Does God really answer prayers?


#22

What is wrong with that? Is God too busy? But the point is that you cannot have faith, if you must ask for it - and you said that only requests asked with faith might be granted.

It is an argument against a loving and benevolent deity.

I wonder what the word “moral” means to you? To me it is kindness, helpfulness, no aggression, and stuff like that. Where is the need for God? The so-called golden rules are sufficient.

I would suggest a much better solution. Without going into all the details, just ponder this: Pain and suffering do not exist for the vegetation. They do not have pain receptors or pain centers. Instead they have regeneration abilities. Take an earthworm, cut it in half, and both ends will regenerate. That is a vastly superior solution. The intellectual abilities of the brain are separated from the pain center. As such we can have a full environment composed of intelligent, thinking trees, shrubs, etc.

If you start to think “outside the box”, it is obvious that this world does not look like the handiwork of a loving deity. We can suggest millions of improvements right off the bat.


#23

Let’s put it this way–in Christianity, we have a God who came to Earth and suffered along with us.
No, we don’t get everything we want.
But our endgame is salvation and not comfort in this world.
Not easy at all…
In my own little mini-testimony, I don’t always get the results I want from prayer, but God works in me so I can meet my challenges and carry my crosses with more gentleness and compassion than I otherwise would have by my own efforts.


#24

And what is the point?

The best thing for us is supposed to be with God in eternal happiness. Also God wants what is the best for us (supposedly).

All this vale-of-tears could be bypassed, everyone could be crated directly into heaven an enjoy the beatific vision (whatever it might be). The whole charade of original sin, redemption, sacrifice and forgiveness is unnecessary.


#25

That we have a God who loves us.

The best thing for us is supposed to be with God in eternal happiness. Also God wants what is the best for us (supposedly).

For those of us who love Him. Yes. But you get to choose what you prefer. Eternity with Him. Or eternity without Him.

All this vale-of-tears could be bypassed, everyone could be crated directly into heaven an enjoy the beatific vision (whatever it might be). The whole charade of original sin, redemption, sacrifice and forgiveness is unnecessary.
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Unnecessary for Him. But not for us. Not if we want to join Him.


#26

Obviously you don’t get it. To be created directly into heaven would bypass all this whole “choice” nonsense. We don’t get a “choice” to be created into this world. We would not get a “choice” to be created into heaven to enjoy that beatific vision. And no one would “miss it”. This “beatific vision” would trump all this choice nonsense. If this “beatific vision” is the best thing that can happen to us, then a loving God would give it to us, free of charge.


#27

You very clearly want your choice. Would you seriously want to be forced into the conditions imposed in a controlled heaven?


#28

It was totally unnecessary. I agree with you.
But sin brought pain into the world. It’s the reality we cope with now.
And that’s why we have need of redemption.
Peace!:slightly_smiling_face:


#29

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

― C.S. Lewis


#30

I don’t know Scowler, if everyone wanted YOU to give them what they want when they want it, would you automatically give it to them? Better yet would you give it to them knowing it would cause more harm than good?

Ok I am willing to hear the argument. But I don’t see how evil existing proves God doesn’t. I’m willing to hear the logic behind this statement.

Morality is the extent to which an action is right or wrong. You gave a list of actions that depending on how they are used or define can be considered moral or immoral. Why should I be kind and helpful to someone else? Just cause? If there is no God telling us to “Love neighbor” why should we? Shouldn’t we put ourselves first? Is it moral to be helpful to your son Jim knowing all the while that it will ruin your neighbor Bob? Who decides what is moral?

Isn’t the golden rules, the one with the gold makes the rules?

What does this have to do with what I asked? This wasn’t the question it was a statement. The question was…

Please answer the question. Would we see our lives as a precious gift given to us from God or not?

I have a saying I tell my kids whenever they say something like this.

I don’t care what you know, how about showing me what you can do with it.

How many of those first million improvements have you tried to implement? Sure we live in a broken world. We can sit back and blame God or we can do something about it.

If a person believes in God then they would understand they need to cooperate with the grace God has given to them and do something about this broken world.

If they don’t believe in God then they should quit wasting time complaining about someone they don’t believe in. They should get to work and implement some of these “improvements”. As they already stated they don’t need God to know that these improvements need to be made.

The problem of evil doesn’t prove God doesn’t exist, because you believe we don’t need God to be moral, it is part of human nature and we should automatically just know good from bad. Therefore, we should be able fix this world on our own. The fact that evil still exists proves there is a bigger plan in action.

God Bless


#31

Yes, God answers prayers. I can vouch for that.

To answer your question number three, no, God is never silent on important issues. He has spoken. For us, however, it takes faith to know them.


#32

The Church teaches us one of God’s attributes is Immutable. Immutable objects are simply objects whose state cannot change. Another accepted attribute is Impassible. Impassible means cannot be influenced by the actions of another being. That means you can’t make God happy, sad, or feel sorry for you so as to grant an answer to your prayers. The saints, Mary, and I suppose your guardian angel might intercede on your behalf, but by the definition of the Church’s above accepted attributes, God can not be affected even by them.

It would seem that the early theologians and philosophers by listing all those confusing attributes of God, and having the Church accept them did a disservice to later Christians. They, were uneducated people, who probably never heard of those theoretical attributes. So they later invented the idea that they could influence God, change His mind, or ask him for something that would require Him to change his state. They started thinking of him as some kind of benevolent monarch in the sky who could be flattered, cajoled, talked into doing things, etc.

