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Claim: God answers prayers

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Compassionist
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Claim: God answers prayers

#1 Post by Compassionist » January 9th, 2016, 10:59 pm

My brother-in-law and his wife claimed tonight that God answers prayers. As examples, they recounted how they prayed for God's help with finding a spouse and how God led them to each other through various dreams and prophetic words of other Christians. They claim that their experience of finding each other proves the claim that God answers prayers. I asked why God didn't answer my prayer of resurrecting billions of humans who have died too young (i.e. younger than 969 years - as the Bible claims Methuselah lived that long) thanks to illnesses, accidents, suicides, wars, crimes and natural disasters. They said we lack the ability to understand God and God's ways and we should simply have faith in God and trust God and his plans even when all our prayers are not answered. I said I will think about what they said and I will even pray for God's clarification. I am staying true to my words. What are your thoughts on God answering prayers? Have you ever prayed? If so, what percentage of the prayers were answered? I have noticed that if I pray for simple things e.g. please let there be a parking spot at the shopping centre - such a prayer is almost always answered but if I pray for the resurrection of dead humans such a prayer is never answered. Doesn't that mean that finding a parking spot as a 'result of prayer' is not actually an answer to prayer but a coincidence? The fact that dead humans don't get resurrected by the billions regardless of how many times this prayer is said actually proves the 100% ineffectiveness of prayer. What do you think?

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jaywhat
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#2 Post by jaywhat » January 10th, 2016, 6:48 am

It is more than ineffective it is damaging to the way people live their lives and a waste of hours of a person's life.

lewist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#3 Post by lewist » January 10th, 2016, 8:48 am

I'm not one for praying. When people are ill or troubled, I will think of them and try to be of practical help but that's different. Meeting the right life partner is chance and to suggest that prayer helps by engaging the help of your pal in the sky is nonsense. Perhaps it can be part of concentrating your mind but that's all.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Compassionist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#4 Post by Compassionist » January 10th, 2016, 11:56 am

jaywhat wrote:It is more than ineffective it is damaging to the way people live their lives and a waste of hours of a person's life.
I agree. I have spent many, many hours of my life praying and it was a huge waste of time. It would have been better to take constructive actions myself instead of relying on God to do it for me.

Compassionist
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#5 Post by Compassionist » January 10th, 2016, 11:57 am

lewist wrote:I'm not one for praying. When people are ill or troubled, I will think of them and try to be of practical help but that's different. Meeting the right life partner is chance and to suggest that prayer helps by engaging the help of your pal in the sky is nonsense. Perhaps it can be part of concentrating your mind but that's all.
Yes, praying about something can focus your mind on the something e.g. passing your exam and can make you more driven to study. It is good that you try to be of practical help. That is much better than praying for someone.

Compassionist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#6 Post by Compassionist » January 10th, 2016, 7:23 pm

My brother-in-law said he prayed for someone's hamstring injury to be healed and it was healed and this proves that prayers are answered. Is this just coincidence or a real causation?

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Alan H
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#7 Post by Alan H » January 10th, 2016, 7:37 pm

Compassionist wrote:My brother-in-law said he prayed for someone's hamstring injury to be healed and it was healed and this proves that prayers are answered. Is this just coincidence or a real causation?
Why n earth assume they were causally related? Hamstring in juries heal; prayer not required. But perhaps it was the cornflakes he/she had for breakfast that did it...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Compassionist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#8 Post by Compassionist » January 10th, 2016, 10:01 pm

Alan H wrote:
Compassionist wrote:My brother-in-law said he prayed for someone's hamstring injury to be healed and it was healed and this proves that prayers are answered. Is this just coincidence or a real causation?
Why n earth assume they were causally related? Hamstring in juries heal; prayer not required. But perhaps it was the cornflakes he/she had for breakfast that did it...
I don't know but many religious people think their prayers work. They tend to remember the hits (even when they are just coincidences rather than causal) and forget the misses.

