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How does prayer work?

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posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:27 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
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.
If prayers can affect the physical world, then they would necessarily need to be of a physical nature. As far as I know there is no other form of science than that of materialism. Or perhaps you can point me in the direction of an actual scientific study that proves otherwise.




posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: Dnied
a reply to: Woodcarver

I believe I gave the answer you were looking for. ↑
I assume your cranberries reference is sarcasm?



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:29 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver




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.
There is a realm of scientific investigation looking at how metaphysics works .It is not main stream but it is there. If its been excluded then its the main stream quo that is doing it .The proof for that is well documented surrounding this guy
What you may have to do to get to a point of understanding it and having a world view to do so is to with a open mind consider things you may have a answer to now could and should be changed .Not embedded is this vid www.youtube.com... Can science give a explanation to how this might have happened ? Probably not so they in giving a answer will most surely look to discredit it by ignoring it . The flood story is easy for them because despite finding evidence all over the world they can easily put it into a local context .

New ways of interpreting geological phenoms can get a consensus agreement because of one paper .But that is among academics and will run contrary to what the public thinks they know because the old text books are still being used and referred to . A good example is
If you want to look into it then find better informed people that fall into that camp in the affirmative side rather then the no way camp .There is also a kind of screwy camp in between those two .



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: the2ofusr1
a reply to: Woodcarver




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.
There is a realm of scientific investigation looking at how metaphysics works .It is not main stream but it is there. If its been excluded then its the main stream quo that is doing it .The proof for that is well documented surrounding this guy
What you may have to do to get to a point of understanding it and having a world view to do so is to with a open mind consider things you may have a answer to now could and should be changed .Not embedded is this vid www.youtube.com... Can science give a explanation to how this might have happened ? Probably not so they in giving a answer will most surely look to discredit it by ignoring it . The flood story is easy for them because despite finding evidence all over the world they can easily put it into a local context .

New ways of interpreting geological phenoms can get a consensus agreement because of one paper .But that is among academics and will run contrary to what the public thinks they know because the old text books are still being used and referred to . A good example is
If you want to look into it then find better informed people that fall into that camp in the affirmative side rather then the no way camp .There is also a kind of screwy camp in between those two .
i know of Rupert Sheldrake's work, and i know that he has not presented anything other than hypothesis and speculation. He simply questions whether science has brought us to a clearer understanding of how the universe works. Which is a very rational thought, and by all means should always be questioned. I would go one step further and make the claim that that is what scientists should be asking themselves, this is the entire purpose of science to question our previous knowledge and to discover ways of discerning whether our previous knowledge should hold up based on our current investigations. however, He has not offered any answers and only questions the validity of current scientific knowledge. If he has made any claims that science has failed in any respect, then his claims should be subjected to some severe scrutiny. That is the way of science.as far as I know he doesn't make any positive claims of this sort and certainly doesn't offer any proof that science has failed in any respect. therefor his work is not accepted in any serious scientific circles. When/if he comes with some hard proof, then he will be taken serious. Even he knows that he has no definitive proof. And therefore his work is not taken seriously.
edit on 4-2-2017 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Im pretty sure if that was an issue understanding most thing I will say will be misunderstood



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: tikbalang

It's because you speak in parables my friend.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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originally posted by: tikbalang
a reply to: Woodcarver

Im pretty sure if that was an issue understanding most thing I will say will be misunderstood



What? I assume english is not your strong suite.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver




not accepted in any serious scientific circles. When/if he comes with some hard proof, then he will be taken serious
And where might the scientific circle be that would be even willing to take it seriously . Should he ask the ancientest that were behind his banning on the TED talk ? Seriously ! ...You make a claim that energy can't be created or destroyed but coming from literature of serious scientific circles we hear words about dark matter and dark energy . It is a theory and may just be a abrogation of math . There seems to be a lot we don't know about the things we do know about .



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: Woodcarver

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.


Prayers work for me, so I'm cool with them.


