Not necessarily, it's a form of meditation. The fools that believe somebody is actually listening, put too much emphasis on it though.
How do prayerful people console themselves when their prayers are not seemingly answered?
I can't imagine not praying every day, nor can imagine living the kind of life in which one does not pray.
Every night, on my knees, one Our Father and a God bless to about 18 names of friends who died of Aids and family, and a hope that one day we will see each other again in Heaven with God's grace.
That's it. Very simple. I like to keep their memories alive by pronouncing their names and imaging their faces each night.
Scary shit, r4, but benevolent none the less.
I pray all the time. It's very helpful.
Helpful in what way?
OP, those were my exact words when I was recording Like A Prayer.
so don't pray.
You are so daring and so bold!
I don't understand the purpose of meditation, at least the kind where you 'empty your mind of everything'. The only sensible meditation is a substantive rumination on some aspect of the universe.
Say it soft and it's almost like praying
I'll never stop saying
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria
As best I can tell, "prayer" is little more than the grown up version of making a list for Santa Claus. Prayer seems to consist almost entirely of people asking their powerful friend in the sky for specific outcomes, even though they also believe: God already has our best interests at heart; that he knows everything; and that he knows (indeed, controls) all future outcomes. It makes absolutely no sense to ask him for anything. It makes zero sense since there is zero probability of changing any outcome.
It's not even a question of whether a heathen like me "believes" or not... it's so internally inconsistent as to be dismissed as patently absurd.
P.S. At least in the Santa Claus, some portion of lucky children in this world actually see a direct outcome from their requests.
As a framework within which to pause for a moment and reflect on something or take a quiet breath - "prayer" is fine. It may even be useful.
As an effective method of communicating with whatever God someone believes in, umm... no.
A teaching hospital was given a large grant to study the effectiveness of prayer in healing outcomes of surgery patients. There were 3 groups:
Group 1 received prayers and knew about it
Group 2 received prayers and did not know about it.
Group 3 received no prayers and did not know about it.
Group 1 suffered the most complications and reported the worst outcomes of all 3 groups. The hypothesis for this was the immense pressure to "get well" because of all the people praying for them and to prove the efficacy if prayer actually caused more stress.
The group with the best outcomes was group 1, the control group whom received no prayers and no knowledge of the experiment.
And yes, the researchers were laughed out of town for this one.
So when prayerful persons pray that their side wins in a war, what happens to their faith when their prayers are unanswered, and instead devastation and ruin ensue, loss of hearth and home, along with disease, pestilence, and death?
Do they think they didn't pray hard enough?
Or that the other side prayed harder and longer?
Or perhaps that their god's plan is for them to die?
What do they think?
R12, you don't have to "ask" for anything in order to pray. Try it.
[Quote] the control group whom received
R18, "identifie" is pretty good from the same post.
How do I do the thing to make the QUOTE section correct? I forgot how to do it.
type [quote]then type what you want to quote.
Then skip a space.
Don't type the end-quote thing, or you'll screw it up.
I like chanting mantras. Makes me feel good. Its not for everyone but as long as I feel good doing it, I'll continue. No harm, no foul.
Re: R21, it didn't show you the thing you need to type, which is this, but remove the space:
Those who spend time in prayer are focusing on a very positive outcome but are used to being satisfied with less, as "It's God's Will." Prayer does help those that are facing a crises, or are just taking a test, and feel helpless. Supposedly it calms the mind. Don't forget that many feel better physically and mentally after taking a placebo.
Then skip a space.
Also, don't type what you want to quote. Do a copy/paste (I highlight what I want to quote and then I do cntrl C and cntrl V).
[ quote] didn't show you the thing you need to type
The quote instructions are not right and will only confuse you.
Highlight what you want to quote, then do cntrl C.
Go to Post A Reply, then type [quote ], but without any spaces, not before or within the brackets and not after. Hit cntrlV and your quote will be entered. Be sure to hit enter after the quoted material so you have a new paragraph that's not part of the quote when you type your response.
I don't care whether you pray.
You shouldn't care whether I pray.
Any other questions?
I like reading about the many forms of prayer take. I talk a lot--to myself and aloud--to people who are gone, usually my best friend from my 20s and my mother and usually when I'm cooking as I'm most relaxed then. Nothing to do with god as I'm not religious, but I tell them how much important they were/are to me, how much I love them and miss them and how I've been moving on. I would sound crazy to anyone listening but it makes me feel connected to them.
just pray silently and wear you defective brain out. No one really cares or believes either.
