Why pray?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by EllyDicious, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. EllyDicious

    EllyDicious made of AMBIGUITY V.I.P. Lifetime

    If God knows our future, If He has pre-destined our future before we were born, if He knows everything that'll happen in our life, what is the point in praying and asking God to do something for us?
    Does it mean He might change His mind along the way?

    Or praying is nothing but an act of hope that makes us feel better but doesn't play any other role outside our consciousness?


  2. Raos

    Raos Registered Member

    The Jewish religion sees praying much different than Christianity. In Judaism you do not pay for things. For instance, if someone is sick you do not pray that G-d heals them. What you pray for is the strength to deal with whatever the outcome might be.
  3. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    God isn't santa claus. you don't just pray for stuff and expect it exactly as you ask. In the NT, I think in matthew, it does say that if you ask, it shall be given, but I've never taken that mean that if I ask god for a new tv, he's going to give it to me. Like raos said, its better to pray for strength and wisdom to deal with someones death, not just pray for God to heal him.
  4. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I think praying makes the person praying feel better, in a similar manner as cussing does. When bad things happen we like to respond in some way, and it gives us some measure of relief or satisfaction, even if our response does nothing to directly mitigate the problem that originally caused our pain or unhappiness. Now, relief of pain, anxiety, or whatever; goes well beyond subjective experience in terms of its effects, since it effects how the subject of the experience acts. I don't think praying is actually a method to communicate with some Sky King who will take into account when determining how things will unravel, despite his most assuredly doing so in a way that's flawlessly benevolent in any case*, save for letting the Devil and assholes screw people until some arbitrary point of judgement, because he believes people should have free will, I guess, presumably until that point...

    Ahem. :)

    * There are just so many ways one can be flawlessly benevolent, I guess, and it's hard to choose between benevolently letting kids die or not, without someone praying to tip the balance...
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  5. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    Why Pray? Because its been Scientifically Proven to have Health Benefits. I shit you not;

    Scientific Research on Prayer

    A Few Sources siting the San Francisco Coronary Care Study
    Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population Page 1


    Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory praye... [South Med J. 1988] - PubMed result

    In the first link I provided, there have been irrefutable studies done that do Show overwhelmingly suggestive evidence that Prayer does in fact have Positive effects on the Crucial Medical state of other human beings regardless of distance. Showing that Whether or not you're praying to the same deity or not.... Prayer does in fact work in mysterious ways.
  6. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    There was no control group in said study. Since every group involved in the study mentioned could have, and likely did receive prayer; a correlation between being prayed for and doing better was not established. The researcher who did the study had no clue as to whether or not his "control group" received more or less prayer than the other group, as mentioned by the researcher. In any case, prayer does have an effect on people who know they're being prayed for, it's just called the placebo effect.
    Also, a much larger and longer study suggests that prayer had no effect when people didn't know they were being prayed for, and strangely, that it seemed to harm people who did know (though, I think that's a freak finding, that likely doesn't hold generally):


    Largest Study of Third-Party Prayer Suggests Such Prayer Not Effective In Reducing Complications Following Heart Surgery
    If anyone wants to read the 1988 study that does does pruport to show that prayer had a benefit (despite my aforementioned misgivings), you can find it here: Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population. Sadly, I think we can only access the abstract of the other, because journals can be Nazis. :)
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
    icegoat63 likes this.
  7. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    I was just playing Sock puppet for my Bible THumping health instructor from last semester. ;) Regardless I even found it to be an interesting thing regardless of where you stand faith wise.
  8. Boredie

    Boredie In need of Entertainment

    By praying you connect to God. By connecting to God you are closer to him. You put your whole self in him, showing him there is no one else who you can turn to, asking him to grant you your prayer.
    (Just as God knows what your life is going to entail, that knowledge also includes the answering of prayers. But if you do not pray how can he answer them?
    God's knowing of events doesn't mean we do not need to act to achieve such events. God doesn't predestine our lives, he gives us choices to make, and he knows whatever choice we make where we'll end up.)
  9. quantumechanic

    quantumechanic Registered Member

    In Judaism, prayer is a form of worship, not a help-line to god.
    I do know of Jews who request things of god, but I doubt there's much philosophy behind it, probably just desperation.
  10. JessEpiphany

    JessEpiphany Registered Member

    That is also the same way the Jehovah's Witnesses pray. I actually liked the way they pray as opposed to praying for material objects, or praying for certain events to occur, etc.

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