by patio34 69 Replies latest jw friends

  • hippikon

    Payer to my understanding seems to be one side of the brain talking to the other. I think the shame is that some religious organisations (that shall remain nameless) limit the choices and options we have in solving problems by saying things like “God doesn’t listen if you’re a sinner”, “God doesn’t listen if you pray for disfellowshiped people” etc etc etc. Example November 15 Watchtower entitled “Does Praying Do Any Good?” gave plenty of reasons as to why God doesn’t listen but none as to why he would.

    It is liberating to make your own decisions. Not being limited in your choices.

    I had always tried to do things Gods way in every decision in my life. And if I didn’t know or couldn't find an answer I let God (Life) make the decision for me (left it in Gods hands). Even if it was to my personal detriment. The self sacrificing spirit. Fool that I was. I just ended up sacrificed. God did not bless me for it. I have no evidence that God has ever intervened in my life or given realistic direction. The smart decisions I made myself.

    Think. Does the governing body leave things in Gods hands or do they make “wise business decisions” and “prudent investments” (always finding a “scriptural principal” to support there human decision). If they did leave things in Gods hands were do you think they would end up. I think its interesting that they always find scriptural justification to make human decisions.

    "But it does move"

  • stephenw20

    nice thread......

    I agree with larc about
    "drawing on our own inner resources," .....but dont know if I can say "we usually solve our own problems," as that would indicate we cause them as well......I dont know if this is done alone.....I would say its not........we may co create...

    " and I think the process makes us stronger in solving our problems in the future."

    I agree with this as well, its a practice we can use to strenghten our will , to be able to direct the heart and mind.....

    the only problem I have is getting caught up with expectation of success for the prayers uttered.......I would say our job is to do the exercise, connect to our higherself......and let it go where it goes........ whether it is god or not..we are still having faith in an unseen item.......the higherself or the god some pray to........

    just my 2¢

  • Carmel

    Sorry, Ihave nothing of value to add except that I forgot to add a tagline to my previous post!


    "God gave us salvation in the form of a "do-it-yourself kit"

  • Esmeralda

    Patio! Love your posts...and this thread. Really good stuff.

    Wow, Esmerelda, that's some husband you have there! But I'm sure he feels the same way
    as you do! Btw, I also am reading Dr. Phil's book--don't you just love him on Oprah? I've been
    looking for some sort of advice in the reinventing of myself since leaving the borg. One article
    I read called it the 'pseudopersonality' you have when in the 'cult.'

    Girl...if it's Tuesday afternoon, nobody calls me, nobody better come to the door, because
    I need my dose of Dr. Phil *lol* If I ever see him in an airport someday it will take
    all my restraint not to run up to him and hug him (and probably get arrested for doing so *LOL*)

    I love how he takes you through asking yourself questions about what you think you want,
    then asks more questions and you find out that what you really want it something
    entirely different. He has such a gift. And he doesn't waste words. I want to add a section to my
    site of "Phil-isms" and info on his book, its been so helpful to me. My favorite quote from
    him though wasn't in the book, it was in an issue of O magazine awhile back when Oprah
    interviewed him and he said something to the effect of 'you can try to make peace
    with some people, give them the olive branch and they'll just shove it up your..." well you

    Reminded me of dealing with my mother...

    Keep going on that journey. I think I'm in much the same place you are. Not sure what
    I believe yet, but reveling in the possibility of believing what really rings true in my heart,
    not what others say is 'right'. I'm with you...I like that "year to infinity" rule! I'm not
    on anybody's time table!

    In the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear, "To Infinity, and beyond!"

    Keep those great posts coming!

  • JanH

    I didn't feel much comfort from prayer earlier, anyway.

    Some comments regarding the tragic killing of a missionary and her daughter over Peru really emphasize how totally worthless a crutch prayer is for religious people.

    The man whose wife and child was killed, obvioulsy a strong believer, said

    "Roni and Charity were tragically killed, and we are suffering for that loss," he said. "I'm sure we will feel the loss more as time goes by. In spite of that, we still are trusting in God."

    The pilot on the plane, badly injured, asserted:

    "Donaldson credited God for landing the plane safely. He said it could have been worse because he couldn't operate the plane's right rudder because of his leg injuries.

    "It was the Lord obviously who landed that aircraft because I didn't have the abilities," he said. " See

    So, based on this, God sat there watching this incident, and instead of telling these cowboy pilots to chill down, let them murder a woman and a child. Then he thought, "ok, I'd better save the rest of them", and decided to help the pilot land the plane.

    I realize these people are in great suffering and pain, and it is not fair to criticized their grasping for explanations were there are none to be found, but this is actually the whole core problem of prayer (and theistsic religion generally). If there is a god who cares a whim about prayer, I should think he'd have enough real problems to handle to help with some loan downpayment or whatever the issue is for millions of stupid prayers uttered worldwide every day.

