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Question about prayer...

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posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:16 PM
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Ok, according to Christianity, God is infallible and all knowing. He has the perfect plan for the world and knows everything about the past present and future.
If this is true, then isnt the idea of prayer contradictory? If he already has the perfect plan, then wouldnt praying for something be useless? If he does change his plan because of a prayer, then that means that the original plan wasnt perfect, God made a miscalculation, and therefore isnt infallible. If the plan was perfect, then he isnt going to change it because someone prayed for something!



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:30 PM
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Well...the Christians will start all of the "free will" dialog, but it still makes no sense at all! It's a never ending circle. An all knowing god would of known the outcome from creating earth, before placing humans here, he would known man would fail, he would of known every tiny thing that happened before hand.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:38 PM
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Ive always thought as prayer/meditation as a way of quieting the mind and becomeing more aware of yourself.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:39 PM
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Yes, God does know all...and He knows what you will pray for. It is not God that needs our prayers, it's us that need to pray to God.

You pray for thanksgiving, for petitions, for the dead, for all types of things. You build a relationshiip with God when you pray.

It's communicating, speaking with God. If you love someone, you spend time with them, you communicate, you talk. If a person loves God, they will spend time in prayer and contemplation. It's a matter of US developing that time and relationship with the creator. Prayer is never a waste of time. God keeps account of all the time you spent asking for his help, or thanking him for things he's provided you with.

There are many forms of prayer, Adoration, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, and praise.

Here is a website I did as a project for school that talks breifly about the types of prayer.

geocities.com...



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by Fitzpatrick
Ive always thought as prayer/meditation as a way of quieting the mind and becomeing more aware of yourself.


Well, that is a very Eastern view of prayer. Most Christians tend to use prayer as a way for god to intervene in some aspect of their lives or the world.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Gods MAIN Plan to World can not be changed, it may be delayed or sped up, but not changed.
Also what most Churches refuse to teach is that in order to have a preyer answered, you must clean yourself of any negative feeling or sin in your heart. God answers the prayers of those who follow Him, He is not Santa.
An answered prayer doesnt come easy
.

And the main plan cannot be changed...........................

well, thats what i believe any way........



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:48 PM
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The Torah shows 2 different views of the Deity

If you look through the first three chapters of Genesis, you'll notice that the first chapter in most modern translations says "God." The Hebrew word in the orginal texts is ALHYM ("Elohim"). This shows God laying everything out "just so," with perfection in all details.

Chapters two & three tell the story over again, but this time it is "LORD God," or in transliterated Hebrew YHVH ALHYM (usually pronounced "Jehovah Elohim by Christians.) YHVH is the one who talks to people and gives them choices about the future.

One theory about the difference is that the Northern tribes of Israel believed in a perfect God, while the southern tribes believed in a God who had emotions like a human being does. They believed in a God who became angry with the first people when they disobeyed, and who later flooded the earth and "repented of the things he had made" when creation became filled with wickedness.

Personally, I pray for things to be changed i.e. illness, hatred, crime in the community, war, etc. I don't know if my prayers ever "change God's mind." I do believe that God tells us to pray, and that in my own experience, it seems to help things.

And yes, there's a lot of silliness about free will, or lack thereof. The official catholic stance (I'm protestant) is that God for-ordains the big things, like the book of Revelation; but everything else is up to us to work out. I personally don't care for this attitude. It basically says God only lets you make the decisions that don't matter. . .

I guess my attitude is similar, though, that God already knows how things will end up; but God wants humans to be partners in the work of restoring the world toward ultimate unity with the divine. I'm a Calvinist, and believe God IS perfect, although his has created a flawed world, so that we will learn to choose the good by helping him to manifest it.

My kids help me clean up the house. The littlest one, a toddler, doesn't do much except put the throw-pillows back on the couch. But I certainly expect each of us to do our part. It is my "will" that the house get picked up each evening, and if one of them fails, yes, I will go behind them and pick up after them. But my goal is for them to learn how to pick up for themselves.

A friend of mine says it's like rafting down the Grand Canyon. The route is predetermined; but your experience of it can be influenced by your decisions and mistakes.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by chief_counsellor
Yes, God does know all...and He knows what you will pray for. It is not God that needs our prayers, it's us that need to pray to God.

You pray for thanksgiving, for petitions, for the dead, for all types of things. You build a relationshiip with God when you pray.

It's communicating, speaking with God. If you love someone, you spend time with them, you communicate, you talk. If a person loves God, they will spend time in prayer and contemplation. It's a matter of US developing that time and relationship with the creator. Prayer is never a waste of time. God keeps account of all the time you spent asking for his help, or thanking him for things he's provided you with.

