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The Power of Prayer

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by cvanwey, May 4, 2019.

  1. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I know you don't. ;)
    But this analogy doesn't work. Because I am not aware of God.
    First of all, congratulations on your son's recovery and on the good things in your life.
    Second...but this is very interesting. So Christians are saying that God does answer prayers, at least sometimes, and that God does work miracles.
    So technically, this should be observable. No, I'm not trying to put God in a test tube or nail Him down in any way. But if God answers prayers from Christians, then it should be at least technically possible to identify patterns from which God's existence can be inferred.
    For example, Christians should be luckier than atheists and people of other religions. Yes, God sometimes answers prayers with "no" or "later" - but sometimes he does answer prayers yes, right? And atheists aren't praying at all, and people of other religions are praying to the wrong God or gods, so the Christian God wouldn't answer their prayers, would He?

    So, wouldn't we expect to see, statistically, that Christians are luckier than non-Christians?
    And do we?

    And also, you mentioned miracles. I have encountered very few things which could be classed as a "miracle" in the sense of "an impossible thing happening" (not as in the sense of great good luck). So (a) do miracles actually exist? And (b) do they only happen to Christians, or do they happen to unbelievers as well?

    As I said earlier: very interesting.
     
  2. FIRESTORM314

    FIRESTORM314 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes very interesting indeed

    Some people move beyond seeing something as interesting and actually see the benefits and grasp hold of it and run with it. You can apply this principle to all walks of life.

    How are you doing in life? - are you just an observer and dreamer or do you take hold of something and give it all you have got and bring it to fruition? Just a thought - a very interesting thought :)
     
  3. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I see. And what principle is this, exactly? And what are these benefits, and how do they apply to my life?
    I mean, I don't want to be pessimistic, as a prospective new customer and all; but I've just seen a previous customer come in to the shop, and complain that the product didn't work as advertised, despite repeated attempts and following the instructions carefully.
    So what was he doing wrong?
     
  4. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    And also, because I don't want this point to get lost:

    "So Christians are saying that God does answer prayers, at least sometimes, and that God does work miracles.
    So technically, this should be observable. No, I'm not trying to put God in a test tube or nail Him down in any way. But if God answers prayers from Christians, then it should be at least technically possible to identify patterns from which God's existence can be inferred.
    For example, Christians should be luckier than atheists and people of other religions. Yes, God sometimes answers prayers with "no" or "later" - but sometimes he does answer prayers yes, right? And atheists aren't praying at all, and people of other religions are praying to the wrong God or gods, so the Christian God wouldn't answer their prayers, would He?

    So, wouldn't we expect to see, statistically, that Christians are luckier than non-Christians?
    And do we?"
     
  5. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    It is curious, no doubt. You know William Lane Craig wondered the same thing. He took himself to church and wanted to know God. He described the church he went to as a country club, with people who were merely Christians on the outside. It made him more angry at God but still perpetually unsatisfied. It's that anger that finally led him to the right person, and then God answered his prayer to know him immediately. Who he is today might never have happened if he came to know God in the other church. From what I see the church you were in was different but just as bad. If God had shown himself to you there you might have become one of those same people, never actually knowing Him. I can't give you peace on it, and I don't think you will find peace on it on your own. The only way you will find peace is to let go of the resentment, and rather than asking God to verify the image you have of Him from that former church, drop it all. Let go of it all. Be the one who patiently waits for the one they love rather than the one who claims to love, waits a while, and then hates the one they claimed to love.
     
  6. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

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    I was referring to this statement; " I have yet to acquire any 'knowledge' to it's reality, in regards to the topic of prayer."


    Yes, you do see creation all around you, but you have chosen to not believe in creation any longer because you could not "feel" the Creator in your life. Your current unbelief does not make creation false.


    I suspect He did answer your requests, but you were blind to His answers. However, even if He did not answer your requests, He obviously had good reasons not to. Only you can answer that question based on how you related to Him all those years, if you even had a relationship with Him at all.


    You did when you first believed. What was the evidence/catalyst to prompt you to become a believer decades ago?

    On what grounds? Please help me to understand why you are not the man in Hebrews 6 so I can continue a dialogue. Did you renounce Yeshua? On what grounds can you repent of that?
     
  7. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you can't bait without being truthful why bait at all?

    You can have the last word now.
     
