Why pray?

Doesn’t an omniscient deity know that help is needed?

Humans beings are urged to pray.
Does this indicate that God would fail to intervene - if not importuned to do so?

What sense does that make?

“Deliver us Lord from every evil…”

In rolls a tsunami, taking the lives of a quarter of a million people.

Why does anyone bother praying? What is - or what is to be,
is going to happen anyway.

Is prayer a form of spiritual placebo?

reen12

A loving human father does not have to be told,
by his grown children, that some awful situation
requires his help. A human father may well have
to be told that a given situation is awful. Out of love,
he will do what he can, when he is apprised that
help is needed, to alleviate suffering.

Are human fathers then more merciful and loving
than God is?

reen12

A good father gives his children many chances to work things out on their own. It isn’t good parenting to always intervene in your children’s problems and issues. Parents who do, are parents of spoiled, entitled grownups who can’t do anything for themselves.

We do not pray to change God.
We pray that we might be changed.

God knows praying is a very simple thing to do, its part of the test that God puts people through it shows Him which way they want to go, towards the Good or towards Evil.

Parental intervention removes opportunities to mature,
in some instances. No problem with that.

The instance that haunts, is the 3 year old child who was
abducted in Portugal. What has happened to her?
Taken in the night, from love and Mommy, where is this little girl now?
Can her confusion and terror even be imagined?

I don’t give a hoot what happens to adults, in a limited sense.
They at least have fully rational minds, and can at least
understand that evil exists in the world. But not a child.

How, in the name of all that’s holy, Christians - or any other
believers - can roll off ‘answers,’ in a horrible situation like that,
stupifies me. "God gives man free will. The father of humanity
had a wife who had a taste for apple dumplings, and that
’explains’ everything.’ It does?

I don’t give a hoot, either, as to which ‘lessons’ God wants me
or any other adult to learn. But not a 3 year old little girl.

“Deliver us from all that is evil…” It didn’t ‘work’ for this little girl,
did it?

reen12

All the easy answers - about how God permits evil, free will, and all the rest of it -
then He asks us to pray…

Why?

Since He knew, from eternity, that that little girl would suffer like hell -
what’s the sense of praying for* anything*?
That His ‘vast, eternal plan’ included allowing this child to
suffer the rigors of hell - He can take His plan and keep it.

God made this world. He is responsible for all of these innocents.
He could stop this in an instant. But He doesn’t. Then He
is titled Merciful, Compassionate, Wonderful Counselor…

How come the Wonderful Counselor has to be informed, by His
creatures, that a 3 year old is now in a horrible situation?
Doesn’t He know? Doesn’t He care?

Big time ‘double-message’ - from the Almighty.

I wouldn’t want to disturb Him - in His glory, by asking Him to intervene,
on behalf of a 3 year old.

It’s all about Him, right? Not about that little girl.
The celestial Narcissist, who’s too busy tending to His august ego
’I"m God, you know’] to take a few moments to rescue a 3 year old
from hellish circumstances.

If this is the ‘God of mercy,’ then the definition of mercy might
need re-tooling - to reflect the actual attributes of this deity.
Out to lunch.

Or am I now to be told how Jesus suffered for 3 hours, and
I should consider God’s graciousness, in ‘saving’ us.
Tell it to that little girl.

reen12

Christ said woe to anyone who hurts a child…

God is not to blame for man’s heinous inhumanity to man.

we pray not to conform God to our will, but to conform our wills to his. He never wills evil for his children, and the evil that does occur is the result of human disobedience, but he always can and does use the evil circumstance to bring good out of it insofar as we trust in him and cooperate with him.

I’ve no intention of ‘conforming my will,’ to the will of the
celestial Narcissist.

Dr. Rieux, in Camus’ The Plague, hears Fr. Paneloux - shouting
out a sermon, in the plague-ridden town, about how the
residents of the town of Oran caused this plague,
by their sins - while Doctor Rieux is working himself
senseless, trying to care for victims of this plague.
Rieux speaks to me, now, as he did 40 years ago:

“I refuse to accept a world in which little children are made to suffer.”

3 hours agony, of a grown man, at the height of his powers - on
a Friday afternoon, in no way ‘justifies’ the suffering of children.

reen12

Your questions about a Good God and evil are age-old. The book of Job is a meditation on that.

A more recent meditation–explanation-- that I have found help is something written by Jimmy Akin. You can read it at:

jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/bible/index.html

You have to scroll down to the February 1, 2007, entry entitled “Hard Sayings of the Old Testament”

As to why we pray, I think it good to consider prayer as a conversation with God rather than just a list of requests to Him.

God bless you----

That conversation can include all the reasons you are angry with Him. He can handle it.

For the same reason that people tend to avoid unsolicited advice. If people want help, they ask for it. The same is true of God. He will no help us against our will, we must ask for Him to help

Why pray?

