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Does prayer work?

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Old 09-09-2007, 10:26 PM   #46
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Clearly when you're talking about prayer you're talking about god. You make it clear where you stand and I made it clear where I stand. Don't get mad at me for my beliefs.
Where do you get that I am mad at you? My statement was very "matter of fact". That's all. If my tone in my responses is one of anger, I will use the appropriate punctuation to indicate so. Otherwise, I'm just discussing the topic like every one else.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:13 PM   #47
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Re: Does prayer work?

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My mother did read it right. I was there. You've all but called me a liar. So thanks for that. Funny thing is there is a story in the bible about God providing oil for a widow and her son when there was none left. If He did it for her, there's no reason why He wouldn't do it for us.
Well, you are basically saying the oil magically appeared out of the blue. We already know that is impossible, even the bible says he doesn't do things like that, so unless you can provide me with another possible reason other than it was a misread (or a bad meter...which my mother has on her oil tank) I find no reason to rescind my comment. God will only work with "your hands", He is not a magician. I'm not calling you a liar, you believe it was prayer, prayer has never worked like that before though. (other than in biblical times)

Yes, there is reason he wouldn't do that. He said he wouldn't in the bible. He also said he won't talk to us directly anymore, or let himself be seen, and He hasn't.

ps- what parable are you talking about in terms of a woman needing oil?
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:20 PM   #48
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Re: Does prayer work?

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It's not a frightening proposition at all. I've seen God work in people's lives more times than I can count. I believe in God's word and I believe He's in control of my life. I've been healed of a disease myself. Be skeptical if you like. It won't change my opinion, because I've lived it.

I had hoped this thread would be one of encouragement, but I don't think that's possible. Ultimately, it has to turn into the typical "does God exist debate."

I apologize that my comments seems to turn this into a does God exist debate. What it is, is a thread about someone that has lost his faith in prayer and is very discouraged. I am having a lot of trouble with prayer, and I have mentioned why.
So why would God (assuming you are correct with the oil) give your mom oil, but someone like myself, who goes to church every Sunday, follows his word, acts like He wants us to act, allows me to go through 17 years of abuse, child's death with no ability to have a child, and unemployment even though I am busting my ass to make this work?
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:26 PM   #49
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Let me take a stab at this...

First I will qualify/disqualify myself. I work for a ministry at a pretty large church in Texas. We are non-denominational, meaning our focus has nothing to do with any groups' leanings. Our goal as a ministry is for each person to experience God and that relationship in a personal way, and to be able to fully enjoy that relationship.

If we take the definition of prayer as communication with a deity, then the answer depends on the deity. Communication is 2 way, so prayer isn't reciting memorized scripture or speaking shakespearean english into your hands, it's talking to that deity and that deity responding. If the deity you are communicating with exists, and chooses to have communication with you and relationship with you, then yes, prayer works.

Prayer isn't, however, begging said diety to do what you ask. That's not communication, that's manipulation. For instance, everytime my kids ask for candy or money, I don't give it to them. I am looking out for their best interest, and candy for dinner and money for things they don't need isn't always in their best interest. Does that mean that parenting doesn't work because I didn't answer their 'prayers' to me? I did answer, but like stated in previous posts, my answer was no.

I think that we've developed a culture that thinks that prayer is just asking God for stuff. I will admit here, that as a Christian of over 25 years, I rarely at this point in my life ask God for 'things' in my prayers. I usually pray for the safety and protection of others, and I ask for wisdom and grace in my day to day endevours.

So if I am communicating back and forth with a deity that exists and wants a relationship with us, then yes, prayer works wheather we are getting the answers we want or not.
Slight problem with your comments...this comes from bible.com:
Mark 11:24 (Whole Chapter)
"Therefore I say to you, [Matt 7:7] all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:44 PM   #50
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Well, you are basically saying the oil magically appeared out of the blue. We already know that is impossible, even the bible says he doesn't do things like that, so unless you can provide me with another possible reason other than it was a misread (or a bad meter...which my mother has on her oil tank) I find no reason to rescind my comment. God will only work with "your hands", He is not a magician. I'm not calling you a liar, you believe it was prayer, prayer has never worked like that before though. (other than in biblical times)

Yes, there is reason he wouldn't do that. He said he wouldn't in the bible. He also said he won't talk to us directly anymore, or let himself be seen, and He hasn't.

ps- what parable are you talking about in terms of a woman needing oil?
Where in the bible does it say God doesn't perform miracles like that? The bible is full of them. The feeding of the five thousand comes to mind. Also, I don't remember God ever saying He would stop performing miracles. As one who considers himself a christian, do you think Jesus was a magician?

Ok... to clarify how my mom knew the tank was almost empty, she took a very long wooden pole and stuck it in our underground tank. We didn't have a meter and this is how she measured how much oil she had. She had it down to a science on how long it would last. When she pulled it out there was only two inches showing at the bottom of the pole.

The Widow of Zarephath

Verse 8

BibleGateway.com - Passage*Lookup: 1 Kings 17 ;;
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:51 PM   #51
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Re: Does prayer work?

