Does God really answer prayers?


I think it’s safe to say that they met the threshold for suffering.

By most reckonings the number of Jews who didn’t have a “wait a while” and got a firm “no” numbered about 6 million. The number of non-Jews who similary got a “no” is said to be at least 5 million.

Was God incapable of both getting Isarel established as well as rescuing millions of his worshippers from horiffic deaths?

More importantly, and this is for everyone who say God answers with a “yes”, “no”, or “wait”, how does one tell that a prayer was answered at all? If the 11 million people killed had all prayed to Zeus would the outcomes have been any diffeent? How can this be demonstrated?


You’re assuming they all prayed to not have that happen to them, but I’ll ignore it.

No, the original response was positing not such a prayer as free me from being like this, but a prayer that it would stop for others, particularly children.
Which it did.

Your response seems very self centered.

Of course God can do all things, even move forward with His Will in spite of evil. However, we accept that this is a world of suffering and death, truly a valley of tears, and it is from this valley of tears by blood and suffering we are rescued, and progress and movement to good is usually a very hard-fought thing.
WW2 was especially important in history and along with WW1 essentially shaped the current political climate. They were very important things.

Well it really depends on who you mean by they. If the whole world were rather praying to Zeus, then most likely things would have been drastically different. Just a couple different decisions could have turned the tide of war.


I don’t see how that shows God does not think of suffering as we do. How does it show that?

And if that is the case, then why would someone bother to pray to a god to ease their suffering as so many are told to do?

? How will I find this? Where?


Let’s not ignore it. Have you seen pictures or films, or have you heard testimonies from the people that survived? I think it’s safe to say that a vast majority of those religious there prayed for escape.

It stopped. 11 million people later. I would not call those successful prayers. And it certainly had more to do with the men and women that in different ways were either a part of or aided the war effort.

I’m not sure how my response is self-centered. I feel compassion for those who suffered and mourn those who were lost.

You are confusing the blood, sweat, and tears of the millions who suffered to combat said evil with a deity who allegedly looked into the eyes of the war-torn destitute and said “No.”

Both of those statements are true. They show no effects of a god or gods.

I specifically asked that this be demonstrated. Show that a world praying to Zeus would’ve had a rougher go in WW2 than one that prayed to Yahweh. Show where God drastically changed the outcome of the war.


I think you make an excellent point, and one I never really thought about. But I think you’re absolutely right.


I said self centered because the original was about praying for others, but you changed it to praying for your self.

God answers prayers using others all the time. It’s not more of this or more of that.

Once again, it was not a no. It took time, it took suffering, it took sacrifice, it took very much. When one learns of the saints, they see many examples of torture prior to being killed. The important thing is that we do not say our will or the highway, but not our will, but God’s. The rulers who killed such people were not doing good. This would then become a more complex discussion involving active will vs the allotted, and let’s not go there.
The important thing is to accept what comes. The world is a hodgepodge of suffering and difficulty. As I said, the redemption of it comes from blood and flesh. The progress comes at much loss and suffering. This is not a new thing.
From even such bad, God makes much good.

Many of the critical moments of the war were arrived at after much prayer. This is common when it comes to putting others in danger and you have the possibility to change the world based on your decisions. The answer arrived at if the world were not praying to God but to Zeus would not have been the same.
We also must not forget about the prayer for things such as clear weather, like the famous prayer of General Patton, etc.


Depends on what you mean by “believer.” Believer in what? God? Yes, I believe in God. I have been a practicing Catholic my entire life. And yet…I have never witnessed a miracle. Nor have I read about any miracle that I personally would consider “a miracle” (outside of the New Testament). So am I a “believer” in what I consider to be superstition (everyday miracles…)? No. Does that make me a non-believer? It makes me a non-believer in superstition. It does not make me an atheist, or anything close to it. It is not an article of faith that we have to believe in an “active” God who is constantly tinkering with the universe.