    - Jan
    "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate." - Occam

  • Esmeralda


    When I heard those same quotes on the news tonight, I thought...If God helped
    land the plane why didn't he save that woman and child...especially since
    the couple were missionaries?

    Yet, they believe so strongly and their faith is sustaining them, as you said
    it's not up to anyone to question what people do in the face of such
    grief. It's such a horrible situation.

    But hearing those statements brought back to me so many
    feelings I used to have when I was praying as a JW. I used to feel so strange
    asking God for anything...especially in view of the point you just made. That surely
    He had more important things to worry about.

    It's strange because there have been times in my life that I felt as if something divine
    was watching over me. Now I have to wonder if it was just my JW trained brain
    grasping for something to hold onto during hard times. As I've said, I'm on a journey
    now and the best part about that is rethinking everything I used to take as gospel.

    You know the first thing I really thought when I heard about that missionary woman and
    her child? "Who takes a seven month old child to Peru?" I can't imagine doing that...

    Thanks, Jan, your post was very thought provoking. Oh, and on the subject of "stupid prayers" I have
    always been so angered by atheletes praying for the outcome of say, the superbowl. How
    ridiculous when people are suffering all over the world to have the arrogance to believe
    that God gives a care who wins a sporting event.

    To those who still believe in prayer I mean no offense. I still find myself praying from time to time,
    though not directing my thoughts toward any particular personage. I don't know if its force of
    habit or if I still believe. I'm still working all that out. If it helps people, there is certainly no
    harm in it.

    All the best,


    p.s. Please give my best to Kent if you happen to speak to him... I haven't seen him around
    anywhere lately! I'll have to swing by his board to say hello...I'm trying to remember,
    did he go on holiday awhile back and perhaps isn't back yet?

  • patio34


    Your post reminded me of Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth," in the section about prayer:

    "he (humans) think he is the Creator's pet. He believes the Creator is proud of him;. .. yes and watches over him and keeps him out of trouble. He prays to Him, and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea? . . . He prays for help, and favor, and protection, every day; and does it with hopefulness and confidence, too, although no prayer of his has EVER been answered. The daily affront, the daily defeat, do not discourage him, he goes on praying just the same. . . " (Emphasis added)

    Really, there is no proof that a prayer has been answered. Times I thought it had were easily explained also by coincidence or just the results of my work. "Hard work brings good luck!"

    When I first left WTS, I thought I'd have no divine aid. But then, it occurred to me that I never did probably.

    I only wish I could watch Oprah more--I love Dr. Phil! But, alas, my vcr quit recording. I enjoy your posts a lot. Are you still meditating/yoga-ing? I thought I might give it a try to have the benefits I used to attribute to prayer.

    "I'd rather have questions I can't answer than questions I can't ask (or answers I can't question)."


  • Esmeralda


    I'm still doing the Yoga, I just got a tape this week that is supposed to be Yoga
    for meditation but I haven't had a quiet moment in the house to try it. I'm hoping
    maybe this weekend.

    I know what you mean about searching for something to bring you that peace. I find
    that trying to live by the Four Agreements is going a long way to bring that feeling
    of peace. That's my other favorite book along with Life Strategies. It's totally different
    but I found it to be inspiring spiritually...more than anything else I've ever read. It's not
    really a religious book...more about how human nature works, but I can't describe it.

    Bummer about your vcr. If its any comfort to you...the Dr. Phil shows for the past month
    have all been reruns...tomorrows is too! I'll probably do yoga instead *lol*

    I enjoy talking to you and I look forward to more of your posts :)

    *hugs* and goodnight, I should have been asleep a long time ago! :)

    (who is definitely going to have to read more Twain)

    The Four Agreements:
    Be Impeccable With Your Word
    Don't Take Anything Personally
    Don't Make Assumptions
    Always Do Your Best

  • JanH

    Hi Es,

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I think it is somewhat intellectually dishonest, or at least a form of cowardice, to reject the WTS beliefs because you find evidence lacking, and yet not dare to expose Christianity, the Bible and other belief systems to the same scrutiny.

    p.s. Please give my best to Kent if you happen to speak to him... I haven't seen him around
    anywhere lately! I'll have to swing by his board to say hello...I'm trying to remember, did he go on holiday awhile back and perhaps isn't back yet?

    As far as I know, Kent is at home now. I think I saw him being on the chatroom yesterday (I did not enter myself). I have brought his attention to this thread.

    Patio: thanks for reminding me about Mark Twain's "Letters". I read them on the net some time ago. They are utterly brilliant.

    - Jan
    "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate." - Occam

  • Kent

    Hi there, Esmeralda;

    Well, I'm here - but I don't have the time to spend hours and hours online at the moment. I'm working to get a magzine ready for the printers - and when that's done - I can maybe be my "normal" self again.

    Thanks for missing me. LOL


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