helped me move, I bought him dinner, and he was a lot closer to his destination. It may surprise you to know that there are migrant workers who travel across the entire country this way, hitching to a town, working for food and lodging, then hitching to the next town. And they do all right for themselves, and not through prayer. Countless people of all faiths, as well as atheists, do volunteer and charity work to make the world a better place. This does not require god.

So no, that's not proof of anything but the good will of humans. And there are countless examples of that in the world.

And really, you say that death is a gift from god? Sure, you experience no pain once you die - or anything else (you know, unless christians are right and you're not a christian. Then it's nothing but pain. Nice religion you have there.) And you're right, that isn't proof enough for me. Because I'm not just looking at you, I'm looking at the countless documented cases where prayer made no difference. I'm talking about controlled experiments where it was shown that prayer had no effect at all on the sick. None at all. But I suppose none of this evidence, this preponderance of evidence, matters to you, because YOUR mother died when you prayed for her to be at peace. Nevermind the fact that mothers praying for their starving children receive no answer, that children pleading that daddy will return safe from war receive telegrams of death, nevermind all this clear evidence. YOUR mother died when you prayed for her to be at peace, so that doesn't matter.

It's not that your experience means nothing. It's that your experience, when taken with all the other experiences, is statistically meaningless. A certain amount of coincidence happens. That is expected. Your case is not special, nor is it divine. If you would look beyond your own experiences at the totality of life, you would see that.

You say god has always answered your prayer, but that is only because you accept ANY outcome, any outcome at all, as evidence of god's answer. That's ridiculous. I may as well say that if I am still breathing five seconds from now, that is evidence that I am a robot powered by space aliens. Yup, still breathing, that's clear and distinct proof, isn't it?

Now, here is the telling point.

"Unfortunately I can't even begin to think of my life without the higher power and level of forgiveness and understanding that is brought forth due to my faith in God."

There you go. You can't even think of it? You can't even consider it? What a dangerous thought that is! What if you were born in Iran, and were raised Muslim! Why, according to your current religion, that alternate you would go to hell for being unable to think of life outside their religion.

And that's what I'm really against. Not religion, but against unthinking religion. Religion should be thought about, it should be analyzed, because otherwise you're just throwing darts at a target after being blindfolded, spun around, and driven in a fast car in a random direction for a few hours.

I may be an atheist, but I am an atheist because I thought about it. Because I considered things, reasonably and rationally, and that led me to accepting that the natural world is all there is. You're trapped in a religion that very well may be the wrong one for the rest of your life, because you refuse to think.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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