Another issue is whether believing in prayer is of any practical help. For example, let’s say I am a figure skater in a competition…the Olympics. I “believe” that God will help me. I constantly pray to God to help me give a winning performance. Meanwhile, my chief competitor has never asked God to help her in skating competitions. She puts her “faith” in practice. Given equal ability, and removing chance (debris on the ice), who will win? Does praying give person #1 more self confidence? Or does person #2 have more confidence because of her practice? Or does God swoop down and reward the person who prayed by helping them to land that quadruple axel?

I think Mike from NJ made an excellent point: people generally pray for God to put his thumb on the scale, not to throw the scale away. I once met a woman with a bad back who was convinced God had answered her prayers because her back didn’t hurt any more. My immediate thought was what was she going to think if the pain came back? God was punishing her? She didn’t have enough faith? If everything that happens is attributed to the direct intervention of God (an “active” God–see my earlier post) I think you are opening yourself up to all sorts of problems and unanswerable questions. If anyone doubts that, just read this thread!

And would WW II have been altered if everyone was praying to Zeus? I don’t think so. Because I don’t believe that God actively intervenes in the world. How do we reconcile that with Jesus telling us to pray? I have no idea. As I said before, that seems to be a mystery.


Jesus didn’t avoid suffering. We do.

And if that is the case, then why would someone bother to pray to a god to ease their suffering as so many are told to do?

We’re not told to do that. It is a valid option. But those people who are more perfected in love, pray for the strength to bear suffering.

If you make it to heaven.


No we weren’t. Before we were created we were nothing.

This is a bold claim. The proof is on you. Prove that God does not love in His actions. Just because someone doesn’t get everything they ask for from someone does not prove they aren’t loved.

Sorry about that it must have got deleted.

How do you know God isn’t using us to do it as well?

I never said I was going to do it all on my own. Your entire argument is based on that fact. I could align myself with 1000’s who are also interested in their best interest. We could spread the good will with each others and squash everyone else. Since we are spreading the good will with each other does that mean we are moral agents?

So basically there is no God because He didn’t supply the Ancient Israelite’s with Mac Book Pros and the internet? Just because we lack something now isn’t evidence for anything. At one time we lacked the power to deal with Small Pox. So how could this tragedy prove no God seeing that now we have the power to eradicate Small Pox?

So basically in your mind everything that is good is because of humans and everything that is bad is because of God?

Yeah because we live in an imperfect world where lazy self centered humans always want to blame someone else and not admit responsibility.

I wanna come work for you. I could spend all day on this forum, and the blame that none of my work got done can be directed to you.

Do you see how ridiculous this statement is?

God Bless


I would have no problem with that, except God is supposed to “know” us before we were in the womb. And if we were something before we were conceived (in the womb), then we must have been innocent. And as such we would “deserve” to be created directly into heaven.

My claim was that there is no visible sign of that alleged “love”. Of course the only rational consequence is that if there is no sign of love, then there is no love.

If we do it, then God does not do it. If God “uses” us as tools, then he overrides whatever free will might have.

Actually you did. And now you are backpedaling. :slight_smile:

We learned to deal with smallpox on our own, without any help from God. Now we try to deal with AIDS and we are making progress, again without any help from God. The principle is very simple: if you are in the position to help, and you do not help, then you are not a “loving” person. Especially if that help requires nothing more than to “will” it.

How could you twist what I said to arrive to this nonsensical conclusion?

According to the Bible the world has been cursed by God, who behaved like a petulant child who smashed his own toys, because he did not get his way.

I am not hiring.

All I see that you don’t know how to argue. :slight_smile:



I understand what you’re saying.

I have not much time now but just 2 things:

Jesus said he will be with us, yes, until the end of time. That’s mean God knows about each and every one of us.

Seek ye first God’s kingdom and everything else will be given yours as well.


I think you are miss interpreting that verse. God knowing us before we were in the womb means He knew the type of person we would be, He knew everything we would do in this life before we were born. There is no state of existence for us before we are created. Him knowing what we would do before the womb would actually make us “undeserving” of heaven.

