The Power of Prayer? Prove It!

The video below discusses prayer from a scientific perspective. It's fairly good.

HT: The BE-attitude site.


John said...

I don't see prayer the way the video portrays it. I define prayer as communion with Ultimate Reality, whether it is regaurded as personal, impersonal, or beyond them both. The way I see it, prayer defines human nature in it's highest sense, in its efforts at spiritual attainment, and inner change of heart, mind, and behavior. It is the fundamental and perennial method of scaling the heights and probing the depths of The Real.

Unknown said...

What kind of dressing do you serve with your word salad?

Mark Plus said...

"Praying" always struck me as weird and creepy. I remember feeling that way about it even as a child, though I saw it often enough when my parents took me to a Southern Baptist church. Repeated exposure to prayer didn't habituate me to it, in other words.

In the alternate reality I call Rational World, I can just imagine how people would react if they saw someone in prayer for the first time. When they realized that the person praying didn't hold a cell phone in his hand or have one stuck in his ear, they might say, "Excuse me, but who are you talking to? There's nobody there!"

Of course, religious people can do a lot worse, like the cuttings and flagellation Shia Muslims subject themselves and their sons to on their Ashura "holiday." No doubt many christians find Ashura's bloody rituals disturbing, even though they resemble what the Romans reportedly did to Jesus before his crucifixion, especially as Mel Gibson portrayed it. Yet these Muslims do it to themselves!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Just a friendly awareness alert, but God didn't respond to the taunts of "prove yourself!" made by cynics -- He doesn't enable attitudes or approaches that continue the cycle of cruelty.

Also, the thing about the spiritual realm is that it is not uncommon to project our experiences upon it --- When I practiced worshipping a Jesus idol, I never really conscientiously noticed that the vision I was praying to was a black void or alternately, a man whose back was turned toward me with his arms folded in scorn. I didn't realize, until God intervened, that this image was one that came from my firsthand, unrealized emotional experience conformed within my primary relationships.

Jesus told the truth of both the worldly nature and of divine nature, (the latter which does not condemn inspite of our misconstrued projections of Him). Since God does not condemn (and I believe Him) God's condemnation no longer is an issue =--- rather, we ought to focus and consider, who, in our very real, everyday lives, would be the ones standing in heaven, keeping us outside the gates because of our own infected desire to condemn???? Who, in the very real here-and-now, keeps us from fully enjoying our lives? Who would keep you out of heaven - would it be those pesky evangelicals and beleivers? a family member? A politician or a pop idol? Maybe a used car salesman? Jesus??

Now one can begin to realize the potential and practical application of the Lord's prayer, which says, "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"....

Take care,

Take care,

Unknown said...

@Manifesting Mini Me (MMM)
So basically you are saying that prayer is just a running commentary on what God is going to do anyway?

He does what he does whether we like it or not and we should just stand by saying 'Oh God, what a bloody great job you are doing.'

That you were created as a sycophant?

Is this a meaningful existence?

Ignerant Phool said...

Praying was probably the most frustrating thing for me when I was a believer.

Why would a god ask us to pray the way Jesus did as if the whole world knows him? Who is he talking to, Jews only? Here we have a god telling people to pray, which consequently means if one didn't hear, one has missed out on many blessings and the good that would have come their way if only they had prayed.

What does praying really mean, I just don't understand it. Does it mean that if I don't pray nothing good will ever happen to me? Does it mean that God won't help me in a certain situation if I don't ask for his help. I've seen people who gets some sort of disease, prays to God that if he lets them survive, they'll go to church every Sunday. I respond," what are you saying?" "Are you saying that if you didn't pray God would have let you die?"

It is as if saying if God didn't tell us to pray, he would do nothing for us. What kind of a god is that? Why do I have to pray? Did I pray for my existence? No, but I'm here. Did I pray for all the good thing that's happened to me? No, but they did, and still do. The worst part is, you could pray "until God comes", and it will never be answered. I Know someone who is going through a life and death family situation at this time. To help them get through it all, constant prayer is the remedy says the mom. One day the daughter who recently denounced Christianity (for Deism) got frustrated with her mother and said she was tired of praying because it wasn't helping their situation. I thought, "exactly!" "Good for her!"

The fact that I'm being told that a god said this is another example of his pettiness. Praying is asking me to ignore what is of consequential occurrence, and to instead lie to myself that is was Gods doing. So I cannot "for the love of God" make any sense of Jesus telling people to pray, period. And this is one of the reasons why to me he was no where near divine.

Mark Plus said...

People today who treat prayer like OnStar certainly look foolish, even though the bible provides many examples of prayer working that way. And it can have harmful real-world consequences, like in this story. I can therefore see why many christians have redefined prayer in less embarrassing ways.