• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

The Power of Prayer

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

  1. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    +361
    United States
    Skeptic
    Private


    Read my last few responses. You assert Yahweh is the one true God, right? I would image so, but don't let me place words into your mouth. Thus, would it be sincere to state what you just said above? Your presupposition is that Vishnu does not exist, right? Where-as, I'm a skeptic alone. Skeptic to all such claims. Hence, your statement would better fit my response, not yours, as you have already concluded there is only one true God.

    Please correct me if I'm mistaken. Maybe there is some special definition of a Christian in which I have yet to be exposed to?



    This has to do far less about my presumed 'retention', and more to do with not properly addressing my many requests, again, during the momentum of our discussion. If you read through it again, you might catch that.

    My OP is not a false '(blank)-emma' of sorts, but more of an exhaustive measure to explore WHY I came to the current conclusion I have drawn.

    I appreciate you engaging, but question your motives. You have already revealed to me that you think I'm the biggest liar you've ever met. So why even waste your time?

    Peace
     
  2. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

    +1,081
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Read the answers I have already given. There are many Elohim. Yahweh is Elohim most high. You have got to be able to retain more than what happened in the last exchange. And again if you feel inclined to equate Hebrew words with English words, don't.

    Why will you not answer my two questions? If you are concerned about your image of sincerity why refuse to answer them at every turn.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  3. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    +361
    United States
    Skeptic
    Private
    I think I'm going to ask that you not respond any longer, if that's okay. Your continued insults really only speak to your own character, and do nothing to address practically anything I'm asking. My patience is at an end.

    Thanks
     
  4. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

    +1,081
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    You got it, it's your thread.
     
  5. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    As we saw in the recent slavery thread, there are some things Christians just can't bring themselves to say.
     
  6. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

    +1,021
    United States
    Unitarian
    Single
    US-Others
    Feelings and reality are two different things. Yes, he has expressed his feelings, but I wonder if God would agree with him.

    I did not say an atheist would not accept proof. I said, "such proof" referring to creation. I did not enter this thread to discuss God's existence, but to address Him supposedly not answering cvanwey's prayers.

    His prayer was answered millennia before it was even asked. In fact, his prayer did not need to be asked. Creation and inspired Scripture provide all the evidence one needs to believe that God exists.

    From the vantage point of earth, the sun appears to rise and set. How can the sun, moon and stars remain in fixed positions in relation to earth? How is that possible if it and the earth were the result of a chaotic big bang?

    How can anyone know that? How can anyone say, "Yes, they did" if there were no humans back then? Wishful thinking.

    There would probably be a great falling away among Christians and no new converts to the faith of Yeshua. Only the strongest believers who walk by faith would continue to stand.
     
  7. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

    +1,021
    United States
    Unitarian
    Single
    US-Others
    cvanwey, you rely heavily on your strict interpretation of verses that talk about answering prayer. Why haven't you answered my post #91?
     
  8. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    I'm sorry you feel that's a problem. Please be reminded that, although we may learn things from each other, we're not in a teacher-student relationship. My using other people's work would only be a problem if we were, because the teacher would then be unable to assess their ability. Here and now, all we're trying to do is find answers.If other people have already found them for us, then so much the better.

    So, is this your answer to my question - that if prayer did suddenly stop working...what? A greater percentage of Christians would be going to prison?
    Is that what you're saying?
    And anything else? I mean, whether you believe it or not, many people do address prayers to God asking Him for things. Would we see any difference if prayer suddenly stopped working? Would we see a decrease in cancer remissions among Christians, an increase in "strokes of bad luck"? I would ask if we would see a decrease in miracles taking place, but I am unaware of any steady stream of miracles to be interrupted...
    Well, that pretty much matches the percentage of atheists in prison at that time, so I'd caution you to be wary of drawing conclusions from the data from a single year in a single country. and what about the USA? Are Prisoners Less Likely To Be Atheists? points out that "Overall, almost 1 in every 1,000 prisoners will identify as atheist compared to 1 in every 100 Americans."

