Thursday, February 20, 2014

An apologists view on prayer





merriam-webster.com/dictionary

apol·o·gist

noun \ə-ˈpä-lə-jist\
: a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people 
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Every culture prays or has prayed to some sort of God or Deity.  They must believe prayer brings them benefits or they would not continue the practice.  Muslims bow toward Mecca five times a day and pray, and in their mosques, offer their prayers to Allah.  Hindu's pray both at home and in temples to their representations of God.  Christians pray at home and in churches to God, Jesus, Mary and some, to a list of saints. Jews pray at home and in the temple to  the unnamed God whom some call Y H W H  or Adonai which means Lord.  There are at least a dozen other revered religions like Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, etc.etc. all of which offer prayers to either their God or those who possess virtues who have passed on.  There are many early religions which have prayed to sacred symbols, animals, locations or spirits who have influenced their lives. There are many religions of today who pray to founders, or spirits who inhabit special realms in the Himalayas or other places.
There are books and videos and CD's on prayer, how to pray and how to influence the god or Gods to do your will.  My niece used to say God is not a wish nick but many persons direct their prayers as if the object of their prayer was one. 
There is the "Prayer of Jabez" to increase your territory which has attracted a  a whole series by itself.


I would imagine there are as many kinds of prayer as there are men and women who pray, but I think they all have one thing in common.  An attempt by a mortal to connect with a source or being other than his or herself  to effect a relationship and gain some kind of favor.
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merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favor
Full Definition of FAVOR. 1. a (1): friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior (2): approving consideration or attention


Many Atheists and agnostics find no reason for prayer and deny any attributes for it.  Others of a "spiritual" nature, but not religious in any sense, feel it may effect some change but are at a loss to explain how or what occurs when one prays.
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Now having put forth all of the above what do I think?
I call myself a follower of Jesus and I pray to God and the Holy Spirit which I believe exists in all of us. 
How or What is prayerfor me? :
I compare it to the butterfly effect which occurs when a small insignificant creature in South America flaps it's wings and influences the wind in Texas.
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"The butterfly effect is a term used in chaos theory to describe how small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition (also known as an initial condition) can affect large, complex systems. The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part. Taken more broadly, the butterfly effect is a way of describing how, unless all factors can be accounted for, large systems like the weather remain impossible to predict with total accuracy because there are too many unknown variables to track."(From Wise Geek )
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We know without doubt that people can communicate with each other without wires or other attachments.  Cell phones, the Internet, and satellite communications prove this beyond any apparent doubt.  Why is it so far fetched or a matter of only faith, to believe we can communicate with our Creator or the Spirit or Life Force within each of us?  We have horse whispers and dog whispers and  and people who communicate with other animals.  We know that many of earth's creatures communicate with sounds humans cannot hear or understand. Many animals like dolphins, and elephants communicate on levels we seek desperately to understand.  Birds fly in V shaped formation with no apparent communications and ants scurry to the latest sugar find and bees fly towards a threat to their hive, with a suddenness we cannot begin to understand.
Communication which is unheard or not understood is rampant through out the universe and yet so many doubt the power and effect of prayers. I know many will say prove to me prayer has an effect and possibly I too would believe.  I only believe in what can be known, understood or seen.
O.K. then, Does a tree which falls in the forest make a sound if there is no one there to hear it? 
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Best AnswerVoter's Choice

  • Kid B answered 4 years ago
No.

Everything that vibrates the air creates the potential for sound, regardless of what conscious being is there to perceive it in the first place. If there is nobody is there to perceive it occurring, then it could not exist as sound, only vibration.

Sound is a subjective interaction with matter. All that sound is, is vibrations through a medium, without humans to perceive it, those vibrations that we call sound, when the tree fell, would make vibrations, but "sound" as we know it, couldn't exist, since no conscious being was there to interpret those vibrations.
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O.K. so a vibration can be heard only if there is a conscious being to interpret the vibration.  But Humans are conscious beings so why if mental vibrations, or brain waves are generated when we pray, cannot another conscious being receive the brain wave or vibration and be effected by it?
I think science has not yet discovered the effects and consequences of prayer but that doesn't mean there are none.  The generation of and reception of individual brain waves to and from others has not yet been proven by science. I think individual and group prayers do have an effect on the consciousness of the receiver and can generate physical changes in health, happiness and even material bodies.  As with other ideas it remains to be seen or proved but I believe in possibilities and things unseen.