I think you put that very well, Mad Sweeney.
What is the point of praying?
Many people enjoy having invisible imaginary friends, and it is fun to think that these imaginary friends have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
What could be MORE fun than imagining an invisible friend who wass OMNIPOTENT - all powerful - and OMNISCIENT - all knowing?
Any being that is ALL KNOWING does not require "communication" because by definition that being KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED WITHOUT BEING TOLD.
We have to conclude that these omniscient, omnipotent imaginary friends are demonstrating a pathological psychology.
Does your imaginary friend enjoy making you beg for goodness that is never delivereed?
Or do you believe that your imaginary invisible friend answers your supplications in obtuse and indirect ways?
Is this because you are more deserving than others?
If so, ask your invisible friend for help with your own psychological disorders.
Sorry for the late response…have note been able to get on this weekend. So it sounds to me like the field is divided: some feel the way I do, and don’t think prayer does anything…and the other side sounds to me like more doing it for yourself (not in a selfish way), just for your own peace. I guess it is possible just to talk and not ask for anything (for me or anyone else), but that is not what I am used to in a prayer.
Anyway…I really appreciate everyones time and comments.
1970's Los Angeles radio comedians, Hudson and Landry, had a ongoing routine about the First Church of Throckmorton. "Emperor" Hudson was the high priest of the church and would ramble on about some "great religious truth" or answer Landry's questions about the teachings of FCoT.
Landry asked if believers "prayed."
"Of course, we pray to the Great God Throckmorton!" Hudson replied.
"Are your prayers ever answered?"
"Just the same as in any other church, but we're a lot cheaper."
"Well, what if I prayed for peace in the world?"
"Then somewhere in the world there would be peace! Might be only on Antartica, but there'd be peace."
"Do you ever pray for good health?"
"All the time. In fact, just the other night over at the church we were having a little taste of the grape and all said 'Here's to your health'! We were all feeling really good later that evening."
It was funnier listening to these two go through their routine - but there was a lot of truth to what they were joking about. They were clearly making a point.
Prayer is really about talking to yourself - getting off alone and clearing your head. I'm sure a lot of prayers were said in Haiti and Chile during the earthquakes, but still people died by the hundreds. What saved people was not prayer, but modern reinforced building construction - or being in the right place at the right time.
Can you really imagine Jehovah or Jesus actually paying any attention to the sleep inducing prayers given by the brothers before and after a KH meeting? They never really say anything or ask for anything substantial, but just drone on seemingly forever. Don't you think that just going to the KH and spending a couple of hours is enough to prove to God that you give a damn? Do you have to also tell him twice what He already knows?