[quote]just pray silently and wear you defective brain out
It's actually the opposite. Prayer improves cognitive function.
That said, lots of things improve cognitive function.
Prayer is just one of them.
Frankly, you should just stick with one and work on "you defective brain."
Not really a problem unless you have shortness of breath.
Obese people often do, R34. The religious/obese should think twice before rupturing their girdles.
Praying for anything outside your own mind is a waste of breath.
Praying for inner peace is just meditation and it actually has real value.
Anyone who prays for things, prays for other people to get healthy, etc., are just wasting their time. Prayer is an internal thing.
Why do HEATHENS like the poor, dreadful OP always start threads like these? If you don't pray, that's fine. Do YOU.
R36 has it. Most folks want to use prayer like some kind of cosmic cash machine.
For me it's a discipline to calm down, listen to my body and align my thoughts with a higher wisdom.
Praying to God is for the "Easily led into magical thinking" crowd. Personally, I think God-needers have different brains. I have a religious friend who has the most faulty decision making ability. He says "facts don't matter, people just believe or they don't", which frankly, I find chilling.
If god is all powerful, all knowing and most of all a jealous god, why would a speck of sand in the beaches of the Earth feel he would change his mind once decided?
If he allows you to be hit by a bus, why would he mercifully allow you to live a normal life due to requests by one or many?
Prayer is for the praying. It makes THEM feel better. Just like funerals.
People who are religious and pray disgust me.
If you think praying is a waste of breath, imagine what a waste discussing it is.
Trying to stir the shit OP, eh?
Praying often has very little to do with religion. But then you knew that?
Live and let live- don't judge- unless you admire the televangelists who do, and tell you what to believe and what is true and what is false- just like you OP!
Praying has little to do with religion? That's rich! They falsely claim they invented marriage, but now they want us to believe prayer is something ATHEISTS do! What a bizarro little world they live in.
Who is "they" R45- praying and meditating are pretty much the same thing you know.
Do atheists meditate and am I one of "they" trying to convince the world of the same.
Suggest you take your high horse and turn on your favorite TV preacher to look at yourself in the mirror.
The spiritual life of someone, whether they define it or not or practice anything or not, is, only their business really. Not yours, not the TV preacher either- and not Rick Santorum as well.
Bingo, R40. Exactly.
Prayer and meditation are not the same thing. Prayer is communication which means an object, which implies someone is listening.
That's your definition R48. Prayer does not mean you are necessarily speaking to someone or even something.
[quote]Prayer is communication which means an object, which implies someone is listening.
That is the common misconception, which is why so many people think "prayer" is what it is not, and why they're doing it wrong.
R14, so Group 1 received the worst and best outcomes? Please don't post when you're drunk.
Drunks don't pray until they get sober, R51.
I wonder why some people, like the OP are so hell bent on obliterating something that brings relief to so many- including A Lincoln, MLK, FDR, among other not too shabby humans.
I often say the AA serenity prayer and know the St Francis prayer pretty much by heart as well. And I do not believe in God, although I have a sense that I am not the final word on anything including most of what happens to me- which does not mean I believe something else is controlling me or something like that.
I am by the way a scientist by profession- I propose, conduct and publish biomedical research- so I am certainly an empiricist.
Point is the words in some prayers are so wise, that they relieve me at times from my own burdens- the St Francis prayer reminds me that I am not the center of the world, including my world- which is a huge relief to me because I spend do much energy worrying about myself and my life and my work etc, as most people do. Reminding myself that I am just grain of sand on the beach kind of relieves me of my self-centeredness. Even my demise is a pretty small thing.
I wonder why people insist in telling others what they should and should not do, what is valuable and what is not valuable- that their experience is the only experience.
Let it be (it's a song too) and let people live and go through life in their own manner. Prayer and meditation for many people is their most dependable form of relief and rest and refuge. What is so bad about that? Oh, and if you don't want to or like to do it, fine. I have no idea if I am any happier than you anyway.
Sorry, I meant group 3 for the best outcomes.
I'm not an atheist, but Im married to one. Most folks I know who question God are kind and respectful of others' beliefs.
