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Old 01-06-2024, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
When we open ourselves to accepting this kind of rationale, absolutely anything is possible...
And, doesn't the Bible say that "with God ALL things are possible"?
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Old 01-06-2024, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink57 View Post
And, doesn't the Bible say that "with God ALL things are possible"?
Goes hand in hand. Yes. When it comes to accepting this sort of rationale, if accepted, one is very much like the other in terms of validity.
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Old 01-06-2024, 12:22 PM
 
4,640 posts, read 1,791,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Goes hand in hand. Yes. When it comes to accepting this sort of rationale, if accepted, one is very much like the other in terms of validity.
Ok. So, how does that relate to whether or not prayer 'works'?
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Old 01-06-2024, 12:25 PM
 
29,548 posts, read 9,716,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink57 View Post
Ok. So, how does that relate to whether or not prayer 'works'?
Well..., I've got to be signing off from this forum yet again this morning, but real simple and quick like, is it any different from whatever rationale someone might put forth to prove or disprove whether prayer works or doesn't?

Do people really think prayers work? Yes of course many people do, but why?

Cheers and a good weekend to you and yours until we meet again!
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Old 01-06-2024, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,580 posts, read 84,777,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
Spiritual goodies? Your life is no different from mine.
Yes, it is. You feel confident that God is always with you, that God loves you, that Jesus is some kind of brother or friend. You feel that for some reason more than "this book I have sez so". SOMETHING led you to believe God hears you and is on your side and that what the Bible told you is true.
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Old 01-06-2024, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,580 posts, read 84,777,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink57 View Post
MQ, I don't think that what compwiz is telling you -- that if you don't seem to get answers to your prayers -- that it's "your own fault"... as a criticism...

...as if they're some angry scolding parent, wagging a finger in front of your face while saying, "It's your own dang fault!"

I met the father of an ex-boyfriend once. The father was an atheist. During a rousing 6 hour game of Texas HoldEm on the coffee table, we got into a slight discussion about why he decided that God didn't exist. He said that when he was seven or eight years old he prayed for candy. No candy *appeared* in front of him moments later, so he concluded that there was no God. He went on to say that he went to a birthday party later on that day. Lo and behold, there was candy there. But he concluded that GOD didn't give him candy; the parents who sponsored the party provided candy.

Compwiz said, "For those left in silence, perhaps the answer came to them but they ignored it, missed it, or overlooked it." And since God often works through others, is it possible that the father of the ex did get his prayer answered...but not in the way he expected?
Yeah, that's pretty much the sort of basic Christianity 101 story we get in Sunday School as children, right? Stories about how prayers are answered in unusual and unexpected ways, blah blah blah. I read entire books with stories like that back in the day. And didn't a country singer write a song called Unanswered Prayers on that same theme--how he got something better than what he prayed for then realized it later?

I am not a child. Please don't address me as one. You know I lost my partner a few months ago. I am not so childish that I even prayed for him to be healed of a terminal illness. For Christ's sake, I learned at the age of SIX that God does not heal people we pray for who are terminally ill when I believed that and prayed for my cousin to get well, as I was taught to do, and she died anyway. (In fact, it has sometimes seemed to me that my praying for ill loved ones serves as a reminder to God to kill them, lol, although I know that's not true either.)

I am talking about the prayers that ask God to show up, to reveal God's presence, to provide comfort and help during the times of despair, for relief from fear and spiritual pain and the sense of being abandoned and kicked to the curb by one's Creator that I've spent so much of my life pursuing and waving my hands and saying "I am here, why don't you acknowledge me the way others claim you do?"

You're going to sit there with smug and condescending words and childish candy stories and tell me God's been answering all along but I've just spent my life too stupid and clueless to see it? Nope, not buying it. This one is on God--if God is really there. If it's that difficult to get into this supposedly loving God's line of sight, then God is not what is claimed to be.

