Prayer is misunderstood

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Jeff Miller wrote a letter (“Example shows prayer fails,” Dec.4) stating that prayer doesn’t work because Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a day of fasting and prayer, and it didn’t reduce our national debt or unemployment. How he arrived at this conclusion is a mystery to me.

In 40 years of being a Southern Baptist, I have never heard anyone pray for a reduction either in the national debt or unemployment. Christians do not believe these are our nations’ greatest challenges. Doctors are murdering fully formed babies when they poke their little heads out, and you think Christians are praying for our economy? Half-naked, painted sodomites are dancing suggestively on our streets, and you think we are praying about the unemployment rate? Children kill children, drugs pour across our borders and radical Islamists kill Americans by the thousands – and millions of ignorant people blame their miserable existence on God.

Mr. Miller quotes Matt 21:22: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for.” But John 9:31 says that God does not hear frivolous, selfish prayers, nor does he hear prayers from unsaved people.

Perhaps Mr. Miller’s problems are the result of his own actions. My guess is that he is not happy and wealthy, and thinks it is all God’s fault.

Perhaps tonight I will pray for a new car and a new house – might as well pray to win the Powerball lottery also. Tomorrow I will be a multimillionaire. The first thing I will do is take Mr. Miller a million dollars and tell him it is from God so I can hear him say, “Praise the Lord.”

John Sullivent

Harlem

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DanK
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DanK 12/13/12 - 08:08 am
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Yes, prayer is misunderstood

It's not what you think it is. Prayer is an excellent technique for calming and focusing of the self, much like meditation. It is a way of tapping the unconscious for finding personal solutions, dealing with personal discord, stress and trauma. But as far as changing anything in the physical world by invoking the divine intervention of a supernatural being, that's just living in a fantasy. Mr. Sullivent is just living a different fantasy from that of Mr. Perry.

Techfan
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Techfan 12/13/12 - 08:14 am
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Jane18
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Jane18 12/13/12 - 08:42 am
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Not A "Technique"

DanK, if you really believe prayer is just a "technique"much like meditation to calm one down and see something more clearly, you are just as mislead and wrong as Jeff Miller(it's good for that, but it is so much more). Prayer is talking to The Father, much like talking to our flesh father. It is being open and honest, sorry for any and all wrongs, asking for a need(that is to further GOD's love of HIS children), and most of all, being thankful for everything. Even through bad times, we learn. The word technique sounds like the procedure one uses or must use...prayer is supposed to come from that innermost part of our being, sincere and honest, from us, not some written paper or book.

shrimp for breakfast
5011
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shrimp for breakfast 12/13/12 - 08:57 am
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I pray

I don't know why. I guess it's just hardwired into my being. I don't pray for "things" though. Well maybe once in a while. I just like talking to God. I know he listens. Don't ask me how I know because I can't explain it.

F4therTime
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F4therTime 12/13/12 - 09:34 am
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I pray....

Unpublished

That the AC will quit putting these letters in their paper. Talk about overkill...geesh...

RMSHEFF
10990
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RMSHEFF 12/13/12 - 09:51 am
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Prayer should change you, not God.

Prayer is primarily a way to change the thinking of the one who prays by acknowledging God for who He is. The prayers of Jesus are a good example. Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” We should always recognize Gods will is perfect even though in our finite minds we may desire otherwise. Those that do not belong to Christ will usually pray for material gain and not the alignment of our will with God's will. We desire to please the Father by doing His will.

Butterbean
242
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Butterbean 12/13/12 - 10:55 am
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Bottom line:

For those of us who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice. This is certainly how it appears.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 12/13/12 - 03:16 pm
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Nonbelievers

I have a question? You say God only answers prayers from those who are saved (AKA Christians)

Then how is one who is a non believer suppose to arrive at the decision to become saved in the first place if they don't ever see the work of God in their everyday life?? If a person who is currently atheist prays about something, and God refuses to answer because they aren't already Christian, then doesn't that reinforce the atheists belief of "God does not exist?" In order for someone to convert their beliefs, don't they need to be given a reason to do so?? How is one to escape religious dogma without a little help from the divine? The overwhelming majority of us end up believing what we were taught growing up and what our environment dictates. This means our environment is the number one determining factor in our belief system. (like it or not) There's no way to break this cycle unless God himself intervenes in a very powerful way. Like I will probably never become Muslim unless I'm given a very specific reason to do so. So I ask my fellow Christians...Why would someone choose to become Christian without a strong sense of divine verification??

