Why pray?

by ashitaka 39 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • ashitaka

    I was just outside a few minutes ago, thinking about a friend who is having problems. I bowed my head and closed my eyes, because I'm a bit tired. Suddenly, in my head, I started to pray. I quickly stopped myself, not believing in a God.

    My thing is, why must people pray to God to solve problems for them? It never works, I know that. I've prayed for many things in my short life, and none of them came to pass (even things spiritual). In the end, we are all alone in the universe, and have to fend for ourselves anyway.

    Is it a desperate hope that, if there is a God, that he actually cares about our bills, hopes for a house with a white picket fence, etc.? At the same time, how many condemned men have prayed for help from God, just to be executed anyway? It all seems futile to me, a sad dream.


  • JamesThomas

    Yes, I know what you mean, the tragedy of the "sad dream". This "desperate hope", and the disillusionment of finding no god out there listening and caring, can turn to hatful bitterness, or motivate us to seek deeper within ourselves. Personally I went through years of extreme and murderous hatred directed towards an imagined god, an object separate and apart from me. Then over a period of time that energy of anger was used to let go of all concepts and imaginings of god and truth: all the stuff learned and programmed in me from the past. This can leave you pretty much naked and alone, but also open to new understanding and a kind of innocent willingness to look deeper within...for you know you will get no answers, no satisfaction from out there. There is an analogy of the spiritual journey being like a fire purifying gold, burning away the dross of false beliefs and concepts. There are indeed times when it hurts. The fire can get pretty frick'n hot. JamesT

  • StinkyPantz

    1. If you need something, it's easier to just pray than work for it. That way if it doesn't happen then it's because "god" didn't want it to happen.

    Ex. I need a new car. I pray for a new car. For some reason, I'm unable to get this new car. It must be because "god" doesn't think I need one (it's not because I'm not working more hours at the job or being more frugal).

    2. Prayer is beneficial because it's basically meditation. This clears your mind and allows you to see the issue more clearly. It's not "god" that helped you, it was yourself.

    Ex: A girl loses her earring, she's looks everywhere! She prays for "god" to help her find it and voila, there it is. "god" showed her where the earring was.

  • Scully

    Maybe prayer is a way for people to verbalize to themselves what their problems are, and consider it a way for them to focus on those problems and various ways and means of solving their problems.

    We call it brainstorming nowadays.

    Love, Scully

  • wednesday

    I have been very ill for a number of years. I have prayed and know that my prayers were heard. I did not ask for much, but I sincerely believe that God has helped me throughout these years. I was deeply hurt by the Wts many years ago. i stopped pryaing. I just could not. somehow years later it retuned to me. my husband says he finds God in nature. Now that i genrally left the jw ideas behind me, i find i can explore other ideas and they make as make sense as the jws do. One of the elders always told me i had a guardian angel. perhaps so. I have so much more to explore befoe i make any definite conclusions. weds

  • ashitaka


    This "desperate hope", and the disillusionment of finding no god out there listening and caring, can turn to hatful bitterness, or motivate us to seek deeper within ourselves.

    Thanks for the great post. I feel exactly that way. I hope that my reaction can turn into the former.


    I think that people use it as an excuse as well.....always a scapegoat there if something doesn't go right, or an imaginary Big Brother that makes people feel better when something does work out.


    We call it brainstorming nowadays.

    LOL. The funny thing is, people will call their own personal reflections, God. If people could get away from the archaic was of thinking, then maybe they could make some real progress on their problems instead of wishing, hoping praying...LOL


    somehow years later it retuned to me. my husband says he finds God in nature.

    I've seen that in a friend of mine. He left just a short time before I did, but he 'found', prayed worshiped God again right away. For him, he says that God to him is a question that he doesn't think he needs to answer, but does believe in. In his heart it's a firm conviction, but I still don't understand it. I'm glad it helped you though, because I know it helps him.


  • Dawn

    HI Ashitika. Great post - and very good question! I have always had a belief in God, but could not explain WHY some prayers are answered and some seem to go unanswered. A JW always has an answer for everything....but the truth is that we do not know all things.

    I was DF'd over 12 yrs ago and spent many years NOT praying to God - why bother?! About 2 years ago I started to study the bible again and started to pray. This time my prayers have been mostly for understanding and healing. I now see prayer in a different light. Take the example Jesus gave in Matthew 6:9-13:

    "This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

    He first recognizes the position of God and gives him proper respect. God is not some genie that Joe Bob can pull out of his hat because he wants a new minivan. He is the creator of the universe. Yet some people show more respect to the Sales Clerk at K-mart than they do to God in prayer.

    "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,"

    Next. Recognize that although you want something from God you may not get it just because you asked for it - and it has nothing to do with whether you're good enough or not. God knows more about your past, present, AND future than you do. Ask for what you want, but also accept that what is best for you may not be the most pallitable at the time. I prayed HOURS to God that I would not be disfellowshiped - I was TRULY repentant of my wrong doing, yet I was DF'd anyways. It was painful and I hated God for not answering my prayer. Now I realise that he WAS answering my prayer. I had asked him to save me.........and he did. My idea of being saved was to not get DF'd - his idea of saving me was to rescue me from the dark bondage I was in.

    "Give us today our daily bread"

    Jesus tells his followers to focus on the day at hand. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. He didn't ask for a big raise next week or a bigger house - he asked for help to make it RIGHT NOW. I have lost two close family members in the last year and it is really painful. But when I remember this, I pray to God "Please help me make it through THIS day" - and he does. Those days that I pray this way I am stronger and more positive. He doesn't take the pain away - but he gives me the strength to deal with it and move towards healing.

    "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors"

    We can ask for something from God, but we also need to work towards that goal. If we pray for help with our finances, then go out and splurge on a $500 outfit we won't see any benefit come from the prayer. If, however, we pray for guidance in the financial area and the willpower not to splurge - and we work in union with that goal we will see results.

    "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one"

    And last, to be aware of our spiritual need and ask God to guide us in the right direction in all things.

    For those who do not have a belief in God - I still believe that prayer is a positive tool. It is a form of meditation and can help a person clear their thoughts - focus more on the goal at hand - and, as sKully put it, "brainstorm". I also believe that God DOES hear the prayers of EVERYONE regardless of their beliefs and that he loves them, cares for them, and will help them if they allow it.

  • onacruse

    I pray, though not every day, and not about every thing. Probably, about once a week, average; almost always about/for the welfare and happiness of other people (including my JW ex-wife and family).

    I pray to what I believe is a personal conscious caring Being outside my comprehension, but within my apprehension (in the good sense of the term).

    I feel that prayer is a way for me to tap into the energy of that Being, and into the energy that permeates our Universe...including little-old-me.


  • Jayson

    Ash people often have a very hard time understanding me but here goes: If you pray THEN act as if that prayer has already been answered.

  • Sentinel

    Because "asking is the beginning of receiving". The problem with prayer is the labeling and the dogmatic and ritualistic things associated with it. It's really a very private matter, when the heart reaches out to the maker of life, much like a child relates to a parent, or how humans relate to each other when they connect in an intimate way.

    Communicating with our universal creators makes us feel connected to them, and we need that. We can thrive on that. It gives us an energy that is unlike any other. It makes us more spiritual to seek guidance and direction. And to remember, that the answers to the problems that we face as humans, may not come in the way we feel they should. We can't know the whole picture. If you receive stirrings of your heart, you should follow them--it could be the answer in a way you never dreamed of. Also, we don't always need to ask for something. Being thankful shows a good heart; and the wisdom and understanding that comes with knowledge is a precious gift.

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