Mordant has similar life experience, though with greater difficulties and losses--and a stronger faith--than have come my way, and he put it most succinctly when he said he came to realize that it made no difference whether he prayed or not. The outcome was going to be what the outcome was going to be, and that's pretty much the conclusion I've come to as well.
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Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 01-06-2024 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 01-06-2024, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Southern California
2,071 posts, read 2,161,958 times
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I appreciate the opportunity to post my spiritual beliefs on this forum, which I've done for the past 14 years and who knows how many more years in the future. For this New Year, I want to share the prayer for Divine Love, which Jesus wrote through James E. Padgett on December 2, 1916, and which I began reading in February 1975. That's 49 years minus 10 years when I wasn't sure if it was true or not. Well, the answer came with a vengeance and my soul keeps expanding like a balloon. Many times I don't have to say a prayer, the Love just flows in. It's really a fantastic feeling and as I wrote before, my prayer is that everyone on this forum will feel it as well.

The reason for Jesus, his disciples and many other well-known spirits for writing the over 2,000 messages was so that future generations could find, read, and absorb their powerful spiritual information. The other reason for Jesus' attempts to share the good news about God's Divine Love is that one day, it won't be available. There is an expiration date that only God knows. So for those interested in reading these inspirational and informative messages online, they are at this website: Truth for all People. May God bless us all.

PRAYER FOR DIVINE LOVE

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, we recognize that Thou art all Holy, and Loving and Merciful, and that we are Thy Children, and not the subservient, sinful and depraved creatures that our false teachers would have us believe. That we are the greatest of Thy creation, and the most wonderful of all Thy handiworks, and the objects of Thy Great Soul’s Love and tenderest care.

That Thy will is that we become at-one with Thee, and partake of Thy Great Love which Thou hast bestowed upon us through Thy mercy and desire that we become, in truth, Thy children, through Love, and not through the sacrifice and death of any one of Thy creatures, even though the world believes that one Thy equal and a part of Thy Godhead.

We pray that Thou will open up our souls to the inflowing of Thy Love, and that then may come Thy Holy Spirit to bring into our Souls this, Thy Love in great abundance until our Souls shall be transformed into the very Essence of Thyself; and that there may come to us Faith, such Faith as will cause us to realize that we are truly Thy Children and one with Thee in very Substance and not in image only.

Let us have such faith as will cause us to know that Thou art our Father, and the Bestower of every good and perfect gift, and that only we, ourselves, can prevent Thy Love changing us from the mortal to the immortal.

Let us never cease to realize that Thy Love is waiting for each and all of us, and that when we come to Thee, in faith and earnest aspiration, Thy Love will never be withholden from us.

Keep us in the shadow of Thy Love every hour and moment of our lives, and help us to overcome all temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones, which so constantly surround us and endeavor to turn our thoughts away from Thee to the pleasures and allurements of this world.

We thank Thee for Thy Love and the privilege of receiving it, and we believe that Thou art our Father, the Loving Father who smiles upon us In our weakness and is always ready to help us and take us to Thy Arms of Love.

We pray, thus, with all the earnestness and longings of our souls and trusting in Thy Love, give Thee all the glory, and honor and love that our finite souls can give.

"This is the only prayer that people need offer to the Father. It is the only one that appeals to the Love of the Father, and with the answer, which will surely come, will come all the blessings that people may need, and which the Father sees are for the good of His creatures.

I am in very great rapport with you to-night, and see that the Father's Love is with you, and that your souls are hungry for more. So, my brothers (James E. Padgett, Esq. and Dr. Leslie R. Stone) continue to pray and have faith, and in the end will come a bestowal of the Love like unto that which came to the apostles at Pentecost.

I will not write more now. In leaving you, I will leave my love and blessings and the assurance that I pray to the Father for your happiness and love. Good-night.

Your brother and friend Jesus"

*Happy New Year*
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Old 01-06-2024, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,809 posts, read 24,310,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Yeah, that's pretty much the sort of basic Christianity 101 story we get in Sunday School as children, right? Stories about how prayers are answered in unusual and unexpected ways, blah blah blah. I read entire books with stories like that back in the day. And didn't a country singer write a song called Unanswered Prayers on that same theme--how he got something better than what he prayed for then realized it later?

