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Switch to Forum Live View The Power of Prayer! Is it observable?
4 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2010 - 6:25PM #1
Seefan
Posts: 3,909

In a conversation I was having on the Islam board a frank and opening conversation started with the usefulness or not of an imposed national day of prayer. This soon developed into a number of inner woven topics from sin, to Adam and Eve, to the power and purpose of prayer. However, as you might have surmised it became too off topic so I thought we could open a topic here using the basic idea of the "Power of Prayer"! It is real or imagined? If real, how does it plays in one’s life ...



"The true worshiper, while praying, should endeavour not so much to ask God to fulfil his wishes and desires, but rather to adjust these and make them conform to the Divine Will. Only through such an attitude can one derive that feeling of inner peace and contentment which the power of prayer alone can confer." (The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 240)



We may feel helpless to be of benefit and/or assistance to situations like what is happening to the Baha’is in Iran so we prayer for them. The question that might come from someone who doesn’t believe in the power of prayer maybe: "But how does pray help in the 1st place.


I hope posters will jump in, but to start this threat, if I may cut and past a comment I made on the Islam board:


My understanding is that prayer is like rain! It promotes spiritual growth for the individual and the world at large! The purpose and power of prayer is intermingled with our heart and mind as it relates to the spirit and soul of man as well as its relationship with the Word of God in developing our spiritual understanding – individually and collectively. Through our spiritual understanding as it relates to the Word of God for this day, prayer develops a commitment to action as the result of the increased knowledge of God’s desires. If one doesn’t fully understand the ramification of the prayer and resulting action, prayer helps one to stay committed to the process thereby allowing for the result God expects. God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves! To pray for the Baha’is of Iran doesn’t mean I know the full ramification from such action but I trust that positive things not fully know is the result. I know as an individual and as a global community Baha’is all over the world become more united in thought, the first requirement for change, as well as a collective effort of informing the secular world, and mobilizing resources (media, gov’t, agencies that might be influential, etc) for their benefit. Peaceful efforts are always sought ...


But what do I know? So! Is prayer real? Does prayer help? If so how?


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2010 - 9:11PM #2
world citizen
Posts: 5,438

Is prayer real?  Better asked, I suppose, would be Are prayers answered? or Does praying really work?  I could list a number of mini-miracles in my life that answer those questions with a resounding, Yes!, but with the exception of two in particular, each could also be attributed to chance or happenstance by those not inclined to rely on God as the All-Sufficing.  I think that prayer and life's little miracles often go hand in hand, but I also think that a day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2010 - 10:38AM #3
IDBC
Posts: 4,468

Howdy Seefan


Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:


 


My understanding is that prayer is like rain! It promotes spiritual growth for the individual and the world at large!


 


My understanding is the meditation is like rain!  It promotes spiritual growth and the world  at large. 


 


Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:


The purpose and power of prayer is intermingled with our heart and mind as it relates to the spirit and soul of man as well as its relationship with the Word of God in developing our spiritual understanding – individually and collectively.



The purpose and power of medititation focuses the mind of man on its relationship with all sentient bengs. 


  I like to start at the basics.   What is prayer? 


dictionary.reference.com/browse/prayer+


Now there are several different definations for the word prayer. 


In the specific case of your "praying" for the Bahai in Iran which of the definition applies?


I think it is safe to say that your prayers are directed  towards God. 


What words are you saying or thinking when you are either asking or communing with God reagarding the Bahai in Iran?


Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:

But what do I know?



What do you believe? 


Is there a difference between what you know and what you believe?


Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:

So! Is prayer real?



Yes prayers are real.  The Bible is real.  The Quran is real.   I know that they exist.  But wether or not they are the wordS of God is not known, but believed.


Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:

 Does prayer help?



I don't know.  How would you be able to tell if it works?


 

Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:

If so how? 



As I said in the other thread prayer might help the person doing the prayer by giving him hope that God is going to hear his prayers and in someway respond.  It may help those who are being prayed for by if they knew somenone was praying for them. 


So in those contexts prayer might help. 


But meditation could accomplish the same objectives.   


However I do not think that prayer is of much help in stopping the persecution of the Bahai in Iran. 


Have A Thinking Day And May Reason And  Compassion Guide You Smile




HAVE A THINKING DAY MAY REASON GUIDE YOU
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2010 - 4:14PM #4
world citizen
Posts: 5,438

How would you be able to tell if it works? ... meditation could accomplish the same objectives.

