Part of Growing Up - Saying Goodbye to Invisible Friends?
I challenged my wife to provide JUST ONE example of a prayer that we have had answered. Something that we could be absolutely sure was Jehovah's intervention, that there was no other possible explanation, such as results due to our own efforts (from working in harmony with our prayers), the random kindness of strangers etc etc
For anyone who still believes in prayer, can you answer the challenge any better? Can you provide one example, let alone a consistent pattern? Something to think about personally.
I have two in my life.
I have been reflecting on this very subject recently. So I am fascinated to see you comment on similar lines doubtfull!
I'm still developing an opinion on this but thus far, it seems to me, that not praying produces pretty much the same results as praying.
During my years "in" - I prayed fervently for all sorts of things. Whether tangible like for a job or for personal development and growth. After praying I would be on the lookout for an "answer" and I could usually find one or convince myself of one. This apparent "answer" would anchor me more firmly to the religion and no one could dispute it because it was my personal experience.
Seven years back, for various reasons, I made a subconscious decision to stop praying. Just stopped - that was it. I did feel guilty about it (until I begin to realise TTATT) and each night before going to sleep I would think about Jehovah and think that I should pray but I couldn't bring myself to. (Yes, I know that means that I was "spiritually unwell" - whatever.) Anyway, I share that to state that my next comments are on comparing the years I prayed to the years I haven't prayed.
And I find there to be no difference. I have experienced just as many successes and failures, rewards and setbacks, commendations and complaints as I did before. And what I have learned is that THE ONLY PERSON these experiences were dependent on was MYSELF! By my hard work and effort, my mental outlook, my decision-making processes, I determined whether I experienced a success or not, whether I achieved a reward or not, whether I received a commendation or not. (Other factors are of course involved but I don't believe them to be of divine origin.)
Looking back, I now question the prayers I thought were answered by a hearer of prayer. One eg. when I was 16 and wanted to start regular pioneering I didn't have a part-time job. I prayed and prayed about it and at the same time I actively sought part-time employment. After three months, I decided to take the plunge and put in a regular pioneer application form anyway, even though I didn't have work. Guess what, got a job in the next week. Back then, I put that down to Jehovah. Now, I put it down to the efforts I had made in the three months prior of actively looking for work. I think the real test would have been not applying for any jobs and Jehovah delivering anyway. But then, aren't we taught that he will only answer prayers that we are working towards? Rather convenient don't you think?
I know the question about prayer is closely linked to belief in a hearer of prayer. So I do not mean my comments above to offend any on this forum who do believe in a hearer of prayer. For me, the jury is still out on that one. I am struggling to accept that a creator wants to be found and wants a relationship with individuals when he makes it so hard to find him and when so many organisations use mistruth, manipulation and deceit - all the while the creator is silent about that and let's it happen.
Anyway, there's my thoughts and I apologise for the length - I do try to by pithy!
For me, the jury is still out on that one. I am struggling to accept that a creator wants to be found and wants a relationship with individuals when he makes it so hard to find him and when so many organisations use mistruth, manipulation and deceit
God is easily found. You find him at the end of yourself. In Mt. 25: 26 & 27 Jesus offered everyone a deal. People have free will to accept or reject. Very easy to understand.
As far as organizations using manipulation; why blame God for that? Free will allows for this, otherwise how would you know people had free will?
And I find there to be no difference. I have experienced just as many successes and failures, rewards and setbacks, commendations and complaints as I did before. And what I have learned is that THE ONLY PERSON these experiences were dependent on was MYSELF!
The bible is clear that God has NOTHING TO DO with those that are not in Christ. Because we as JW's rejected Christ (the new covenant), we might as well have been Hindu or whatever.
Romans 8 : 9 "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his"
Just sayin' that we didn't give God much of a chance by rejecting his Son, so prayers were definitely impeded by our disobedience as JW's,, not to mention our idolatry in reckoning the Wt as "the truth" the sole channel of communication, Ark of Salvation etc. etc., etc.... and other heretical boasting... ad nauseum.
The worthlessness of our prayers as JWs is powerful testimony.
When an adult talks to someone who is not there, it's paranoid schizophrenia. But when a group of people talk to someone who is not there, it's called religion.
Xanthippe, people who don't reply are not worth talking to again but with prayer to God there comes a time when you realize was no one there in the first place.
Yes and like you I wish I'd realized this sooner. My husband and I looked for any answers to our prayers and God's blessing in our lives but the only thing that looked after us financially when we were pioneering was our flexible friend, aka our credit card.
Spot on....Why don't the JW's believe that Jehovah changed the game.....He sent his son to die for us...the Bible tells of the coming of Jesus...it's threaded throughout the OT...We are Christians...why because of Christ....if Christ didn't arrive....no Christianity....
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ....but we don't really give honor to him...we believe if we imitate him that's enough...but the bible says...Jesus is the way...Paul preached of the Christ...
The problem witnesses have is...the Trinity....some folks believe God and Jesus are the same...maybe yes maybe no...maybe when this is all over, we will find out..me I believe that God did sent his son for us ....this is the greatest sacrifice known to man...nobody would do that....So God LOVED the world so much that he gave his son...anyone believe in him...I think you got the picture.
So their prayers can't be answered because their hearts are not right with God....they haven't grasped the concept....God sacrificed his only Son...and he watched him die...to prove a point...God could have saved him, but he didn't....many have asked God, where were you when they killed my son/daughter, etc...God can identify, he can answer the same place I was when mine was killed.....God has feelings just like us...now, I know God is showing how we can't do without him...and showing Satan whatever, I don't know at this point...
I am a witness, but I know that my faith is in Jesus for sacrificing his life for me and Jehovah for sending his son because he loves us...many think how could God love us, he has destroyed men, women and children, but he had a mission to bring his son into the world....that was all he wanted to do...send his son for mankind...and humans did everything possible to stop this mission...
But God prevailed...I love what you said, we didn't Jesus much of a chance....Exactly...
Many know but don't know...and many don't know that most folks don't believe in the trinity....but so what if they do, at least the believe....so petty....Jesus said if they are not against us, then they are for us...
I grew up in a house of abuse and wondered no matter how much I prayed, no one seemed to want to help. I did what I could to protect myself and my siblings.
The thing is that the humanity, since the beginning of history has a deeply ingrained tendency to believe in a Supreme Being under many different forms, not just imaginary friends. Also we should remember the cycles of secularism and religiosity. It's not just Christianity and the Bible. Buddhists, for example, practice meditation, which is similar to praying. On the other way, if you watch a documental about the size of the Universe, you wonder....I rhink praying is a personal election....and not getting crazy about it. Maybe there is nothing.