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Questions and Prayers

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serenity blaze
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0 posted 07-07-2004 08:51 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

It's me again.

This time I'll try to phrase my thoughts more delicately. (I understand my own sloppy wording has gotten me in trouble here before. )

I'd like to hear everybody's thoughts on prayer--

Do you believe in the power of prayer?
If yes,
Do you believe in pre-destiny?
and If yes, do you also believe in "free will" and if yes to all, how do you reconcile these?

For those who do not believe in prayer (as this  would also assume a belief in a deity--I think--and God/dess forbid I leave out the atheists.<--That part was a joke, btw...)

LMAO

anyhoo, if you fit the second category, then--

do you believe that the mind is capable of altering the physical world through intense concentration?

*  *  *


I have more questions, but I'll start with those.

(I'm trying to start out simple this time.)



thanks in advance


Denise
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1 posted 07-07-2004 11:08 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hey Karen, how's your head? Better, I hope!  

No, I don't believe in the 'power' of prayer, I believe in the power of God. I believe that prayer is a way of getting us in tune with God and His will..."not my will but thine be done." I believe in God's absolute sovereignty over every situation and circumstance in life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I think that's the lesson Job learned. Can you imagine being at the scene of the Crucifiction, for instance, and even remotely believing that it was God's will and something 'good'? But yet it was. And since we don't know the end from the beginning, and what His will may be in any given circumstance, or what may really be the best answer in any given situation, we are really at a disadvantage and don't really know how to pray, but He invites us to pour our hearts out to Him, to present our requests to Him, with the promise that the God of peace will be with us. He doesn't promise a 'yes' or a 'no', but peace no matter what the answer is because we know that whatever the answer is, it is His will.

I think folks believe they have free will, but do we really? We certainly 'sense' that we have free will, but how 'free' is it? Advertising agencies know how malleable we are, easily swayed and influenced. We are like putty in their hands. I believe God 'influences' us in a similar way, He is the potter, we are the clay. There's a verse somewhere in the Bible that says something like, a man plans his way, but the Lord orders his steps. The Bible does talk about the will of man, but it never states anywhere that it is 'free', other than a reference to a 'free-will offering', which means giving without obligation or under duress of any kind.

Yes, I believe everything is predestined and will be accomplished as it has been planned, and we have the privilege of participating in those plans as He leads and 'influences' us in the accomplishment of His will.  


muted
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2 posted 07-07-2004 11:46 PM       View Profile for muted   Email muted   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for muted

maybe a simple answer is.... by "praying" we actually sincerely voice what it is we want, we allow ourselves to feel emotional and we also humble ourselves in the process...maybe in doing this it helps our own brain/thought process to "deal with" or "find a solution" to the problem at hand.

now in saying that... i'll leave my own spirituality to myself....im too muddle headed at the moment to even try to explain LOL
Local Rebel
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3 posted 07-08-2004 06:38 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

My daughter asks for an ice cream sandwich.  My son asks to have a sleep over.  If I say no they will wait a while and ask again.  And again.  And again.  Until I am angry.  Or, say yes.  They ask because sometimes the answer is yes.  They lack sufficient judgment to be able to tell when that might be.

If we assume God is, and is the anthropomorphic and patriarchal Christian model, what falls within the bounds of propriety to be asked of this God?  To get the job?  Get the loan?  Win the Powerball?  For our own health?  The health of our loved ones?  If it is granted and that is His will or if it is denied and that is His will then wherein the asking?  Are we to treat this God as Santa Clause?

Instead I look not to exert control over outward events over which I have no control -- but to develop in myself those things I need to control most.  My attitudes and ideas.  If I am to love my enemy, then, God help me.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 07-08-2004 06:49 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Reb...so far, you are the most in tune with WHY I asked the question.

You see, a friend recently told me that I should say prayers for MYSELF.

and while I have inwardly screamed a kind of "let this cup pass" sort of thought, I never actually considered it a prayer. It's not even close to how I pray for others.

and then I started thinking about conceptions of perceptions of "God", and omniscience, omnipotence--and isn't anything I can say to such a deity old news? And wouldn't even asking for intercession imply a lack of trust in that divinity?

and THEN I started thinking of wiccan teachings, which in my experience proposed that you shouldn't even pray for others without their permission, and that prayer for self is simple permission to allow Spirit to intervene in free will.