I am not a child. Please don't address me as one. You know I lost my partner a few months ago. I am not so childish that I even prayed for him to be healed of a terminal illness. For Christ's sake, I learned at the age of SIX that God does not heal people we pray for who are terminally ill when I believed that and prayed for my cousin to get well, as I was taught to do, and she died anyway. (In fact, it has sometimes seemed to me that my praying for ill loved ones serves as a reminder to God to kill them, lol, although I know that's not true either.)

I am talking about the prayers that ask God to show up, to reveal God's presence, to provide comfort and help during the times of despair, for relief from fear and fear and spiritual pain and the sense of being abandoned and kicked to the curb by one's Creator that I've spent so much of my life pursuing and waving my hands and saying "I am here, why don't you acknowledge me the way others claim you do?"

You're going to sit there with smug and condescending words and childish candy stories and tell me God's been answering all along but I've just spent my life too stupid and clueless to see it? Nope, not buying it. This one is on God--if God is really there. If it's that difficult to get into this supposedly loving God's line of sight, then God is not what is claimed to be.

Mordant has similar life experience, though with greater difficulties and losses--and a stronger faith--than have come my way, and he put it most succinctly when he said he came to realize that it made no difference whether he prayed or not. The outcome was going to be what the outcome was going to be, and that's pretty much the conclusion I've come to as well.
Good post.

One of the things that I have realized as I have traveled from Methodism, to Catholicism, to Buddhism/Atheism is that there are an awfully lot of christians who can'e even concede to themselves that they may have it all wrong. And frankly, whether she realizes it or not, Mink is one of those people. I think she's probably a very nice person. But she doesn't realize how her finger shaking sounds to others with different viewpoints.

In the world of Theravada Buddhism, I have found that there are two types of Buddhists. The first type are the religionist Buddhists. And what I mean by that is that there are those who get all wrapped up in believing fables in Buddhist scriptures and who don't even realize when they absorb animism into Buddhism; they are the ones who focus so much on rituals, often not knowing what the rituals are doing. And then there are those of us who set aside the fables, realizing that they are just fables to make a point. And we focus almost entirely upon principles -- such as the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths, and the Five Precepts. We're aware of the fables in Buddhist scriptures, but we don't really believe in things like a woman being turned into a pillar of salt. In other words, we don't dwell on fantastic stories, but instead focus on practical applications of principles. If tomorrow someone absolutely proved that Buddha never existed, we would still have principles to live by...because they work.
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Old 01-06-2024, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,999 posts, read 13,475,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink57 View Post
It's the expectations that I question. It's not as if I haven't 'suffered' before, Mordant. I've mentioned much of part of my 'story' ad nauseum.

But as many seem to believe, there should be NO 'suffering', IF God is a "good" God.

...which doesn't seem to align with your idea that anyone is suggesting that there will be NO 'speed bumps.'
From a purely philosophical perspective, it's impossible to reconcile the tri-omni god with ANY amount of human suffering.

In practical terms, I am a reasonable enough person to accept a less than perfect life. In Christian terms, if this life were perfect there'd be no concept of heaven, and no need for it, anyway.

You are correct that it is a matter of expectations (and a matter of degree). My expectations were set sky-high by the fundamentalism / literalism / triumphalism that I grew up with. This combined with my fairly literal-leaning tendencies of thought (I am a geek, possibly a subclinical Aspie) caused me to take various exhorbitant promises to believers pretty much at face value. Scripture is replete with them, and preachers liked to embellish them as well. But even I did not really count on those things except in extremis. I only tried to cash in my poker chips, so to speak, when I had something important I needed. Not to find a parking space or a missing set of car keys or something.

Of course that was just the proximal cause of me beginning to question the premises of my faith. My issues now are epistemological in nature. Now that I do not believe those promises or assertions, my or anyone else's suffering isn't relevant to my beliefs. What's relevant is the inherently unsubstantiatable nature of all religious dogma. Including, but not limited to, the various value propositions and inducements for people to believe.
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Old 01-06-2024, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
20,441 posts, read 12,786,094 times
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Yes, it is. You feel confident that God is always with you, that God loves you, that Jesus is some kind of brother or friend. You feel that for some reason more than "this book I have sez so". SOMETHING led you to believe God hears you and is on your side and that what the Bible told you is true.
What I meant was, like you, I have encountered ups and downs in life. Yes, I have reacted differently.
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