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How does prayer work?

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posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:32 AM
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originally posted by: Woodcarver
I see many threads and posts where people are asking for prayers or describing situations when prayer has worked for them. However when I ask these people how prayer works there is no rational explanation. In fact I have never been given an explanation as to how prayer works and why most prayers don't work. People who call for prayers or rely on prayers to get through their situations don't seem to have any idea why prayer worked in this situation and not the millions of others where it failed. There is certainly no consensus among those who claim that prayer works for them and there is certainly no way of testing if prayers do work. Or is there a way that this can be tested?

When athletes pray before they compete, does that give them some kind of advantage over the other team or their opponents? is this testable? It seems to be a very common belief. But what if the opponents we're also praying for victory? How does one come to a conclusion on The effectiveness of one sides prayers and the ineffectiveness of the other?

When students pray before they take an exam does that somehow give them an advantage over the other students or at least enable them to recall information better than without prayer at all? is this testable?

when your loved ones are sick, or are having some kind of surgery, do prayers increase the likelihood of recovery? if they do not recover, how would you explain this?

When someone calls for a prayer to have an elected official removed from office, is this a worthy use of prayer? if these prayers go forth and the elected official is not removed from office, what does that mean?

More or less I am asking for an explanation of how prayers work, and why most prayers don't work. I'm not really looking for anecdotes or stories of when you prayed for something and it happened. I don't think that will go very far to explain how prayer works.




First off you lied.. you have been given " rational " explanation .. but you must understand prayer is a mystical dialogue and many may not see the logic of it.

I prayed about how to answer you in this thread.. and my answer was to not bother for now.. and to just pray for you with sincere love. God knows the answers that will resonate with you and prayer can be a very personal thing to prove yo those who are not sincerely looking for answers but merely wishing to argue .. without logic or rationality I may add.

You are in my prayers .. and my hope is God shows you in a very real way how prayer works.




posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:32 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant

originally posted by: Woodcarver

originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: Woodcarver

Every religion would probably have a different answer to this. So I'll simply suggest that it could be an application of the "placebo effect". And for some people, it may simply help them calm down so they can think rationally (like how when someone's panicking, you tell them to take deep breaths & focus until they calm down).

I personally see it the opposite way, meaning that the placebo effect and some sports superstitions (like pregame rituals) are all applications of the power of faith.
I am a proponent that it is the placebo effect. Are you implying that the team with the most power of faith is going to be the team that wins?


I'm not talking about the results. I'm just giving nonreligious explanations for why people may feel that prayers & other faith-based rituals help. It can create a false sense of security, reinforce a comfort zone, give the perception of having good luck, make the person feel more capable (placebo effect), etc.
I am a firm believer that prayer induces a placebo effect. But that does nothing to support the effectiveness of prayer. Also believers do not except that prayer is simply a placebo. They honestly believe in the effectiveness of prayer and that favors did you get out in a divine manner.
edit on 4-2-2017 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:37 AM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: Woodcarver

The laws of attraction works both ways and doesn't discriminate. It doesn't know between good or bad but only what the mind manifests..

It's a very deep subject, and it's not as simple as just wanting something so bad and asking for it. Also very difficult to explain on a few words or even paragraphs.

I will tell you this though. At the highest levels of power around the world (and I mean people that ultimately control and influence the world) especially in the occult they all practice some form of this. It's also at the core of Satanism (which has nothing to do with Satan). Very powerful stuff.

You should look into this more if you are interested.
I very much agree that the law of attraction relies on the participant to educate themselves and take all of the necessary actions that will lead to receiving the things that they want out of the universe. For example if I want to be a doctor I need to go to school and study and then I need to apply for internships, and ultimately win against other applicants to gain a position as a doctor. Because this is the way that one becomes a doctor, not simply by wishing it to be so or wanting it bad enough that the universe gives it to you. someone who believes in the law of attraction has to do all of the same things to get what they want as someone who does not believe in the law of attraction. Which makes the law of attraction a placebo in itself.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Woodcarver, it is not easily disproven. I understand the horror we read about/encounter on a daily basis. I can also say that no man or woman has had it easy. I have met a woman whose child was killed by a mountain lion on a hike a few paces ahead of her--she has tremendous faith which has allowed her to find joy again. I've often thought that if something happened to my child I would die. I hope I never have to find out but people do and they love again.

As long as we have breath, we have life on this plane, and we have the opportunity to use it for good.

Referring to others' pain (especially people you do not personally know) as a reason for disavowing God is never a good idea because everyone reacts to the tragedy in their life differently.

