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Old 03-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default "The Power of Prayer"

OK, the "End Times" discussion gave me the courage to post this thread...and I'm honestly apprehensive as to the reactions it might elicit. I can only hope people are level-headed in their responses, and do not get emotional.

I would post this in the PF, but I do not have access to that forum.

What are your thoughts on the "power of prayer"?
What is this "power"?

Is it a power of community? (meaning it puts the community in your corner, since others are praying for you or something you're concerned with)

A power of the individual (sort of like the idea of the 'power of positive thinking')?

Maybe a combination of the previous two?

Or do you actually believe that, the more people who pray for you, the more likely God (or whatever higher being you may believe in) might intervene on your behalf (or on behalf of the concern for which you're praying)?


Reason I pose this question is because I've been thinking on it a lot the past few months. Specifically, the last point is something I've struggled with. I will expand on it further once I see some reactions / responses (must test the waters to see if, and how, emotional people get with this)

Thoughts?
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

Yes I fully believe in the Power of Prayer. As to what actually makes it work, I do not know. This belief is simply part of my Faith.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by USCBatgirl21 View Post
Yes I fully believe in the Power of Prayer. As to what actually makes it work, I do not know. This belief is simply part of my Faith.
I can understand that.

I do believe many people adhere to the 'power of prayer' due to a perception of it having 'worked' in the past.

I just can't help but wonder what such an idea says about our idea of the nature of God. When we believe God will intervene on a given matter only if we, or enough people, pray that God does so...then what does that say about God's nature?

That lonely old soul who has no one praying for him...but he's a righteous man, is he just SOL, because he doesnt know anyone? Man, that'd be a downer...
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

I believe in the power of prayer and I have witnessed people be healed through this power. I have heard many testimony from people who were diagnosed with cancer, saw cancer on x-rays/mri's etc. The church (body of Christ) laid hands on them, prayed over them, asked God for deliverance/healing. When surgeons went in to remove cancer it was not there. I have heard many sermons on prayer. I have heard pastors say you should pray for something until it happens. I have heard pastors say once you have requested someothing or made your feelings known to God there is no need to restate them. IDK which one I agree with,but I do feel as if He hears my requests and knows my needs. I also know that He answers all prayers-but not always in the way that I want them to be answered. Sometimes a "no" from God is what's best for us. I think the power of prayer is found in the individual and within the group. Group prayer is powerful emotionally and can move people to feelings that don't often have. When numerous believers hearts' cry out in unison for a need in the life of another person-there is POWER in that.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

I believe in the power of prayer, not sure why but even in the bible they have group prayer on the behalf of others. Possibly it is another way for God to be glorified to the congregation.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

So I'm hoping someone will go to the next logical step as to what the 'power of prayer' implies about God...
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by 3MTA3 View Post
I can understand that.

I do believe many people adhere to the 'power of prayer' due to a perception of it having 'worked' in the past.

I just can't help but wonder what such an idea says about our idea of the nature of God. When we believe God will intervene on a given matter only if we, or enough people, pray that God does so...then what does that say about God's nature?

That lonely old soul who has no one praying for him...but he's a righteous man, is he just SOL, because he doesnt know anyone? Man, that'd be a downer...
I think one person praying is just as important as multiple people praying. And I don't believe that is the only way that God will intervene. Sometimes he intervenes even without prayer. I believe he knows our desires/needs/concerns even without us having to voice them through prayer.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by USCBatgirl21 View Post
I think one person praying is just as important as multiple people praying. And I don't believe that is the only way that God will intervene. Sometimes he intervenes even without prayer. I believe he knows our desires/needs/concerns even without us having to voice them through prayer.
So, God is a reactionary God?

Also, if God knows our desires/needs/concerns without us having to voice them through prayer, then is prayer really necessary (to achieve the desired outcome)?