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I apologize that my comments seems to turn this into a does God exist debate. What it is, is a thread about someone that has lost his faith in prayer and is very discouraged. I am having a lot of trouble with prayer, and I have mentioned why.
So why would God (assuming you are correct with the oil) give your mom oil, but someone like myself, who goes to church every Sunday, follows his word, acts like He wants us to act, allows me to go through 17 years of abuse, child's death with no ability to have a child, and unemployment even though I am busting my ass to make this work?
The only way I can answer that question is that God's timing is not our timing or maybe He has allowed you to go through those things so that you might be able to help others who are going through a similiar situation.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:10 AM   #52
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Where in the bible does it say God doesn't perform miracles like that? The bible is full of them. The feeding of the five thousand comes to mind. Also, I don't remember God ever saying He would stop performing miracles. As one who considers himself a christian, do you think Jesus was a magician?
You're talking old testament. Why does God not talk to us (where we can actually audibly hear Him), why do we eat pig, why do we not sacrifice anymore? It's all old testament stuff that was erased by the new testament.
I never once said he would stop performing miracles, I said (basically) he doesn't go "poof" and create things. He uses our hands.
I apologize that I can not find the specific verses I am referring to. I know they are there somewhere, I will find them tomorrow if I remember.

Quote:
Ok... to clarify how my mom knew the tank was almost empty, she took a very long wooden pole and stuck it in our underground tank. We didn't have a meter and this is how she measured how much oil she had. She had it down to a science on how long it would last. When she pulled it out there was only two inches showing at the bottom of the pole.
So if that is true, why would he allow the oil to magically appear for you, but has allowed several Christian people to freeze to death when blizzards hit the northeast, and the Chicago area a few years back?
I'm sorry, but I don't see God performing "magic" like that.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:11 AM   #53
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Slight problem with your comments...this comes from bible.com:
Mark 11:24 (Whole Chapter)
"Therefore I say to you, [Matt 7:7] all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Isn't that what The Secret by Rhonda Byrne all about?
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:20 AM   #54
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Originally Posted by Lady Brave View Post

The Widow of Zarephath

Verse 8

BibleGateway.com - Passage*Lookup: 1 Kings 17 ;;
Thanks for the link. Funny, I don't recall the oil part, just the part where Elijah prayed to save the boy's life.

Not to sound negative, but when was the last time you heard about someone being dead, then someone praying over them and that person coming back to life? It doesn't happen. Don't you ask youself why it hasn't happened? Or why God hasn't shared a cup of tea with you and your mother at the living room table?
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:22 AM   #55
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Re: Does prayer work?

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Isn't that what The Secret by Rhonda Byrne all about?
Actually yes, and there are many connections from the bible to "the secret".

Coincidentally, I have lost faith in "the secret" too. I stayed amazingly positive and it seemed worse and worse things kept happening to me. Felt a little like Job. (pronounced jobe, not job)
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:23 AM   #56
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Re: Does prayer work?

LB, I do not mean to offend you. I am just very very frustrated. I keep hearing something like "He knows best", and trust Him, and while I certainly did, I have been led down a dead end. He had to have known I would have lost my faith in prayer had he ignored my prayers.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:26 AM   #57
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Re: Does prayer work?

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LB, I do not mean to offend you. I am just very very frustrated. I keep hearing something like "He knows best", and trust Him, and while I certainly did, I have been led down a dead end. He had to have known I would have lost my faith in prayer had he ignored my prayers.
I understand your frustration. But I guess I have to ask then why did you start this thread? If people give you examples of when they believe prayer worked for them, and your response is just "Well good for you, but it hasn't for me." Then what were you hoping to get out of this thread?
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:35 AM   #58
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Re: Does prayer work?

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I understand your frustration. But I guess I have to ask then why did you start this thread? If people give you examples of when they believe prayer worked for them, and your response is just "Well good for you, but it hasn't for me." Then what were you hoping to get out of this thread?
Well, it's not people, it's LB that has provided an example, and knowing how God works, I am unsure if her recollection is correct.
But you are right. I should have not have questioned it. Fact is, I am seeking examples cause I need to know that prayer does indeed work, cause if it doesn't, then who is to say the entire bible is false too? If prayer is a crock, then it's not impossible to make the leap that the entire bible is a crock. If they can lie about one situation, they can lie about anything and everywhere.
I am seeking answers, and LB was the only one trying to truely supply answers.
I am a lost soul right now and in need of help.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:41 AM   #59
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Re: Does prayer work?

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You're talking old testament. Why does God not talk to us (where we can actually audibly hear Him), why do we eat pig, why do we not sacrifice anymore? It's all old testament stuff that was erased by the new testament.
I never once said he would stop performing miracles, I said (basically) he doesn't go "poof" and create things. He uses our hands.
I apologize that I can not find the specific verses I am referring to. I know they are there somewhere, I will find them tomorrow if I remember.
I'm not speaking about the old testament. I also asked you if you thought Jesus was a magician. He performed numerous miracles of creating something out of nothing (water into wine, the five loaves and two fishes, etc.) What about Paul, Peter, and the other disciples? They performed miracles as well.

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So if that is true, why would he allow the oil to magically appear for you, but has allowed several Christian people to freeze to death when blizzards hit the northeast, and the Chicago area a few years back?
I'm sorry, but I don't see God performing "magic" like that.
You're asking me to explain God's will for other people's lives. I won't try to do that other than to say maybe it was their time to go. No one is promised tomorrow.

You asked if prayer works and I tried to give an example of prayer working for me to offer encouragement to you. I'm not sure what else to say. When I look back over my life, there are numerous prayers I've prayed that I'm glad God didn't grant me because in the long run they weren't in my best interest. When I'm going through a hard time the scripture that I cling to is this... "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

I hope you find what you're looking for jsarno and through all of this your faith will be strengthened.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:47 AM   #60
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Re: Does prayer work?

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LB, I do not mean to offend you. I am just very very frustrated. I keep hearing something like "He knows best", and trust Him, and while I certainly did, I have been led down a dead end. He had to have known I would have lost my faith in prayer had he ignored my prayers.
I'm not offended. I've been where you are and there are prayers I have prayed for years that have yet to answered. It's ok to question God. It's also ok to be frustrated and angry with Him at times.
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