  8. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    So, are you saying that God doesn't answer prayers because He doesn't need to, because the world is all the proof you need of His existence?
    There's a big difference between not liking the things someone tells you, and not realising that they told you anything at all.
    In what way is this "obvious" ?
     
  9. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Disclaimer: I appreciate your responses, and mean no ill will. Just letting you know ahead of time :)


    In relation to the Bible verses, it kind of demonstrates their (at least partial) failure then, ah? Especially:


    '13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.'


    I know you answered this already. But I find these answers unsatisfying and 'incorrect', in comparison to the Bible. You stated two key things:

    1. You see no premise from the Bible
    2. God cannot answer all prayer, it's impossible

    Well...

    The premises are far and wide, according to the Book itself. Which would mean, seeking a genuine relationship, by mere contact, for decades, seems perfectly logical and reasonable, don't you think?

    Okay, if God cannot answer all prayer, what about a couple in 10K, in the exact same genuine topic request?


    I know WLC quite well. I do not care to share my opinion on him, as I feel it would be irrelevant.

    My 'anger', stems from the fact that I carefully lay out, what seem to be simple/obvious/axiomatic conclusions expressed from the Bible to this forum of apologists; about specific topics, and then apologists seem to twist, turn, redirect, hand wave, deny, tell me I'm wrong without rebuttal, shrug their shoulders, or play amateur psychologist (you). Rather than just address the content, as it is laid forth from the Holy Bible itself.

    The answer is simple really... I provided (6) possibilities at the bottom of the OP to address. You are free to add a seventh :)
     
  10. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

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    No. He can choose to answer or not answer based on who is asking, what their motive is, what they are asking for, etc.

    There is more proof for His existence than just creation. Fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and Scripture to name a few.

    I agree. Some believers are so carnal that they do not realize what is happening in the spiritual realm.

    In cvanwey's case, first, he was confused as to who he was asking for what. He wanted "Jesus" to confirm his existence, but he was calling him "God" and asking him to confirm his existence. "God" and "Jesus" are two different beings. "Jesus" (correctly Yeshua) is the Son of God, not God himself. Second, If he actually prayed to God to confirm His existence, then his prayer was answered every single day when the sun arose and set like clockwork. Or when it rained. Or when his children (if he has any) were fashioned in his wife's womb and later born. Or when he, through the incredible creation of his eyes, beheld the image of God in his arms. The list of confirmations of God's existence is endless as revealed in creation.

    Because there is no unrighteousness in God. Everything He does is just and with reasons sometimes only known to Him.
     
  11. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

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    This statement, along with the others you cited, is contingent upon asking in faith without wavering (James 1:6-7), or believing that you receive an answer even before you do (Mark 11:24), or not asking amiss or carnally (James 4:3), or not asking against the will of God, or not asking while living in sin by breaking His commandments (1 John 3:22). That last one is a tough one for most Christians since they regularly break God's fourth commandment as well as several others. God is not obligated to answer anyone's prayers who breaks His commandments (Proverbs 8:29). That doesn't mean He won't answer them. In His grace, He may choose to.
     
  12. FIRESTORM314

    FIRESTORM314 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't expect an English teacher to be able to read statistics to be honest or be able to come up with any reliable method of gathering stats. That's the domain of Math's and Science. But if you are interested in Stats then dig out the Crime Survey Stats - my hunch is the Athiests are over represented in British Prisons ;)

    Unilke your theoretical concept - This can actually be measured. We have the Census Data and the Prison Data. Go back 10 - 15 years with the Stats before Mr Blair allowed immigration and a massive change in British culture to get some reliable data. Enjoy the revelation.
     
  13. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    No I don't think it demonstrates a failure, but it is curious. These verses about prayer are sprinkled all over the bible, and they are conditional, and in every case from Jesus they are directly contextualized to the Disciples who would be sent out to the world. What you are doing is the very eisegesis which you developed from that church. Apparently you didn't even need to become a Christian, to become just like them.
     
  14. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I'm sorry, before we go any further, I have to ask for clarification.

    Is the above an insult? Because "I wouldn't expect you to be able to read statistics...or be able to come up with any reliable method of gathering stats" sounds rather impolite.

    Also, I hope when you say "to be honest" in that sentence above, that you don't mean "I wouldn't expect you to be honest".

    Please explain what you mean by this, because I'm not sure how to take it.
     
