Example shows prayer fails

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On Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a “day of fasting and prayer for our nation’s challenges” in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. At that time, our greatest challenges were $15 trillion-plus of debt and 9.1 percent unemployment.

Where are we 15 months removed from that Gong Show spectacle? We’re now at $16 trillion-plus of debt (and climbing) with unemployment hovering at 9 percent. Where’s the guy who created the universe and the firmament? Where’s the guy who tallies your past, present and future thoughts? Where’s your omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God? Is He busy?

Maybe God should open up His Bible and brush up on His techniques. I quote Matthew 21:22 from the New International Version Bible: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” It seems that biblical malfeasance, bait-and-switch or an outright lie has been perpetrated, because those believers believed, didn’t they? Or maybe nothing happened because congregants forgot that “fasting” part as they queued up for burgers and burritos at Rick Perry’s prayer-palooza. “Sir, would you like some hubris and hypocrisy on that hot dog?”

Rick Perry, 30,000 of his congregants and vast numbers of U.S. citizens prayed, and still nothing happened. So much for the efficaciousness of prayer, don’t you think?

Why do politicians endlessly invoke the Bible and God into their political shenanigans? Well, it’s easier to fool “we, the people” than it is to show them that they’ve been fooled. And, like the saying goes: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

I want to thank Rick Perry for proving that prayer fails, because now I don’t have to. I invite everyone in the 21st century to embrace science, scientific fact, critical thinking and common sense – because that’s what’s going to save us, not Bronze Age mythology.

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GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/04/12 - 01:23 am
6
24
Hmmmm

Saying "prayer fails" is the same thing as saying "trees are made of wood". Everyone knows it, so why do we have to keep saying it?

GiantsAllDay
9060
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GiantsAllDay 12/04/12 - 01:31 am
8
21
Even those who profess to

Even those who profess to believe in prayer really don't. When they get into a real terrible auto wreck, do they ask to be taken to a church, home of the made up almighty being? No, they ask to be taken to a hospital where resides a doctor who has spent many years studying modern science books (rather than an ancient book of myths) and practicing the art of medicine. Just once I want to hear of a person who has been severely injured and nigh unto death ask to be taken to a church instead of a hospital. No atheists in foxholes? How about no Christians in car accidents. And please don't say that almighty god put the doctor in the hospital. Just makes you look foolish. K-thanks.

Chris 232
91
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Chris 232 12/04/12 - 02:11 am
0
2
Great letter. I wonder how
Unpublished

Great letter. I wonder how the right wing fundies feel about "god" putting Obama in the White House four more years? My guess is they resort to the trump card "god works in mysterious ways." Can't be that one, can we?

shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 12/04/12 - 03:30 am
13
3
I gotta believe.

I'm not religious but I do believe in God. I also believe in science.
I don't think I've ever fasted except when I was broke. I have prayed for things and been turned down. I have also gotten what I selfishly prayed for.
What I haven't learned yet is to not pray for what I want but what would help me be of better service to my fellow man.
I HAVE learned that I don't ever question someone else's beliefs. You see I found I have no right to do that. If everyone did this then no one would ever be KILLED in the name of God. By the way I also believe that more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.
I like to have evidence instead of going on blind faith but I have to believe there is a reason for this universe.
I love the scene in the movie "Contact" when the scientist who doesn't believe in God because HE can't be proved is asked.
"Did you love your Father?" he asks.
"Yes, very much," she says.
"Prove it." he says.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
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Fundamental_Arminian 12/04/12 - 05:44 am
22
2
Prayer works when done in faith according to God's will.

Prayer works when it's according to God's will and accompanied by faith. Rick Perry's prayer, unlike Jesus' cursing of a fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22), didn't concern something beyond mankind's ability but something that requires mankind's participation. Our debt won't fall until we reduce government spending enough for us to repay what we owe. Our unemployment rate won't fall until we revise government regulations enough to make our nation job-friendly.

God will help us only if we turn from our sinful ways and listen to him. "... This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him" (1 John 5:15-16 English Standard Version).