But think about what you just typed. You just admitted that you think it induces a placebo effect. The placebo effect is a scientifically measurable change that basically shouldn't happen in a given circumstance. Yet something is indeed changing. So by this logic, prayers are having an effect, and by definition, are effective. Now, is the effect enough to tilt the result of a specific event? Maybe or maybe not. But every little bit helps, right?

In the example with the athletes, prayer alone won't win them anything. They still have to make the team, practice, stay in shape, give it their best efforts, etc. But since you admitted that prayer also has an additional effect, that effect may be the difference in a win or a loss. After all, many things in sports are determined by a matter of milliseconds, inches, etc. So every little bit counts.

So if it doesn't hurt us and causes even a minor positive effect for us, why not agree with it? It sounds like you're expecting prayer alone to be the magic pill or a cure all. But even various religions preach something like "prayers and/or faith alone aren't enough; you must act as well". That's not much different from the above example with the athletes, who must still make the team, practice, stay in shape, and give their best effort in order to succeed.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 10:58 AM
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originally posted by: Sheye

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.
I do not appreciate being called a liar. If there is a rational explanation for how prayer works, i would assume that it would have been posted a 1000 times by now. Even you are flummoxed by this request, as if you have never thought about this before. By all means, ask your God how to give me an appropriate response. If he answers you and you are able to get a rational explanation as to how prayer works, I would certainly like to hear it. if your response is less than rational or believable I will gladly explain in detail why I find it unconvincing.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant

originally posted by: Woodcarver

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.


Prayers work for me, so I'm cool with them.


But think about what you just typed. You just admitted that you think it induces a placebo effect. The placebo effect is a scientifically measurable change that basically shouldn't happen in a given circumstance. Yet something is indeed changing. So by this logic, prayers are having an effect, and by definition, are effective. Now, is the effect enough to tilt the result of a specific event? Maybe or maybe not. But every little bit helps, right?

In the example with the athletes, prayer alone won't win them anything. They still have to make the team, practice, stay in shape, give it their best efforts, etc. But since you admitted that prayer also has an additional effect, that effect may be the difference in a win or a loss. After all, many things in sports are determined by a matter of milliseconds, inches, etc. So every little bit counts.

So if it doesn't hurt us and causes even a minor positive effect for us, why not agree with it? It sounds like you're expecting prayer alone to be the magic pill or a cure all. But even various religions preach something like "prayers and/or faith alone aren't enough; you must act as well". That's not much different from the above example with the athletes, who must still make the team, practice, stay in shape, and give their best effort in order to succeed.
yes I do believe that prayer has a placebo effect. But this does nothing to support The actual affects of prayer. It does show that a person's psyche can be affected by positive thoughts or that it can be tricked into believing that it has been given certain advantages which could then lead an abundance of confidence. I don't see how this could prove the effectiveness of prayer in any other way than tricking the psyche. It certainly does nothing to prove the existence of Gods, and perhaps does more to disapprove the validity of prayer to divine entities.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:08 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant

originally posted by: Woodcarver

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.


Prayers work for me, so I'm cool with them.


But think about what you just typed. You just admitted that you think it induces a placebo effect. The placebo effect is a scientifically measurable change that basically shouldn't happen in a given circumstance. Yet something is indeed changing. So by this logic, prayers are having an effect, and by definition, are effective. Now, is the effect enough to tilt the result of a specific event? Maybe or maybe not. But every little bit helps, right?

In the example with the athletes, prayer alone won't win them anything. They still have to make the team, practice, stay in shape, give it their best efforts, etc. But since you admitted that prayer also has an additional effect, that effect may be the difference in a win or a loss. After all, many things in sports are determined by a matter of milliseconds, inches, etc. So every little bit counts.

So if it doesn't hurt us and causes even a minor positive effect for us, why not agree with it? It sounds like you're expecting prayer alone to be the magic pill or a cure all. But even various religions preach something like "prayers and/or faith alone aren't enough; you must act as well". That's not much different from the above example with the athletes, who must still make the team, practice, stay in shape, and give their best effort in order to succeed.
I understand that you believe that prayers work for you, but can you explain why they work for you and they don't work for other people. Do all of your prayers get answered? Do you know the standards by which prayers are deemed worthy of being answered?