And then I thought of illness, and how visualization techniques & meditation have been proven to be beneficial in fighting disease.

(Not that I could remain focused for that long.)

heh.

But anyhoo, I've been thinking about all of this, and now I'm trying to sort it out in my mind, filing stuff in appropriate religious, mythological, spiritual, psychological, mental files.

(It's a kabbalah thang--that and a huge dose of Joseph Campbell.)



and thanks all, for taking the time to answer
Essorant
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5 posted 07-09-2004 02:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

All-will's wielder
Wonders' webber
Spiderly strings
Things to all things.
Touch one thread, you,
Touch others too.
The ghostweb's glow
soso kinds grow.
Even in rock
there ghosts talk
Within a tree
ghostfire may be.
In golden ring
A ghost may sing;
But words and deed
Find swiftest speed.
Each will is might
by the Mightest
Each mind is light
by the Brightest.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-09-2004 07:25 PM).]

serenity blaze
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6 posted 07-09-2004 07:52 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you, Ess

Nightshade
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7 posted 07-09-2004 11:19 PM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

I really hate trying to think this late at night(late for me anyway), as the rattling of my brains tends to take me out of that "ready for beddybye mode". But, now I am so confused. I have always prayed since I was oh, maybe five or six years old. I ask the Lord(whomever or whatever that might be) to bless my family and friends with good health and safety - is that wrong? Also, give thanks for the blessings of the day. That's not right either? I have always felt a sense of ... oh, how do I say it.... belonging? or connection? after prayer. That has to be a good thing right? I really don't think praying for someone in need can hurt them. It might or might not help ... maybe it just makes us, the one's who are praying feel not as useless and upset that we can't make a miracle and everything will be A-okay. sigh...I am going to bed now and I am gonna say my prayers. Serene one? Does your mind ever rest? Luv ya lady!
Chrislane
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8 posted 07-09-2004 11:59 PM       View Profile for Savage Quiescence   Email Savage Quiescence   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Savage Quiescence

Serenity, as a Wiccan I pray for others frequently both with and without their permission. However, I don't pray that they are healed or that their situation is improved or so on. I pray that they receive whatever energy it is that they seek. This way I am not interfering with their existance but more or less providing them with support. Maybe there is little difference but I have yet to receive a karmatic slap on the hand so I like to think that I've kept my nose out of where it doesn't belong.

I personally believe that prayer is a method of energy trasportation. If I did want to pray for someone to be healed I would first ask their permission and, if received, I would pray. I believe that under the right circumstances, this sends healing energy their way. If I were to pray for myself that there should be more love in my life, then I would be making myself more open to receiving love. That way I am not forcing any one to love me, instead I am changing myself to suit my needs. It doesn't always work or there would no longer be a point to the lottery, but if done correctly I don't see how it could hurt.

No, I don't believe in destiny or any of that. At times I wish I did, it would make the future a lot less frightening.

Just my $.02
Ali


"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" -Ghandi

[This message has been edited by Savage Quiescence (07-10-2004 12:02 AM).]

iliana
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9 posted 07-10-2004 04:17 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Karen, I think prayer is about intent....for me, that the universe be as it should, and all its "parts" to do as they were designed.....if that makes any sense.  I liked what muted had to say about this, too.  It's interesting you brought this up.  I dreamed about The Lord's Prayer last night.  I dreamed I had an epiphany about it's true meaning.  Sorry, I can't remember what that was now....lol  But I do believe there's a divine wisdom that resides in everything (including us; more dormant than not) and that properly placed thoughts within this divinity (from the right place within ourselves) produces results that don't violate interference with others -- I would call that guided prayer (prayer that is propulgated from within our own deep surrender).  It's 3:15 a.m. -- what d'ya expect.....lol...I'm full of it at this time of the morning.  As to the predestination thing.....yes, I do believe there is an overall plan of sorts....maybe we goof it up sometimes, but we arrive at the end point all the same through some longer path in the maze.  I think it is interesting to share viewpoints on these topics and appreciate everyone else's views.  Well, enuf of me for now.  
serenity blaze
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10 posted 07-10-2004 05:10 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

jo...I can never get quite enoo o' you. Nee-no noo - non -ner now,ner elsewhens.