OP, what gives your life meaning? Do you find joy and peace in anything?
The party line is that God ALWAYS answers prayers. Either yes, no or wait. The theology of it (disregarding Jesus actually saying ask and it shall be given to you) is essentially a)God knows better than you what you need or b)you don't have faith the size of a mustard seed (which is all it takes to cast mountains into the sea).
Even when I was a believer, it always sounded like someone was making excuses for God.
Good Catholics know that you pray to God for understanding, acceptance, strength to help you understand things. It's the saints that can intercede to perhaps put in a good word for you. Saints are like the lobbyists and special interest groups of heaven.
God isn't sitting up there as a director of a play, smiting here and there, and throwing in some miracles for drama. The universe will unfold as it is supposed to. Humans are just supposed to get through it by being kind to each other and being the best person they can be - that's our role here on earth, but not many people live that way.
"Prayer is just a passive-aggressive way a letting the Lord know you think He's just a little bit lazy."
-- Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian
"Prayer is letting the Lord know His Divine Plan for you is flawed -- and shockingly stingy!"
-- Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian
I love Mrs. Betty Bowers.
Sure, R39. There is always higher wisdom-- always something more to learn about myself, others, relationships, career, life events...prayer is a great tool that helps me uncover imbalance, plot direction and prepare for upcoming challenges. Again, internal, not external.
I believe the true function of prayer is a dialogue with your own subconscious - when you ask 'God' for help, you are asking yourself - the deepest part of you, to give you the wisdom to make the appropriate choice that faces you. In times of crisis, we can get very frantic and puzzled - hence prayer to get us in touch with our vital reasoning.
There sure are a lot of inexperienced, dull, near-illiterate posters here - and from their smug, self-assured Mommy-takes-care-of-everything tone, what they say about the high school system is true. Not that the premise is a problem but you're just so stupid about it.
Got that, OP and R1? Or do the hyphens and four-syllable words confuse you?
Link please [r14] ? I think you may have the facts of the outcome of the study a bit wrong.
R63, there's just an obvious typo in R14... the second reference to group 1 should obviously be group 3.
I'm having a delicious cup of Sanka decaf right now, bitches.
Somebody call the waaaaa-mbulance for R62.
R62, it's time for your high colonic.
Some people believe that God is a malicious psychopath. I think that is sur-religious!
Please, have some respect for The Deity - even if He is a weirdo created in man's own image.
And He DOES ANSWER PRAYERS! Hallelujah!!!
The Sanka troll at R4/16/18/20/25/66/68 will be happy to know that by the prayerful intercession of hundreds of thousands of dead LDS ancestors, Postum is back in production.
Prayer may be quick comfort for a short period, but when you pray for weeks, months, or years about something and STILL get no help, it becomes almost self-destructing and hurtful. You're pleading and begging all this time and it's like "god" is sadistically enjoying your pain.
This was exactly one of the reasons I quit believing, among other things.
You'll all be straight in five minutes
Well, at least we know WHO is going to Hell now.
Not if it brings a person comfort it isn't. Prayer can be a form of therapy and meditation.
Prayer is very personal and powerful. Not all prayer is about asking for something.
We have prayer time where I work and if one is an atheist, the time can be used as the atheist see fit or added to yearly vacation time. Figure it out for yourself, 10 minutes a day for 220 work days. Love those prayers.
Do you work at Chik-fil-a R77?
No r77, I work for Rosary Bead conglomerate.
[quote]You're pleading and begging all this time and it's like "god" is sadistically enjoying your pain. This was exactly one of the reasons I quit believing, among other things.
My dad was an abusive alcoholic who used to regularly beat the shit out of my mom, my brothers, myself, and even our small dog.
My Roman Catholic grandmother told me I should pray to make it better.
So I prayed and prayed and prayed, every day from ages 4-6, and -- big surprise -- nothing changed! The asshole still beat the shit out of all of us; in fact, he got worse as we got older.
After that, I realised that either A) "God" doesn't exist, or B) God is an evil fucking psychopath who enjoys our pain. Either way, why the hell would I worship and pray to such a being?
And $18 is a fuckin' waste of money.
Oh the irony!
R80, my heart goes out to you.
Firstly, because of your childhood trauma. Secondly, because you're trapped by it years later.
