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Can Praying Be Egotistical & Selfish?

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posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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Before I begin, allow me to make it crystal clear that I pose this thread as a question and not a statement. This is an opinion that I have developed over the last few weeks, months, and even years, and I wish to discuss it amongst our membership.

When I watch people in sporting events, television, (reality television in particular) or any other event that really doesn't impact the world on a grand scale, pray to bring themselves good fortune, I can't help but feel it is completely selfish and egotistical.

Not sure if any one here watches it, but I do and it is basically the reason I've been pushed to author this thread. On the reality show Big Brother, there are two contestants that constantly pray to god to keep them in the house, and are both certain that their best wishes are in his plan. Why? Why would god be watching them, or myself, and spend his time making sure things worked out, over something so pointless?

Every day there are millions of children starving, going to bed hungry, living in a home with alcoholic parents, even the children in Darfur, the list can go on and on, and these people are in serious need of help. But yet we actually expect salvation and support in something as pointless as a sporting event or a reality television competition?

Don't get me wrong, I watch reality television (a little bit) and I am a huge sports fanatic. But I have a major problem when people bring religion into it, and thank god for everything that he has done. Is it not insulting to those who starve, and those who really haven't had the chance? Is it insulting to say that god has given you so much, while so many others have so little?

I make no effort to hide that I consider myself an Agnostic, and really tend to vary in my beliefs. But I do find it very egotistical, and very selfish, when people bring their religion into these sorts of things, while they know there are so many people in much more desperation.

If your faith is that strong, why not pray for god to bring salvation to those that really need it? Rather than praying for the next goal, the next home run, or another week in the big brother house.

What are your thoughts on this?



[edit on 28-8-2007 by chissler]




posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Well, chissler, you no doubt are aware what I personally think of the whole god schtick.

I don't know if you've seen the God is Imaginary site, but they use this precise example of why prayer is superstious and delusional. Proof 1, Proof 2, and this video pretty much laid it all out.

Prayer is wish fulfillment. People only remember when their prayers appear to be answered by a positive outcome, and tend to forget the many MANY more times they were not. It's the same thing that the Sylvia Brownes and John Edward-ses use to keep people coming back over and over again -- the people don't remember the incorrect "prophecies" and only remember the apparent hits.



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 04:03 AM
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personally i think that the people that you are refering to are just playing at being christians. I pray for many things and i know that those sort of prayers are not exactly Gods no1 priority. I certainly wouldn't expect a divine answer to those prayers. Heck' i would be sailing around the world in my nice new yacht if he did. No, I look at the sort of prayers that Jesus would want us to pray for, the well being of others is a good start.
Cheers
John.

[edit on 29-8-2007 by jon1]



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 02:42 PM
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Great topic, Chissler. I often ponder that same question myself.

Religion is supposed to be the worship of God and prayer is supposed to be your personal connection with God. With the religious fanaticism of today, some people have lost the focus of prayer and have come to view prayer as a request list.

Its no wonder that different religions have clashed for millenia. The muslims pray for guidance and for Allah to destroy ones enemies, while some Christians pray for the Yankees to win the world series and for their stocks to do well.

I cant speak for God, but it seems that the more petty issues are always superceeded by peoples serious prayers being answered, while the yankees lose the game.



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 03:04 PM
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If you truly follow God, you would not pray for material wealth or worldly recognition, for these things are but smoke, carried away by the wind.

Constantly on my mind are the souls that perish every minute of everyday.

Remember this though. God gives gifts to his children. He may grant wealth. Spur occurence so you may recieve good things.

I don't condemn any communion with God. An olympic athlete is a man too. He is nervous, excited. He feels he needs an extra footing, so he turns to God. That is faith! It is what you should do, constantly turn to God.

He has trained to prevail. Why should he not ask the Lord to favor him during his trials?



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


Interestingly enough the chairman of the board had something to say about this:


And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.


www.biblegateway.com...:5;&version=31;



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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Maybe the people you heard praying in the reality shows - had previously prayed to get as far as they have in life.

There's nothing wrong with asking for the things you want. Any good father would want their children to have the very best - that is a parents basic instinct.

Jesus said not everyone who calls on his name 'here Lord, here Lord' will get an answer because he knew them not. Think about that. He knows his own and the faithful are the rewarded.



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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Aside from JC's position, there are lots of different forms of prayer that are not petitionary (asking God for something.) So, yes it's possible to pray without asking or expecting God to do anything. Whether one can be non-egotistical is an interesting question, coming from my Zen Buddhist/Christian Mysticism background.



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 07:21 PM
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I think ANYthing can be egotistical and selfish; I also believe that such attitudes are ones that every human being is born with (including myself, naturally).

Now, not that it's a bad thing; as babies, egotism and self-orientation are not only necessary to literal survival and growth, they also are the first stepping stones on the path to self-discovery.

Somewhere along the way (ideally early young adulthood) the self-orientation gradually begins to give way to empathy.

Empathy is a golden thing, IMO. Once we experience empathy, in truth, then selfishness becomes 'sin' (IMO).

I believe this about prayer: it is something that applies to us all, whether or not we believe in God (and by whatever name we call our God)...and regardless of what we call it. It is thought, pure and simple. Focused, often repetitive, heart-felt, thought.

It is the power of MIND - the collective consciousness which ties us all together on the ethereal level as ONE.

And I venture to say that the power of ONE (which is no doubt greater, even, than the sum of its parts) only works for the good of ALL...

So selfish prayers are a waste of time; whether for show or for some sort of self-comfort (another in-born trait we all share.)



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 10:12 PM
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People who pray for superficial things priorities are not right.

You pray for souls, help for other ect., more graces.. Or to praise God.


" prayer doesnt work "

www.stgemma.com...


read her, how she prayed so hard in the site of witnesses, she sweat blood.

she also had the stigmata.

Now.

I have prayed so hard at mass, because of Gods grace, against all the rapest and murderes that I cried so hard I couldnt stop, literally shaking from intesity.

I believe tears are a grace, and the intesity I felt is not from me.

peace.



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