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Is Praying Useless?

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posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:08 PM
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One thing I never quite understood about prayer, is that if God controls everything, why on earth would someone look up to the sky and ask God to do this or that? I mean, He's going to take care of it anyway, right? And if you believe that God doesn't control everything, or anything, for that matter, then maybe you can share your views from the other perspective.

I've wondered this for a very long time, and never really gotten any great answers to the question, other than "Pray because it says to do so in the Bible." The thought strikes my mind again as we collectively morn for the victims of Katrina. Many people are praying for the dead and for those who lost everything. I am just wondering if it really does any good to ask God to "Have mercy upon their souls, or help them rebuild their lives" when God did it in the first place, and knows exactly what will happen to each and every one of them, as well as you and me, IMO.

[edit on 8-9-2005 by TrueAmerican]




posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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since were on the topic of hypocrisies in (modern) christianity ...

if the church is the congregation, not the building itself, whats the point of going to a central location on a sunday? whats the point in being with your peers? shouldnt your personal faith be the only thing that matters? cant you worship god from your own home on sundays, let alone any day?



for the record, i was an 18 year christian that turned agnostic 2 year ago.

[edit on 8-9-2005 by purelogik]



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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Praying is an act of faith, some really can testify that the power of prayer has done miracles in their life.

I like to have conversations with my creator, and things sometimes get better.

I truly believe that is the purpose we have in our minds the ones that make things happen.

That is why many tells you that only if you mean what you ask in the prayers they are answered.

But I feel that is the mind the one that do it and the effort we put in what we want.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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Useless? Useless???? Why nothing could be further from the truth. Prayer is one of the most mystical and magical of things this world has to offer. I've even written stories about it. Read this, it will help give you perspective:

Prayer

For the record, I was raised in a Christian home and both of my parents were ordained hellfire and brimstone Pentecostal Ministers. Still, I could never get into the concepts of Heaven and Hell. I couldn't figure out how they had anything to do with a daily loving relationship with my creator. Then one day I got down on my knee's (I thought it was important at the time) and I said a prayer. It went like this:

"Lord, I don't want paradise when I die. I want a mountain NOW so everyone will see your glory in the everyday things I do."

And the lord answered my prayer cause my life has been one uphill battle after the other ever since. They say you should be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it. I think they should add you should be careful what you pray for too.

Prayer is an amazing thing. It comforts the bereaved, Gives hope to the hopeless, Lends strength to the weak, Calms the shaken, Focus's the mind, Humbles the powerful, Reduces stress,....the list of benefits could go on forever.

Prayer has been credited with curing every horrible affliction known to mankind. From inoperable cancer to speaking French. If someone has prayed over it you'll find someone else that was cured. Now what else on this planet can claim THAT?

What other force on Earth can bring people together for the sole purpose of petitioning the creator of us all on another persons behalf? If you've ever seen a prayer group in action then you'll understand how prayer brings beauty to a species that is often looked upon in a bad light.

If prayer could be bottled and sold as a medicine you can bet the farm it would be too expensive for the average Joe to afford.

But its free.

And that's the most beautiful thing of all.

Anyone, young or old, black or White, In need or not, can call upon it at anytime. All one has to do is focus the mind and start something like this:

"Lord, Remember that mountain I prayed for when I was young and foolish? I was just wondering if it had a backside so I could coast downhill for awhile."

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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purelogik, I appreciate your questions, and they are good ones, unfortunately, you didn't even attempt to answer mine. :shk: Think you could take a stab at an answer? And how bout starting your own thread, lol.

Hiya Marge, thanks.
Didn't quite understand your last line.

mrwupy, maybe you should have prayed for an island to yourself in Hawaii (Paradise) instead of a mountain? Pretty esoteric answer, but interesting, thanks.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 08:00 PM
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TrueAm, you bring up some good points. If God knows everything, why do we even have to pray? He able to know what we need before we pray since he knows everything that's going to happen. People pray all the time but disasters still happen. I can't forget the news story I saw years ago about the tornado hitting a church full of people on Sunday morning...

It seems to me that there's no point praying to whatever deity you believe in to save you or stop something from happening. I see people talking about how "God" saved them because they prayed. So why did he save them and not all those children and other innocents? Seems rather fickle.

I could go on hours but I won't. I've had lots of time to think about the inconsistencies of religion during 12 years of Catholic school. I must say that I think praying might actually work sometimes. Not because a god is heeding your request, but because of the innate psychic abilities of humans. I remember reading about a study where people prayed for bacteria in a sample and the bacteria did much better than the ones in the sample that wasn't prayed for. It doesn't have to be praying, it could be anything...meditation, concentrating on something, etc.

So in answer to the question posted in the thread title, yes mostly, and no partially. IMHO of course.