  15. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Good. Because we know, from cvanwey, that he was asking sincerely. So I wonder why God didn't answer him?
    A hundred bad arguments don't make a good argument. "Creation" is not proof of God; the teleological argument has been soundly debunked, often in this forum. "Fulfilled prophecies" are extremely unimpressive, miracles are unproven, and I'm not even sure what "Scripture" means, unless you mean that the Bible says that God exists?
    I think you may be misunderstanding the Christian concept of the Trinity. Jesus is the Son of God, and Yahweh is God the Father, and both of them are God.
    Uh-huh. And, no doubt, if I drop a pencil from above the ground, a quick prayer to God will ensure that it hits the floor.
    Interesting answer. So, @cvanwey must have been in the wrong, because if he were in the right, God would have answered his prayers.
     
  16. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

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    No one can answer that question except God and possibly cvanwey since we are not privy to what took place.

    I would not expect an atheist to accept such proof, but that's their choice and their loss.

    I know exactly what the trinity doctrine states which is why I am a non-trinitarian. If they are both God, then we have two Gods. Of course, many word games are played to make them one God. In their prayers to Jesus, they think they are praying to the one true God, but they are not. They are praying to the Son of the one true God.

    How does that compare to the sun rising and setting like clockwork, etc? I am not saying we pray that the sun rises and when it does that means God exists. The fact that it rises and sets with such precision regardless of prayer shows it was created by a divine being. Just how did the human eye form randomly and what did humans do while the eye was evolving? Did they grovel blindly on the ground looking for food?

    I believe God did answer his prayer by revealing His existence in Scripture and in nature.
     
  17. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    John 14:13-14. You see, there's this Book. And the claimed author of this Book states He answers prayer. I followed this Book for decades, asking for God's contact. He did not answer. Again, please refer to the OP, at the bottom, for the (6) possible conclusions. Feel free to add a seventh, eighth, ninth, etc...



    According to your response, I'm either blind or a liar?

    Again, I was a full fledged believer for decades. Just because I'm not now, does not give you carte blanche to pull the 'I was never a true Christian' card.

    As I've told others, lack in response to prayer was the beginning to me questioning my faith. I tried for decades, to no avail. It wasn't until then, did I start exploring. Nothing you have stated above relates to my specific situation. But thank you for trying, I guess.



    I was raised in it. It was taught to me as truth from many people I respected. It wasn't until I realized that I appear to be talking only to myself (i.e. prayer), that I started to question. I then started to read the Bible. I found many things which appeared inconsistent. Many other things...

    Can you please address my OP post now... I'm not sure why I need to justify my own position. The post I provided has no relevancy to my current faith. The Bible states prayer gets answered, when requested. I asked, in earnest, for decades. We must ask ourselves, is there a way to test if it is indeed the prayer, verses other circumstances?

    Please see above
     
  18. jacks

    jacks Er Victus Supporter

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    I probably shouldn't post, since I haven't read all the comments. However, I had a horrible thought. What if God did answer everyones prayers!? What would the world look like? Right off the bat we would each need our own universe and reality otherwise how could competing prayers (say in war) be answered? Would we never get sick or old? Even our pets would live forever. Winning the lottery would get tiresome. We would all have our own Aladdin's lamp. Think of the havoc this would cause!

    Thank God, God doesn't answer all prayers. We are much too short sighted and fickle to be trusted with that kind of unregulated power.
     
  19. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Well, I see it as a failure really. If you asked God for something many times, without response, and the Bible eludes to the conclusion that He answers, I feel you would also view it as more than curious.

    Many verses are sprinkled. The Bible covers many topics, and goes back and forth a lot, with many topics. But what it seems to suggest in these sprinkled verses, is that God answers prayer, especially when they are faith filled. I again ask you, is it only 'curious', that 'God' did not answer my prayers for contact? Which one of the (6) conclusions, in the OP should I conclude? Or maybe, you have another to add?

    Not so fast:

    '7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'

    Nope. Please read the bottom of the OP. I presented a possible (6) conclusions, not one.

    My development came from reading the Bible. That's it. As I stated a while back, there exists many verses which appear axiomatic. Above is one of them. In sight of the bold word expressed above, there exists not much 'room' for 'interpretation'. Also, as I stated prior, there exists many verses which appear pretty straight forward. The one mentioned above appears to be one of them.

    The premises for prayer are both far and wide.
     
  20. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    My OP is very pointed. I asked for contact, in prayer for decades. Not once did He answer. Why is that? The Bible seems to suggest He would. If He does not, then what is the criteria for answered prayer?
     
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