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 12:55 pm
2
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Why do people keep referring

Why do people keep referring to god as "father", "him", "he" etc? So there are people out there who believe that the creator of the universe has a y chromosome and male genitalia?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 12/13/12 - 01:31 pm
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Atheist prayer

Unpublished

Atheist is walking the Appalachian trail. He is attacked by a large bear who begins to maul and tear at his flesh. The atheist feeling death is near cries out, "God help me". Everything becomes still. The bear is frozen in time. A voice says. "Why do you call on me now. You deny my existence". The atheist says, "Well if you cannot help me, can you do something about the bear, save and change the bear". Suddenly everything begins to move again. The bear folds his hands in prayer and says, "Eternal God, for what I am about to receive make me truly grateful". The bear then ate the atheist.

grouse
1580
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grouse 12/13/12 - 01:34 pm
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The wonderful thing about the

Unpublished

The wonderful thing about the Bible is there is so many verses to pick and choose from to support any argument you wish....

faithson
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faithson 12/13/12 - 02:37 pm
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Giant

From what I have gleaned, we are dealing with semantics. When one considers the Trinity, the focus on the male/Father is diluted into the entity known as the Trinity. Actual discussions of the Father should always include the Son and the Holy Spirit, as in Fact they are the same. hope I didn't confuse u, but to ever get anywhere on this subject one must embrace mystery, not that which cannot be known, but that which can be known, but we just don't know it yet. mystery.

oneofthesane
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oneofthesane 12/13/12 - 05:10 pm
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can we stop acting like

Unpublished

can we stop acting like republicans for a sec and stop doing the work for these democrates that have not found no other way of finding the answers to those questions of theirs? If they are hungry, let them search for food where food is plentiful or starve. My 2 pennies. Thanks.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/13/12 - 09:23 pm
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Circular Absurdity

duffstuff posted:

If a person who is currently atheist prays about something, and God refuses to answer because they aren't already Christian, then doesn't that reinforce the atheists belief of "God does not exist?"

Who is this atheist praying to, the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or to the Void? Or something else?

Barry Paschal has a good column in Wednesday's Columbia County News-Times about this same subject. I posted there that the atheists base their unbelief on the notion that God did not do for them what they wanted him to.

KasparHauser
306
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KasparHauser 12/14/12 - 11:36 am
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1

Comfortable Non-goals

Unpublished

Seems to me that the Christers who pray for all those meaningless intangibles are doing so because, over time, they know from experience what areas of human endeavor can provide results that are statistically insignificant but are great as an after dinner/communion anecdote.

Also, if they prayed for tangibles, as was distained by the original writer, there's the almost certainty nothing will happen, even though the tangibles would most certainly have an effect on all those pie-in-the-sky desires. A better economy would lead to less trouble raising a one parent child, but prayer ain't gonna get the economy working, IS IT?, so better leave that request to YHWH alone. And, even better, you can still attribute YHWH's inability to deliver on the prayor's Original Sin.

What a "Can't Lose" situation.

It's Mark Twain's "Head I win, Taels you lose" all over again.

What a psychotic world to live in.

duffstuff
722
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duffstuff 12/14/12 - 01:12 pm
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Well then little lamb...How

Well then little lamb...How do you expect someone to convert their beliefs without seeing the verification of that belief system. You can't just say read the Bible or just have faith because that person isn't gonna believe in religion or a conversion of beliefs without seeing a reason to do so first. Am I so wrong? In order to truly believe something you must first become skeptical. If you've never been skeptical than you just simply fall into the category of religious dogma. AKA you only believe it because you always have. (Thats the most circular way of thinking) And I bet more atheists have prayed in their life than than you think. Atheists are simply people who have seen no verification of any popular religion or an existence of someone in divine control. Therefore they are totally skeptical of religious beliefs and fall into the position of having no religious beliefs at all. Just because you are a christian doesnt mean you cant someday become an atheist. Same goes for vise versa. In fact most people I've met who are atheists are so for one main reason. They haven't seen the verification of God in their own life experiences often despite efforts to do so. I don't think what I'm saying is circular at all. In fact its circular to expect someone to submit to a belief system without having received a prior reason to do so! I mean, you wouldn't convert to islam solely based on the fact that some muslim person came up to you and tried to tell you about the Quran, and said it is the truth? Would you?? No you wouldn't more than likely. So explain to me how a muslim, atheist, or whatever is suppose to want to convert to christianity? Explain that to me in a way that makes realistic sense???

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