In simultaneously praying for less debt and spending like crazy, we're double-minded and unstable. What we need is the wisdom and discipline to get our financial house in order. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:5-8 ESV).

wayne2410
1239
Points
wayne2410 12/04/12 - 06:38 am
1
0
Science is one of the tools
Unpublished

Science is one of the tools God uses towards his ends, just like evolution and the big bang. I'll remind the author that I am free to embrace whatever I wish, at least until the liberals realize their ultimate goal of a totally Godless and souless facist state. Then maybe you can try to force me to believe something, but you better bring your big boy pants and a sack lunch because you will be in for one heck of a long day brother.

Dixieman
12834
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Dixieman 12/04/12 - 06:48 am
24
2
Dixieman has 1 billion points

Everyone knows (or should) that God answers our prayers according to his wisdom and wishes, not according to our limited understanding. He gives us what is best for us, not what we want.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 12/04/12 - 07:17 am
24
10
It amazes me that liberal
Unpublished

It amazes me that liberal athiests, for the most part, seem to be the most intollerant and rude about other people's beliefs. Just my observation.

InChristLove
22417
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InChristLove 12/04/12 - 07:24 am
17
2
Thank you Dixieman. When

Thank you Dixieman. When people understand what and the reason for prayer then they will understand that we don't always receive yes to our prayers. Sometimes God says no, and sometimes He says not at this time. Scripture says John 14:13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

In my name - This is equivalent to saying on my account, or for my sake. That the Father may be glorified.....God allows nothing to occur unless it brings glory to the Father's name and when we say Amen at the end of our prayers, it is saying - your will God, not mine. So saying prayer is never answered is about as "foolish" as this letter and the first two comments.

InChristLove
22417
Points
InChristLove 12/04/12 - 07:40 am
14
2
"If we ask anything according

"If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us" (1 John 5:14).

"Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust" (James 4:3).

Christ will not even communicate with a wrangling, unforgiving person. Do you think if we have bitterness, grudges, hate in our hearts, God is going to listen to us. God's law of prayer is clear on this matter, "Lift up pure hands without wrath or doubting" (1 Timothy 2:8).

The devil is trying to rob us of hope by making it appear that prayer is no longer effective. Another reason we doubt prayer works is because we are so busy trying to answer the prayer for God. A true believer will leave the shaping of the answer to God's mercy and whatever way God chooses to answer, then we are satisfied with it. Because after all, He knows best.

itsanotherday1
40055
Points
itsanotherday1 12/04/12 - 07:52 am
21
2
Why is it that non believers

Why is it that non believers feel it is their DUTY to challenge and belittle the faithful? I would understand it if the person or religion were infringing directly on the their rights or space, but just out of the blue they want to constantly harangue the faithful.

KSL
120959
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KSL 12/04/12 - 07:57 am
9
4
Efficaciosness

I am wondering what the efficaciousness of this letter is.

grouse
1635
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grouse 12/04/12 - 08:41 am
3
16
Funny how Christians quote
Unpublished

Funny how Christians quote the Bible's straightforward statements and then add their own qualifiers to it to rationalize why those statements turn out to be false. Perhaps we "harangue" the faithful because religion is always in our face and it tries to permeate our secular government.

joytotheworld
43
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joytotheworld 12/04/12 - 08:53 am
15
2
May God

May God have mercy on your soul at the hour of your death and departure from this earth. I will pray for you.

curly123053
4189
Points
curly123053 12/04/12 - 09:40 am
14
1
God Is In Control

God does answer prayer when the needs outnumber the wants. There are times when God let's things happen to try to get the attention of a sinful country such as America. America has been turning away from God in so many ways that I feel like God has put us where we are for a purpose. Sort of like the Bible story of all those who were stuck in the wilderness for 40 years. America is walking the same path and God will only take so much before He decides to discipline His throngs. God is the Creator of us all and His will is going to be done whether people believe in Him or not.

rebellious
20127
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rebellious 12/04/12 - 09:33 am
15
3
Please Stand Back

Everyone please move away from Mr.Miller. You don't want to be a victim of the fallout Voltage.

I agree with the posters above in regards to unbelievers having to disparage believers. How did Gov. Perry's event harm, inconvenience or otherwise cause you discomfort?

