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Has prayer ever helped you ??

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posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 05:09 AM
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Hello ATS,

I came from a strict Lutheran upbringing where prayer was the answer to everything in ones life...good times or bad.

Can anyone please tell me if prayer has had a positive affect on them and why ??

deleted



arc

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 06:09 AM
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I come from a non religious background but as my life has progressed and my own ideas about my beliefs have developed, then at times I have offered up prayer in my own way

At funerals I have found the ritual of prayer immensely comforting, when I am worried or frightened then prayer has helped me to look beyond my own fears and accept that whatever comes there will be lessons to be learnt from the experience, and when I have days on which I am inexplicably filled with joy then I have offered thanks for the gift.

However I don't have a formal method of doing this, often what I feel goes beyond words and has been done in any setting - I don't believe prayer is only valid in a church for example.

On a more global scale, I feel mass prayer has it's rightful place when we are all so concerned about certain events and can often go beyond the confines of individual faiths. For example the silences on Armistice day here in the UK, and that on the anniversary of 9-11 allowed us all, religious and athiest alike to show our respect and honour to those who gave their lives for something greater than their own



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 07:02 AM
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Hello arc,

Formal and Informal prayer is a great topic of discussion. It was always my concern as a child in church to say every word right during formal prayer and in doing so would lead to my prayers being heard.

After leaving the church due to fundamental reasons I spent many an hour devoted to informal prayer. I really thought in my heart that formal prayer is not necessary when one is praying from the heart outside the confines of organized religion.

After many years of this type of praying, I came to the conclusion that none of my prayers were being answered...so I just stopped praying.

As time has passed, I notice no difference in my life due to the cessation of prayer. Things happen every day that could or could not be accounted for my lack of prayer but I refuse to believe that any day to day happening is a result of whether I prayed or not.

To me, prayer just didn't do anything for me.

deleted


arc

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 07:20 AM
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hi there deleted and welcome to the forum

I wonder if a lot of it comes down to how you see the effects of prayer. If you have been raised to see prayer as practically a bargaining tool with the divine, so you will be rewarded if you pray well and regularly and punished if you do not, then maybe when your life does go well or badly you can link that to the action of your prayers. This can in turn either reinforce your faith (I prayed and god answered), turn you from it (I prayed and god did not answer), as well as raising a whole host of thoughts on why god did or did not answer eg. 'I am too full of sin'.

Whereas I have always seen prayer as more an overflowing of the human spirit, and the action of doing so more important than any answering of the prayer. As well as an act almost of meditation allowing one to find one's own answers and strength.

deleted from what I have seen of your posts so far, you appear to be an intelligent and thoughtful individual. Maybe you have outgrown the methods of prayer your childhood taught you, but have found other ways of expressing that part of yourself?



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 07:30 AM
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arc...

Your statement:

Maybe you have outgrown the methods of prayer your childhood taught you, but have found other ways of expressing that part of yourself?


Can you explain the above statement ??

I am very interested.

deleted


arc

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 07:43 AM
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I'll do my best!

You say you were raised as a Lutherian with the idea that prayer was the answer to everything, and that you have discovered for yourself that prayer does not seem to make any difference to what happens in your life one way or the other. However you didn't state whether or not you still believed in a divine 'power', just that the methods you had been taught for relating to them did not seem valid to your experience.

If you still believe in a divine 'power' of some description, have you learnt another method of reconciling the events of your life and your own actions with it? For example - through meditation, art, music.



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:10 AM
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arc,

Thank you for your input and explaination of my question.

Meditation, art, & music may be the respit of the soul for some, but I find browsing this forum to be as enlightening as anything I've done to date...sorry if you take offense to that.

deleted


arc

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:32 AM
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no offense taken whatsoever

if something works for you do it, and if not, then don't. At the end of the day we should all have the right to do that.

My personal interpretation of prayer would possibly horrify those of a more devout nature! Particularly it encompasses anything from formalised occasions of remembrance to staring up at a sunset in complete and utter awe



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:38 AM
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This is my first post and I am not usually good at explaining myself, so just bear with me.

By asking the question "does prayer do anything for you?" it really depends on how you define prayer. Growing up the way I have, you learn society puts a lable on things. Prayer to me was always limited to talking to God (in the christian/catholic sence), my RE teacher and the world around me fortified this.

As I grew up I began to learn different things. Finnally a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of Wicca, I bought a few books and read up on it. Basically I was doing what the rede said without realising it. I began to read deeper and deeper and finnaly decided to become wiccan, some things apealed some didnt. I dont like to lable myself as wiccan recently, I suppose if i had to put a lable on what i am i would say im an ecclectic witch.

I do my rituals and give thanks to the earth. This can be seen as a form of prayer. To me its putting my mind into athe right frame to begin down the path of what im wanting, kinda visulisaition.

Told you I was no good at explaining myself. This all sounds a little weak.

But I think what I am really trying to say is, it depends on the persons view of what prayer is, to how it will help them. With me my rituals (a form of prayer so to speak) help me with giving thanks and focusing my mind.



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:44 AM
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arc,

Would you please horrify me. I'm counting on it. I'm not as devout as may be suggested by my postings.

