Argument without a prayer

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Letter writer Jeff Miller (“Prayer still doesn’t work,” Dec. 11) seems intent on insulting, offending and antagonizing those he is trying to influence by unequivocally stating that prayer doesn’t work and mocking those who believe it does.


Such an approach simply won’t convince people to change their ways.

At best, people will simply ignore him, and at worst he may actually influence some to do the exact opposite of what he recommends.

Many people believe in the power of prayer to change things for the better. While I do not claim to be an expert, I have seen how prayer can affect the lives both of those who do the praying and those who are the recipients of prayer.

It does, however, seem to me that for prayer to “work” as Mr. Miller would appear to intend, three things would have to occur in sequence:

1) the pray-er would have to ask God to change the minds of numerous elected officials in Washington;

2) God would have to grant the prayer (of which there is no guarantee, depending upon the exact wording and intent of the pray-er);

3) the elected official or officials in Washington would have to not only hear God’s exhortations, but would also have to listen to and act upon them.

This last is the most contentious and least likely to occur because, as far as I am aware, God never forces anyone to do anything – even though He certainly could.

He granted us all free will so we could decide for ourselves whether to believe in Him, whether listen to Him, and whether (and how) to follow his commandments.

As a result, it is entirely conceivable that our senators and congressmen in Washington truly believe they are following God’s commandments even when they’re not doing what we would like them to do.

So, while prayer does have the power to change how Washington spends money, there is no guarantee of the outcome.

Mr. Miller’s argument against Washington’s spendthrift ways is right on target and his exhortation that we need to do something to stop it is correct. Despite this, his message is lost amid the condescending, patronizing manner in which he speaks to his intended audience.

He is going to have a difficult time convincing those who believe in the power of prayer to take action by insulting and antagonizing them.

Daniel Moore

Grovetown

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GiantsAllDay
14708
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/16/13 - 02:33 am
3
10
2 years ago today, we lost

2 years ago today, we lost one of earth's great ones, Christopher Hitchens. Hitch, there are still many out there who still cling to invisible sky buddies. This is to you Hitch; you are still missed.
http://youtu.be/Qyjc4tIJK4Q

soldout
1287
Points
soldout 12/16/13 - 05:36 am
1
3
Easy prayers for God to answer

Good letter. God doesn't over-ride people's wills. What you can pray in a situation and have almost a perfect track record is "praying that all truth come to light or be revealed' That one requires no over-riding of someone's will but only the Holy Spirit showing you what to look for or notice in a situation. I see it work over and over. Sometimes it can be upsetting or even viloent when people realize others know the truth about them. God is always ready to reveal truth to those who ask and look. Better not be hiding anything if someone prays that prayer in your situation.

InChristLove
22491
Points
InChristLove 12/16/13 - 06:57 am
6
2
"2 years ago today, we lost

"2 years ago today, we lost one of earth's great ones, Christopher Hitchens"

Although it's sad when any human leaves this earth (especially one without the saving grace of God) but "earth's great one" GAD, I suppose depends on who is studying the subject matter.

KSL
186614
Points
KSL 12/16/13 - 08:12 am
5
2
Gad

You live in the right place. That is exactly why states were given the rights they were, so that we could choose the state and its laws we liked, the laws the feds were not supposed to interfere with, but have.

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 12/16/13 - 08:39 am
1
0
Really?
Unpublished

So, speaking with condescension or patronization will work better, like this letter exudes?

nocnoc
69510
Points
nocnoc 12/16/13 - 10:58 am
4
1
If you don't beleive in GOD, that is your choice

But quit expecting GOD to answer the prayers of a NON-Believer for selfish individual humanly reasons.

Quit demanding GOD who created a universe, to address each and every demand you make of him, or like a child you won't believe in GOD.

GOD is NOT SANTA CLAUS, GOD is REAL.

Happiness, sadness, Love, Problems, sickness and Death are all
part of life.

GOD has given man the wisdom to fight and address many events that surround Mankind. An in some ways delay, fix and delay death, but ultimately no one avoids death.