Not trying to be argumentative. I think this specific line of thought actually gets us closer to the true power of prayer; that of positive reinforcement through the individual uttering the prayer, while also keeping their focus on the goal / concern / issue. Meaning, its not so much about 'getting God to intervene on our behalf' because the 'decision' (though I hate calling it that) for God to intervene has already been 'decided' before we even choose to pray.

IMO, prayer is more so about the individual than it is about God.

Now, flame away for that last comment (not necessarily you, batgirl...)
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

No flame necessary. You have been very respectful in your statements/questions.

It's hard for me to explain. I can see how prayer can be more for the individual. It's almost like a way of releasing your concerns so that you can find some balance. You are turning things over in hopes of finding some peace. That is the aspect where it is absolutely more for the individual.

I feel I need to clarify my statement about him knowing our desires/needs/concerns even without prayer. It is simply part of my belief that He is all knowing. It comes with his omnipotent being. I guess I was using that example as I see prayer as a "to each his own" kind of action. There are some who don't pray. That's fine. That doesn't mean that God hasn't or won't help them if they need it. I hope that clarifies it some.

Prayer, for me, is my way of conversing with God. Even if it's something as simple as saying "Lord Help Me" when I am dealing with something difficult in a brief moment at work. Or it can be lengthy when something is troubling me. There are also times that something is weighing on me, I haven't had a chance to pray just yet, but the answer just comes to me.

FTR...I don't like labeling God as being this kind or that kind of God. But that's just me. He is what He is, and I don't presume to know exactly what that is either. All I know is that I believe in Him, and I believe in his Son as my savior.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by USCBatgirl21 View Post
No flame necessary. You have been very respectful in your statements/questions.

It's hard for me to explain. I can see how prayer can be more for the individual. It's almost like a way of releasing your concerns so that you can find some balance. You are turning things over in hopes of finding some peace. That is the aspect where it is absolutely more for the individual.

I feel I need to clarify my statement about him knowing our desires/needs/concerns even without prayer. It is simply part of my belief that He is all knowing. It comes with his omnipotent being. I guess I was using that example as I see prayer as a "to each his own" kind of action. There are some who don't pray. That's fine. That doesn't mean that God hasn't or won't help them if they need it. I hope that clarifies it some.

Prayer, for me, is my way of conversing with God. Even if it's something as simple as saying "Lord Help Me" when I am dealing with something difficult in a brief moment at work. Or it can be lengthy when something is troubling me. There are also times that something is weighing on me, I haven't had a chance to pray just yet, but the answer just comes to me.

I agree wholeheartedly about prayer being a conversation between the individual and God. Since conversation is a key aspect to any relationship, it makes sense for an individual to engage in prayer in this regard.

My struggle comes with reconciling the idea of "prayer requests"

Asking a group of people to pray for you or for some issue / concern is tough to understand for me. Aside from the obvious sense of community, which is an apparent benefit, the other side of "prayer requests" seems to imply that the more people you get to pray for you, the more "likely" God is to intervene on behalf of the concern. That's the tough one for me.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

It seems as if Cockytalk needs a relgion forum much like the PF, therefore people can request access to it and discuss freely.. just a suggestion.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

You must define what prayer is first and why we pray. Can people be healed if I don't pray? Sure. to say that I prayed and someone was healed gives me the power and not God.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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It seems as if Cockytalk needs a relgion forum much like the PF, therefore people can request access to it and discuss freely.. just a suggestion.
I personally don't understand why there must be forums that require special access requests.

Why not just have a forum (or forums) that, if others don't want to read whats there...they simply avoid it.

I don't much care about the high school sports forum here...so I just don't bother with it.

There was some concern over threads from these 'volatile' forums (such as politics, or even religion) appearing in the 'New Threads' listing...but I know of at least one other vBulletin board that is able to 'hide' threads from specific forums from the New Threads / New Posts listing without restricting access to those forums.

