Saturday, June 18, 2016

The REAL purpose of prayer.


17 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:55 AM

    Oh my god, that is so true!

    The graphic really makes an impact. There's a lot of people I would love to show this to.

    We are even having a moment of silence at work, yet in my Southern state, people will probably go right back to bitching about Obama trying to take their guns away as soon as "the moment" is over.

    R in NC

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  2. Interesting. Maybe a little (or a lot) cynical, but...fact is, prayer just helps make the person praying feel better. No magical help is bestowed on the person being prayed for.

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  3. Akin to a meme I saw on Facebook too: If "God" already knows our desires and needs before we do, then the only purpose for prayer is because he likes to hear us beg. That's kind of petty for a deity, ain't it?

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    1. fromthediagonal4:19 AM

      dvlaries @3:42... exactly. That whole "our prayers are with you" stuff is such a stereotypical and automatic response, as is "thank you for your service" and "sorry for your loss". It serves as a hypocritical denial of further thought.

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  4. Connie4:02 AM

    I was schooled by a Christian who lives their faith by helping others. Prayer is to focus your intent. Then actions are the embodiment of that prayer.

    I'm pagan myself but as the schooler is my mom, I'll stick with respecting her motives and practices. Best Christian I know. (Sniff).

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    1. Connie 4:02

      Your mom taught you well. What a beautiful testament to her! Regardless, whatever your beliefs today, your mom absolutely taught you to be genuine, tolerant and respectful. Success!

      Delete
  5. Anonymous5:45 AM

    Bingo

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  6. Anonymous5:50 AM

    I am a proud liberal Democrat who loves the Lord. I pray AND I help people, which is what Jesus did.

    That poster describes faux-Christians, NOT those of us live according to what Jesus taught.

    So please don't put all of us followers of Christ in the same box.
    And I will make it a point of not putting all of you atheists in the same box.

    Love wins.

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  7. Atheism is just as important to this world as Christianity. And Islam. And Judaism. And...and...and.

    So tired of labels.

    My initial response when I first saw this post was "Excellent. Perfect. Nail meet hammer." Then I read some of the comments and I think I got irked.

    Anyway. Going to go settle down. Thanks for this graphic. SO true. Faux-Christians and their faux-sympathy/compassion.

    A big, yyuuuggggge WHAT EVS.

    I think it is so interesting that the Right (read GOP) is now all concerned about "the gays."

    Man, can you imagine their schizophrenia this morning? (And all this past week.) "Who should I be mad at this morning Lord? Who should I denigrate and hate on this morning Lord? The Muslims or the gays? Help. I can't make this decision. See I'm praying so hard for your guidance."

    Bleh.

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    1. Anonymous8:39 AM

      According to Pat Robertson, Christians should just sit back and watch the Muslims and the Gays, "Kill themselves" (Kill Each Other Off).

      That way, they don't have to make a choice of who to cheer for!

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  8. My personal beliefs are just that - personal. I don't require anyone else to agree or see it my way. I don't pretend to know the answers - our humanity, regardless of what extremists claim, struggle with the same question - Where did we really come from? I know about evolution - reject creationism that denies evolution.

    I believe there's a higher power - no idea what that is - i don't know about afterlife and I don't argue for or against.

    I believe prayer is the same as meditation and is one of the most beneficial practices we can apply to our daily lives. Prayer doesn't have to be religious or fake.

    I've been around long enough to experience moments that certainly proved there's more to coincidence or chance. When I pray I feel better, stronger and more centered.

    There's no reason to bash others over what they believe in - not my concern. What IS my concern has more to do with those extremists who use their own twisted and ugly beliefs to murder in the name of religion.

    Prayer is a form of self affirmation and focus at the very least. I try to connect spiritually to this life and it helps me to stay grounded, take inventory and strive to be a better person.

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  9. Anita Winecooler4:22 PM

    There's good and bad in all sects of all religions. I'd rather see someone do good just because it's the right thing to do, than for brownie points with some Omniscient Deity who needs to be reminded that so and so is on earth and wants credit. It's like a conscience soother, because God forgives all. Just my .02 pre tax cents.

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  10. Sharon at 9:25 AM, beautifully said.

    There are many forms of prayer. Prayers of petition and intercession (praying for oneself and praying for others, respectively) are the types most familiar to the non-religious, and also probably the most mocked as magical thinking, or as we see here, as a substitute for actually doing anything constructive.

    Great thinkers from Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, and Hillel, through Origen and Augustine and all the way up to Thomas Merton and Pope Francis, have pointed out that prayer must be accompanied by correct action.

    A form of prayer formally called the Examen, and modified by many people as an examination of conscience, can help not only the one praying, but by extension that person's whole sphere of influence. It can help people become more generous, forgiving, and motivated to live a caring, responsible, and productive life.

    It starts with gratitude for the love and the wonder of life, and then proceeds to a mental review of your day, with an emphasis on taking responsibility for your own actions. This is followed by reflecting on how to make amends for any personal wrong-doing, and forgiving anyone by whom you feel wronged. There is humble recognition that not one of us is perfect, and that we all have room for improvement. In order to do this, it's necessary to take inventory of your own short-comings and work on correcting them. Otherwise, we tend to just point fingers at everybody else. The examen ends as it began, with gratitude and praise.

    I don't claim that non-prayers are morally lacking. But in my 70 years, over 25 of which were spent as an agnostic, my experience has been that praying--or any equivalent form of intense self-scrutiny and true intention to care more for others--makes us better people.

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    1. Jude 5:08

      Excellent points. Especially, since you were agnostic for 25 years. !!! 👍
      When I go through periods of anger, frustration or even sad/depression, it's because I'm resisting things which don't align with my personal preferences.

      One day I realized the irony. Isn't that the seed, the very foundation, of ALL destruction, anarchy and violence within our world? To the extreme.

      We have a long way to go for sure.

      One of the most dangerous and foolish ironies I see in this country is the mindset of those who believe their religion is the ONLY path to save us from the eternal fires of hell.

      How do these same individuals have the audacity to spit out the words "radical Islamists"?

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  11. Anita, prayer doesn't soothe the conscience, but can make us stronger and more self-aware, so we have insight into our failings and can work to be better human beings right here and now--not to score points with a sky-fairy god of atheist imagination, but simply because we're all connected and should care for each other.

    Flannery O'Connor wrote that some think of religion as a warm, cozy electric blanket, when in reality, it is the cross.

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    1. Great points again Jude.

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  12. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Instead of wasting time praying, I self-reflect. Then I take action based on decisions made after much self-reflection. I find that I have a lot less to regret, the more I self-reflect.
    Xtians call me selfish because I do this instead of pray to their skygod.
    Just one of many reasons I avoid rabid xtians.
    I prefer action to prayer.

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