[edit on 9/8/2005 by Flinx]



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 08:37 PM
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Is praying useless?
Of course it is given that all logic would suggest that god dosnt exist I would say praying is pretty much a waste of time. If possible you would be better off to take measures in your life to gain the desired outcome.

I dont mean any disrespect anyone who dose pray after all what people do in there private lives has no affect on me.

[edit on 8-9-2005 by xpert11]



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Flinx
... I must say that I think praying might actually work sometimes. Not because a god is heeding your request, but because of the innate psychic abilities of humans...It doesn't have to be praying, it could be anything...meditation, concentrating on something, etc.


Now this is interesting- the innate psychic abilities of humans. How is it that you are tying psychic abilities to a higher power, or God? Because I most certainly believe in those kind of abilities, but exactly how they tie in to a higher power seems to be no man's land. A couple of threads I started on ATS about some of these issues are:
Instantaneous Synchronicity- Proof Of God?
and
Visualization And The Bingo Hall Game



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 09:05 PM
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Is praying Useless?

I dont think it is!
most of us do not pray enough(myself included)but we seem to find time to criticize others and make judgement against others.....

Sice this is in the religion forumn, i will say that Prayer started with the Angels before MAN was created.....



"when the stars were created, all my angels were glorifying me and praising me" (Job 38:7). It is the Logos of God, Who created them because, "for by Him were all things created, that are in heavens, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers, all things were created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16).


Since Angels know that God created them, they worship God .

quote///
The Old Testament says, "God, to be sure, framed man for an immortal destiny, the created image of His own endless being; but, since the devil's envy brought death into the world, they make him their model that take him for their master" (Wisdom 2:23-25).

Also ....struggle, having put off the old man with his deeds and having put on the new, which is renewed after the image of Him that created him' (Col. 3:9-10).
In Christ we leave the old behind(sin that caused death) and become as we were intended.....''Which is renewed after the image of Him that created him''...The resurrection was for each and everyone of us.

When the Apostles asked Jesus Christ how does one pray, Jesus Christ told them....
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
THY WILL BE DONE...........here, in THY WILL BE DONE is telling us that it's according to the WILL OF GOD and not our OWN.....God knows what is befitting to us and deals with it accordingly....
Miracles do happen .....at the mercy of God.

With prayer we become more at peace depending on the situation......again, it is what God wills for the best of us.
Jesus Christ said that ask and it would be give to you......BUT Prayer must come before anything else........
"man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).

How can we ASK for something when we are guilty of many things?
Firstly know that we judge our self and then HUMBLY ask what it is we want...always having in mind that everthing happens for the best of us....Unless we choose otherwise ........
The holy apostles taught their disciples and instruct us as well: "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

Much tribulation means that we will experience hardship,but that should not offend us because we know this beforehand.

The Lord also says to us: "Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" (Matt. 7:13,14).

It's easier to take a short cut (look what happened to ''Little red riding hood)

Although little red riding hood was being nice and all, taking food to her grandma,she did not think .....she was careless because she spent time enjoying the moment,picking flowers?(trying to remember the story here!)and not knowing what awaited her...


As God hears your prayers, so does Satan......Be careful what you wish for!

IX
helen



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican

Hiya Marge, thanks.
Didn't quite understand your last line.



Sorry I should have explained myself better, while I believe in a higher power I am also a believer of the power of the mind.

If we put our effort in what we want and work hard enough to get it, it can become possible.

Just like prayer if you pray with faith and the truth believe that what you want will be granted because is something that is needed, a miracle will materialize.

For the ones that believe in the power of prayer is a miracle, for somebody that is not in that path is more like the mind the one that make things happen.

But at the end I do like to have my conversations with my creator and it works just like prayers to the ones that believe in them.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 09:39 PM
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Thanks Helen for your work there.


Originally posted by helen670
...As God hears your prayers, so does Satan......Be careful what you wish for!


Hmm, well I wonder if you started out a prayer saying something like "This prayer is intended for God only, not for Satan...." would it make any difference?



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
One thing I never quite understood about prayer, is that if God controls everything, why on earth would someone look up to the sky and ask God to do this or that? I mean, He's going to take care of it anyway, right? And if you believe that God doesn't control everything, or anything, for that matter, then maybe you can share your views from the other perspective.

I've wondered this for a very long time, and never really gotten any great answers to the question, other than "Pray because it says to do so in the Bible." The thought strikes my mind again as we collectively morn for the victims of Katrina. Many people are praying for the dead and for those who lost everything. I am just wondering if it really does any good to ask God to "Have mercy upon their souls, or help them rebuild their lives" when God did it in the first place, and knows exactly what will happen to each and every one of them, as well as you and me, IMO.


You're asking some very deep questions that I don't think any human can answer at this stage of our development.
As for myself, I think Man created God in our image. This was a necessity to be able to explain physical laws that we did not understand at our current stage of development. So I don't believe there is a God.