I was always taught while growing up in my Roman Catholic education that “prayer” means “talking to God”.

I have also heard it said in my time that the key to a good relationship is communication.

Is the key to starting a good relationship with the Holy Trinity then not commication as well?

This communication with God is known as prayer. Prayer is essential to this relationship, and is not merely restricted to asking God for help in a specific scenario, but all direct conversation with Him on all levels and subject matter.

I’ll start with two verses from Scripture.

Matthew 6:7-8

*And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.*

And.

Mark 11:24

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

In these two passages Jesus clearly teaches two things. First that your Father in heaven already knows what you need before you ask for it and Second, we should only pray for things that we have already received.

What are the implications of these two teachings? If the Father already knows what we need why do we need to ask in the first place? What does it mean to only ask for things that you have already received? These two verses are inextricably linked. If we ask for the Fathers will to be done isn’t it already being done? If we ask for God to have mercy hasn’t He already had mercy? If we ask Him to comfort us in our time of trouble isn’t He already doing that? If we ask Him to deliver us from evil in the eternal sense hasn’t He already done that. In fact if He already knows what we need if we are truly asking for something “in Jesus Name”, that is according to who Jesus is, that means it has to be something God has already given us.

So that brings us to the next question, why pray in the first place? If God is already giving us what we need before we ask, why ask? The answer is simple, we don’t pray in the hope that we will “get” something. Prayer serves two purposes, it is Eucharistic (giving thanks to God) and doxological (giving praise to God). Prayer serves as one of the primary ways we have communion with God. God created us for communion with Himself. So in a real sense when we pray we are doing what we were created to do and being what we were created to be. When we achieve pure prayer we remove all of the distortion of our fallen, unnatural state and see the Uncreated Light of the Glory of God. Then we become truly human.

Yours in Christ
Joe

Why pray? Because God told you to.

Why pray? Because God gave you a tongue to speak.

Why pray? Because God gave you eyes to see.

Why pray? Because God gave you ears to hear.

Why pray? Because God gave you a mind to think!

Why pray? Because God nurtured you in the womb of your mother, and provided you sustenance and care through her, and has raised you up as a person able to function in the world.

Why pray? Because God has blessed you in more ways than you can count, the least, and I mean the very least you can do is to thank Him for that.

Look at your hands on the keyboard. They can type. You can communicate via the internet! And what are you sitting on? A chair? A pillow? Carpet? Probably not dirt!!!

There are too many reasons to pray, and you can look at them in the mirror. And all around you. And if that doesn’t compel you, then know that God commanded you to pray.

And if you refuse, then you are serving yourself, and worshiping yourself…

and not God.

May He protect us from that!

Why pray?

My answer is all on the Apostles’ words, " I BELIEVE…"

No. Nothing doing.

There is* nothing* that justifies the suffering of that little girl.
Not here or hereafter.

God is ultimately responsible for the suffering of innocents.
There is no reality, in this universe - or any other universe -
that justifies the hell that that 3 year old child was confronted with.

The agonizing suffering of a grown man, at the height of his powers -
for 3 hours, does not a thing to justify a world in which God
knew little ones would suffer.

reen12

In terms of the book of Job, God deflected Job’s questions.
God’s message was simply a variation on the theme:
“I’m bigger and stronger than you.”

Corrolary: ‘Might makes right?’

And at the end of this non-answer, God gives
all back to Job, including additional children.
Isn’t that sweet? Satan was prohibited from slaying Job,
but the sons and daughters of Job mattered not?
Pawns to prove God’s point? Are children ‘replacable’ then?

We’re you there when I laid out the heavens?

“No. Was I supposed to be?”

reen12

It is easy to look at all the tragedy and evil in the world and wonder about God. For me, this is a reason to pray, not a reason not to. I cannot count the number of times that I have prayed that God give me peace with His decisions in my life and the lives of those I love. In those times when I have been left with absolutely nothing positive for which to pray to God (parents dying when I was very young, friends dying when they were very young, etc), I have probably prayed more sincerely than at any other times in my life. It is not in those times when we are doing well and can thank God for all of His blessings that we likely to see the need for prayer, since after all God must have already answered our prayers by blessing us with all that we have. But when we have nothing we may pray sincerely for guidance and peace, because we have in our own lives been brought down to a level where we recognize the utter lack of control we actually have over our lives and the world. I firmly believe that a sincere crying out to God in anger, pain, confusion or whatever emotion you are feeling is one of the best forms of prayer you can do. And so I pray, not only in these situations, but also in all others in which I seek to recognize the power that God has over all of life. Prayer for me is submission to His love, power, protection, and indeed all that He confers upon us. It is the only means that I, a mere human, have of even attempting to accept the totality of the life He has given me, both the good and the bad.

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