Since atheists don't believe in a Higher Power, to whom do they go for help?
God is not a magician. Man has free will. It's not God's fault your dad beat your mom. It's not His fault your grandmother mislead you.
Your Roman Catholic grandmother was probably abused herself. Not exactly a good resource for help for a child In an abusive home.
Have an open mind. The one option that can heal you has been made unavailable to you by you. Do you have other self-destructive characteristics?
Joel Osteen @ R82 I love your advice and megachurch and of course, your lovely wife, victoria,
Perhaps you are correct, R82, but if so, what is the fucking point of being God and directing your children to "pray without ceasing"? Spiritual growth? Whatever.
Spiritual growth is the excuse for a beaten CHILD, R85? Then FUCK THAT.
It's always distressing when on an ostensibly progressive forum there is so much defense of the indefensible.
There is no God. None. There is no being out there that is doing anything for us, to us, with us, or even against us. That is so plainly obvious that I can only conclude that people who 'defend' belief in God are either: a) stupid; b) ignorant; c) willfully ignorant (they don't want to admit what they know); d) internal-external discordant-- ie. the overwhelming cultural bias toward professing faith masks the person's true beliefs aknowledged only to himself; e) trolling; f) maintain a vested interest in widespread belief in God (ie church figures).
Still, if there is difficulty in educated, progressive, 'liberal' people in reaching this conclusion (or admitting they've reached it), it is clear that the masses will be fooled in perpetuity. And that is depressing.
R87, if there is no God then why do you spend so much time thinking about...something that does not exist...?
Alas, r88, if there was a God, he... I mean 'He' would make sure people were able to craft logical arguments.
God is the great lie perpetuated by mankind in order to line the pockets and control the minds. It's all a great big hoax.
God is a coping skill. Nothing more, but nothing less.
I think it's better to let those that need it have it (unless of course they infringe upon others).
R82 - I'll tell you who atheists turn to. Friends, loved ones and even therapists or counselors when we lose our way. And doctors when we're sick.
[quote]Have an open mind. The one option that can heal you has been made unavailable to you by you. Do you have other self-destructive characteristics?
Way to prove you have that open mind. Are there more in your congregation like you?
R89, you are obviously very clever, and your ability to put down others comes in quite handy. However, you did not answer my question: if God is not real, why do you waste so much time arguing about ...nothing?
R92, good answer. I was genuinely curious. Since you don't believe in prayer, how about meditation? What do you do to cultivate inner peace?
How did I demonstrate a closed mind? I have nothing against atheism. I just don't know how to counsel them when they come to me for advice. Apparently I do ok by them because they seek my help more than Believers.
Pray is a form of meditation, it's not a fuckin' waste of breath.
I guess we know who is going to Hell.
I also participated in a prayer study which measured psychological well-being.
To be succinct, everyone in the prayer study increased their well-being somewhat (say 10%).
The only group that dramatically increased their well-being was the people who were doing the praying.
[quote]f God is not real, why do you waste so much time arguing about ...nothing?
Dumb. We're all surrounded by people who believe this bullshit, who talk about it all the time, and who want to pass laws, if not start wars, kill others, etc based on their belief in invisible sky-friends. OF COURSE, those of us who don't believe are going to talk about it. Deal.
and people in Ancient Egypt spent a lot of time thinking about Ra. It didn't make Ra real.
R97, you sound like a jilted lover angrily claiming to be over your ex.
Do you secretly feel abandoned? Is that why you have such strong feelings about something that does not exist?
[quote]Apparently I do ok by them because they seek my help more than Believers.
LOL. Yes, we can only imagine the small army of atheists flocking to your door for 'help'. Do you have any other delusions you should seek psychiatric counseling for?
R96 you can not objectively measure psychological well-being. There is enormous peer pressure in religious communities for people to say they are happy. It doesn't make it true. People lie.
Especially religious people.
I know, right, r99? They don't ask for spiritual advice, but one Unitarian wants me to read his emails and even edit them because he's gotten in trouble for having a hostile tone. An open atheist asked me for advice on how to deal with his mentally ill nephew. I wrote up a quick document with everything he needed to know and do. He frequently - and quite auddenly - keeps me updated. And then acts like nothing happened.
R100 = classic projection.
R100 tells the truth.
R99 and R101 live in a fantasy world.