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#237620 - 07/12/08 07:41 AM Can you Pray for something to Happen
Muldoon Offline

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Guys I am very much into Spirituality but I have a very hard time in dealing with church religions. A few of my sisters are very much into God and that whole thing. I respect their beliefs and they understand where I come from.

Twice this afternoon I got phone calls from my sister's telling me about the motorcycle accident that my brother in law was in. Both asked me to pray for Bob. It was a 2 hour ride to the hospital for me and I thought about their request for prayer. I don't know how to pray to their spiritual power and it felt strange to be asking for something.

I believe what, the higher powers have planned, is totally in their control and we can do nothing to change it. Bob has come out of the 7 hours of surgery in stable condition, even though he suffered massive brain trauma. Things could have changed so much however he had split second luck that keep him from being killed. That is why I thinks the higher powers had everything planned out and prayers would have had no effect upon Bob's accident.

I don't know, what do you guys think. Does prayer work ?


Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

#237625 - 07/12/08 10:43 AM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Muldoon]
DanM Offline

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California

I personally believe in the power of prayer.

I don't know if any of us will ever know for sure if it works until the day we die. There are many things that have happened in my life that I attribute to prayer.

I am not sure if it is the power of our own mind over our bodies, but I truly believe a high power is responsible and at work. For me, prayer allows me to be introspective and to process my thought and feelings. I find it therapeutic and calming.

I agree with your assessment that much of the course of our lives and events that occur in your lives are planned out. However, I also believe that we are given a certain amount of freedom/free will to make decisions that will influence the outcomes and course of our lives. I think of it this way, there are many roads that lead to the same point, it is our decision to select the road that is right for each of use. One road may be bumpy and full of potholes and the other smoothly paved. In many instances, it is our choice which one we select to travel.

There have been many studies that show the positive benefits of prayer.

I am not sure if this helps...


#237627 - 07/12/08 10:52 AM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Muldoon]
CDavid Offline

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184

Even though I do not believe in a traditional higher power (I believe in the healing power of a group, making it a higher power through community), I do believe in the concept of prayer. To see something, believe in it, move toward it. It fits my definition of prayer and I think it works.

When I was with my brother, as he was dying of cancer, he found great comfort in praying each day. He would ask me to leave at first, because I think he thought I might think it was...well, any number of things. We grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school but moved away from the Catholic church along the way. He asked me if I thought it was silly, to pray.

No, I thought it was cool. Because it reminded me of us, being little boys, sitting in church, praying. He asked me to stay, to hold his hand, while he prayed.

I do think prayer works.


#237633 - 07/12/08 12:06 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Muldoon]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hi tom thanks for sharing about your brother in law's situation.

having been around the block and examined this from several perspectives over my 55 years, i have seen situations where people try to rally the contributions of others to achieve a desired result, and usually when things go as they had hoped, they say 'ah, god answered my prayer', and when they don't they rationalize it with such thoughts as 'well, i guess it wasn't his will'.

who can say if god answers prayer or if things just turn out happily in our favor? it's 50/50. it either 'works' or it does not, according to latent apparent results.

i believe being 'in the flow' contributes to a righteous relationship with the forces that lead me to the highest and best for god's will and intention in my life. i don't believe that god caters to the whims of my puny ego.

some others see accidents and 'on-purposes' as signs that something is not 'quite right' about the way we are living our lives, that we are 'out of the flow', so to speak.

i have a friend who went through a period where no matter what she did, she seemed to keep attracting 'accidents' into her life. it took a skiing accident to lay her up and keep immobile for a while until she addressed and assessed the trajectory of her life path. ultimately she made the determination that indeed she needed to examine and hold up to the light of truth a subtle and covert intentionality existing in her core belief system. it was not helping her to arrive at a place where her particular talents and resources were synced for efficiency of use. she made some pretty big changes in her life, took a new job and eventually began to report that life seem more 'groovy' to her as a result.