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animist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#9 Post by animist » January 11th, 2016, 10:45 am

Compassionist wrote:My brother-in-law and his wife claimed tonight that God answers prayers. As examples, they recounted how they prayed for God's help with finding a spouse and how God led them to each other through various dreams and prophetic words of other Christians. They claim that their experience of finding each other proves the claim that God answers prayers. I asked why God didn't answer my prayer of resurrecting billions of humans who have died too young (i.e. younger than 969 years - as the Bible claims Methuselah lived that long) thanks to illnesses, accidents, suicides, wars, crimes and natural disasters. They said we lack the ability to understand God and God's ways and we should simply have faith in God and trust God and his plans even when all our prayers are not answered. I said I will think about what they said and I will even pray for God's clarification. I am staying true to my words. What are your thoughts on God answering prayers? Have you ever prayed? If so, what percentage of the prayers were answered? I have noticed that if I pray for simple things e.g. please let there be a parking spot at the shopping centre - such a prayer is almost always answered but if I pray for the resurrection of dead humans such a prayer is never answered. Doesn't that mean that finding a parking spot as a 'result of prayer' is not actually an answer to prayer but a coincidence? The fact that dead humans don't get resurrected by the billions regardless of how many times this prayer is said actually proves the 100% ineffectiveness of prayer. What do you think?
you say that your prayers for a parking space are almost always answered. Almost always - why almost and not always? And of course, chances are the shopping centres will usually have at least one free space, surely. I don't know if you are familiar with "The God Delusion" (Dawkins) but pages 87-88 recount a methodical experiment to test the efficacy of prayer for 1,802 coronary bypass surgery patients in three US hospitals using church congregations in three different states; the faithful prayed for individual patients (whom they did not know personally) while a control group of patients was NOT prayed for. No difference in patient outcomes was found between the prayed-for group and the control group, while some patients, ie those who knew that they were being prayed for, actually suffered more complications than those who did not know of the experiment; in other words there was not even a psychosomatic benefit from knowing that many people were praying for one's recovery.

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Dave B
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#10 Post by Dave B » January 11th, 2016, 1:22 pm

Compassionist wrote:
lewist wrote:I'm not one for praying. When people are ill or troubled, I will think of them and try to be of practical help but that's different. Meeting the right life partner is chance and to suggest that prayer helps by engaging the help of your pal in the sky is nonsense. Perhaps it can be part of concentrating your mind but that's all.
Yes, praying about something can focus your mind on the something e.g. passing your exam and can make you more driven to study. It is good that you try to be of practical help. That is much better than praying for someone.
I agree that certain kinds of prayers are "self-motivators". Whether pointed at a deity or not a daily "plea" of, "Make me a better person", can have the effect of self-hypnosis or form motivating habits in everyday life.

Praying for, say, another person to be cured of a disease is no better, no more efficacious, than expressing a hope.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Compassionist
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#11 Post by Compassionist » January 12th, 2016, 3:02 pm

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote:My brother-in-law and his wife claimed tonight that God answers prayers. As examples, they recounted how they prayed for God's help with finding a spouse and how God led them to each other through various dreams and prophetic words of other Christians. They claim that their experience of finding each other proves the claim that God answers prayers. I asked why God didn't answer my prayer of resurrecting billions of humans who have died too young (i.e. younger than 969 years - as the Bible claims Methuselah lived that long) thanks to illnesses, accidents, suicides, wars, crimes and natural disasters. They said we lack the ability to understand God and God's ways and we should simply have faith in God and trust God and his plans even when all our prayers are not answered. I said I will think about what they said and I will even pray for God's clarification. I am staying true to my words. What are your thoughts on God answering prayers? Have you ever prayed? If so, what percentage of the prayers were answered? I have noticed that if I pray for simple things e.g. please let there be a parking spot at the shopping centre - such a prayer is almost always answered but if I pray for the resurrection of dead humans such a prayer is never answered. Doesn't that mean that finding a parking spot as a 'result of prayer' is not actually an answer to prayer but a coincidence? The fact that dead humans don't get resurrected by the billions regardless of how many times this prayer is said actually proves the 100% ineffectiveness of prayer. What do you think?
you say that your prayers for a parking space are almost always answered. Almost always - why almost and not always? And of course, chances are the shopping centres will usually have at least one free space, surely. I don't know if you are familiar with "The God Delusion" (Dawkins) but pages 87-88 recount a methodical experiment to test the efficacy of prayer for 1,802 coronary bypass surgery patients in three US hospitals using church congregations in three different states; the faithful prayed for individual patients (whom they did not know personally) while a control group of patients was NOT prayed for. No difference in patient outcomes was found between the prayed-for group and the control group, while some patients, ie those who knew that they were being prayed for, actually suffered more complications than those who did not know of the experiment; in other words there was not even a psychosomatic benefit from knowing that many people were praying for one's recovery.
I did not know of this experiment as I haven't read 'The God Delusion'. Thank you for telling us about it. I wonder how Christians responded to the findings. I suspect they would just ignore it and keep praying anyway.