/


I suppose my question should have focused on whether, according to Christianity, man truly has free will or not. If God has the perfect plan and knows the future, then isnt it a contradiction to say that man has free will? If man truly has free will, then even God wouldnt be able to know what choices a man would make. This would in turn make God imperfect.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 04:06 PM
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It's more than just a free will thing though.

We are very, very self centered humans.

For instance if you were God and you created human beings to LIVE on a planet in free will to choose, grow, make choices and you know everything, but there is something that you want more than anything - you want them to call on you, love you - really from their heart, you want them to intelligentally seek your existance; afterall you are God, you want them to learn from their own mistakes -

God is GOD, if He did everything for us, made our decisions, etc., etc., how would we ever grow to become more divine beings?

I truly believe that as human beings, we are so self-centered - self focused. We may care for other people and reach out to other people, but when it comes right down to it we are self centered and our own comforts come first.



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 04:13 PM
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I'm not asking what "the point" is, I'm asking someone to challenge the apparent contradiction that is "Human Free Will vs. Infallibility of God".
Since my original post about prayer, people have refused to address the question...
If God has a perfect plan in place and knows everything that will happen in the future, then how can man have true free will?!!!? This is a contradiction!



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by apw100
I'm not asking what "the point" is, I'm asking someone to challenge the apparent contradiction that is "Human Free Will vs. Infallibility of God".
Since my original post about prayer, people have refused to address the question...
If God has a perfect plan in place and knows everything that will happen in the future, then how can man have true free will?!!!? This is a contradiction!


Sorry, I was responding to someone else. I don't think there is any place in the bible that states we have free will according to God is there? There is indications of choice - I think if anything it is a human contradiction, not God's. No matter what, God's divine will - will take place, will happen. We may be given the freedom to make choices here on earth, but we don't know what God's will is do we? What is divine plan is?



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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Hey Dr StrangeCraft:

The 2 Creation Myths in Genesis (Bere#h) are not a 'retelling' of the same story, but two different creation myths from two different priestly cult sites in Israel using different vocabulary, syntax, world view as well as a different name for the god (Elohim v. YHWH elohim)

To say that the 1st myth (Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a) had the god "elohim" create everything "just so", would be overlooking the gross errors in the text---which is far from "just so"----the stars, for example are created AFTER vegetation in the 1st myth, and there is that firmament thingy to deal with..(ra'qiaq = inverted bowl) which also is scientifically "incorrect". The Hezekielite writer who penned this hymn was performing his duty no doubt as part of the New Year Festival modelled on the Cannanite fertility celebrations dedicated to the Seven Fold Peal of Ba'al...but he should have at least been more careful with his order....! (but then again, what do you expect from priests who cure leprosy with birds)

So it isn't "just so".....it AINT SO... at all !!

In the 2nd Creation myth (Gen 2:4b to 4:32) Man is "formed out of mud" FIRST (not last) and the animals are brought to him for naming AFTER ADAM WAS FORMED.

Then Hayyah ("EVE") was "formed" from his "side" or "rib".

In the first creation myth, ADAM is both male and female and they are created (bara) together, not one at a time ("male and female created he them and he called THEIR name Adam", as it states in Genesis chapter 5:1 which is a continuation of the same Hezekielite writer from chapter 1 (gramatically and stylistically, he's BAAAAACCK!!!)

Why is it that people think these two myths are telling the same story when clearly they contradict each other at every turn---but neither of them was meant to be "scientific fact" either, just so people know.....



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Yes, Amadeus, I agree that the two myths were independent, and not "retellings."

On the other hand, the scribe who sat down and recorded them in serial order (while trying to blend the two accounts by "zippering" them together, i.e. Horeb/Sinai and the Decalogue accounts) doesn't seem to have had a faith-crisis, and tried to obliterate the story that didn't accord with the "facts" of his history.

In some ways, the actions of those unnamed scribes is a lot more ethical than those of modern people, both ecclesial and secular, appear to be. The scribes didn't say, "oops, that doesn't fit; cross out everything in the story that sounds like God changes his mind." Instead, they recorded two accounts of major events in the recieved tradition.

Which in some ways has a lot more of integrity than burying the Bible stories that didn't fit in with how God "should" look.

. . . but of course, this thread is supposed to be about questions concerning prayer . . .



posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 06:27 PM
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apw 100.

Just because God knows the future, how does this limit our free will. Just because he knows your future choices doesn't make them responsible for them. He has witnessed the future . . . but witnessing a car wreck doesn't mean you're responsible for it.