Liberalism and unbelief often go hand in hand. When liberals make man, earth, animals, the climate and other soulless objects the center of their focus, they neglect the acknowledgement of a Supreme Creator.

Be-elzebub is rubbing his hands together in glee.

Pal
3170
Points
Pal 12/04/12 - 10:05 am
15
2
My two cents and then off to work...

Giants wrote, "No atheists in foxholes? How about no Christians in car accidents. And please don't say that almighty god put the doctor in the hospital. Just makes you look foolish. K-thanks."

Atheists, esp. liberal ones, enjoy feeling that they're intellectually superior to believers. That is a common theme in most any atheist's post, letter, etc. This feeling must be terribly important to them and probably masks a really pitiful inferiority complex, but it's always good for a chuckle.

But if they're so smart, why can't they figure out that ridiculing and denigrating another's belief system is not an effective way to persuade? If convincing us to abandon our Christian beliefs is so important, why choose the very method that is least efficacious? That isn't very intelligent.

As Giants would say: Just makes you look foolish. K-thanks.

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 12/04/12 - 09:47 am
11
1
The gods answer all prayers...

Often, the answer is, "No."

nervecurve
16
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nervecurve 12/04/12 - 10:04 am
14
0
Prayer.

I responded online to his editorial, here is what I wrote; $16,000,000,000,000.00 (TRILLION) did I get enough zero’s in there? You see Mr. Miller the prayer was not for this HUGH amount of money to, poof, just disappear like something out of a comic book, (is that what you really thought or were you just being obtuse?) it was for this country of ours to be able, in the face of such unbelievable debt, to continue to function and not have our economy collapse. The prayer was for our President’s safety, for his sound physical and mental health, and asking that he might make wise decisions in the days ahead, it was also for all the other men and women who represent us. The prayer was for the continued protection of this great nation from those wanting to cause destruction and mayhem thru terroristic attacks, and to bring our military home. The prayer was also for our freedoms not being impeded that we can continue to live in a Republic, to pursue our God given right to liberty, the right to choose, the right to happiness etc. These sovereignties are what were prayed for Mr. Miller, so that you could have the privilege to write such eloquent comments of ignorance.

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/04/12 - 10:38 am
4
12
Just a couple of thoughts to

Just a couple of thoughts to wrap up: (1) it seems as if there are grown human beings in the 21st century who believe in Satan. That is nothing short of mind boggling. The church lady from Saturday night live actually lives in Augusta, GA!!!! So the all powerful god has no power to destroy his enemy (I'm talking about the guy who has caused more problems for the human race than everyone else combined). Either that (a) is true or (b) god can destroy Satan but he chooses not to. There is no third choice. If (a) is true then he is not a very powerful god. He would be a little g god instead of a big g god. If (b) is true, well that may even be worse. That makes him one of the meanest SOB's that ever reigned. That kind of god deserves neither my respect nor my praise. (2) some of you are saying that non believers take delight in the ridiculing of others beliefs. Try looking at it another way: WE MUST PUSH OUT THE FALSE IN ORDER TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE TRUE. As more and more truth is allowed to make its way into society, the better off everyone will be. One last thing about prayer. George Carlin said it best. Half the time you're going to get what you want and half the time you aren't. So pray to whomever you want, it's all the same. He prayed to the sun. The sun had a big advantage over god for him. You could actually SEE the sun. The sun was always kind to him.

seenitB4
81048
Points
seenitB4 12/04/12 - 10:45 am
7
2
Why we need religion

Google that question sometimes....you might be surprised....people need religion for many different reasons....we need to respect that in all.....no I can't believe that GOD will punish us with hurricanes & etc....but my thoughts are we do have an intelligence of mind that runs through our universe with all people ...is that prayer...could be...we have so much to learn & frankly I say live & let live......anything that gives comfort to our fellow men should be embraced....jmo...

justthefacts
20255
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justthefacts 12/04/12 - 10:46 am
18
0
Joke with meaning

Ever heard about the guy whose house was slowing flooding? Boat comes by to get him, but he refuses saying God will save him. Soon, he is on the roof. A helicopter comes by to rescue him. Again, he refuses saying God will save me. Finally a third helicopter. Again, no, God will save me. As he is drowning he cries out to God, why didn't you save me? God says, well I sent a boat and two helicopters.....

seenitB4
81048
Points
seenitB4 12/04/12 - 10:47 am
8
2
The great question of life....