And death might not be as fearful as we so often think ?
We are so afraid of dying- we consider it to be the ultimate punishment and humiliation from God (the main atheist argument I've found revolves around death, evil and suffering)- but yet we all go through it eventually. And I believe we survive our death, but that's another story.



edit on 4-2-2017 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver




I see many threads and posts where people are asking for prayers or describing situations when prayer has worked for them. However when I ask these people how prayer works there is no rational explanation. In fact I have never been given an explanation as to how prayer works and why most prayers don't work. People who call for prayers or rely on prayers to get through their situations don't seem to have any idea why prayer worked in this situation and not the millions of others where it failed. There is certainly no consensus among those who claim that prayer works for them and there is certainly no way of testing if prayers do work. Or is there a way that this can be tested?
Looking for a empirical answer to a subject dealing with metaphysics can only be found in a subset called theology .Think of it this way . In the sciences they have questions where they theorize as to options to answer their questions . Its real easy to pray for something and not get a answer .We might want to put that type of prayer in the wishful thinking box .

Prayer is a theological construct .You will only get your answer there .Finding the true theology is like picking the correct theory in science to get the answer to the question and you may have to change your question in that camp as well .



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:45 AM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: Woodcarver

Woodcarver, it is not easily disproven. I understand the horror we read about/encounter on a daily basis. I can also say that no man or woman has had it easy. I have met a woman whose child was killed by a mountain lion on a hike a few paces ahead of her--she has tremendous faith which has allowed her to find joy again. I've often thought that if something happened to my child I would die. I hope I never have to find out but people do and they love again.

As long as we have breath, we have the opportunity to use it for good.

Referring to others' pain (especially people you do not personally know) as a reason for disavowing God is never a good idea because everyone reacts to the tragedy in their life differently.

And death might not be as fearful as we so often think ?
We are so afraid of dying- we consider it to be the ultimate punishment and humiliation from God (the main atheist argument I've found revolves around death, evil and suffering)- but yet we all go through it eventually. And I believe we survive our death, but that's another story.


I
atheists also lose children and they also learn to love and be happy again. The fact that some people use their faith in a God to find happiness after such a tragedy does not prove that Faith and prayers are effective ways of affecting the world around you. Especially if they believed in that god before hand. I would think that if prayer is so effective that it could've prevented the tragedy in the first place. Every time a child gets sick or died tragically it is an unanswered prayer. I'm sure that those who are dyed in the wool pray every night for the safety of their family. So if religious people's families were Somehow less affected by the tragedies of the world, that would be a good indication of the effectiveness of prayer. However we know that that is not the case.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Prayer is communion in the Spirit to a spirit (normally to God).

Imagine the universe and then remove everything physical - there's no dimension, nothing separating us, just a singularity of infinite energy that we all get our will from.

By speaking with your will into will itself (into the Spirit) you can communicate with other spirits.

Same principle as telepathy or astral travel or Biblically being taken away in the spirit.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

While similar it's not quite the same. At the core principles of both they are very alike. "Believe so and it will" but the difference is with placebo effect you can't really control or know it's happening where with the law of attraction can be used and manipulated in many different ways. Like I mentioned earlier a lot of very powerful and influencial entities practice some form of it and is prevalent all throughout society wether we acknowledge it or not. So I wouldn't say law of attraction is a placebo in itself but rather the placebo is an ingredient in the law of attraction, hope that makes sense.
edit on 4-2-2017 by knowledgehunter0986 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:50 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

That is because prayer is effective !

I've told you prayer has saved my life twice... not to mention other graces and blessings I have received through prayer.

Prayer is answered but not always in the way we want.. or because God has allowed the free will of men to intervene for the petition of prayer.

Prayer can also change the hearts and therefore intentions of others ( have seen this as well).. and I believe is the reason why many pray for world leaders,politicians.. and all those who govern. Doesn't mean they will change but perhaps God will give them special graces to stir their hearts and inform their minds to do the righteous thing on earth.

Said I wouldn't throw my two cents in and just pray for you.. but I'm still going to pray for you.. that God's will be done in your life and you come to know His mercy and love someday. I'll be patient with my prayer 🙂Peace🌹



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: the2ofusr1
a reply to: Woodcarver




I see many threads and posts where people are asking for prayers or describing situations when prayer has worked for them. However when I ask these people how prayer works there is no rational explanation. In fact I have never been given an explanation as to how prayer works and why most prayers don't work. People who call for prayers or rely on prayers to get through their situations don't seem to have any idea why prayer worked in this situation and not the millions of others where it failed. There is certainly no consensus among those who claim that prayer works for them and there is certainly no way of testing if prayers do work. Or is there a way that this can be tested?
Looking for a empirical answer to a subject dealing with metaphysics can only be found in a subset called theology .Think of it this way . In the sciences they have questions where they theorize as to options to answer their questions . Its real easy to pray for something and not get a answer .We might want to put that type of prayer in the wishful thinking box .

Prayer is a theological construct .You will only get your answer there .Finding the true theology is like picking the correct theory in science to get the answer to the question and you may have to change your question in that camp as well .
I certainly agree that prayer does not fall under the realm of scientific investigation. pretty much all of theology has been purposefully excluded from the probing of scientific investigation. However, if prayer does indeed affect the physical world then there should be some thing there to probe. nothing can affect the physical world without leaving some kind of trace. The insistence that somehow prayer should be excluded from scientific investigation only supports the notion that prayer actually has no effect on the physical world.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Again, with the death.

