The Power of Prayer......Do you believe in it?

by confuzzled777 42 Replies latest jw experiences

  • simon17

    Nope. I believe at best it has a 'placebo' affect for those who do believe in it.

    Well a placebo effect has been shown to have a very significant effect physically/medically speaking. I would bet the effect is even LARGER in the emotional/mental sphere.

  • VIII

    I have started doing it daily in the last month. I was doing it a couple of times a week. I started daily because I have been running and yoga really helps stretch out my muscles. I pulled something in my thigh/groin area a few weeks ago and the yoga has really helped stregthen my legs in areas I thought were strong. Plus, the core training is really helping that. Again, I thought I could get away with just running. I realize I need to add more to my routine. Yoga is incredible. I just need to meditate and not think of all the stuff I have to do.

    I have pulled some podcasts off of Apple and rotate different free ones off of, and Yogadaily. They offer free stuff since I didn't want to purchase a dvd.

    I do the elliptical also. Some days it is soooo hard I want to cry. I can't figure out why. I do love running though.

  • brotherdan

    James 4:3 says: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”

    James 1:6,7 - “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does”

    So many times prayer is hindered by us. Other times we do not see prayer being answered because our preceived way that it SHOULD be answered is not the way that God feels it should be answered. The Bible is literally full of such situations.

    Instead of feeling like your prayer is not being answered, some people will write off prayer and say it didn't work. But you have to keep your eyes open for the answer and realize that it could come from an unexpected place. You also cannot doubt that God will answer you. If you doubt, then you are dead in the water.

    Besides doubt, there are many hinderences to prayer. Some of these could be a lack of peace in the home. 2Peter 3:7 says that if you are not treating your wife in a way that you ought, then your prayers will be hindered. Another hinderance can be that we are consciously living in an unclean way. Asking according to God’s will is the same as asking in submission to whatever His will may be, whether or not we know what that will is. As in all things, Jesus is to be our example in prayer. He always prayed in the will of His Father: “Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)

    If you believe that prayer is just an effect of placebo type mentality, then you should not think that you will receive any answer from your prayers. You must pray in faith. You must pray not only to ask for things, but pray in thanksgiving and worship/praise.

  • Chalam

    Good to see you bro :)

    James 1:2-4 (New International Version, ©2010)

    Trials and Temptations

    2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

    Seems like you are maturing just fine. Lost? I don't think so ;)

    Blessings in Christ,


  • confuzzled777

    thanks VIII for the info on Yoga....I will have to check out the sites that you listed. This whole working out thing is rather new to me. I have tried over the years but have never stayed with it. BUT having a personal trainer holds me accountable and that is exactly what I need. It pushes me to work on the eliptical the days that I am not training and it also makes me want to eat the right things too.

    brotherdan, you too give me much food for thought. This past year has truly been a test of faith for me. At times I am not sure WHAT to believe let alone who to believe in. If I believe in God, then is what I have been taught for the past 40 years about Jehovah all a farce, or can I gleam bits and pieces from it and still believe in Him. If I believe in God, Jehovah then I believe in prayer and that he answers them according to his will. If I don't, then I go for more of a placebo affect. Both sound good to me......I am such a mess! LOL

    Chalam, I LOVE the New International Version that you have been quoting from. When I was first df'd and trying to go to the meetings, I would study from the publications but use a bible from the internet (bible gateway) as I wanted to see how the other translations read. I believe it was the version that you are quoting from that I found I prefered over the New World Translation.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond......I just love the diversity from this group!!

  • WTWizard

    Placebo effect, maybe? I bet you would get the same, if not better, results if you took massive quantities of vitamin C along with any of those natural cures. At least many of those actually work, or at least improve the condition of the patient. Placebo is all you get when you pray.

    And that's at best. What happens when you start getting better, perhaps because your own immune system is starting to do its job, you thank that Almighty Lowlife Scumbag for it, and he decides he got what he wanted out of you and now starts sabotaging your immune system "just to see if the thanks will continue". I think you are better off going online and seeing what natural remedies can cure, or at least improve, your condition instead of wasting the time seeking help from Jehovah.

  • elder-schmelder

    Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer

    Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

    And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

    Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

    The question has been a contentious one among researchers. Proponents have argued that prayer is perhaps the most deeply human response to disease, and that it may relieve suffering by some mechanism that is not yet understood. Skeptics have contended that studying prayer is a waste of money and that it presupposes supernatural intervention, putting it by definition beyond the reach of science.

    At least 10 studies of the effects of prayer have been carried out in the last six years, with mixed results. The new study was intended to overcome flaws in the earlier investigations. The report was scheduled to appear in The American Heart Journal next week, but the journal's publisher released it online yesterday.