For Frankl, that meaning wasn't necessarily religious — although one could argue that anything that deals with a person's deepest concerns is in a sense "spiritual." What Frankl was talking about could be found in deeds — in the handful of individuals who shared their meager rations with others and went about encouraging their fellow prisoners. But meaning could also be found in attitudes — particularly in the ability to face suffering with dignity and grace. As Frankl expressed it: "Man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips."

A building block

Man's search for meaning — whether in a Broadway penthouse or the darkest corner of hell — is the most basic building block of a successful life. Without a sense of purpose, many people will simply shrivel up and die, whether figuratively or, in some cases, literally.

I suspect that in postmodern America, the need for meaning is as great as ever. While our ancestors were too busy fighting off starvation to worry about such things as self-actualization, today's Americans live lives of relative ease. Higher education, a shorter work week and regular vacations have enriched our lives but have also provided abundant opportunity to consider whether our lives have meaning and purpose. The result isn't all that encouraging. Millions suffer from depression. Millions more escape their lives through drugs and alcohol. Far too many give up the struggle altogether and commit suicide.

Alas, many of us have discovered purpose for our lives through religion. Inside America's churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and ashrams, we wrestle with the great questions of life. And with due respect to my atheist and left-leaning friends, most of those questions are not amenable to the scientific method.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 12/04/12 - 10:50 am
13
0
Religion and science aren't

Religion and science aren't mutually exclusive. Only the narrow minded would think that they are.

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/04/12 - 10:57 am
4
9
SeenitB4

I have read Man's Search For Meaning a half dozen times. The most important thing I took away from it is this: the nazis took EVERYTHING away from him EXCEPT for his decision on how he reacted. No matter how dire our situation, we will ALWAYS have the freedom to choose how we react.

seenitB4
81048
Points
seenitB4 12/04/12 - 11:02 am
6
2
GAD

I respect your opinion ...but again I ask....does it harm you or me if some find comfort......my hubby prays for me everyday he says...(some days I doubt that :))....anyway....we all have the right to find peace in any way we can....lordy with the problems we face today.....we need to work together...jmo

Willow Bailey
20579
Points
Willow Bailey 12/04/12 - 11:10 am
16
0
God is NOT Your Bellboy!

Let me make sure that I understand this letter writer and some of the commenters.

I can reject all of God's teachings on my finances, go out and spend everything I have in my account and then borrow from others.

When I owe more than I can pay back, I just go to God, who I've not spoken to in years and demand that He bail me out on my terms, in my time frame and without any pain or consequences of my unwise choices.

When that fails, I should declare, prayer just doesn't work.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 12/04/12 - 11:15 am
3
6
I guess my biggest concern...
Unpublished

why would a caring loving God allow children to suffer? I know it's not for me to understand but still. I have a hard time believeing that a all loving God would alllow a innocent child to suffer. I will never get it nor could I ever follow any religion that believes people suffer because it's the will of God.

Willow Bailey
20579
Points
Willow Bailey 12/04/12 - 11:16 am
9
0
Sidebar: Not saying the above

Sidebar: Not saying the above was Gov. Perry's prayer at all.
My example was to meet the letter writer and his supporters "where they are".

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 12/04/12 - 11:20 am
1
1
Slick Rick
Unpublished

Yea, I have memories of this. There was a bally-hoo because this was seen as "Christianity" getting the nod (wink-wink) over other religions and as a violation of separation of church and state. But nervecurve at 9:04 thinks this was a prayer for the president and other leaders well-being. Did the prez dislocate his duodenum or something? And if ALL these people WERE praying for the prez and prayer worked, wouldn't the prez be like super-human with all that powerful vibe being bestowed upon him? Anyways, I had to revisit this undertaking (thanks to the internet) and I quote Rick Perry: "...the challenges that face our communities, states, and nation..." AND "...the global economic turndown...". So, if Slick Rick wasn't calling for intervention about our national debt and unemployment rate, I don't know what intervention he was calling for. But then again, Slick Rick is from Texas and that does explain a few things!

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