I don’t agree. My son starts some impossible project and I see him struggling. So I talk to his sisters and say there is no way he will get finished. Would you run out there and help him move those last 10 thinger-ma-bobs into place? I noticed my sons failure. I talked to his sisters. I asked them, which means I did not take away their free will. If they acted and helped him who showed the love? Both the father and the daughters.

Now if they decide not to help does this mean the father didn’t show the son love?

Once again the proof is on you. Please show where I said that. My exact quote was…

I never once said I would achieve my own prosperity and survival on my own.

And if you are in a position to help your children and you jump in every single time they need help and do all of the work to finish what they are doing instantly (by willing it). You do far more damage to your children than help.

Just curious do you have children?

Because every time I mention something good you say no God didn’t intervene so and so did that. And every time we discuss something bad you say see God caused that because He could have snapped His fingers and willed it away.

Didn’t realize you were having an argument. I thought we were having a discussion.

An argument is a set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong. Your opinions with no logical reasoning aren’t going to persuade anyone.

I was having a discussion which is a process of talking about something, typically in order to exchange ideas.

I’m not big into arguing, at the end of the day you believing in God is between you and Him. All He expects of me is to plant the seeds.

God Bless


[quote=“De_Maria, post:81, topic:458830, full:true”]

One thing I like about CAF is occasionally being jolted by a new thought. I am not sure if this is your own personal opinion or if the CC stands by it but I find it very intriguing. I honestly do not remember being presented with thought before.

For it to be true there must be an established level of suffering to qualify. Do you have any information on what level of suffering one must endure to qualify a free pass at the Judgement?


It’s not anything we can measure. It is only God who can do so. But the “level” would be arrived at the point that the suffering exceeds the penalty for sin. It has a name in Catholic Doctrine. It is the called the Purgative Way.

I don’t think the term “free pass”, qualifies though.


I see. So for you to say that those who suffered and died in the Holocaust would be granted entrance into heaven at the Judgement is somewhat presumptious? :hushed:


I am confused. I googled The Purgative Way and read what the Catholc Encyclopedia presented. It mentioned absolutely nothing about suffering equaling the penalty for sin in the life of an unbeliever.


I qualified it with the words, “I think”. If I had said, “I am certain you will find”, then you could call it presumptuous.


I think I am certain I was presuming something else.


Hm? Well, first of all, you’ve changed my words. I never said anything about “the life of an unbeliever”.

Are you inquiring in earnest? Or are you playing games?

I’ll assume you made an honest mistake. So, well, I’ll continue.

I am confused. I googled The Purgative Way and read what the Catholc Encyclopedia presented. It mentioned absolutely nothing about suffering equaling the penalty for sin…

Let me see, the Catholic Encyclopedia says:

The active purification consists of all the holy efforts, mortifications, labors, and sufferings by which the soul, aided by the grace of God endeavors to reform the mind, heart, and the sensitive appetite. This is the characteristic work of the purgative way.

So, the characteristic of the soul in the Purgative way, is to work and suffer to achieve perfection.

So, at what point does the soul achieve perfection? At the point where the work and suffering exceeds the penalty of sin. At least, that’s the conclusion I draw.


I am not playing games. When I originally read your comment about the Holocaust victims gaining entrance into heaven because of their suffering I was intrigued because I never knew that anyone teaches that suffering in this life has a soul saving attribute. My mind went to all victims of war, starvation etc etc thinking that if suffering qualifies people for salvation there certainly will be a lot of people in Heaven and a lot of them unbelievers based on that Christians of any stripe constitute a minority on the world scale.

After googling I discover that perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying or you are not quite accurate in your thinking. The Catholic Encyclopedia dealt only with the idea of suffering in the life of a believer for conquering sinful inclinations. As I understood it was not suffering inflicted on others but the self inflicted suffering of self denial to perfect oneself. I can’t see how the Purgative teaching would apply to the Holocaust victims.

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