Do prayers by Wiccans and Pagans work?

A friend told me a story she heard from Fr. Corapi on the radio.

The version I heard was that a bishop was on a plane when the steward offered him food. He declined, saying he was fasting. The lady next to him also declined, also saying she was fasting. The lady asked the bishop for what purpose he was fasting. The bishop said, “to end abortion.” The lady laughed and said, “really, that’s funny, I’m a Wiccan and I am fasting for more abortions.”

Fr. Corapi’s point was that we’re not the only ones fasting.

So, are the prayers and fasting of pagans for evil purposes efficacious?

Not all pagans are fasting and praying for evil things. Many are praying for the good of their nation, for their loved ones, for the Earth and its environment, for Peace, etc. I believe that they believe their prayers are efficacious. Are they? I don’t know, how do you measure the effectiveness of prayer? Is the action of praying itself, beneficial to the pray-er?

No!!

This opens up more questions than it answers. If they are throwing up prayers to some tree or idea or whatnot, then I’d think that it would be a fruitless exercise.

But, if they are praying to a devil, does it strengthen the devil’s work. Or, does it just open their own souls to the devil.

I’ve never known a Wiccan or pagan to worship the devil. Most Wiccans worship a female goddess and a male god (though the Dianic Wiccans worship only a female goddess), some have more gods than 2 also.

Pagans is a looser grouping, composed of Wiccans, Druids, and generally any non-monotheistic religion (some even include Hinduism under the term Pagan).

Satanists worship Satan. They’re strange–in that they actually don’t seem to be all that evil (you’d think that our prisons would be filled with the folks who worship the dark prince and revere all that’s evil). They are also monotheistic in that they believe Satan is god and there are no others. Bizarrely, without Christianity, I don’t think you can have Satanism.

I practiced Wicca for several years before becoming a Christian, and during that time, not a single prayer of mine was ever fulfilled. It’s one of the reasons I eventually abandoned that religion. There was simply no evidence of it’s veracity. Of course, I also believe that most power that Wiccans have (for I’ve known some to have success with spells and prayers), comes from a more insidious source and not God. Although, as a former Wiccan, I will say that to assume Wiccans are evil, devil-worshippers is definitely a misconception. Wiccans fully believe that they are worshipping a good divine source. Every Wiccan I ever met rejected evil (as they saw it). Of course, the Wiccan idea of evil and the Christian idea of evil are very different.

My dh is a Pagan…and yes his prayers have been anwsered.
And no he is not a devil worshipper.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri says that everybody is given the grace to pray – to God.

If you deliberately pray to other “gods” or “goddesses,” how do you know you aren’t praying to demons, whether you mean to or not?

I think you can either pray to the one true God or to “not God”. Everything good comes from or thru God. (God can route the prayers to the Saints or Mary).

Sure good intensioned people may be praying to “not God”. At best, their prayers fall on deaf ears. At worst, they are praying to an imposter, who can hear prayers and answer some prayers.

Apparent temporary benefits can happen but over time things will probably get worse as they pursue and follow “not God”.

I don’t know what Roman Catholicism teaches about this, but the BIble says that the prayers of the unrighteous are an offense to God.

It makes sense that the devil’s power and dominion are increased when “prayers” and spells are made in his/its name. When I was in college, we prayed and sang Christian songs outside a Wiccan convention in Seattle one night. The hate directed at us was palpable, but it was good to take a public stand for Christ.

I read a book by a Catholic exorcist who asserts that many of the demons they cast out in the name of Christ give their names. The names of these spirits are often associated with pagan belief systems–as well as specific sins, which I found surprising. In other words, there are demons who use the names of these dieties. So, when “prayers” are being offered, I suggest that (knowing it, or not) they are praying to the demon.

On the other hand, I also have to believe that prayers made in good faith and a good heart–from a state of intellectual innocence perhaps–may not be able to be accepted by the evil one. This kind of thing is maybe best described in the story of the soldier in C.S. Lewis’ Last Battle who prayed to the false God in child-like faith, but was received by the true God. I think that there is a major element of speculation in Lewis’ view, however, and I suggest that we remember who these pagan gods are–behind their masks. If their prayers are received by the true and living God, it is only by His love and grace that he catches the words of good, but confused, men and directs them to Himself–so to speak.

There have been several reputable studies of the power and effectiveness of prayer. I’m sorry I don’t have the data in front of me to give you specifics of when the studies were done or by whom.

Basically, what the studies showed is that prayer is powerful. It didn’t matter what form the prayer took, or to which “deity” it was directed. It didn’t matter whether the person praying even knew the name of the person they were praying for or why. Patients who were prayed for recovered from illness, injury, surgery significantly (statistically) faster than those who were not prayed for.

God knows the secrets of the heart. He knows why one person prays to Him in a Catholic church, and another calls Him by names I can’t even pronounce. He is our loving Father. Jesus said, “If you with all your sin know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you every good thing?” (Forgive the paraphrase - no Bible handy.)

If my 2-year-old son needed help with something, it wouldn’t matter if he called me “Amanda” or “Gertabelle” or “Matilda” or “Lady with the Frizzy Hair” or “Hey you” – I’m still going to love him and help him in any way I can. I am not more generous or loving than God.

God hears and answers the prayers of all His children.

