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Old 03-25-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,888 posts, read 3,975,734 times
Reputation: 4137

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"Thank you all for your prayers for Uncle _______" was what I saw on a distant friend's facebook post this AM. "He got worse over night and had to be moved into Critical Care. Keep those prayers coming"
I am not making this up. That is, word for word, what was on this person's thread today.
SO, all these people respond with "We have been praying for _______ and Will praying for him" and threads of that ilk.
Of course, it is not my position on that forum to jump in and point out that the old boy (who is probably in his 80's by the nature of the posts) is probably near the end and no prayer or anything else will change that.
BUT I am amazed at the faith of these people....they all claim to pray for this old guy, and he continues to get worse. SO they thank everyone for praying, and pray more. Accordingly, this person even told the uncle a couple days ago how everyone was praying, and he responded with something along the lines of "Well, I am covered then" Of course, he is getting worse, in spite of these prayers, in spite of his faith, and with help of who knows what backwoods Texas medicine.
Amazing how these people maintain that prayer is effective even when a clear example such as this one proves otherwise.
I wanted to post this but will not, as it is not humane to mock the suffering:


It is normal, and expected, for one to grasp out at any available resource when faced with a serious and possible terminal illness. Kubler-Ross's (1969) bargaining stage could be an example of this.

Fascinating though, we have scientific studies that show prayer does not work !
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/he...anted=all&_r=0
But prayer does keep a pastor on the payroll, and it keeps dollars in the offering plate and butts in the pews.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:05 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,223,956 times
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Prayer gives people the feeling that they are doing something without having to make much of an effort.

This is the time when people who are nearby should be stepping up to help out with the usual domestic tasks. Offer the family some cooked meals. Take their dog for a walk. Pick up their kids at school. Those farther away can send some cards or flowers to the hospital to let the dying person know that they are loved.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,085,887 times
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On some level most Christians know that prayer is little more than thinking positive wishful thoughts. They do not actually expect god to heal the sick or they would not use doctors and they would not be so half-hearted and superficial in their praying. Occasionally someone sees this reality and tries to really hunker down and act as if they believe. The result is spectacles like that couple out East recently who let first one, and then another of their young children die of treatable pneumonia.

When I was an evangelical neither I nor my compatriots lay about for hours "interceding" about anything. Not in our most desperate moments. It was obvious that god was not hard of hearing, and that we were not asking amiss. What was more repetitions or more emphatic moaning going to avail?

I did have intercessors in the family who were sought out within their church to pray for situations, but they could not save their own daughter / niece (my late wife) despite having skin in the game. Sweet and well-meaning people but their prayers were no more potent than anyone else's, they were just more appreciated because they were offered with more dedication and consistency and intensity and real caring. They could make you imagine that god cared or would move on your behalf, but it was only imagination.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:23 AM
 
40,076 posts, read 26,744,474 times
Reputation: 6050
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
"Thank you all for your prayers for Uncle _______" was what I saw on a distant friend's facebook post this AM. "He got worse over night and had to be moved into Critical Care. Keep those prayers coming"
I am not making this up. That is, word for word, what was on this person's thread today.
SO, all these people respond with "We have been praying for _______ and Will praying for him" and threads of that ilk.
Of course, it is not my position on that forum to jump in and point out that the old boy (who is probably in his 80's by the nature of the posts) is probably near the end and no prayer or anything else will change that.
BUT I am amazed at the faith of these people....they all claim to pray for this old guy, and he continues to get worse. SO they thank everyone for praying, and pray more. Accordingly, this person even told the uncle a couple days ago how everyone was praying, and he responded with something along the lines of "Well, I am covered then" Of course, he is getting worse, in spite of these prayers, in spite of his faith, and with help of who knows what backwoods Texas medicine.
Amazing how these people maintain that prayer is effective even when a clear example such as this one proves otherwise.
As long as you retain your carnal-minded focus, KingCat . . . you will miss the point of prayer.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,085,887 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
As long as you retain your carnal-minded focus, KingCat . . . you will miss the point of prayer.
I for one will not apologize for the "carnality" of wanting to ease human suffering or at least give meaning to it.

Besides, religion constantly encourages people to pray for temporal needs and even desires.