Compassionist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#12 Post by Compassionist » January 12th, 2016, 3:03 pm

Dave B wrote:
Compassionist wrote:
lewist wrote:I'm not one for praying. When people are ill or troubled, I will think of them and try to be of practical help but that's different. Meeting the right life partner is chance and to suggest that prayer helps by engaging the help of your pal in the sky is nonsense. Perhaps it can be part of concentrating your mind but that's all.
Yes, praying about something can focus your mind on the something e.g. passing your exam and can make you more driven to study. It is good that you try to be of practical help. That is much better than praying for someone.
I agree that certain kinds of prayers are "self-motivators". Whether pointed at a deity or not a daily "plea" of, "Make me a better person", can have the effect of self-hypnosis or form motivating habits in everyday life.

Praying for, say, another person to be cured of a disease is no better, no more efficacious, than expressing a hope.
I agree with you Dave.

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animist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#13 Post by animist » January 12th, 2016, 5:35 pm

Compassionist wrote: did not know of this experiment as I haven't read 'The God Delusion'. Thank you for telling us about it. I wonder how Christians responded to the findings. I suspect they would just ignore it and keep praying anyway.
Compo, please PLEASE read this book. Don't just read, re-read it as I have so often. Dawkins is brilliant, concise and covers an enormous range of topics. Arm yourself as an atheist against idiotic religionists!

Compassionist
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#14 Post by Compassionist » January 12th, 2016, 5:36 pm

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote: did not know of this experiment as I haven't read 'The God Delusion'. Thank you for telling us about it. I wonder how Christians responded to the findings. I suspect they would just ignore it and keep praying anyway.
Compo, please PLEASE read this book. Don't just read, re-read it as I have so often. Dawkins is brilliant, concise and covers an enormous range of topics. Arm yourself as an atheist against idiotic religionists!
I have started to read it! Thank you for your recommendation.

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Alan C.
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#15 Post by Alan C. » January 17th, 2016, 5:54 pm

I used to pray every night for a new bike, then I realised god doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked for forgiveness.
You're welcome. :wink:
Elmo Philips.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#16 Post by Alan H » January 17th, 2016, 5:59 pm

:pointlaugh:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#17 Post by Compassionist » January 17th, 2016, 6:11 pm

Alan C. wrote:I used to pray every night for a new bike, then I realised god doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked for forgiveness.
You're welcome. :wink:
Elmo Philips.
That's hilarious.

Compassionist
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#18 Post by Compassionist » February 2nd, 2016, 10:04 am

If only Christianity is true, then only Christian prayers should be answered but this is not the case. If non-Christian religions are invalid, why do they get their prayers answered? I have noticed that ordinary prayers (e.g. praying for a parking space) are granted in every religion. In fact, even not praying works just as effectively. However, extraordinary prayers (e.g. please resurrect Albert Einstein) is not answered by the deities of any religion. Does it mean that all apparently answered prayer are just co-incidences and are not actually answered prayers? That would explain why extraordinary prayers are never answered.

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Alan H
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Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#19 Post by Alan H » February 12th, 2016, 11:33 pm

Not sure where to put this, but this seemed as good as any:
2016-02-12_23h33_05.png
2016-02-12_23h33_05.png (42.92 KiB) Viewed 5082 times
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Claim: God answers prayers

#20 Post by Dave B » February 13th, 2016, 9:43 am

Bit icky chosing this topic, Alan :wink:

Seems it was a minor one with full recovery expected, so Big G was only offering a warning to watch his health it seems.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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