Power of prayer…??

 

That’s a damn good question, if you ask me.  I saw the above pic on a website I recently found called “Losing My Religion“.  Lots of good reads there and other stuff… like this quote:

“ [Fundamentalists] never wonder why, if herpes is sent by ‘god’ to scourge “adulterers,” whooping cough and measles weren’t purposely created to lambaste children.”
Fred Woodworth

My mom prays for everything from world hunger to not hitting any red lights on her way to church.  She sends those mile long prayer chain emails…   to everyone… about everything…  that are literally too painful to read.  If I read them all, they’d have to add me on to it, asking folks to pray for my eyesight to focus again. 

I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking, and affirmations, the laws of attraction… etc….  but, the power of prayer??  Maybe, it helps if you believe it… sometimes…   but, if it does… I have to believe it’s the positive thinking that helped and that any God is personally answering prayers.  Because, if it WERE God helping my Mom not hit any red lights on her way to church… ??  well then, I’d have a problem with his doing that, but not helping out the starving kid… ya know?

It also amazes me just how many people routinely say, “I’ll pray for you” or  “I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers”.  I don’t mind when they say it to me… even though I don’t really believe in prayer. I know what they mean.  I actually feel like saying the latter one myself half the time, only for lack of a common phrase to replace it that doesn’t include prayer.  I try just saying “I’ll keep you in my thoughts”… but, that doesn’t really sound as caring, does it?  So, I wind up saying, “If there’s anything I can do to help…”… and mean it… and then, I try not to wait for them to ask for help if I can think of anything to do to help.  Ironically, if I DO help, they will most likely thank God for answering their prayers…   ?

 :/

~smj

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14 Responses to “Power of prayer…??”

  1. tobeme Says:

    Prayer to me is the power of thought. Our thought is energy, call it positive thinking, call it focused thinking, call it prayer, it all accomplish the same thing, our thoughts become things, we manifest with out thoughts. We invoke LOA with our thoughts. If prayer is how someone chooses to do this, then so be it.

  2. samanthamj Says:

    tobeme –

    I agree and like your definistion of prayer. That, I can deal with.

    But, when I think of “prayer”, I think more along the way most people seem to think of it, and as in the actual definition of it as explained on wikipedia:

    “Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate, commonly with a sequence of words, with a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins, or to express one’s thoughts and emotions.”

    Part of me agrees with you on basically thinking – “hey.. whatever works!”… but, part of me also wonders if the usual type of belief in prayers being answered, or not, by God doesn’t often actually cause more harm than good. ? Belief in LOA, and thinking positive, doesn’t leave one feeling as if “God doesn’t care”, or worse yet that they are “undeserving or not good enough”, when they don’t get what they want.

    Also, if I were to tell somebody, “I’ll keep you in my prayers”… I would feel like I was lying… because to me.. that means, I’ll pray to God for them… not just think positive and wish them well…

    ~smj

  3. JP Manzi Says:

    I have always wondered, concerning prayer, if God has a will for all and everything, your prayer is not going to change anything.
    That sign is very troubling.

    Enjoy your blog, mind if I add you to my blogroll?

  4. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    When my husband’s brother tells him he’s going to pray from him, my husband says, ‘p l e a s e don’t.’ Quite honestly because he’d rather not have another person’s self doubt projected upon him.

    And thet’s the difficulty with most of our prayers…our supplicating tone, as if what we ask for was in doubt.

    A lot of times what we pray for is in opposition to what our Soul needs for growth and these prayers are viewed the same way, as my 5 year old too scared to go to her first day of school. It was to her benefit to face her fears.

    THAT, really is the telling question. Spirit’s purpose is to free us of all our fears, not keep those fears away from us so we don’t have to face them. And most of us ‘pray’ or endeavor to visualize only ‘positive’ due to our fears of the ‘negative’.

    More can be found in the darkness and what is it hiding then in the Light.

    Wonderful post!

  5. samanthamj Says:

    Jp – thank you… yes… it IS troubling, isn’t it? It puts things that most folks are praying about in perspective, as well as questions the power of prayer itself. It’s actually a bumper sticker that can be ordered from the “Losing my Religion” website. I’d get one, but, I am not into being stoned anytime soon… LOLETINF! (LOL even though it’s not funny! ; )

    – and yes… I’m flattered to be added to your blogroll. I just checked out your blog breifly, and am looking forward to reading more there.