(translation: grin, I can't enough of you, not now nor ever.)

and yep, intent is the cry of the righteous and that's what started my mind to reeling all celtic knotted.

Intent.

Doesn't that imply a knowledge of an inner weave of thread that is perhaps beyond our good intentions? How can we, in mortality, judge objectively our own intent? Flesh pretty much dictates the "want" of us - whether or not we accept the premise of ourselves in flesh.

Isn't the very presentation of the idea of intercession an affront to divinity?

or izzit?

because...now I address SQ, although I am  also instructed in Wicca, so I must include information that I am, as stated at my initiation ceremony, "solitary eclectic." Which simply means my beliefs are a blend of tradition and religion and demands w/out aherence to ritual or groups. And being Wiccan, then you understand, that although from the outset it seems a perfectly self-empowering and convenient methodology of practice, in fact, it is a resolute and and unmoving acceptance of personal responsibility.

The buck stops here, yanno? I think you do.



The vows of priest/priestess are such that any misjudgements of an individual's path make the "teacher" susceptible to a "higher" code of honor, with penalties harsher as per crime(and sentences run consecutive.)

In fact, I've even been questioned about tossing my questions about "willy-nilly"--

because the traditions, oaths, and vows that I agreed to,demand that I am responsible for everything I do.

Even this.

Now this lends to a strict Buddhist tenet(forgive my fog as I forgetthe term) which disallows somuch as a hand to a child drowning, as this would imply questioning of God/Buddha/Christ/Mohammed/Allah/Peter Sellers'intention.

In this tradition we are strictly on our own journey.

But yes, as I read here, (and live out the worst fears of life realized OUT THERE)with all the implications of death and goodbyes, and life renewed and hopefully actualized in some distant day (like NOW?)

(you with me Ess? grin...)

in the tradition of my choice, as a solitary eclectic, I have some need to marry these choices of ideology.

So...I ask and hope that my questions don't deconstruct a perfectly healthy belief system.

THUS

Chrislane/nightshade, I sincerely hope that nothing I say here deters you from the determination of your loving prayers--I do believe we are protected from overzealous emotions in some way--simply because all would be even MORE chaotic if we were not.

("Drop dead!" ?)

sigh.

sometimes 'they' do.

and it makes ya wonder.

thanks to all for the consideration here.
iliana
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11 posted 07-10-2004 05:48 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"Intent.

Doesn't that imply a knowledge of an inner weave of thread that is perhaps beyond our good intentions? How can we, in mortality, judge objectively our own intent? Flesh pretty much dictates the "want" of us - whether or not we accept the premise of ourselves in flesh.

Isn't the very presentation of the idea of intercession an affront to divinity?

or izzit?"

I think it depends....mainly on whether it comes from the right place inside us -- the place where there is no intellect and no desire -- subtract those two and what's left?  The divine spark in each one of us? The place where words are actions -- that is what I mean by intent -- the intent to accomplish that "surrender" of the heart and mind are not always easy though.  Well, I told you I was a live wire late at night, now didn't I?  
serenity blaze
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12 posted 07-10-2004 05:51 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

watch out jo, you might get a reputation.



(This is Sam Donaldson reporting...)



thanks you!
iliana
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13 posted 07-10-2004 05:54 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Not me......sshhhhhhhh..... lol
Essorant
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14 posted 07-10-2004 04:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bead is the pure english word for "prayer"
But monks and other religious goers used the word "bead" to refer to rosarypiece or pebblestone wherewith to mark a prayer in a series.  Thus religious people, that are supposed to avoid worldliness and materialness were the ones that turned the prayer itself, the bead, into a cold and calculated stone!  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-10-2004 05:55 PM).]

serenity blaze
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15 posted 07-10-2004 06:45 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

ooooooooo-kay......

not sure where it fits in but it's interesting. I love that kinda stuff, Ess. I used to make my own "rosaries" of a sort, too.

