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Prayer - dies it work?

9 posts in this topic

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My thoughts on prayer probably do not fit the mold of what others may believe because we all have different opinions on the basis or beliefs in organized religion or of what is considered the existence in a higher being.

But, I simply state this initial question:

Do you believe in the power of prayer of healing (in the literal and non-literal sense of the word "healing")?

I hear a lot of things from many people, who are very spiritual in nature, around me that prayer is very powerful. However, when I question these same people about the end results of their prayer their answers vary.

After asking this question in regards to someone they have prayed for in the past that may have died even after long regiments of prayer either through themselves or through prayer chains, a very familiar answer comes to the forefront: "Well, God had other plans for this person and it was time for them to go". In cases where this same personal prayer regiment and even maybe the same prayer chain is in force an individual's health gets better. In cases such as this I hear this common response: "The Lord heard our prayers and healed the sick (or a form of this response)".

In either one of these responses I see a deformation in the belief system. In the first case listed above, the prayer was in fact not answered because, "the Lord had other plans for the person in question". In the second example, the Lord answered the prayer by, "healing the individual". In either one of these answers what I recognize is God's intervention. What is left out of the faith-based praying model is the human factor. By all means, in either example, there was no need for human interaction because in either case, either the "the Lord had other plans", or the "the Lord healed the sick". Where is human intervention in either case? You cannot assume that because people were praying for the person that became healed that that was the reason. This reason seems moot because there are plenty of people who live and die alone from friends and relatives that are praying for them. Also, the same excuse for the person who was healed could be used for the same person who had succumbed to death - "the Lord had other plans for this person".

I guess you could deem either one of these cases a miracle under God's power. It would be selfish of us to believe that only life-bearing results would be recognition of a miracle under God's "law" or "rules". Death should also accompany this definition. If God "took" the life of a person because "he had other plans" than that, for a "religiously faithful person" would be deemed as a miracle - right?

I would like to believe that believing in a higher power controlling the human factor is "correct", but isn't the "human factor" exactly what God intended for us? For instance, the Bible tells us that God gifted us "free will", the ability to choose not only right from wrong, but from learning human applications as it applies to the overall function of the "human experience".

I'm curious to hear from those of you that have strong leanings to the Church of whether or not you believe, for instance, in miracles and whether or not you've ever personally witnessed a case where medical/scientific data could not be backed up in a case where someone you personally knew got better - a true miracle.

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Posted · Report post

I am not a religious person. I was raised Catholic but never really could get the faith that was required of me. By the time I was sixteen and could drive myself to church (instead of riding there with my parents) I ceased being a Catholic because I just didn't go any more... Much to the dismay of my Mother (and relative indifference of my Father).

Those are all interesting and valid questions you have there Real Talk. Naturally, I have no real answers to any of them. However, I know a lot of people that consider themselves religious and I am witness to the faith they have in God as well what the power of prayer means to them. It brings them strength, courage and intensity in their love for life. All good things. I also have a lot of people that have told me they are praying for me and my family. That has brought me strength, courage and an intensity for my love for life as well as a love for all my relatives and friends. As a non-religious person, those prayers people have for me and my family have made a big difference in my life. Now that is powerful. And it has helped me.

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Great posts....Been there...sometimes still there. laugh.gif

And as for the "church", it has promoted a lowered set of expectations

of what the word says too.

Verses like Jesus saying "These things that I do, you will also do

and greater", has left believers either making excuses for God

and His decision making OR digging in and truly believing what God

says is true. The "literal" believers can then tend to look like

ignorant wackjobs.

That's why a majority of churches have backed off telling their flocks

of the victories....and to expect great manifestations of God's Word over

Sickness, Disease, Poverty, Depression, Crime ETC.

It has become easier to tell people..."God needed another angel in heaven",

"God gave you cancer to help others with cancer", "Being rich is evil" and

other assorted goop to keep the people from getting out of the pews and

storming the pulpit when prayers weren't answered.

We have ALL been given a "measure of Faith" that we either feed and

it grows or we get discouraged and our faith withers.

It's like body building or physical training.

You can't start out benching 200lbs. right away....you build up to it.

When "life" hits the fan, Folks have a tendency to think they can run off cancer

with a few prayers and a church meeting when they have NEVER practiced/trained

their faith on a simple hangnail.

These "spiritual workouts", Saying and hearing the Word of God(faith comes by hearing) and purposing youself to HAVE a relationship with God ,through Jesus, WILL begin the path to a devil stomping lifestyle.

There are some who will say we just leave it up to God....and from what I have learned, God is waiting on us to USE His Word IN Christ to perform whatever

is needed by us.

Jer.1:12"...I am watching over my Word to perform it".