So why blame GOD when someone dies, and your prayer to bring them back for personal reasons goes unanswered?

Stop and figure the lesson that each death teaches us.

RMSHEFF
26503
Points
RMSHEFF 12/16/13 - 10:59 am
2
1
Giantsallday

Boy will you be surprised when you get to see him again in the afterlife!

RMSHEFF
26503
Points
RMSHEFF 12/16/13 - 11:01 am
4
1
God answers every prayer of

God answers every prayer of those that know Him. Sometimes the answers is yes, sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is wait.

Dixieman
23016
Points
Dixieman 12/16/13 - 11:12 am
4
1
Attention nonbelievers

Here is what so many posting here are losing sight of:
1. Prayer is not a vending machine where you put in your request, pull the lever, and out comes what you asked for. God does not grant our prayers if they are contrary to His will or His plan for us. We are not smart enough to know all aspects of this so at times feel frustrated or ignored. But we are not. Our relationship with God is more subtle and complex than this.
2. Those who scorn prayer forget that even if there is no God (according to them), prayer has many virtues. It forces us to examine ourselves; our wants and desires, where our lives are at present and where we are contemplating going; our consciences, etc. It forces us to reflect on our lives and goals, take a few moments to be calm and thoughtful in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and examine the status of our lives and souls. Those who mock prayer are often the first in line to eagerly embrace Buddhist meditation, yoga, etc. to achieve these same goals.
3. If our prayers are not answered, this is an opportunity to reflect again on the matters set forth in #2 above. Thoughtful reflection is always good in any life.
4. What harm does it do to you if I pray and believe in the power of prayer?

Bizkit
47885
Points
Bizkit 12/16/13 - 11:12 am
2
1
Hitchens was a "lively"

Hitchens was a "lively" character and admitted socialist and atheist, but his opinions on religion are the same as Richard Dawkins-"their" opinions. I like reading Dawkins and completely agree with his arguments related to intelligent design, but his attacks on religion aren't logical just ad hominem and his personal opinion. I don't have a problem with people being any religion or an atheist-I don't see the problem in a country where it is a constitutional right. Are all those who disagree "criminals" or "fascist" for trying to suppress this freedom? Shouldn't the justice dept being investigating an attack on this freedom as they do others?

Bizkit
47885
Points
Bizkit 12/16/13 - 11:15 am
1
1
I don't know but a lot of

I don't know but a lot of folks have written books about death and experiencing the "Paradise" (not heaven, but paradise) Jesus spoke of on the cross. So if the paradise part is accurate will the heaven and hell parts be true too?

Bizkit
47885
Points
Bizkit 12/16/13 - 11:17 am
1
1
It's sad when folks try to

It's sad when folks try to take the "Christ" outta christmas, next Hanukkah will not be a jewish holiday or Ramadan a muslim seems the goal.

Bizkit
47885
Points
Bizkit 12/16/13 - 11:23 am
3
1
Fortunately we live a country

Fortunately we live a country where we can pray mostly without repercussion-unfortunatley many christians are being slaughtered elsewhere in the world.

Bizkit
47885
Points
Bizkit 12/16/13 - 12:34 pm
1
1
Christmas is almost here. If

Christmas is almost here. If you know the reason for the season Merry Christmas-if not Happy Holiday. Hope those of the jewish faith had a Happy Hanukkah. I just love this time of year-lots of diversity celebrating their faiths. Even secular humanist enjoy Christmas for their own reasons. We all come together and show our humanity, all share that common curiosity of why are we here and how did we get here, all share the ability to love and show compassion, all wanting something better, wanting to help others because it is more fulfilling to give than to receive-studies support it. Even past wars have "stopped" for Christmas. Peace on Earth Good will towards men. If only a day-better than nothing.

KasparHauser
402
Points
KasparHauser 12/20/13 - 02:24 pm
0
0
Still Waiting...
Unpublished

For that documented case of prayer regrowing an amputated limb...

Everything else is just a crap shoot.

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