It might be time to do that again.

Thanks, Ess for the info and the memory jog!
Stephanos
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16 posted 07-16-2004 01:23 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Serenity,

nice new pic there.  Did someone paint that?  Looks like someone in deep thought/ distress ... maybe even desperate prayer?


Anyway ...


Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Yes.

Do you believe in pre-destiny?

Yes, but not to the point of overiding human choice.  I think God does one without trouncing the other.


do you also believe in "free will"


Yes, but with limitations appropriate to the created status we own.


how do you reconcile these?


I've never been able to.  (but neither have centuries of philosophers and theologians).  But then again, I figure that I don't have all the information in order to do so.  Ambiguity and uncertainty are a part of existence, and that's where faith and trust of God must come in (or apathy for some).  God sized questions must be answered by God, not by the human intellect.  It excites me to think that there are really answers.



Stephen
Essorant
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17 posted 07-17-2004 03:34 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Good to see you back Stephen!


Now, I have a question.


If God wishes to create something so that it does exactly what he wishes it to,  is he not bound to serve Need as well?  How does something work unless it has what it needs so that it may work thus?  Must God observe what the needs are, overall, and work with in those, with his will limited by natural, material, spiritual etc needs?  A human  needed all that makes a human in order to be.  How might God create human unless he observed the needs of what it took to make a human?  Is  His will somewhat as human are to worldly, bodily needs, bound to more universal needs?
Stephanos
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18 posted 07-17-2004 04:42 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

I'm not sure that I understand your question exactly.


Do you perceive a problem with a God who has no "needs",  and yet makes his creation dependent?


Or are you referring to the fact that the task of creating already presupposes needs, and also the requirements to make it all happen?  And therefore God must be lacking something before his creation was brought into existence?  Or to put it another way, that God is subject to certain laws of nature?


Let me know whether or not I'm getting close to what you're trying to ask.  I want to make sure, before I even make an attempt.


Stephen.


serenity blaze
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19 posted 07-17-2004 08:29 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Just checking in here to wave at Stephan!



Thank you, as always, for answering my questions with grace and patience.

Hugs to you.

(and the new pic is a photo, and you were right on target about the distress--I didn't want my picture taken but a friend did so anyway--so I just played with it in PSP until it looked--I hoped--like a painting)

Thanks again, Stephanos. It's naptime for serenity.

bye for now
Essorant
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20 posted 07-18-2004 02:55 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Or are you referring to the fact that the task of creating already presupposes needs, and also the requirements to make it all happen?  And therefore God must be lacking something before his creation was brought into existence?  Or to put it another way, that God is subject to certain laws of nature?


Yes,
I wonder about absolute independence .  For anything to "work" it usually need whatever it takes to make it work, or else it may not work.  So doesn't God need to do according to the needs of something so it works?  If he wishes something to befall in nature, must he not put it thro the needs and processes of nature?  Work to fullfill what he knows it takes, what is needed, to make it work as he wishes it to?
It seems Will and Need are always somewhat bound to each other.  Are we worldware only placed in such, or does God as well need to work according to needs?


But all subsists by elemental strife;
And passions are the elements of life.

Pope

Stephanos
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21 posted 07-19-2004 01:55 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
For anything to "work" it usually need whatever it takes to make it work, or else it may not work.  So doesn't God need to do according to the needs of something so it works?



I'm still not sure I'm following you.  If God creates something that is dependent, he fashions it according to IT"S needs, not his own.  I don't see why one would have to believe that God has to be lacking in some way, in order to create.  He simply created what he determined.  


Look at it another way ...  Art is something that we make, not so much out of need, but for the purpose of pleasure and expression.  Think of God's creation as artistic in a way ... something he could "pour himself into".  If that presupposes need, then it is need of a different kind.  In creating personal beings, God demonstrated only a need to share or love beyond himself.  This is not a need that comes from lack, but from abundance.


Stephen
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22 posted 07-29-2004 11:50 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

I say a little prayer every morning..

Lord won't ya buy me
A Mercedes Benz,
A six pack of Millers
And some Loracet 10's..
 
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