Why pray?

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#1
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?

:shifteyes:
 

Raos

Registered Member
#2
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.
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
#3
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.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#4
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:

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#5
Why Pray? Because its been Scientifically Proven to have Health Benefits. I shit you not;

Scientific Research on Prayer

One of the most quoted scientific studies of prayer was done between August of 1982 and May of 1983. 393 patients in the San Francisco General Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit participated in a double blind study to assess the therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer.

he patients who had received prayer as a part of the study were healthier than those who had not. The prayed for group had less need of having CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed and less need for the use of mechanical ventilators. They had a diminished necessity for diuretics and antibiotics, less occurrences of pulmonary edema, and fewer deaths.
A Few Sources siting the San Francisco Coronary Care Study
Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population Page 1

http://www.sfms.org/AM/Template.cfm...Article_Archives&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm

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.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#6
icegoat63 said:
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.
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):

BACKGROUND: Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. METHODS: Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality. RESULTS: In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
-source

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:

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#7
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.
 

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#8
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.)
 

quantumechanic

Registered Member
#9
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.
 

JessEpiphany

Registered Member
#10
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.
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.