JW prayers

by Laika 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Laika

    Listen, I know many of you saw the word 'prayer' in the thread title and are just itching to write a post about how prayer never works, sorry to disappoint, but whether or not prayer works is not the point of this post.

    JWs do believe that prayer works, and as such, what they tend to pray about is, I think, quite revealing about their general attitudes toward other people.

    I have heard thousands of public prayers by JWs, some of you may have heard tens of thousands. I obviously cannot remember them all, but my experience tells me that never, or at least rarely (I guess there are always exceptions to the rule) would a JW pray for the solution of a general problem such as asking Jehovah to help the homeless, asking Jehovah to bring peace in a wartorn country, or asking Jehovah to bring about fairness to the oppressed, except as such problems may effect other JWs, or except by means of 'The Kingdom', which is supposed to solve said problems by wiping out all those suffering them. They may pray for direct help for members of the Congregation going through major problems, but I rarely hear a JW offer to say a personal prayer for someone going through a hard time. And how often would a JW pray for those persecuting their brothers and sisters, as Jesus asked us to do?

    Compare the standard JW prayers to the prayers you can find on the C of E website as an example: http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/topical-prayers.aspx

    I've been told by several JWs since leaving the religion to look at the fruits of other religions, or told that I will not find another religion where people love as much as JWs, but I think this is one area that suggests the opposite.

    Does what I'm saying match up with your experience? What kind of things do you think a JW would never pray for? How do those of you with experience in non-JW religions find/found their prayers compare to that of JWs?

  • slimboyfat

    Did Jesus pray about those sorts of things?

  • Laika

    His persecutors at least: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."

    It's not that I think JWs are terrible people, I know many who would/do inconvenience themselves to help others, it's more that the Society creates this bubble so that they don't tend to think about such things.

  • MrMonroe

    As with much of the JW religion, public prayers were all about being seen by others to be pious and righteous and supportive of the organisation. When I was asked to pray from the platform, I was quite sincere in what I asked, but from memory it was about making us better people, closer to Jesus' example and more agreeable to Jehovah. Others doing the prayer would also "ask a blessing" and "a portion of your spirit" (a nonsense statement) to be with the GB and the FDS in order that they continue to keep up the spiritual feeding, although really it must have irritated God that they kept on asking him to keep the anointed up to date with new light when apparently they had no more ability to receive new light than me or my infant daughters did.

    We prayed for "our brothers" who were in distress somewhere, anywhere in the world, but you're exactly right that as far as JW public prayers were concerned the rest of the world -- starving billions, earthquake victims, the powerless citizens living under the North Korean regime of insanity, the depressed, the ill -- could all go to hell. Unless they accept a Bible study, JWs (and God) don't give them much of a second thought.

  • exwhyzee

    I have heard JW's pray for the Brothers and Sisters where the preaching work is under ban or where persecution is going on but never for the general population or other Christians who may also be suffering. The difference I see between local Chruch members and the local JW Congragations I've attended is that JW's, to my knowledge, won't rally together on a local level to get support for injustices or aid to Congragation members that are in some sort of trouble.

    For example. Locally there was an elderly man (non JW) who went on a photography trip to Mexico with his Teenage Grandson, they both were into photography. They apparently were taking random photos everywhere they stopped. While at a shop in a small village picking up some snacks, they photographed the Mexican girl who was working behind the counter. On their way out of town, the local Police stopped them and accused them of taking illegal photos of minors and threw them in the local jail. The were to be held until they either paid a hefty fine or until a trial could be held and apparently that can take up to a year. The Grandfather was in need of his medications and the local authorities wouldn't allow him any medical treatment. The Grandfather attended a Church here in our area. The local Church members organized a public rally to raise funds to help him and they went to the media and the State Governor and Senator to bring attention to this case and demand help, which they received. The attention this case received from the media and U.S Government officials embarrased/convinced the Mexican officials to let the two travelers go.

    If I were in the same situation when I was a JW, I can't imagine the Elders or local congragation members knowing what to do or even feeling the need to come to my aid. The last thing they'd want to do is bring any attention to themselves by going to the media. (mush't kick up a fuss in case it might shed a bad light on the organization). Nor do I think any one of them would organize a public fund raising or even know the process for enlisting the help of the Governor or Senator. They'd probably hesitate to do anything without first running it by Brooklyn and Brooklyn would probably tell them not to get involved. I could be wrong but after being a lifelong JW my sense is you'd be on your own unless this had something to do with the ministry. A prayer is probably all you'd get and it wouldn't be a public one from the platform.

  • zeb

    Prayer does help but as Jesus said when it is from the heart. and i agree with you all about "institutional prayers".

    At too many conventions i have heard 'final prayer' where the pray-er goes into a summary of the convention perhaps god needs to be to be reminded? or they use jehovah every second line.

    sad really.

  • sarahsmile

    I really do not think I was taught to personally pray for needs or wants. Maybe for good health.

    Basically, I taught myself by listening to wordly people.

    I remember when someone studied with me she would ask God to help me discern scriptures. Personal prayers never happen.

    There was never a time were I ever heard a JW pray for other unless they were in the hospital or half dead.

    Mainly, prayers were for Gods kingdom to come, preaching work to be done. It is all bull because we prayed for a corporation to succeed.

    God us to pray for everthing that happens in your life good or bad and thank God.

    Pray for political: president so our country will do great and we prosper.

    Fruits of other religion: The big diffeence between Seven Day Adventist and JWs, SDAs pray every Saturday by name for other people, on their knees,and some are not members. Church Of Christ gather during the week then go into groups to pray for individuals or friends non members or members. Baptist pray prior to their weekly bible study for others, non members friends, family,and politics.

    JWs are too egocentric they think they are judging people to righteousness! Praying is beneath judges that is why they are trained to be critical of each other and outsiders.

  • zeb

    XYZ. totally correct...

    I recall a Do saying how the society fights the good fight in court cases and when an elder requested and expected help from the societys legal dept they disappeared into the dust. He had a terrible breakdown as did his wife. I recall thinking at the time that this was just lawyers but it wasnt it was their emoloyers the wts.

  • frogonmytoe

    Zeb - sounds like you too were at Norwich DC. One brother there couldn't help but summarise the program, IN TINIEST DETAIL. SO irritating...

  • WTWizard

    Their prayers are a waste of time. Pray for joke-hova's things? Can't joke-hova do those things without being asked? Why would that thing want or need us asking it for those things? And, we must work toward fulfilling those prayers (of course, not even doing magick workings). You pray for a job, then look for one. After much effort, despite joke-hova sabotaging you, you find a low-paying job. So joke-hova gets credit? What if, without that thing, you would have found a much better job in half the time?

    And their idea of "light"? You are totally better off in pitch dark. If it is pitch dark, you have a Fenix LD-22 flashlight. Turn that thing on, even on low, and you can see your way around. Need more light? You get different levels of light from that. Or, you can find your Fenix HP-20 headlight and wear that. Again, enough light on low to see your way around but more light available if you need it. Now, if it is infinitely bright--you will still not see anything because everything will be pure white. Now, is there a simple device that can dim things a bit so you can see variance in brightness? If it is infinitely bright, sunglasses will do nothing. Infinite darkness can be broken with a simple device.

    Given that, why would you ask joke-hova to provide more light?

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