    This, however, is starting to get off topic, so I'd like to go back to my original question:

    If prayer suddenly stopped working, what would you expect the effects to be, if any?
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  9. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    But you're playing with the meaning of the word feelings here. The question is, was cvanwey sincere in seeking God? He has said that he was. Why will you not accept that?
    You said an atheist would not accept proof regarding creation. I think the problem isn't that we wouldn't accept proof, but that the proof itself does not exist. the teleological argument has been debunked again and again, more than once on CF.

    First, there are answers to those questions. Second, if you do find a question that science can't answer, that doesn't mean you get to win by default; you need to provide evidence for God's existence.
    And third, I thought you said you didn't want to discuss God's existence. So let's get back on topic.
    Because we can see examples of different gradations of eye throughout the animal kingdom. But let's leave the creationist discussions for another thread, shall we?
    Now, that's very interesting. Why do you say that? What do you think people pray for, and how do you think God responds to prayers?
     
  10. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    It certainly seems like Sanoy holds some rather unorthodox views on Christianity.
     
  11. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

    +1,081
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Hi. The OP asked that I leave, which you already know. You had every opportunity to address me earlier, but only chose to when you thought I wasn't watching. If you are going to talk about me behind my back I will have to defend what I stated. If you have any respect for the OPs wishes you will not do so.

    What I stated is actually a first temple view of heaven that is well established in the OT, in comparative ANE study, and modern scholarship.
     
  12. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    Curses! Foiled again!
     
  13. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    +361
    United States
    Skeptic
    Private

    You two have my blessing, have at it. :)
     
  14. FIRESTORM314

    FIRESTORM314 Well-Known Member Supporter

    640
    +375
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    The whole point of that little exercise was to see if you would accept facts when presented to you.

    Many of the top survey companies tried to predict the outcome of the last two general elections and got it wrong. They did sample surveys in advance and also got samples on the night of the elections.They were professional staticians and had complex computer algorithms to work with and still got it wrong. The true outcome was the outcome at the end of voting day when the votes were counted. They are the facts. What I gave you in the Census and the Prison Census was the facts on the day - that is the outcome. Like it or not - that is the state of affairs. Those surveys take place every 10 years and every 10 years we see the state of affairs as they are - not how they are predicted to be.

    You were the one to bring up the question "Would there would be any difference to the effects if prayers stopped working?" I can give you my own viewpoint but I also showed you that you couldn't really measure it beause the exercise would be very costly and many proofs would need validating. Then , having got the results people still wouldn't accept the proof of the data unless it agreed with their own ideas. The sample method would be questioned suspect.

    So yes - imo - there would be a difference if prayers stopped. What sort of differences? - they would probably reach into many areas. Prison stats is just one of them, Badly behaved kids in School? Badly behaved kids on the street? Mental Health?, Less Harmony?, Less Respect? Less peace? More Bullying from Bosses, More Manipulation from companies, More Selfishness, More Greed? And on and on.....

    And the ultimate no answer to prayer or no God being available would be the very end of the World.
    We would destroy ourselves.
     
  15. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

    +1,021
    United States
    Unitarian
    Single
    US-Others
    I have no doubt that he was sincere. I doubt he didn't hear from God in some way, even if it was a way he wasn't looking for. There is also no doubt that God heard his prayer. How He responded is unknown to me.

    I would think most Christians would react the same way cvanwey did. They would think either God gave up on them or that He really never existed. Especially carnal or nominals Christians. I said no new converts because word would eventually get around that God no longer answers prayer, so why pray the sinners prayer to receive Yeshua as Savior. Strong believers would continue to stand because we don't need our prayers answered in order to continue having faith. We know what Scripture says and await the fulfillment of the promises regardless of our circumstances.

    As for what people pray for, the possibilities are endless as would be the Almighty's responses.
     
  16. FIRESTORM314

    FIRESTORM314 Well-Known Member Supporter

    640
    +375
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    S00000000 - MY conclusion of the matter is this - since we cannot even predict the outcome of an election, it would be an exercise in folly to speculate and prove in advance what the outcome would be if prayers stopped working. It is all talk. The only real measure would be to gather the facts after such an event has occurred. Then we can debate the football game after the game has finished - even then there would be arguments. Again - are we talking immediate impacts or long term impacts? It is an exercise in folly to even go there. As a teacher - I would say the exam question is a poor question. At best,it is an exercise in imagination.