so i guess what i am saying is that perhaps things such as this happen to us, and where we interpret them to be interferences in our usual routine, they may be the answer to a deeper prayer that god is already praying within us that we be 'brought round right' as the song says.

ultimately, the course of my life is out of my control, and even though i may make little decisions that open certain doors of opportunity, any prayer that i pray that is not aligned with the prayer that god is already praying in me to direct my life according to his intention for me, is moot.

that's where i am today.

after spending the last couple decades 'in recovery' and believing that god, the vending machine god, was busy answering all the prayers i would raise up to him/her/it, and getting what i believed was favorable response, what i was left with in the end was everything i thought i wanted! thanks god! but as it turned out it was all crap! hahahaha! the things i begged for became my chains tethering me to a compass point, a position from which to determine my next course of action. yes when the mountains moved, it was god smiling down on me and accommodating my whim, will and desire.

i guess i needed that to survive 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'.

for today i am more aligned with a deep need to be more portable; carrying less baggage from moment to moment, enjoying the freedom of getting to know the 'i am' that i am without a bunch of subliminal agendas making me pray towards a specific outcome.

i don't know if this makes any sense to you but i am glad i had the opportunity to speak it.

all the best,


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#237634 - 07/12/08 12:10 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Muldoon]
Gerald2007 Offline

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 157
Loc: Southeastern US

I am sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's injury. My personal view is that prayer does work. I am not sure how it works, or even why it works. But I believe it does.

When my son was extremely sick with leukemia, I was afraid to pray for his recovery. Instead I only prayed for strength for him and for us to be able to deal with what seemed likely to happen.

However, I was aware that a lot of other people were consistently praying for his recovery.

While we almost lost him on two different occassions, today he alive, has a son, and is a physician.

I attribute this to excellent medical care, his strong will, and the power of prayer.

Also, Tom, it really doesn't matter how you visualized to whom you are praying, or by what name you address it. Just pray to/with whatever feels okay for you.

Take care,

Alumnus: Weekend of Recovery - Dahlonega, May 2008 and May 2009
We are bound together by the pain of the past and our hopes for the future.

#237672 - 07/12/08 05:23 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Muldoon]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Muldoon
Does prayer work ?

God works and is all-powerful. Prayer is like the telephone connection to Him.

Yes I will pray.

I will soon share how calling out to God was the turning point in my recovery.


#238049 - 07/14/08 11:53 AM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: pufferfish]
charles law Offline

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 28
Loc: perth australia
wow I do believe that prayer works and yes i have prayed and help came. but i didnt pray until i had a problem now i try and pray before one lol

#238068 - 07/14/08 02:01 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: charles law]
VLinvictus Offline

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
It depends on what you mean by "work."

I do not believe that prayer can influence external events. Otherwise, the people praying for deliverance en route to Auschwitz or while their planes were being crashed into skycrapers would have been delivered. You can pray until you're blue in the face but that's not going to make the slightest difference in the world around you, or in your own life.

No savior from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer.
Our own right hand the chain must shiver,
The chains of hatred, greed, and fear.

Or, to give it a more religiously palatable cast, I like this phrase attributed (I believe) to Ignatius Loyola:

Pray as if everything depends on God; act as if everything depends on you.

There is nothing wrong with prayer, far from it. But unless it's backed up by actual work and internal soul searching, I don't think it has any use or value.

So, no. I don't have a single ounce of faith whatsoever in petitionary prayer. There is no external "higher power," no deus ex machina that is going to swoop down and rescue us. As one poster above said, if there is an omnipotent and omniscient God that hears prayers, well one would have to assume that in His infinite wisdom and infinite power He has already arranged things just the way He wanted them.

Petitionary prayer, prayer for things directed outward, has no real purpose or efficacy in my worldview. Yet, I know two things:

1.) Those friends of mine who have experienced recovery through 12-Step Programs by "turning over their lives and wills to the care of God as they understand God" have experienced miraculous transformations in their lives.

