Who Can Pray Successfully?

“Why pray at all” is a blase’, apathetic, and unconcerned relationship with God which negatively affects our spiritual growth.

No, it’s an acceptance that God will do His will regardless of our attempts at intercession. It’s accepting God’s will. It allows us to focus our growth into other areas, like caring for our fellow man.

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 25:40[/BIBLEDRB]

“Why pray at all” was the comment.

But it wasn’t in isolation - why pray at all if God does what He wills. It seems a wasted effort. An effort that we could apply elsewhere.

No, I don’t think they are claiming this–if they are, then they are wrong.

People certainly do say things that aren’t strictly justified, like “I know for certain that prayer works because. . . .” But that’s because they are operating with the rules that govern normal life rather than with the special, and appropriately more rigorous, rules that govern scientific inquiry.

Edwin

Because petitionary prayer isn’t the only form of prayer we are to practice. There are many forms of prayer: meditation, contemplation, petition, praise, thanksgiving, etc.

It is we who need prayer, not God. He desires that we bring our petitions to him not because he doesn’t know what he will do, but because he wants us to seek him in all things.

Prayer is not in opposition to doing acts of charity for others. Indeed, one of the easiest things we can do is pray for others–and that’s also an act of charity–a spiritual act of charity.

The original post was about intercessory prayer, that is what I was addressing.

The CCC addresses it this way -

2737 "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions."26 If we ask with a divided heart, we are “adulterers”;27 God cannot answer us, for he desires our well-being, our life. "Or do you suppose that it is in vain that the scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us?’"28 That our God is “jealous” for us is the sign of how true his love is. If we enter into the desire of his Spirit, we shall be heard.

Do not be troubled if you do not immediately receive from God what you ask him; for he desires to do something even greater for you, while you cling to him in prayer.29
God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what he is prepared to give.30  

The first part seems to indicate that you can pray incorrectly. The goal is to get us to see that we are going to go with God’s will. Intercessory prayer is equivalent to whining as far as I can tell. Whine, get it out and but you will do His will. If you can be an adult and accept that you are subject to His will regardless of your desire, intercessory prayer seems like wasted effort.

To Starcrash:

The above is a very important point and one that should not be overlooked when considering the whole matter of prayer. Meditative, contemplative prayer, prayer of abject praise and thanksgiving should be by far the greatest par of our prayer life whether formal or informal.
It is in this way that we grow closer to God and gain a greater understanding of His will for us and for the world.

These forms of prayer are like “visiting a friend”, someone you are close to and who you can tell everything about your life.
In such a relationship one does not constantly go to such a friend - even someone close - and constantly ask for favors…
Instead, you visit with them. you listen to them, you grow closer to them, you learn their likes and dislikes, you try to please them and you accept their friendship in return. Not for what they can give you or what favor’s you might be able to get from them but simply because they are your friend.
In such a relationship - if and when you DO ask a favor, this friend is more likely to grant it or - if they can’t for some reason they will try to explain to you why they can’t grant what you ask.
And you - being the good friend that YOU are, accept whatever the response is…Because you know and trust your friend…

But - I ask you then - How would you measure scientifically the efficacy of the friendship(s) and the quantity and quality of the responses to various requests/conversations? how does one scientifically measure “friendship” or a “Love” relationship? :hmmm::shrug:

Peace
James

You’ll notice that this is in the “apologetics” forum because the story is logically inconsistent with what the bible says - “ask and ye shall receive”. Jesus asked and didn’t receive. So it requires an “apology”.

I believe Jesus would have come among us at some time even if Adam and Eve had not fallen, but speculating about how else things could have happened really doesn’t help us in the here and now, does it? We were/are in need of a redeemer and savior and God provided him. Exactly how and when was up to God, and he brought it about when he saw fit.

We are in need of a redeemer… unless we aren’t. I don’t believe in the scripture as being true. The reason to question “how things could have happened” is to pose how things would logically happen if God were perfect and omnipotent. You may just accept it as true, but if we’re going to do that, we may as well accept the Muslim supposition that the Q’uran is true. Just stating it’s fact, even with conviction, doesn’t make it true, especially if it’s logically incoherent.

The above is a very important point and one that should not be overlooked when considering the whole matter of prayer. Meditative, contemplative prayer, prayer of abject praise and thanksgiving should be by far the greatest par of our prayer life whether formal or informal.
It is in this way that we grow closer to God and gain a greater understanding of His will for us and for the world.

But none of these make sense in context, and I already addressed them in my last post - if you believe Jesus was already perfect, he didn’t need “growth via prayer”. It’s not about why you pray - it’s about why Jesus prayed (and more importantly, why he’d pray if he knew his request would be rejected). Please stop trying to give me a lecture on prayer - I was a former believer, and I already know what you believe about prayer. Please focus your responses on why Jesus would need prayer, and why his prayers would be dismissed.

I can see how a Christian might feel this was relevant but I still don’t understand why this is relevant to an atheist.

Your insisting that Jesus didn’t get what he wanted is simply not the case. He got exactly what he wanted because, in the end, he wanted God’s will. You can’t ignore the last part of the prayer and we have explained the part in which he asked for some other outcome. You may not want to accept it, but you can’t keep on claiming Jesus didn’t get what he wanted because it’s simply not true.

We are in need of a redeemer… unless we aren’t. I don’t believe in the scripture as being true. The reason to question “how things could have happened” is to pose how things would logically happen if God were perfect and omnipotent. You may just accept it as true, but if we’re going to do that, we may as well accept the Muslim supposition that the Q’uran is true. Just stating it’s fact, even with conviction, doesn’t make it true, especially if it’s logically incoherent.

There is nothing “logically incoherent” there is only your misunderstanding of the scenario and it’s context with regards to Jesus’ prayer in the garden. You seem to think that there are no conditions to be met when asking God for something. That he simply overlooks all considerations except some forumla that he has to abide by. The Bible doesn’t teach that, nor did Christ. Petitionary prayer must be understood within the whole context of theology, not pulled out and put under a microscope. It’d be like examining an elephant’s tusk and coming to the conclusion that the whole creature is made of the same substance.

But none of these make sense in context, and I already addressed them in my last post -
if you believe Jesus was already perfect, he didn’t need “growth via prayer”. It’s not about why you pray - it’s about why Jesus prayed (and more importantly, why he’d pray if he knew his request would be rejected). Please stop trying to give me a lecture on prayer - I was a former believer, and I already know what you believe about prayer. Please focus your responses on why Jesus would need prayer, and why his prayers would be dismissed.

Jesus prayed because prayer is how we communicate with God and as an example to the rest of us. Jesus asking for something in prayer doesn’t mean he needed to do so in order to get what he wanted–it means he had a very human need to express his natural feelings and to once again affirm his desire to do as his Father had asked him. Jesus’ prayer request was not “dismissed”. Where does the account say that? Jesus himself dismissed his request, not God the Father. If you insist on creating a straw argument for us to tackle then you are wasting your time and ours. I don’t say that in any kind of snarky way but simply as a fact.

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