Death might be the doorway to a new existance. Death might not be the worst fate a human could possibly face.. we might have a soul that needs every bit of nurturing as our physical form.

Did you know your brain is flooded with the same chemical at birth and death? How do we know that death is such a terrible experience? In fact, when we hear stories about near-death experiences, people don't talk about it as a horrific experience. The physical pain and emotional trauma is not mentioned at all, usually!



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: Woodcarver

Again, with the death.

Death might be the doorway to a new existance. Death might not be the worst fate a human could possibly face.. we might have a soul that needs every bit of nurturing as our physical form.

Did you know your brain is flooded with the same chemical at birth and death? How do we know that death is such a terrible experience? In fact, when we hear stories about near-death experiences, people don't talk about it as a horrific experience. The physical pain and emotional trauma is not mentioned at all, usually!



Totally agree .. 👍🏼



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 09:57 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
a reply to: Woodcarver

Prayer is communion in the Spirit to a spirit (normally to God).

Imagine the universe and then remove everything physical - there's no dimension, nothing separating us, just a singularity of infinite energy that we all get our will from.

By speaking with your will into will itself (into the Spirit) you can communicate with other spirits.

Same principle as telepathy or astral travel or Biblically being taken away in the spirit.
I take it you don't study science. All energy is physical if you were to remove everything physical from the universe you would rightfully remove all energy. There is no energy that is not physical. If you have some way of proving me wrong, I would insist that you write some papers and have them published in a scientific journal and then this discussion would be all for not as it would be proven that supernatural events are in fact real. Telepathy an astral projection are not accepted aspects of our universe. To simply claim that these events actually take place would be disingenuous and I would ask that you prove your claims.
edit on 4-2-2017 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:02 AM
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Also, I should add that you're not supposed to be having spiritual communion with anyone other than God (don't talk to the dead or pray to saints or demons or anyone but God - don't petition anyone but God) and you should not practice any traveling or magick or any spiritual works that are unholy.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:08 AM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: Woodcarver

Many people think that prayer is something that you do to express gratitude for what you have received, opposed to only asking for something to be done for you.


I agree.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

It never ceases to amaze me how measly humans think they have all the answers to how the universe works or how different forms of energy can exist or not.. blah blah blah. Psuedo intectuals who act like that bite of apple actually worked and they now play God with vast things we really know nothing about as FACT... only theories.

I would believe other life forms over humans as far as some facts about this universe... as far as science goes.

Science is God's toy.. and He can manipulate at will whenever He so desires. Some scientists forget that .



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

You can't take physical measurements of spiritual things - you can only measure their effect.

You subscribe to old school materialism - that is a dead science.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Prayer is a disease. Once old age sage's infected by it and now everyone's doing the same.
You can compare it to Resident Evil "T-Virus". And in modern Science we call it "P-Virus". And now we're partial zombies doing prayer caused by infection.




posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

I believe I gave the answer you were looking for. ↑



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: Sheye
a reply to: Woodcarver

That is because prayer is effective !

I've told you prayer has saved my life twice... not to mention other graces and blessings I have received through prayer.

Prayer is answered but not always in the way we want.. or because God has allowed the free will of men to intervene for the petition of prayer.

Prayer can also change the hearts and therefore intentions of others ( have seen this as well).. and I believe is the reason why many pray for world leaders,politicians.. and all those who govern. Doesn't mean they will change but perhaps God will give them special graces to stir their hearts and inform their minds to do the righteous thing on earth.

Said I wouldn't throw my two cents in and just pray for you.. but I'm still going to pray for you.. that God's will be done in your life and you come to know His mercy and love someday. I'll be patient with my prayer 🙂Peace🌹

II am sure that you believe that prayer saved your life. But the circumstances around The matter are pretty important to come to a conclusion as to the effectiveness of those prayers. Were there doctors involved? Did an actual miracle occur? Or could it be just as easily explained by normal means and you simply attribute the cause to prayer? as far as I know, recovery has never been attributed to prayer, except by those who would use their stories to push the narrative that prayer is effective. Certainly not in any medical journals or any scientific literature of a respectable nature. Would a non-religious Doctor or scientist agree that prayer is what saved your life? Can it be proven that prayer is what saved your life? Or is it just as likely that your life was spared by conventional means? It seems to me that if your story is as you described then this would be world shaking news and you would be thrust to the forefront of media headlines. But as I see it you cannot prove your claims, therefore your claims cannot be held as actual fact. No matter how strongly you believe that to be, you were simply making unprovable claims of an untestable nature. The same claims that I would believe that any religious person would certainly want to be proven to the world. With the worlds majority being of the religious persuasion, why have they not produced any testable evidence over the last several millennia? Why is this cause not at the forefront of all religious people of science? Why are there not thousands of people working diligently to prove their claims? as far as I know there has been no investigations into the claims of supernatural affects that Have been fruitful in any way. If any of these claims are ever found to be rooted in reality, it will be through scientific means and not theological speculation. Wouldn't you agree?
edit on 4-2-2017 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



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