2.) Despite my lack of belief in a personal theistic God to pray to, I nonetheless feel the sense of awe and wonder at the universe that Heschel taught is the root of all religious experience and I find the forms of religious observance meaningful and spiritually fulfilling.

How do I account for these? While I do not believe that prayer will get one anything from the outside, I do believe that prayer -- perhaps more appropriately termed "meditation" -- has the power to transform one's life from the inside. My faith is that at the most fundamental level of being, all things are One and all things, including us, are parts of one single organic and internally interrelated Totality. The Western spiritual tradition has most often made use of the vertical metaphor: God is "up there" and we're "down here" and we have to "go up" to get to Him. Yet, this is overlaid on a deeper and older metaphor that I see symbolized in the Patriarchal narratives of the Bible where Abraham and Isaac were diggers of wells, where God was all around and could be encountered in the most mundane of activities. Deuteronomy chapter 30 enjoins us not to look for God in the sky or across the sea: God is here with us, in our hearts. If we look within ourselves, down to that fundamental point at the root of our being, we can find that this is the same point from which call things, all existence, proceeds.

The task of "spirituality" or "religion" is, in my view, to bridge the gap that our individual consciousnesses make between ourselves as individuals and the Totality of which we are all inextricably part. Through prayer, we can overcome that artificial dichotomoy of "Self" and "Other" and we can redirect our intentions, our wills, our thoughts, and our actions in harmony with the One that fills, surrounds, and permeates us. That, in my opinion, is what happens in the 12-Step program when a person "turns over their life and will to the care of God" -- one ceases swimming against the current of the universe and instead goes with the flow. I think this is what the Christian religion means when it has Jesus say "Come to me all you labor and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest."

The only efficacious "prayers" that I have ever uttered that I think has ever been "answered" have been variations on the theme of the "serenity prayer": "God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

#238076 - 07/14/08 03:30 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: VLinvictus]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1

I have to tell you that every prayer of petition I have prayed has been answered. Sometimes they are answered very directly and exactly as I has envisioned. Other times, there's a path I had not expected that is actually better and more complete a "fix" to my problem.

For a health example: My mother had post-polio syndrom in 1986 and was in the ICU. The doctors there had NO idea what they were dealing with. They figured it was the end of her but wanted to do a lot of stupid procedures that would have failed (and they knew it). They were at a loss.

I prayed. I prayed NOT for a miracle cure, but for the doctor's wisdom. I then went home. I was looking through paperwork stuff for insurance issues and came accross a file she had kept from the Polio Assns. The news letter in the file were chock-full of articles (by MDs) about Post Polio Syndrome. I rushed them over to the hosptial and scheduled conference calls between some of these experts and her doctors. She went on to live another 10 years. 5-6 of them were top quality years.

I've attached a very old website link about prayer. I really like it. I could find nothing wrong in it.

BTW: I have MANY more examples of answered prayer.

#238080 - 07/14/08 04:16 PM Re: Can you Pray for something to Happen [Re: Still]
1islandboy Offline

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 906
Loc: washington

You have a hard time dealing with organizied religion. I can relate because, I don't do organized religion,yet there is no conflict.

I told someone who was having a problem tapping in. That GOD spelled backwards, is DOG. No disrespect, but I feel you don't need need a label to tap in.

I do devotions to my creator all the time...Sometimes it's hard to understand why things happen to us and those around us...I don't pretend to have the infinite wisdom my creator has.

All I know is acceptence is the key, and I have faith that it will all work out in the end.

My life is exponentially better since I begin tapping in to the source.Every day is a gift for me.

Sorry for what your going through. I believe my HP would steer my thoughts to the level of support.

That's the beauty of the program. If someone is in trouble. I WILL PULL THEM INTO THE LIFERAFT.

And not that I know where I am going,but if they need direction. I will paddle and steer until they have the power to do so themselves.

In the program there is a saying, "Pray to GOD, but row for shore". Meaning God gave us brains to use.

In the end, all I know is I have a HIGHER POWER, and it is NOT ME.

Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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