    I mentioned in my very long post (https://savemenot.wordpress.com/the-story-behind-the-blog/) the following about prayer:

    – “We grew up looking to Dad for most real advice or guidance. Something that made my mom pretty jealous and upset. But, her advice was always the same – “pray”. And, while that might help some people some of the time, iit didn’t help much when you were 6 years old and couldn’t find your shoe or something. My Dad would give real life advice with real life answers (”did you look under your bed?”). “

    I literally remember the incident I’m talking about there. I couldn’t find my shoe… and all my mom would tell me was “pray” and ask God to help you find it. ?!? I actually remember praying… and waiting for him to tell me. Eventually, I asked my father and he told me what a parent normally tells a child… “backtrace your steps… look under your bed”. And, when I found it.. I remember my mom saying “Halelujah!”. >:? LOL
    =============

    Sue And –
    Thank you… as usual… you make me think. Your husband has guts. I wouldn’t say something like that… thinking the person means well, and it wasn’t worth causing waves… but, perhaps… more of us should speak up. ??
    I liked your comment – “more can be found in the darkness…”
    Bring on the flash – light! I need to look for my shoe under my bed. =)
    ~smj

  6. preechaman7 Says:

    I really like your post. I have stopped praying in the “traditional” sense for the past three years and, suprise, suprise, nothing in my life has gotten better or worse, although I have gotten back a little time! I have really enjoyed reading some of your other posts and will continue to.
    You’ve been blogrolled!

  7. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    I found it! I knew there was something niggling at me about the ‘power of prayer’ that I didn’t say…it concerns “peace”.

    Most of our prayers are not sealed in it. So these prayers come to naught.

    Blessings to you this day!

  8. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    And oh….as concens my husband’s remarks, it irritates HIM that his brothers and sisters are in bondage to fear and he points that out quite regularly. His favorite remark is to tell them they worship a lesser God. As for the other person meaning well…I’m sure a tick means well for itself when they try to attach themselves to me but I consider it otherwise.

    Much insight can be gleaned by contemplating how DEPENDENT upon others agreement most of our religions are…organized religion sucks life force from all its members and seeks fresh meat on a daily basis.

  9. JP Manzi Says:

    Love your blog…..ya need to post something!!

  10. samanthamj Says:

    Thanks JP – I know… like the rest of the world.. I just never seem to have enough time these days. I seem to go in spurts… where I blog too much… and then disappear for short breaks. Thanks again.
    ~smj

  11. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Hey, samanthamj, the reality is studies have shown that when people pray around the hospital bed of a sick patient it actually DOES speed up the recovery process. However, strangely enough, this ONLY works when the sick person is a believer. Meaning, when they try this with an atheist patient, you guessed it, no effect. Does this mean that the Christian God is ONLY willing to help the faithful? OR does it mean that the believer, whether conscious or unconscious, upon hearing the prayers of his fellow god worshipers, was comforted by their familiar words and, much like what occurs with the placebo effect, this positive, calming influence helped his traumatized body to recover more rapidly?

    And the prayers of the faithful are something I truly HATE. The VAST majority of their prayers are utterly selfish and often petty. The idea that always disgusts me the most is that every time one of the faithful gives credit to their god for answering their prayer for the light to change or for that raise/promotion at work or for their wife to not learn about their affair with the babysitter or thanks Jesus for their Best New Hip Hop Artist Source Award, AT THAT VERY MOMENT, somewhere in the world a child is being raped or a child is being beaten or a child is being murdered or a child is starving to death. AT THAT VERY MOMENT! And you know that that child is praying fervently to whatever god mommy and daddy taught them was real. Apparently God NEVER answers the prayers of a child. These people TRULY believe that their god actively interferes with the (often petty) daily occurrences in their lives and yet does NOTHING to help all the children who are suffering EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY. But God is a loving and merciful God. Can I get an AMEN!

    http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/

  12. samanthamj Says:

    AMEN! I hear ya brother Thomas! =)

    You are echoing many of my exact thoughts. I just can’t get happy for folks when they praise the lord for small miracles.. when there are so many others.. with much more important needs and prayers that obviously go unanswered. Yet – that is all overlooked by the faithful, and chalked off to God working in “mysterious ways”. ???

    Thanks for you comments on my other post too. You’re right. I shouldn’t bother… but… I probably will every once in a while anyway. I must be a glutton for punishment.

    Take it easy, and I’ll definitely be checking out more on your blog as well…

    ~smj

  13. mary a. kaufman Says:

    I guess when it comes to believing in the power of prayer, I’ll stick with this: If God is omniscient, God already knows all things. If that is so, how can God change what he already knows? Mary from Meander With Me. Always a treat visiting with you.

  14. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Nice point, Mary! If God already knows whether you’re going to make it through that intersection before the light turns red or whether you cancer has really gone away, praying that you will or that it has would be utterly pointless. The religious will retort that regardless of the type of prayer, a prayer unto God is us giving glory unto God. And as the faithful continually tell me, God does all things for his own glory. A characteristic I personally find unattractive in a god.


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