    In a hurriedly convened news conference, the study's authors, led by Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston, said that the findings were not the last word on the effects of so-called intercessory prayer. But the results, they said, raised questions about how and whether patients should be told that prayers were being offered for them.

    "One conclusion from this is that the role of awareness of prayer should be studied further," said Dr. Charles Bethea, a cardiologist at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and a co-author of the study.

    Other experts said the study underscored the question of whether prayer was an appropriate subject for scientific study.

    "The problem with studying religion scientifically is that you do violence to the phenomenon by reducing it to basic elements that can be quantified, and that makes for bad science and bad religion," said Dr. Richard Sloan, a professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia and author of a forthcoming book, "Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine."

    The study cost $2.4 million, and most of the money came from the John Templeton Foundation, which supports research into spirituality. The government has spent more than $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000.

    Dean Marek, a chaplain at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a co-author of the report, said the study said nothing about the power of personal prayer or about prayers for family members and friends.

    Working in a large medical center like Mayo, Mr. Marek said, "You hear tons of stories about the power of prayer, and I don't doubt them."

    In the study, the researchers monitored 1,802 patients at six hospitals who received coronary bypass surgery, in which doctors reroute circulation around a clogged vein or artery.

    The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.

    The researchers asked the members of three congregations — St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul; the Community of Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Mass.; and Silent Unity, a Missouri prayer ministry near Kansas City — to deliver the prayers, using the patients' first names and the first initials of their last names.

    The congregations were told that they could pray in their own ways, but they were instructed to include the phrase, "for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

    Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.

    In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers' prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

    "It may have made them uncertain, wondering am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?" Dr. Bethea said.

    The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group — 18 percent — suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers. In their report, the researchers suggested that this finding might also be a result of chance.

    One reason the study was so widely anticipated was that it was led by Dr. Benson, who in his work has emphasized the soothing power of personal prayer and meditation.

    At least one earlier study found lower complication rates in patients who received intercessory prayers; others found no difference. A 1997 study at the University of New Mexico, involving 40 alcoholics in rehabilitation, found that the men and women who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse.

    The new study was rigorously designed to avoid problems like the ones that came up in the earlier studies. But experts said the study could not overcome perhaps the largest obstacle to prayer study: the unknown amount of prayer each person received from friends, families, and congregations around the world who pray daily for the sick and dying.

    Bob Barth, the spiritual director of Silent Unity, the Missouri prayer ministry, said the findings would not affect the ministry's mission.

    "A person of faith would say that this study is interesting," Mr. Barth said, "but we've been praying a long time and we've seen prayer work, we know it works, and the research on prayer and spirituality is just getting started."

  • brotherdan
    If I believe in God, then is what I have been taught for the past 40 years about Jehovah all a farce, or can I gleam bits and pieces from it and still believe in Him. If I believe in God, Jehovah then I believe in prayer and that he answers them according to his will. If I don't, then I go for more of a placebo affect. Both sound good to me......I am such a mess!

    You're not a mess at all! You've gotta stop thinking that. You are normal and just fine. Witnesses have drilled into you that you are a mess, but that just isn't the case. You are on the road to true freedom.

    I have thought EXACTLY like you have about if the "truth" that I was taught all my life (I was a born-in) was all false and I had to start from scratch. That's a difficult question. I'll answer it like this:

    JWs have some things right. They have strong morals and values. They encourage a happy family life (although many of their policies tend to ruin these...) But the things that are absolutely essential...I truly believe that they get these things wrong. They focus on a group of men being God's only channel of communication. They focus on organization. They put themselves up on a pedestal that is nearly equal with Gods word and Jesus Himself. Just look at the 9/15 WT about how if we listen to the GB, we are actually listening to Jesus.

    IMO, you need to press your reset button and go back to the essentials. Why do you believe in God? Why do you believe in the Bible? WHO is Jesus, really? Who is Jehovah? Is there 1 true religion? These questions have to be revisited. But they also should be considered with faith in mind. Pray that if God is there that he will direct you to the truth that you need to find right now. Tell Him what your frustrated in. Tell Him you are a mess. But also tell Him, "I am not afraid of the answers and will follow the truth wherever it leads me."

    Here is a great series of audio sermons on the Power of Prayer. It examines the Lords prayer from the Sermon on the Mount, and shows how we can model our prayers after it.

  • startingover

    One word ... Placebo

    It really doesn't matter who you pray to, you will get the same results. If you beleive strong enough that Clint Eastwood will answer your prayers, he will, but only about half the time. And never for big stuff, like world peace, restoring an amputated limb.

    In places like the US where Christianity is prevelent, the offer to pray for someone in a bad situation is very common. I wonder about other countries without the influence of Christianity, do they do the same? Anyone have any experience with that?

  • leavingwt

    Related. . .

    You can go to the thread below to read personal stories of how God has blessed many of our members:

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