Maybe God already knows what you are going to pray for before you even say it . . . Matthew 6:7-8

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

God's foreknowledge doesn't necesarily limit human agency.



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 03:30 PM
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God knows our heart, and HE knows ifwill choose evil or good, but He can NOT stop our decisions... because we were given free will. It is our choice to vote for whomever we choose... evntually Gods plan will be donne...sooner or later....

It was Germany's choice to follow Hitler...God didnt do it for them...



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 05:06 PM
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This is killing me. My question has still not been answered. Does no one else see the contradiction between prayer and God's infalibility?!
Example...
1. God is all knowing, never wrong, and has the perfect plan for the world. Little Timmy gets sick and is going to die. His parents pray to God to save him. Now, if God's original(perfect) plan for the world included having Timmy die, then he certainly wouldnt change a perfect plan just to save a little child! If he changed his mind, then that would mean his original plan wasnt perfect! That in turn, would mean that he isnt perfect, and therefore, not a God.



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:08 PM
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I think the answer to your question is that his plan is NOT perfect.

im not sure where you get your preconception that a god has to be perfect to be a god. (the gods of the greeks and romans where far from perfect. in fact they would often do evil, just like the god of the old testament)

I think the message of the bible is that god is not perfect, (he is prone to anger, and slaughtering various tribes for no reason) but that his progeny (Jesus) was the new and improved god, without the inperfection of anger, however, Jesus says that he is not greater than his father, so that might blow that theory out of the water.

I do believe in god, whether he is "perfect" according to human standards or not



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:13 PM
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prayer is a reflection of oneself......

makes you aware of your actions...

but god listens to what you say.



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by apw100
This is killing me. My question has still not been answered. Does no one else see the contradiction between prayer and God's infalibility?!
Example...
1. God is all knowing, never wrong, and has the perfect plan for the world. Little Timmy gets sick and is going to die. His parents pray to God to save him. Now, if God's original(perfect) plan for the world included having Timmy die, then he certainly wouldnt change a perfect plan just to save a little child! If he changed his mind, then that would mean his original plan wasnt perfect! That in turn, would mean that he isnt perfect, and therefore, not a God.


ok,

No I dont see a contradiction between prayer and Gods infallibility.

I believe that time is not liner you look back and you see a line you look forward and you see an infinite amount of choice, from breakfast I eat to having no breakfast. God knows all these choices and everything I might do. If He didnt (that is if time was fully liner and the future was already written) then He would have simply gone well that guy there is gonna do this and that and this ok fair enough no point in him existing.

He knows that I may pray for something He also knows that I may go out on a killing spree, He would know which is more likely, I wouldnt say that he would know which exact thing I would do (He may do, I dont claim to know Gods will). Since he knows exactly everything I could do and what I am most likely going to do, given the situation, I would still say He is infallible and all knowing even though I essentially make my own choices.

The point being that Gods great plan would encompass all the possible choices ppl could make hence He would not be wrong, and we would still have free will.



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by apw100
This is killing me. My question has still not been answered. Does no one else see the contradiction between prayer and God's infalibility?!


I've read and re-read your post. I just don't agree with your conception of God.

I think that God sees the whole of history, all at once. It's not just that he has a perfect plan, he SEES the outcome of future decisions you will make.

Perhaps God is a lot like Frank Herbert portrays the "Maud'dib" in the Dune novels. Able to see outcomes while you are making your choice.

It's not that God "over-rides" your decisions, but rather blends your choices in with all the other factors leading toward his plans. All prophecies are self-fulfilling. You're making your own choices is actually his way of fulfilling his pre-existing plan. Your free will isn't a threat to his theodicy; it is the embodiment of it.

No offense, but from my perspective, part of your problem is what seems to be your view of history, as well as your view of God. If Abraham Lincoln had caught a cold and died, would the Civil War still have happened. I believe it would. And South Carolina succeeded even before Lincoln took office, as they would have with any other Republican candidate. Ft. Sumter might not have been attacked. Lincoln Nebraska might be "Calhoun, Nebraska." But there would still have been a war.

What if Columbus had chucked the seaman's life and married a noble's daughter? America would still have been discovered, and probably within a year or two of 1492. Henry the Navigator, Amerigo Vaspucci, there were plenty of people seeking a western route to the indies . . . Talbott, Ohio might be epicenter of trade, and Columbia a little bend in the road. . .

It is all part of the the Socratic debate: Do the times make the man, or the man make the times.


Originally posted by apw100
This is killing me. My question has still not been answered. Does no one else see the contradiction between prayer and God's infalibility?!



I fully suspect that you wont get a satisfactory answer until you arrive at one yourself. Sorry.




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