Lay it on me !!!

delete


arc

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:58 AM
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lol deleted, I wasn't going to mention the dark moon chicken sacrifice but.....


back on a serious level, I in no way meant to imply you were devout enough to be horrified by my somewhat adlib interpretation of prayer.

As for you Cinnamon.... (welcome aboard hun btw)



To me its putting my mind into athe right frame to begin down the path of what im wanting, kinda visulisaition.


I think I know just what you are getting at. The power of our own minds and self belief, generated by the focus of prayer can yield tremendous results (think anthony robbins on a spiritual level).

On another point maybe it depends what it is you are asking for in your prayers, if anything. I tend to focus more on the strength to overcome a problem (usually self generated), or the lesson to be learnt from that problem, than a tangible event


[Edited on 2-3-2003 by arc]



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:58 AM
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Hello Cinnamon Phoenix Jayne,

Now we are discussing rituals along with prayer...I understand what you're saying, but I cannot correlate prayer with ritual.

Please address this topic with an open mind...I am not trying to berate you for any reason.

Are you suggesting that prayer is ritualistic ??

What if the soul that's praying has no ritual ??

delete



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 10:17 AM
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My wife was raised a Catholic and she had an interesting point. During a war or sports events, each side prays for victory. Well, why is one side better than the other? Pretty valid. However, my views are that prayer, if anything, gives hope to different situations. On a few occasions, when things for myself seemed the darkest, I would receive a feeling of calm and comfort after a prayer, almost feeling as if everything will work out ok. You know what, it does. My two cents



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 10:45 AM
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Well personally from me? I see ritual and prayer as the same thing as im putting my mind where i want to be in both.

At school we would always have to say the lords prayer at the begining of the day, and then have 3 mins to reflect on how we were going to act at school that day.

To me thats the same as what i do now. I sit, reflect on what seems to be the problem. Light a candle, and stare at the flame. This makes me concentrait on one thing and clear my mind. I then receit, out loud or in my head a chant, or mantra, asking the deities (who ever is around) for strenth, clarity, or general pushing in the right direction. Depending on what im needing. Not what i WANT.

In the long term its a way of focussing on what im trying to acoumplish and putting my mind where i need it.

Now if i remember correctly prayer at school we would recite the words then concentrait on focusing our minds to help in school.

Thats what im saying about it being to me pretty much the same.

Again one individuals opinion.



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 12:10 PM
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in my personal experience i have found that prayer does help even if you arent religious or dont believe in a god. i think it sets your mind in motion to be able to take whatever action you think is the best. when we feel like situations are out of our hands and in the hands of something greater it is easier to calm down and assess the situation and from there take whatever action is necessary.
'great powers give me strength to succeed'. i believe there are other powers that encompass this existence although i just cant tell you what they are... yet!! but taking time out to pray always helps to clear my mind



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 12:24 PM
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My answer to the question is YES. I'm not interested in debaiting that answer however. Praying works so well for myself that I am careful what I pray for. Praying simply works for me. You asked the question



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 12:29 PM
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Has prayer ever helped me?? Thats a hard question to answer. So I'll give it my best. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family and I went to Private Catholic Schools all the way to High School. Even though I grew up this way I dont consider myself a "religious" person. Because I believe that no one religion can offer all the answers to all the questions you may have about life or whatever it is you are searching for. You also have to look for answers elsewhere.

But I do believe in a higher power. Call it god. Calll it whatever you want.

As far as prayer goes I do believe in it. Although I dont pray much anymore I try to do it every once in a while to give thanks for everything in my life. The good and the bad. Because it is from the bad things that happen that you learn and grow into a better person. Makes you stronger.

My grandmother (which I love to death by the way
) is a very religious woman. Every time I have something important coming up I call her up and tell her to light a candle and say a prayer for me. I dont know why I do it. I guess its comforting knowing that somebody who loves me so much does that for me.

So in my opinion prayer has helped me either directly and indirectly.



posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:41 PM
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Some great posts people.

As I see it, prayer helps one toward peace of mind. So does meditation, ritualistic practices, walking in the door of your favorite church, or simply ending your day knowing that you made a positive difference with another human being.

I recall a statement made by Jesus in which he said "The kingdom of God is inside you".

Was he implying that, no matter what turmoil one faces in life, inner peace is attainable by all or was this a statement of another meaning altogether?

If one can find peace of mind without prayer, then what role does the church play in all of this?

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posted on Mar, 3 2003 @ 01:36 PM
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I have.

I'm of the Wiccan (pagan) faith.



posted on Mar, 3 2003 @ 03:46 PM
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" then what role does the church play for us in our lives "


It holds the sacraments of perfection. the eucharist, confession ect...


"" Upon this rock i will build my church and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against (it) ""

it holds the new sacrafice of the new covenant.


"" Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood
you do nothave life within you ""

"" whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and i in him ""

"" uless you are born again of water and the spirit you cannot enter into the kingdom of god ""


being perfected is what we are called to be.


as for praying

prayers only work if they are in accordance with ods will. if we ask for stupid stuff
like winning a bet, money, cars ect... it wouldbe foolish to tempt god to give us evil askings.


"" not my will but your be done ""

peace.




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