Mark 11:23,24..."Whatever YOU SAY unto this mountain(sickness,poverty, depression) be thou REMOVED and cast into the sea...." In Jesus name it

shall be done for you.

WE have a much bigger part to play in God's plan for this world.

A human, Adam blew it. Jesus fixed it. If we believe it, we can live it.

God has ALWAYS used men and woman to move his plan along....Some would

question God's choices, but the one thing these people brought to the plan

was their faith (weak and strong initially) and their FREE WILL to help....

Yes I said HELP the creator of the universe.

We need to keep digging! God is here. SEARCH and we will FIND.

And finally...the Holy Ghost will help in those times when we don't understand

why.

Ask for the Holy Spirit to help in HOW and WHAT to pray for.

The Word ALWAYS has victory in it, but make sure we have both built up

our Faith and made a relationship with God a priority. smile.gif

Some very thoughtful posts guys! smile.gif

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Posted · Report post

I am not a religious person. I was raised Catholic but never really could get the faith that was required of me. By the time I was sixteen and could drive myself to church (instead of riding there with my parents) I ceased being a Catholic because I just didn't go any more... Much to the dismay of my Mother (and relative indifference of my Father).

Those are all interesting and valid questions you have there Real Talk. Naturally, I have no real answers to any of them. However, I know a lot of people that consider themselves religious and I am witness to the faith they have in God as well what the power of prayer means to them. It brings them strength, courage and intensity in their love for life. All good things. I also have a lot of people that have told me they are praying for me and my family. That has brought me strength, courage and an intensity for my love for life as well as a love for all my relatives and friends. As a non-religious person, those prayers people have for me and my family have made a big difference in my life. Now that is powerful. And it has helped me.

I can completely understand the points you bring to the conversation. I know plenty of people who were raised under the auspices of different religions, yet when they get older never practice the religion.

You state that you gain a great amount of courage and strength because of the prayers people have stated they raise on your behalf. Not lowering the affect this deed has done, but looking at the same wish in a different manner - What if someone, instead of telling you that they are praying for you told you that they are thinking of you in your time of need and would offer up any type of help that they could provide? Would that not possess the same feelings of strength and courage had the person not used the word "prayer"?

I'm also curious if anyone out there has witnessed a miracle (something that is truly miraculuous - defying all scientific reasoning).

I'm not a deeply religious person, but there are times I've found myself praying for someone or some thing. Then, I sit back and analyze my own thoughts after the situation I was praying for transpires. I guess that might seem a little tacky, but in those cases I am truly praying, not just wishing upon a star or going through the motions as a "test" to my faith or to some high being to prove its existence.

I have always questioned my faith. I often got into trouble doing this exercise while going to school because I went to Catholic schools. The teachers I had weren't always in such a mood to "discuss on a deeper level their faith". Perhaps, my tact to the subject was lackluster. I don't know. But, like I was told by one of the most unlikely of people, a rabbi, was that, "questioning one's faith on a daily basis is the most powerful thing anyone can do".

Find the truth for yourself. Because once you have done that, your faith, in whatever you find will be the one that will guide you through any rough road you may travel. I tend to not believe books. I tend to believe life experiences which bend my perspective in faith.

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I am a walking miracle. When I was 11 years old, I was hit in the back by a another student who was pissed because I beat him in the 50 yard dash. He hit me so hard that I had to take muscle relaxers for the pain. I was in so much pain that I couldnt even lay down to sleep. I felt as if my ribs were poking through my lungs. The blow to my spine also caused a tumor to grow. Within 6 weeks of being hit, I was paralized from the ribs down. My dad had to carry me into the nuroligist. I was sent to Good Sam Hospital where I had many different test done including a spinal tap. They found a tumor on my spine at that time which the doctor swore was cancer. He didnt even remove all of it because he didnt think I would live 6 weeks to a year. He told my parents that if the tumor had stayed there for two hours longer, it would have caused unreversable damage. I would have remained paralyzed.

After a week of waiting,(I didnt know) but the doctor called my parents at 1 am and told them the results of the tumor came back from the lab as benign. He swore he sent Cancer to the lab.

As soon as most of the tumor was removed I was able to wiggle my toes. I had to go through intensive therapy to learn to walk again and still and I have trouble waking when I am tired, but I am walking and after 42 years, I am alive and well.

I was on everyones prayer list. People I didnt even know were praying for me. I truelly belive that I am a walking miracle. I have had a total of three surgeries to remove the tumor and to also straighten and strengthen my spine. I still have a severe scoliosis and kyphosis curve that I can see daily. I can see my scars and know what God has done for me. They are a reminder that God works miracles and He used me to show His love.