I do want to say though, if I had to have an operation. I would want as many people as possible saying a prayer for me.
I feel that if many people pray for a certain outcome, that energy must have an effect. There may even be studies that could comfirm this.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
...As for myself, I think Man created God in our image.


lol, how bout THAT for a reversal of the old cliché! Interesting how you left out the word own. I see what you're getting at, but overall, regardless of whether we created a psuedo "God" to explain things, in my mind there is still a God or Higher Power that created and drives all this we know as the universe and life.


I do want to say though, if I had to have an operation. I would want as many people as possible saying a prayer for me.
I feel that if many people pray for a certain outcome, that energy must have an effect. There may even be studies that could comfirm this.


Ok so if you don't believe there is a God, yet you believe that the "prayer energy" would help you, then what do you believe that energy is directed at, and moreso, can you explain then how it is possible for that energy to work if there is not a God or some kind of Higher Power?



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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I'm not a christian at all. The Creator I do possibly believe in is a little above micromanagement of human lives. I don't think the power of prayer comes from an external source but from within ourselves. For those who do strongly believe, I think that prayer does focus the person's own spiritial energies, which many believe to be much more powerful than we know. This is why truth or a correct view of God are not required for prayer to work. All that is required is the strong belief that it will. The power that is rightfully yours as an ensouled human does the rest, if you let it.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 11:28 PM
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I find it very difficult to expess my religious feelings without them being trashed by people that post after me. I'm not saying that TrueAmerican did that by quoting me, but I just find that religion is a very hot topic on these boards.

I just went and started a thread so that members can express their religious beliefs, and the one rule is you can't trash those with different ideas.

www.belowtopsecret.com...

Just post what you feel in your heart, mind and soul............


sorry to redirect your thread, maybe I'll get a warn



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
I find it very difficult to expess my religious feelings without them being trashed by people that post after me. I'm not saying that TrueAmerican did that by quoting me, but I just find that religion is a very hot topic on these boards.


Friend, I only quoted you because I wanted to address those specific points, and in no way did I mean any of my responses to your quotes as derogatory or insulting. On the contrary, at the end of that post I asked you two questions, which I honestly want you to answer. I am trying to engage you in a meaningful conversation, so why skip over my questions, not answer them, and then redirect this thread? I feel they were vaild questions, given your response to my original post.

[edit on 8-9-2005 by TrueAmerican]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican

Friend, I only quoted you because I wanted to address those specific points, and in no way did I mean any of my responses to your quotes as derogatory or insulting. On the contrary, at the end of that post I asked you two questions, which I honestly want you to answer. I am trying to engage you in a meaningful conversation, so why skip over my questions, not answer them, and then redirect this thread? I feel they were vaild questions, given your response to my original post.

[edit on 8-9-2005 by TrueAmerican]


I took no offence and I appologize for not responding to valid questions. I just felt that religion "in general" gets into a very adversarial state of name calling with one party saying the other is wrong for beliefs they hold dear.

Your questions were in this paragragh:

k so if you don't believe there is a God, yet you believe that the "prayer energy" would help you, then what do you believe that energy is directed at, and moreso, can you explain then how it is possible for that energy to work if there is not a God or some kind of Higher Power?


I do feel that if 100 people pray for you to get well, that postulate from so many that believe you will do better can only have a positive influence on your recovery.

I feel that directing this to God is only a common conduit, a focus. But the positive energy is directed to the person in need. And for some reason I think this can help.

I may not believe in God, but I do believe in people. And I believe that as a whole, we are God.

And we can achieve anything...................



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
purelogik, I appreciate your questions, and they are good ones, unfortunately, you didn't even attempt to answer mine. :shk: Think you could take a stab at an answer? And how bout starting your own thread, lol.


my opinion on the matter of christianity was subliminally stated in my response.

about the specfic matter of prayer, xpert11 just about sums it up.

thanks xpert11.


Originally posted by xpert11
Is praying useless?
Of course it is given that all logic would suggest that god dosnt exist I would say praying is pretty much a waste of time. If possible you would be better off to take measures in your life to gain the desired outcome.


[edit on 9-9-2005 by purelogik]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 04:14 AM
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well if any one cares what i think, this is it,

i say that prayer is absolutly usless, in the sense of praying to a god or something. id think it more provides a time to think to your self, or thats what the time would be better spent doing.

a sort of meditaion reflection thing.

the faith i think just gives you a reason to keep on persevering with something.

my self i dont have any religious faith

mine is in my friends and family, that if ever i really needed something they would help me.

at least of this i am sure, praying to an invisible god that i have to belive in to exist doesnt appeal.



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 08:15 AM
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even if praying doesn't work, it gives a person hope when it is done based on faith



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