Gertie

There are two main aspects to your post. The first is the physiological aspect of prayer. In other words, if I pray to to my son’s old stuffed Barney, I may feel terrific. It may calm my fears and stresses, etc. (If Barney answers my prayer, that’s another thread.) So, yes, we have a need for spiritual connection. Any form of prayer seems to address this within the physical person. Of course, we pray for things above and beyond ourselves, right? That being the case, it does make a difference to whom we pray. Christ will answer our prayers (yes or no), but Barney will remain a stuffed toy–no matter how much attention we try to give him.

The second aspect of your post hinges on universalism. If it makes no difference whether we pray to Jesus, the Creator, or something fabricated or created in nature, then why are we here? The point is it does make a difference. My earlier point was just to suggest that in certain cases God may “re-direct” the prayers of of those with good hearts who pray in innocence to a false God. This is conjecture, based on the nature of God, and we’d be foolish to say that all prayers directed to whomever are equally effective. Last I checked, universalism is not a belief supported by the teachings of the Catholic Church. It isn’t even supported by common sense. If God calls us by name, and we respond by answering something/someone else, God sees us as turning our backs on Him and His love. That’s the nature of free will.

If you’re going to argue with my post, at least read it carefully enough to get the points correct. I make no reference to the physiological aspect of prayer. In the studies to which I refer, people were not praying for themselves. They were praying for others. The people receiving the prayer **did not know **they were being prayed for, and the people praying did not necessarily know the name or concern of the person for whom they were praying.

And, the people praying did not pray to stuffed Barney toys unless they had a firm faith in the power of that toy to make a difference. In other words, **they didn’t make a mockery of prayer **- they prayed from the heart within the expression of their own traditions. This is scientific data supporting the power of prayer. These studies were not done to show that one particular type of prayer is more effective than another. These were double blind studies. They were science, not religion.

As for universalism - of course I know the Church does not support that! But I am firmly and unswervingly convinced of the love and providence of God for all His children! Some people are so preoccupied with the power of demons that they spend more time talking about that than they do meditating on the love of God.

Oh, and incidentally, I never referenced your post. I hadn’t seen it until after my own was posted. My words were an expression of my own thoughts and beliefs, nothing more.

Gert

Thanks for the clarification, Gertabelle. Looks like I read that section of your post a little too quickly. I guess I’d need to know more information to verify the results weren’t somehow spurious, but on the surface those are interesting conclusions. I’m still not sure it precisely proves what you think it proves, but I will agree that it’s interesting stuff. Maybe you could post the names of the studies and where they were done? That might help readers a bit. Anyway, I don’t want to dominate the conversation here, so I’ll let other posters continue on with this good thread topic.

Have there been any since sometime this spring or summer? The news reported the largest study to date during that time on the power of prayer, where doctors and researchers had subjects pray for people undergoing heart surgery and those prayed for had no marked difference in recovery or survival rates from those who hadn’t been prayed for. In fact, the group, I think it was the group who knew they were being prayed for did somewhat worse than another group. That study really upset me.

My ex-husband is looking into this for me. When I have the information about the studies I will post it here.

Gertie

What about when Pagans pray for bad things? Can a Wiccan fast for abortions and then have the effect of promoting abortions?

Fasting is a good thing in itself. It leads to the Cardinal virtue of temperance. But, unless it is united to the Will of God, it can accomplish nothing supernaturally. But, a person fasting for a petition and uniting that mortification to the Will of God can through God stop wars.

So, if a Wiccan was to fast for more abortions, isn’t that just nothing. Unless, the devil can use that fasting. But, I wouldn’t think so. Wouldn’t the evil fasting just open that person up to the devil?

Of course, then there’s curses, etc. :confused: :confused:

Thanks for all who are participating in this thread. This has been a source of confusion to me for a while.

I can’t help but wonder if the woman was pulling the good Father’s leg. I cannot imagine anyone actually wanting more abortions, no matter how pro-Choice they are.

But if you’re fasting for a bad cause, I would imagine that God would not let that influence him in bringing about a bad cause.

I’ll have to admit that when it comes to prayer, I’m a bit of a universalist. When you waft your prayer’s heavenward, if they’re for a just cause, whoever is in heaven will consider your prayer, regardless of to whom it was addressed (kind of like a gigantic switchboard where all the calls go to the same place).

I think some people may be forgetting that evil spirits are very manipulative and so much smarter than we are. After all, they’re fallen angels. They could very well influence someone to fast for an evil cause that the person either 1) believes is good, or 2) believes is evil and wants to slap God in the face.

How often have we heard of people complaining about overpopulation? Some people’s misguided compassion might lead them to believe that they should fast for more abortions of people who would turn out to be a “drain” on society. Unfortunately human life is being very much degraded in the secular world view today.

As mikemck pointed out, the BIble says that the prayers of the unrighteous are an offense to God. And an offense to God is also known as sin. And sin leads to more sin and separates us from God. How could that *not *lead to a negative end result?

Evil influences in the spiritual realm would love to have people “fasting” for evil things just so they can offend God. I’ve heard it said that the devil doesn’t have a creative thought in his head–everything he does is a corruption of something good God has put in place (curses vs. blessings, black masses, misguided vs. true compassion, presumption vs. trust in God, etc.). Why is it so far-fetched that a poor lost soul might feel drawn to fast for abortions?

And by the way, I heard that talk by Fr. Corapi and the lady on the plane said she was a “witch” and not a “Wiccan.” Of course it was something that occured to Archbishop Sheen, and maybe in those days they didn’t refer to themselves as Wiccans as much. But I’ve found that “Wiccan” is usually used to refer to a practitioner of a formal religion, Wicca, while sometimes people break off from the mainstream religious teachings, making their own rules and calling themselves “witches”. Just my observation.

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