Anyways...back to the topic at hand!
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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You must define what prayer is first and why we pray. Can people be healed if I don't pray? Sure. to say that I prayed and someone was healed gives me the power and not God.
Your post brings up a good point about causation...

Sure, its not the individual doing the praying that is causing the healing (assuming we're in agreement about prayer for healing)

But even once we recognize that it is God doing the healing, and not the person uttering the prayer...the next logical step would be to ask; was the prayer necessary for that intervention (the healing) to occur?

I recognize that is not an answer we can know definitively, but I believe it is worth contemplating.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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I agree wholeheartedly about prayer being a conversation between the individual and God. Since conversation is a key aspect to any relationship, it makes sense for an individual to engage in prayer in this regard.

My struggle comes with reconciling the idea of "prayer requests"

Asking a group of people to pray for you or for some issue / concern is tough to understand for me. Aside from the obvious sense of community, which is an apparent benefit, the other side of "prayer requests" seems to imply that the more people you get to pray for you, the more "likely" God is to intervene on behalf of the concern. That's the tough one for me.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...
It might be that you are reading more into it. And that's ok. It has lead you to ask questions that I hope have given you some clarity on the issue. There is nothing "wrong" with not responding to or taking part in a prayer request if that is of concern to you.

With prayer requests, I take the stance of "what could it hurt" to lift a quick prayer, even my regular prayer of "Peace be with you" that you see me post regularly here. For me, that covers any and all parts of the prayer request. What comes as the Lord's Peace is different for each person.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

I think praying works.

I think "prayers sent" and "blessed" are the two most grossly overused phrases in the south.

I think praying and starting the prayer with "God, we just want to invite you into this room." makes as much sense as inviting air into a room.

So, IMO the power of prayer comes from God, not the people praying.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by 3MTA3 View Post
I agree wholeheartedly about prayer being a conversation between the individual and God. Since conversation is a key aspect to any relationship, it makes sense for an individual to engage in prayer in this regard.

My struggle comes with reconciling the idea of "prayer requests"

Asking a group of people to pray for you or for some issue / concern is tough to understand for me. Aside from the obvious sense of community, which is an apparent benefit, the other side of "prayer requests" seems to imply that the more people you get to pray for you, the more "likely" God is to intervene on behalf of the concern. That's the tough one for me.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...
You're not. The relationship between God and us is father and children. I enjoy listening to my children, even though I understand that their requests of me are that of an immature child. We, as Christians, have the Holy Spirit that intercedes on our behalf and helps (In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Roamsn 8:26) us pray what we ought to pray.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

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Originally Posted by USCBatgirl21 View Post
With prayer requests, I take the stance of "what could it hurt" to lift a quick prayer, even my regular prayer of "Peace be with you" that you see me post regularly here. For me, that covers any and all parts of the prayer request. What comes as the Lord's Peace is different for each person.
I can appreciate that. Afterall; Pascal's Wager (which I think can be extended here from its original argument) is a great philosophical tool, even despite counterpoints made against it!
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

Great question! This has probably sorta been answered already (sorry had to skim through all the responses for time purposes, plus the time it's taken to write this response) - years ago I heard what I considered to be the best explanation of prayer, specifically the idea that whatever you pray for in Jesus' name will be done - prayer is not so much to get God to do what we want, it's to get us to want what God does. The closer we align ourselves with God, the more we will want what is His best purpose.

Granted it's a tricky thing that's not easily understood, but that's where I stand on the concept :-)
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: "The Power of Prayer"

I won't expand on it any further than to simply say Prayer, when approached
as a conversation with God, and understanding that the reply of "NO" as
well as "YES", when you request God's help, IS IN FACT, God answering
prayer. Also understanding that prayer should never be simply a request
from God when you are having problems. .... Simply talking to God from
time to time without asking for something in return is a place we all need to
get to if you are a believer.


Do I Believe In The Power Of Prayer. ...... ABSOLUTELY !
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