I sure believe in the power of prayer as do the others who were praying for me at that time. I consider myself a religous person. I believe in the power of prayer but I also believe in God's will be done, so whatever I pray for if God doesn't have the same ideas, God's will be done. God's will for me was to live and to show His love to others.

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Posted · Report post

I am not a religious person. I was raised Catholic but never really could get the faith that was required of me. By the time I was sixteen and could drive myself to church (instead of riding there with my parents) I ceased being a Catholic because I just didn't go any more... Much to the dismay of my Mother (and relative indifference of my Father).

Those are all interesting and valid questions you have there Real Talk. Naturally, I have no real answers to any of them. However, I know a lot of people that consider themselves religious and I am witness to the faith they have in God as well what the power of prayer means to them. It brings them strength, courage and intensity in their love for life. All good things. I also have a lot of people that have told me they are praying for me and my family. That has brought me strength, courage and an intensity for my love for life as well as a love for all my relatives and friends. As a non-religious person, those prayers people have for me and my family have made a big difference in my life. Now that is powerful. And it has helped me.

Beer Bob that is one of the best post I have ever read. It should go in the books somewhere. Nice Job

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Thanks Nuttly.

And regarding your comment Real Talk:

"What if someone, instead of telling you that they are praying for you told you that they are thinking of you in your time of need and would offer up any type of help that they could provide? Would that not possess the same feelings of strength and courage had the person not used the word "prayer"?"

Yes it would and it does. And, as far as I can recall, just about everyone that did tell me they were praying for me and my family also said repeatedly that they would do anything for me and told me to call on them for anything at all. When friends and family members that I know are not religious told me they were thinking of me, that provided me with strength too.

Knowing that my friends and family would do anything for me, I just need to ask is very comforting.

And as I said at the beginning regarding not being a religious person, knowing that my friends and family were praying for me and my family is just as comforting because I am aware of how deep their faith is and how much they believe in the power of prayer and how much it means to them. For someone that is not very religious, I am blessed anyway! In spite of myself...

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I've been thinking about these last posts for some time now and the thing that stands out the most to me about this and its meaning to me is this:

Prayer in its raw meaning, meaning getting help from God doesn't work. That would put God into choosing "winners and losers". I will not believe for one minute that God work in those terms.

I do, however, believe that prayer works in the sense of people wishing the best for others and that pyschological backing for the one who needed uplifting will feel more "power" based on those people around them lifting their spirits. And, that uplifting is very powerful to the human pysche.

Empowerment from within and from the help of those loved ones around them is enough to empower people to drive hard enough to get through many a situation that may otherwise crush someone. LEft alone to deal with pain or suffering plays a big role in depression. The feeling of loneliness is not empowering - it harbors fear, regret, etc.

So, prayer is more for me an act of love that is given from one person to another with the intent to empower people through hard times and times of need. Not God's interaction into what ails us from day to day.

I remember hearing a lot of prayers starting with, "God please give me the strength to...". In this example it is an example of self-relflection or an honest moment in our heads that we reveal onto ourselves we need help.

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Prayer in its raw meaning, meaning getting help from God doesn't work. That would put God into choosing "winners and losers". I will not believe for one minute that God work in those terms.

I do, however, believe that prayer works in the sense of people wishing the best for others and that pyschological backing for the one who needed uplifting will feel more "power" based on those people around them lifting their spirits

There's truth in that!

While I'm sure some of you have seen my

posts on the power of the Word of God, these last posts from

you all reminded me of me meeting a holistic massage therapist.

She knew of my beliefs and I think she was trying to get into

an argument about our differences....But what I saw in her was

someone who cared about people and put her hands on them

to make them feel better.

I told her I wished more Christians were like her. That she worked

at the craft of healing where most Christians would say to a sick person

"I will pray for you".

Someone in need usually needs it yesterday, and while I know the

Word of God works every time, a true, physical, helping hand is

where comfort and hope can manifest many things a person needs.

Being there for someone is powerful.

I think think the term "prayer" has been use incorrectly at times.

For me, prayer is the time to just sit quiet with God, read and speak

some passages from the bible and be in thanksgiving.

Being a "Doer of the Word" is not prayer....It's not begging either.

In the Word, God has given EVERYTHING he is EVER going to give.

In the eyes of God, he FINISHED everything in Christ.

All things are given freely....If he gave us Jesus, helping us with

sickness or finances is a no brainer. We are all winners. There are

NO LOSERS in Christ.

It's up to US to find the TREASURES of the Word to bring all good things

to our loved ones and ourselves.

I say do exactly what you guys are saying...just sprinkle a little more Word

on the love you ALREADY have for people. You will never fail. smile.gif

Thanks!...great thread.

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