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver


If prayers can affect the physical world, then they would necessarily need to be of a physical nature.


Reality doesn't work that way. Will and belief changes things all the time. (You should look into neuroscience.)

Basically, you're stuck in an old failed scientific paradigm that even science has known was wrong since before Einstein said, "reality is merely an illusion." You think will doesn't exist because you can't see it, yet somehow, as if by magic, your translating your will into the words of your post.

The only reason you think your paradigm makes sense is because you're in denial of everything that contradicts it - literally, it is as if it doesn't exist to you, when the rest of the world knows it's real.

Do what everyone is telling you, and research the placebo effect and neuroscience.
edit on 2/4/2017 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant

originally posted by: Woodcarver

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.


Prayers work for me, so I'm cool with them.


But think about what you just typed. You just admitted that you think it induces a placebo effect. The placebo effect is a scientifically measurable change that basically shouldn't happen in a given circumstance. Yet something is indeed changing. So by this logic, prayers are having an effect, and by definition, are effective. Now, is the effect enough to tilt the result of a specific event? Maybe or maybe not. But every little bit helps, right?

In the example with the athletes, prayer alone won't win them anything. They still have to make the team, practice, stay in shape, give it their best efforts, etc. But since you admitted that prayer also has an additional effect, that effect may be the difference in a win or a loss. After all, many things in sports are determined by a matter of milliseconds, inches, etc. So every little bit counts.

So if it doesn't hurt us and causes even a minor positive effect for us, why not agree with it? It sounds like you're expecting prayer alone to be the magic pill or a cure all. But even various religions preach something like "prayers and/or faith alone aren't enough; you must act as well". That's not much different from the above example with the athletes, who must still make the team, practice, stay in shape, and give their best effort in order to succeed.
I see the statement as a clear sign that you would rather believe a lie that makes you happy, then know a truth which you disagree with. This seems to be the only consensus that religious people can come too. The best answer I've ever heard as to why or how prayer is effective, is that it simply makes people happy to believe that it works. However this does zero to actually prove the effectiveness of prayer. That is to say that God actually answers prayers or that God even exist for that matter. People simply believe this because it makes them happy.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Why don't you answer your question then? Give it all you got.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Maybe prayer works like a child asking a parent does .



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
a reply to: Woodcarver


If prayers can affect the physical world, then they would necessarily need to be of a physical nature.


Reality doesn't work that way. Will and belief changes things all the time. (You should look into neuroscience.)

Basically, you're stuck in an old failed scientific paradigm that even science has known was wrong since before Einstein said, "reality is merely an illusion." You think will doesn't exist because you can't see it, yet somehow, as if by magic, your translating your will into the words of your post.

The only reason you think your paradigm makes sense is because you're in denial of everything that contradicts it - literally, it is as if it doesn't exist to you, when the rest of the world knows it's real.

Do what everyone is telling you, and research the placebo effect and neuroscience.
I do love it when people misquote Einstein. could you please cite in some actual scientific journal where neuroscience agrees that reality is changed by will and belief alone. Making the claim is pointless if you do not have the ability to back up that claim.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:17 AM
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originally posted by: the2ofusr1
a reply to: Woodcarver

Maybe prayer works like a child asking a parent does .
I see lots of maybes being presented, but I am looking for an actual explanation. Speculation could be made in any form, but I'm not looking for speculation I am looking for explanation.



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:19 AM
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originally posted by: Dnied
a reply to: Woodcarver

Why don't you answer your question then? Give it all you got.

I do not have an explanation as to why people believe that prayer is effective. As I don't believe that it is.I am looking for someone to explain how and why prayer is effective.
edit on 4-2-2017 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Does not the search for answers require speculation within scientific circles ? Does not scientist invent theories to help guide them into what they have speculated about ? Now we can understand that its not only about the data but how you handle the data .I think Einstein said that he could show you 1000 reasons why he could be correct but all that was needed was 1 legitimate reason why he would be wrong . If all you need is 1 reason to believe what you believe then fine .But if you pass over all other reasons that contradict your idea ,you may be guilty of bias .



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