    So I'll finish with this prayer example.

    Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

    The answer ( or was it no answer? ) to that prayer has resulted in a third of the World Population being Christian. The answer to prayer is a matter of life and death. I would say that is very significant.
     
  17. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    I'm sorry to hear you're not interested in exploring the question further, Firestorm. You were starting to provide some interesting answers.
    By posing the hypothetical question "what would the effects be of prayer ceasing to happen?" we have identified what you believe the effects of prayer to be. You think that God responds to prayer by providing some tangible benefits to humans. Well, if those benefits are provided, then they can be measured. It may be a complicated process, but it's certainly theoretically possible to identify differences between Christians and non-Christians which could only be accounted for if God existed and was answering prayers?
    We would, for example, expect to see statistically higher rates of good luck, recoveries from unexpected illnesses, and even genuine miracles, when we compare Christians to non-Christians.

    Do we?

    One third of the world population isn't very impressive. Given that this is God we're talking about, of course.

    You know, this reminds me of something I read on the Slacktivist blog. Written by Fred Clark, an evangelical Christian, quoting a visitation pastor in hospital:
    L.B. The Visitation Pastor

    "...most dying people want to pray with the chaplain. And they don’t want weak-ass prayers either. They don’t want you to pray that God’s will be done. …

    I threw myself into it. I prayed holding hands and cradling heads. I prayed with children and old men. I prayed with a man who lost his tongue to cancer. I lent him mine. I prayed my ass off. I had 50 variations of every prayer you could imagine, one hell of a repertoire.

    I started noticing something. When the doctors said someone was going to die, they did. When they said 10 percent chance of survival, about 9 out of 10 died. The odds ran pretty much as predicted by the doctors. I mean, is this praying doing ANYTHING?"

    Well, according to you, Firestorm, prayer does do a lot of things. And of course, God may or may not intervene at any particular time. But it's basic probability. When you're praying to God, you have a chance of God answering you. When you're not praying to God, or if you're praying to the wrong god, you have zero chance of an answer from God.

    So, when examining trends over time, we should be able to detect patterns which can only be explained by God answering prayers. The odds shouldn't be running as predicted by the doctors if someone is praying for you, because God answers prayers sometimes.

    Or does He?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  18. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    Not as much as you might think. We do know that God responded in one of two ways: either he didn't respond at all, or He responded in a way that cvanwey didn't understand or recognise.
    So, God's response was either nonexistent or ineffective.

    I think the most sincere believer might give up after thousands of attempts to communicate had been ignored. We know that God heard cvanwey's prayers. He just didn't answer them.

    Ah - but what if word didn't get around? That's the really interesting thing I want to focus on. What if prayer did stop working, but nobody was told about it? How would they find out? Would they find out at all?
    Why pray the sinner's prayer? Well, what happens when you do? Does God speak to you? Does a light shine about you? I think the answer is probably no. Do you feel a sensation of inner peace or happiness? That might happen. But do we actually need God to feel that? Isn't it possible that people just feel happy after having prayed the Sinner's Prayer, or any kind of prayer?
    You see what I'm trying to do, of course. I'm trying to isolate the effects of prayer so that we can see what prayer actually does. If the answer is "praying makes us feel better" - well, do we actually need God to exist for that to happen?
    So, if prayer stopped working...would we notice?
     
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +340
    Atheist
    How interesting.
    I thought you said, back in post 134, that the consequences would probably be be increases in disrespect, workplace bullying, street crime, and the destruction of the world?
    But now it's "all talk" and "not worth considering"?

    So does that mean, you don't actually know what prayer does, or if it indeed does anything?

    Or is it that you know that prayer does do very good things, but you don't know exactly what they are; and so the lack of prayer would mean very bad things, but you're not sure exactly what they are? You certainly seemed very certain that bad things would happen without prayer, and very certain the world would be destroyed without prayer. That sounds like a very specific claim.

    So what, then, is your evidence that prayer does these great things you apparently think it does?
     
  20. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

    +1,681
    Atheist
Loading...