What is Prayer ?????

by TooBad TooSad 13 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TooBad TooSad
    TooBad TooSad

    I believe that Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult and that many of the doctrines of the Watchtower

    Society are laughable. When I was an active zealous elder I prayed alot every day. Now I pray

    2 or 3 times a week. This morning as I lay in bed waking up I had a problem on my mind and I

    prayed silently to God about it. After I was done praying the thought just hit me "wait a minute,

    how did God know that I just said a silent prayer to him.?" Even if the prayer was audible and I

    screamed it out at the top of my voice, how did God know that I was talking to him and not to

    my wife? When a person says Dear God, or Dear Father, or Jehovah or Lord does a prayer switch open

    in heaven so that God knows that there is an incoming message for Him? Or is it that God hears

    all of the thinking of every man, woman, and child on the earth and knows when that thinking is

    directed at Him? Does He hear every conversations or every wisper of mankind and knows when

    these words are directed at Him asking for help or giving praise? Or is prayer something that God wants

    us to do, not because He Himself answers prayers but that He knows that when we think about problems

    that we find solutions to our problems? When my family is together and I pray before we enjoy a meal, it always

    makes me feel awkard to thank God for the food that He has provided us because it means that He is not providing

    for the millions of people around the world who are starving. Why would God favor my family and not

    the starving families? Of course there are millions of people who hate God and have more food than

    my family has. As one sheds the beliefs that we had as JW's for 10, 20, 30 or more years, we

    begin to think more clearly. As we dismantle our belief systems some things become more clear

    but a lot of questions remain unanswered like "What is Prayer?"

    I would appreciate your comments as I try to sort this out in my mind.

    TooBad TooSad

  • R.Crusoe

    Good question and unless you have alternatives you have no point of reference!

    The feeling inside when you pray is sometimes a very different feeling to any other but nevertheless one conjured up by networks of thought and emotion.

    So what other experience do you have of similar type auras?

    One I had was looking into witchcraft and how full moon is a high energy point in the cosmic cycle of things!

    This is actually scientifically intriguing?

    A full moon - so the Earth is balanced almost in line with the sun and moon!

    And nature responds to it - as when turtles lay eggs and much sea life does amazing things!

    Tides turn with the moon etc etc

    So lying and sensing the energies of a clear night with a full moon and feeling myself a part of nature and the idea all nature is god and god has spirit in me, else life would have deserted me, is a way I felt hypersensitised to it all! And it conjured up notions of the sacredness of all living things!

    So it was like a prayer in the subconscious - not an asking or detremining but a relaxing and focusing with all the time it took to either feel nothing or feel something! And if you feel something let it run and run!

    So that was my experience of something which is only real to me and may be a delusion if it weren't for the fact that all nature is reality!

  • TooBad TooSad
    TooBad TooSad

    R. C.,

    Thanks for comments.


  • funkyderek

    Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. - Ambrose Bierce, Devil's Dictionary

  • garybuss

    "What is Prayer?"

    Serious thought.

  • HB

    I was never a Jehovah's Witness but when I extricated myself from a belief in God, prayer was the hardest habit to break, particularly in times of stress or emergency.

    I admit it had previously been comforting to believe that I had personal access to speak to god. Whenever you have a problem, you have a listening ear right there like a personal therapist, friend, lifestyle consultant and decision-maker all to your self. But take away belief in a supreme being and that support system becomes a myth and feels ridiculous.

    Even if you continue to believe in a God, it's hard to get your head round the idea of God hearing you when you ask him to keep you safe on a forthcoming journey, but that if you forget to ask him, you will not be kept safe.

    It was like a test for me when I first stopped praying - would lots of bad things start happening? But no, of course they didn't and then I finally felt free of the guilt I previously suffered if I had fallen asleep while praying at night.

    Most aspects of religion can be replaced by something else, dogma by philosophy, religious ritual by secular ceremony, spiritual leadership from elders/clergy by personal reading and debate with others of a like mind, etc. Prayer can be replaced by various forms of meditation which work for some but not for me. I'd rather read a book, or go for a long walk or chat things over with a friend.

    The modern equivalent of prayer is the mobile phone, it gives people instant connection to friends and family to discuss anything and everything they are thinking about, and when ihn trouble they can call for help.

    Even now if a family member is late home and I am worried they may have been in a car crash, I hear myself say "Please God let them be all right" and then I laugh at myself. If an accident has already happened, me praying is not going to undo it!

    A few years ago on UK TV there was a fascinating programme where the idea was to get thousands of religious people of different denominations all round the world to pray for the same thing at the same time to see if prayer actually worked (I forget what it was they prayed for but it was something worthy,simple and testable) . Naturally, the experiment failed but the programme concluded that prayer did nevertheless have a measurable positive benefit on individual's lives, reducing stress and so on. Religious people made the excuse that you shouldn't test God but didn't give a logical reason why not.

    Prayer to me is like astrology, sometimes by coincidence you get the right answer and that reinforces belief. When it doesn't work it is explained away by various expedient means.

    Little children often say prayers like "Thankyou God for my Mummy and Daddy and my home and please help all the poor children in the world who haven't got a home" If that kind of prayer worked then by now all child poverty in the world should be wiped out. In fact if prayer worked at all wars and famine and many ills should be wiped out.

    And what about the situation where you have asked God for something that is the opposite of what someone else has prayed for, who will He answer? ("God please make it rain, my crops are will die if it doesn't rain now and I will not be able to feed my family" ...at the same time and place as "God please make the sun shine, I fell in the river and have a day's walk home and am shivering to death")

    If God does not answer prayer and intervene then what is he for?

    Believers will no doubt read this and be able to tell of wonderful miracles that happened when they prayed, which PROVED to them beyond doubt that God existed, but for each of those there are a million occasions where a prayer from someone of true and deep faith was not answered in spite of desperate need.

  • R.Crusoe

    Mmm HB,

    What inner self 'replacement' was strong enough to empower you to do what you previously relied on prayer for, in moments of utter weakness?

  • LouBelle

    Speaking to yourself, putting your thoughts (ducks) in a row, listing your priorities **shrug** I've done loads of praying to the point of pathetic sobbing and exhaustion.

  • WTWizard

    Prayer has one benefit. It helps the right brain collect the thoughts so it can piece together a solution to a problem. Once that happens, often the right brain will come through with the solution. Often this is programmed when we are taught to pray for help in times of distress.

    The mysticism comes when we pray out of guilt. We are supposed to pray for thanksgiving. We also pray for confession and to ask forgiveness for a "sin" that we commit. If we did something harmful to self or society, then we should seek to do better (and sacrificing to some higher cause is harmful to self and society, since it destroys value). However, if we just broke a rule, there is nothing to be guilty about and the prayer is merely a waste of time.

    Again, praying for thanksgiving and forgiveness is programmed. If we believe that we will not get a hearing unless we are thankful or we have "sinned", and we pray for help later, the right brain might lock out and not solve the problem until we correct the "problem". This is usually the programmed way to "get in good with God", usually praying for forgiveness and confessing any "sins" we have committed. Only once that is done will the right brain once again start assisting us.

    And, sometimes prayer is a pause that can relieve stress. If we take a time out of about the length of a prayer, perhaps saying a prayer, it can sometimes reduce the stress enough to be able to solve a problem. That can explain the healing power of prayer, too. The issue there is to exploit the programmed response (however, better it would be just to view it as a pause that allows the body itself to heal). Once again, other programs could impede if we are not thankful or we have "sinned"--that were put there by religion.

  • BabaYaga

    Prayer is when we talk to god. Meditation is when we listen.

    (Recently quoted to me by a dear friend.)

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