Prayer can be a meditative enterprise intended more to change the one doing the praying than to change the mind of god. Arguably if prayer were a worthwhile thing, perhaps most prayer should be of that sort. "Waiting upon the Lord" and all that sort of thing. But in the Christian framing of things at least there can be no doubt that a significant part of the purpose of prayer is to petition god for worthy purposes, and even for various forms of prosperity ("pressed down, shaken together, overflowing" from the very windows of heaven). Such expectations should not be set if they cannot be fulfilled. Aside from the appeal to human greed and its potential for abuse (e.g., pompadoured televangelists promising material wealth in exchange for "faith seed gifts") there is the constant assertion that you and yours can expect to "find safety under [god's] wings" for you & yours. Nothing carnal about that; we provide it for our own children to the extent that we are able.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,742,175 times
Reputation: 1328
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
"Thank you all for your prayers for Uncle _______" was what I saw on a distant friend's facebook post this AM. "He got worse over night and had to be moved into Critical Care. Keep those prayers coming"
I am not making this up. That is, word for word, what was on this person's thread today.
SO, all these people respond with "We have been praying for _______ and Will praying for him" and threads of that ilk.
Of course, it is not my position on that forum to jump in and point out that the old boy (who is probably in his 80's by the nature of the posts) is probably near the end and no prayer or anything else will change that.
BUT I am amazed at the faith of these people....they all claim to pray for this old guy, and he continues to get worse. SO they thank everyone for praying, and pray more. Accordingly, this person even told the uncle a couple days ago how everyone was praying, and he responded with something along the lines of "Well, I am covered then" Of course, he is getting worse, in spite of these prayers, in spite of his faith, and with help of who knows what backwoods Texas medicine.
Amazing how these people maintain that prayer is effective even when a clear example such as this one proves otherwise.
I wanted to post this but will not, as it is not humane to mock the suffering:


It is normal, and expected, for one to grasp out at any available resource when faced with a serious and possible terminal illness. Kubler-Ross's (1969) bargaining stage could be an example of this.

Fascinating though, we have scientific studies that show prayer does not work !
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/he...anted=all&_r=0
But prayer does keep a pastor on the payroll, and it keeps dollars in the offering plate and butts in the pews.
I guess through hopes and postulated discussion with their chosen religious character, they think they might eventually convince Him to change His mind and stop letting him get worse. Selling cheap hope sells better happiness then selling useful knowlege or objects. Perhaps some think they aren't praying for his health but for happy immorality after death; that somehow their prayers will boost the "overall" welfare of his "spirit" instead of his short human existence.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,494,902 times
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Somewhere there's a quote by some celebrity who following a natural disaster and reading of people offering prayers over Twitter, said something like; "I feel like such an idiot. I sent money when all I had to do was pray."
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:57 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,888 posts, read 3,975,734 times
Reputation: 4137
Now, Mystic, me, Carnal? What kind of a Cat do you think I am ?
I did send her a personal message, expressing my concern and interest in her situation. I have to agree with Mordant, I see nothing "Carnal" about relieving human suffering, which is all too real. Which is a big reason why I go to work every morning....to help relieve someone's suffering.

Prayer does nothing to change a situation. Science has shown that. Even Jim Morrison had that figured out....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjU7myrt_FY

So all these people are reacting as though they want Uncle Fester (or whatever his name was) to make this miraculous recovery and walk out of the hospital. realistic? not at his age.
And if it happens, then of course medicine had nothing to do with it. After all, these are west Texas religious types. Of course, if he dies, it was "God's will" and again, Prayer affected nothing.

So again, why waste time praying. When my kid got hurt at school today, did I start praying "Oh great Cat-god please don;t let his arm be broken?" I did NOT !!!! I went up there and calmly looked over the situation to determine if a trip to the ER was in order. Nothing was obviously broken, just sprained, an ace wrap and ice were needed, and he has done fine on observation so far.

No "Oh OH My son is hurt everyone pray for him"

Now on a lighter note, when I accidently dropped the recycling and a jar broke in the kitchen tonight, there were more than a few "god blanks" out of my mouth. More than a question of why prayer does not work, is a question of why certain people like myself curse in the name of god's in which we do not believe when things get broken.

Cultural frustration perhaps?
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:13 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,665,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
why certain people like myself curse in the name of god's in which we do not believe when things get broken.
I've always wondered that!

And why do so many non-believers know Jesus's middle initial? (Please shoot me a DM if you find out.)
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:40 PM
 
40,076 posts, read 26,744,474 times
Reputation: 6050
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
As long as you retain your carnal-minded focus, KingCat . . . you will miss the point of prayer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I for one will not apologize for the "carnality" of wanting to ease human suffering or at least give meaning to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Now, Mystic, me, Carnal? What kind of a Cat do you think I am ?
I did send her a personal message, expressing my concern and interest in her situation. I have to agree with Mordant, I see nothing "Carnal" about relieving human suffering, which is all too real. Which is a big reason why I go to work every morning....to help relieve someone's suffering.
I hear ya . . . but what you both seem not to recognize is that what distinguishes us from the animals is our ability to suffer . . . NOT feel physical pain . . . but suffering (which is a spiritual/mental state). We can physically do whatever we can to alleviate the physical pain . . . so what is wrong with asking for spiritual assistance in alleviating the spiritual pain. Even if God existed only in a believer's mind (spiritually) . . . they would still obtain spiritual aid. Not understanding that is what I mean by your carnal-minded thinking about prayer. God is Spirit and spiritual and everything to do with God is spiritual . . . NOT carnal.
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