To pray, or not?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by onecut39, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. onecut39
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    onecut39 VIP Member

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    I am not being mean or nasty or even argumentative. I am not trying to convert anyone. I am just trying to understand a thought process. Yours.

    The subject is prayer. People have been doing it forever with an astounding, documented, lack of success. Over the years studies have been done, statistics have been formulated and the success rate of prayer is dismal. There have been statements made that belief and prayer can be greatly helpful in healing the sick and emotionally injured. Other studies have stated that the important thing is the belief, sincere of course, that things will be better. It seems not to matter if you are praying to the easter bunny, or the supreme being. All that matters is a belief that something or someone, perhaps just yourself, will make you better.

    The doctrine (christian) is even stacked against prayer. One of the prime impediments is the doctrine of free will. This eliminates prayer being a factor in dealing with your fellow man. Sure, you have free will, allowing you to screw up as you will. So does everyone else, including those who will wish you, or cause you, pain. It is their free will that causes it and God does not interfere. Pray for a safe journey? Useless! If somebody is going to get drunk and smash you all to heck, that is a factor of their free will. Untouchable.

    Natural disasters are not covered by prayer. This is so obvious that it needs no explanation. What is the logic of praying to be saved from the very disaster God has set upon you? If God cares little for the hurricane or the tornado why in the world do you give thanks for escaping what was essentially a set up? This has even been immortalized in one of those old sayings that cannot be refuted. “The rain falls on both the just and the unjust”.

    How about pestilence and plague? Suppose you pray to be healed and you are? How then would you rationalize all those other good folks, true believers all, perhaps better than you, who are not spared? Are they all being punished? For what? And has not your free will put you in the position where you could get sick?

    So what is left to pray for? All I can see is that you pray for strength to get through the blunders of life, often yours, sometimes those of others. But there is always that free will thing and I continue to wonder if you get points for being a dufus.

    Can you pray to get to heaven? I thought you either got there or not by works or faith or some kind of combination of the two. You either do it or you don’t and praying is irrelevant.

    So help me out. What is there to pray for? It seems that whatever it is you must bend the rules set forth in the doctrine itself.

    My wife has participated in a church prayer chain forever. They pray for this and that, for healing, strength and guidance. Over the many years I have observed this I have seen not one miraculous healing. Folks still had their pain and sorrow. What relief they have gotten seems to have come from their fellow churchgoers. Through their free will as it were.

    Quite frankly, it is impossible to make a case for prayer, at least not based on it’s success rate. So my question is, for those of you who do pray, why? Surely it cannot be for results


    There are none so blind as those who will not see.
     
  2. Gurdari
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    Gurdari Egaliterra

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    People pray to feel good. Same reason they do everything else.
     
  3. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Platinum Member

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    Wrong. There have been recent studies that were performed on monks, Nuns, and some other people to measure the brain wave activity when they were praying. All of them showed a remarkable increase in the functioning of the brain.

    Really? Free will is doing what you will. You don't even really have to follow the 10 Commandments if you don't want to, I mean, people lie, murder, and steal all the time. But, free will ALSO shows the results of your actions. If you obey the law, you remain free, if you break it, you go to jail (usually.....I'm still wondering about Madoff). And yes, it is their free will that allows them to cause you pain. But.....it's also a balancing action, because you have the free will to avoid them if you wish, so they don't cause you any more pain.

    What should you pray for? If anything.....enlightenment. But, you should also understand something about prayer.

    It's actually "talking" to God. But......if you meet someone, and all you do is talk to them, they find out all about you, but you find out nothing about them.

    The other part of that is meditation. If you are meditating, then you've cleared your mind of all the little distractions, and now you can listen to that small clear voice inside you.

    Prayer only really works if you're willing to listen for the answers.
     
  4. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    Prayer is an interesting topic. Some Buddhists pray, but not all do. The prayers are often ones that follow a specific formula, or sadhana in Buddhism.

    Sometimes the prayers are aspirations or invocations. We have refuge prayers, lineage prayers, aspirational prayers, dedication prayers.

    We have prayers that accompany practices for healing and for ejecting the consciousness at death.

    Some people cannot even concieve of praying unless they solidify their deity into a personality.
     
  5. Amanda
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    Amanda Calm as a Hindu cow

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    That sort of depends on how you define success. That said, many people do not understand prayer and think of it as some sort of wish granting machine. It's not. That's not the purpose. That's why you play the lottery.

    Are you sure an anti-prayer essay isn't intended to convince anyone of anything?
     
  6. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    So did Church straighten you out Amanda?
     
  7. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Since Buddhists do not believe in God or a Deity.

    Who or what would they pray to?
     
  8. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Platinum Member

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    You don't know shit about Buddhism, do you?
     
  9. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    We pray to our own pure essence nature--awareness itself--the way of abiding.

    Buddha means 'one who is awake' in Sanskrit. In Tibetan, it means 'to clear away' and 'to unfold'. When adventitious poisons of the mind are cleared away, pure qualities remain.

    Just like a diamond or crystal contained in rock. The rock does not damage the diamond. Put the rock in the tumbler of meditation and the rock wears away revealing the pure qualities of the crystal--the abiility to reflect light and display rainbows.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  10. Father Time
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    Father Time I'll be Still Alive

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    You pray to your consciousness?
     

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