These attributes to me make the concept of prayer and intercession by other beings seem like a waste of time.


#33

I get it. You don’t like what God has done. You prefer your system. Unfortunately for you, you’re not God.

There are people who want the choice.

We don’t get a “choice” to be created into this world.

Technically, you didn’t exist before you were created. So, …

We would not get a “choice” to be created into heaven to enjoy that beatific vision. And no one would “miss it”.

Technically, that happened already. And one third of the angels rebelled and had to be cast out of heaven.

This “beatific vision” would trump all this choice nonsense. If this “beatific vision” is the best thing that can happen to us, then a loving God would give it to us, free of charge.

He has. Now, if you really want it, all you have to do, is obey His Will.


#34

No, I don’t. Not in this case. Heaven is the best thing that can happen to us. Why not give it without precondition?


#35

What “harm” could be done by creating everyone directly into heaven?

It is the original Euthyphro dilemma. Which has never been resolved…

Because it is in your (and everyone else’s) best interest. Spread goodwill, and it will come back to you.

I cannot answer for you. For me life is not a “gift”. And for those whose life is filled with pain and misery, it is definitely not “precious”.

We, together try to make this world better every day. The question is: “why is this world broken”, since it could be better? Personally, I do what I can. With more power I would be able to do a lot more.


#36

And they are! Most definitely.

Just for fun, here is the definition of “Pray” in Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary”:

To pray (v.): To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.


#37

Actually, unfortunately for YOU. :slight_smile:

If there are such people, they are idiots. But show me those people who were given a guided tour of heaven and hell, and then chose hell. Support this with some video.

Really unfortunately he never communicated his will to us. Some self-appointed advocates insist that they and only they were given the authority to enlighten the rest of us… but they have no evidence of this authorization. Too bad, so sad.


#38

Traditionally, the Church has given four reasons to pray:

  1. adoration
  2. thanks
  3. contrition (sorrow for sins)
  4. petition (for self and others)

When the Apostles asked Jesus how to pray, he said the Our Father:

  1. “hallowed be thy name…” = adoration
  2. no explicit thanks…
  3. “forgive us our trespasses…” = contrition
  4. “give us this day our daily bread, and lead us not into temptation…” = petition

I personally have no problems with 1-3, but I confess to major problems with #4, petition.

There are two points of view regarding petition as far as I can see:

  1. You are asking God to intervene in the world on your or someone else’s behalf; perhaps breaking natural laws.
  2. God, a being outside space and time, knew eternally that you would pray for x, and He has already factored that into His calculations when He created the universe. In other words, if you pray that Aunt Tillie gets cured of cancer, God knew that you would do that before the creation of the universe, and He factored your prayer into creation and the natural laws that led to Aunt Tillie’s illness. No need to intervene in the world and/or break natural laws.

I would agree with position #2. But exactly how that works seems to be a mystery. But of course it would be for a being who is trapped in time and space and trying to figure out how a being outside time and space operates. I’m not arrogant enough to claim that I understand God or His methods. See Isaiah: “My ways are far above your ways…”

It also seems to me that saying “It’s part of God’s plan” is not only illogical, but heretical. It denies free will. God may well have a “plan” (whatever that means), but at any given instant any person in the world is free to deviate from that plan. And to say that any deviation is PART of the plan is nonsensical. Again, it denies free will. God would have perfect knowledge of the “future” (of course to God, it’s NOT the future), but clearly evil caused by man’s will is not part of any divine plan. But that leaves evil caused by natural forces and laws (earthquakes, floods, disease, etc.) and no one has yet come up with a good explanation of why these things exist.

At least one other poster argued that you could confine petition to spiritual matters: “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” but on the other hand “give us this day our daily bread…” certainly is material, and I don’t think there is any way around that. Other Biblical verses certainly imply material aid.

I agree with clarkgamble’s comment: God is immutable. Petition asks Him to change His mind. This seems contradictory–God cannot be both immutable and constantly changing His mind. But if you hold position #2 above, the problem is solved.

So does God answer prayers of petition? According to the Bible, yes. But how? We simply don’t know. (And to say that God answered MY prayer and got me a new job or saved me from the tornado is ignoring the fact that millions of other people also prayed for a new job or prayed to be spared from the tornado, and it didn’t happen.)


#39

I’m quite happy with the Real God.:sunglasses:

I won’t take offense at that.

But show me those people who were given a guided tour of heaven and hell, and then chose hell. Support this with some video.

God gives people a conscience. It’s much more effective than videos.

Really unfortunately he never communicated his will to us.

He did. And continues to do so, through His Church.

Some self-appointed advocates insist that they and only they were given the authority to enlighten the rest of us… but they have no evidence of this authorization. Too bad, so sad.
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As I said, the evidence is all around. The fact that you reject the evidence does not make your argument convincing. It just means that you don’t know what you’re talking about.


#40

Conscience is subjective, the videos would be objective. Do you have an example of someone who had that guided tour and still chose hell?

Not to me, he did not. The church is just a human institution, nothing more. It can “claim” whatever it wants, but that is just a claim.

You can say it until the cows come home. So what? All it means that you don’t know what “evidence” means.


#41

Just wanted to say, I really liked your point here:

Or, because you don’t mean your prayers, don’t believe your prayers will be answered, ask for things that you will simply use to commit sin and many other reasons.

God knows what the result of answering a prayer would be. He knows if it would end in sin, so why would He grant a prayer that would harm us in the long run? It’s important to remember that He knows what’s best. There are so many factors that us humans cannot possibly comprehend.


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