I think meditation is absolutely the way to go for finding inner peace, but it can never accomplish what fervent prayer might*, and often does, for a specific need.  A factual case in point...  a youth is diagnosed in the ER with spinal meningitis and by the next morning it has spread up the spine and brain swelling (encephylitis) has begun.  The teen is now in a deep coma.  The doctors' prognosis is imminent death within 72 hours and the family is told to "prepare" for the inevitable.  The word spreads like wildfire among friends and fellow highschool students for the need of prayers on her behalf.  Long story short, within 48 hours the teen comes out of the coma and has no residual side effects other than a bad headache and blurred vision, both of which disappeared within two more days.


*I say "might" because only God knows whether what we ask for is for the best.  Prayers for a dying person also serve for the progression of that soul in the next life.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 12:10AM #5
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,704

Communion with God makes us better.


It should shape our desires into conformance with the Divine Will.


We learn how we should become and be.


We are enlightened as to what we should want, receiving contentment and certitude.


It is free for us to ask for what is in our hearts.


Our hearts should grow to hold more, become big enough to hold the Throne of God.


Emptying the heart of all else, helps make more room.


When there is infinite room, there is no self as there is no center to be self-centered.


Nothing is more eloquent than silent listening.


God is Most Eloquent.


We are so blessed with favor.


A bounty whose immensity is immeasurable, whose extent is boundless.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 12:43AM #6
larry
Posts: 21

alot of yall are asking does prayer work well with the faith of a mustured seed all aman has to do is say mountion move and the mountion will move but but thats from biblical text of christanity but the buddist as i understand it belive that religions are the path to enlightendment others have realised that pain is relitive and by the power of the mind simplied blocked it out and all of this can be achived by faith and the defination of faith is without doubt  you cant just  make anything happen at the snap of your fingers you just have to realise it has already been done so yes with faith prayer will work


 


but with all that power the createor wills to us doesnt make prayer a little oboslite


ay food for thought ever wonder it never answers back maybe the creator trying to tell you something "like ay artard do all by your self i didnt spend a week making you so you can ask for help every 5 seconds"

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 10:55AM #7
Seefan
Posts: 3,909

Jun 3, 2010 -- 12:43AM, larry wrote:


alot of yall are asking does prayer work well with the faith of a mustured seed all aman has to do is say mountion move and the mountion will move but but thats from biblical text of christanity but the buddist as i understand it belive that religions are the path to enlightendment others have realised that pain is relitive and by the power of the mind simplied blocked it out and all of this can be achived by faith and the defination of faith is without doubt  you cant just  make anything happen at the snap of your fingers you just have to realise it has already been done so yes with faith prayer will work


 


but with all that power the createor wills to us doesnt make prayer a little oboslite


ay food for thought ever wonder it never answers back maybe the creator trying to tell you something "like ay artard do all by your self i didnt spend a week making you so you can ask for help every 5 seconds"




"I didnt spend a week making you so you can ask for help every 5 seconds"


I like that Larry ... Wink


Welcome to the Baha'i Board ...  Smile

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 11:21AM #8
Seefan
Posts: 3,909

Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

Jun 1, 2010 -- 6:25PM, Seefan wrote:


My understanding is that prayer is like rain! It promotes spiritual growth for the individual and the world at large!



My understanding is the meditation is like rain! It promotes spiritual growth and the world at large.



Yes! That works too! I think prayer clears the way for meditation but they seem to go hand in hand ...



"Prayer and meditation are very important factors in deepening the spiritual life of the individual, but with them must go also action and example, as these are the tangible result of the former. Both are essential." (Lights of Guidance, p. 456)



Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

The purpose and power of medititation focuses the mind of man on its relationship with all sentient bengs. I like to start at the basics. What is prayer?



First ...  Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life ... (Paris Talks, p. 173)

If meditation has no particular focus I’m not sure what can be accomplished. I suspect that if you combine prayer with meditation, prayer is the talking part prior to meditation. We commune with God asking for knowledge or whatever our heart desires, thus giving a focus for the meditation. But as said above the key is arriving at an action one feels is needed ...


Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

In the specific case of your "praying" for the Bahai in Iran which of the definition applies? I think it is safe to say that your prayers are directed towards God. What words are you saying or thinking when you are either asking or communing with God reagarding the Bahai in Iran?



I think the words depend. I suppose the state of one’s heart and mind are of much more importance. For me all prayer should include a desire to know and accept God’s Will in any given situation. As to specifics, it maybe just an asking for a resolve to the problems in Iran as a whole, praying for the country to improve it track record in regards to all of its citizens. Or I may recite prayers specifically revealed by Baha’u’llah which seems appropriate. What is very important to me is that I ask for patience and steadfastness for those suffering; and patience for myself in prayers not being answered according to my will and in my time frame.


Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

As I said in the other thread prayer might help the person doing the prayer by giving him hope that God is going to hear his prayers and in someway respond. It may help those who are being prayed for by if they knew somenone was praying for them. So in those contexts prayer might help. But meditation could accomplish the same objectives.



As said above, I think prayer and meditation go hand in hand!  But as to prayer, I suspect that we don't truly understand what prayer is or its power.  While you may or may not believe it many prayers are answered potentially.  We are hungry and ask for food and we have food.  We ask for sleep because we are tired and we are given sleep.  While sleeping we potentially ask to wake and we become awake.  While to many it doesn't appear to be prayers they are asked and answered potentially and directly or indirectly come from God, the Creator ...


Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

However I do not think that prayer is of much help in stopping the persecution of the Bahai in Iran.



I think God has a divine plan and I don't really know but I definite think so. Prayer can help the one praying as you recognize. But I think it can help the world as well. The plight of the Baha’is in Iran is known by the world over. There is a rising support for them and against the gov’t abuses put on its citizen not only by the peoples of the world but by many of the governments as well. The baha’is are holding strong to their beliefs and I’m sure it has to be a very bleak situation for them. Also I’m sure there are things God is directing that we don’t even know.  I believe there are global ramifications that are far reaching and are touching the very soul of humanity through these servere struggles of the Baha'is of Iran ...


Jun 2, 2010 -- 10:38AM, IDBC wrote:

Have A Thinking Day And May Reason And Compassion Guide You



I’m trying! Thanks  ... Wink


 


Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 6:00PM #9
IDBC
Posts: 4,468

Howdy


Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:


How would you be able to tell if it works? ... meditation could accomplish the same objectives.

I think meditation is absolutely the way to go for finding inner peace, but it can never accomplish what fervent prayer might*, and often does, for a specific need.  A factual case in point...  a youth is diagnosed in the ER with spinal meningitis and by the next morning it has spread up the spine and brain swelling (encephylitis) has begun. 


 


Does this youth have a name? 


 

Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:

The teen is now in a deep coma.  The doctors' prognosis is imminent death within 72 hours and the family is told to "prepare" for the inevitable.  The word spreads like wildfire among friends and fellow highschool students for the need of prayers on her behalf.  Long story short, within 48 hours the teen comes out of the coma and has no residual side effects other than a bad headache and blurred vision, both of which disappeared within two more days.



So this sounds like a prayer in which the friends and fellow youths petitioned God to save their friend. 


Because their friend survived you attribute this to the prayers of his fellow students and friends. 


Is that correct?


 


Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:

*I say "might" because only God knows whether what we ask for is for the best.  Prayers for a dying person also serve for the progression of that soul in the next life.



When the friends and fellow students prayed for the youth did they pray for


A.  God to save their friend from dying of meningitis?


B.  God to help the progession of their friends soul to the next life?


C. God to do something? 


So wether the youth lived or died the prayers would be answered.  It is therefore impossible to prove that prayers work.   No matter what had happened you can say that the prayers worked. 


Your claim cannot be disproved.  No matter what happened you can claim that God  did something.    Is that correct? 


Have A Thinking Day And May Reason Guide You Smile

HAVE A THINKING DAY MAY REASON GUIDE YOU
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 6:51PM #10
larry
Posts: 21

Jun 3, 2010 -- 6:00PM, IDBC wrote:


Howdy


Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:


How would you be able to tell if it works? ... meditation could accomplish the same objectives.

I think meditation is absolutely the way to go for finding inner peace, but it can never accomplish what fervent prayer might*, and often does, for a specific need.  A factual case in point...  a youth is diagnosed in the ER with spinal meningitis and by the next morning it has spread up the spine and brain swelling (encephylitis) has begun. 


 


Does this youth have a name? 


 

Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:

The teen is now in a deep coma.  The doctors' prognosis is imminent death within 72 hours and the family is told to "prepare" for the inevitable.  The word spreads like wildfire among friends and fellow highschool students for the need of prayers on her behalf.  Long story short, within 48 hours the teen comes out of the coma and has no residual side effects other than a bad headache and blurred vision, both of which disappeared within two more days.



So this sounds like a prayer in which the friends and fellow youths petitioned God to save their friend. 


Because their friend survived you attribute this to the prayers of his fellow students and friends. 


Is that correct?


 


Jun 2, 2010 -- 4:14PM, world citizen wrote:

*I say "might" because only God knows whether what we ask for is for the best.  Prayers for a dying person also serve for the progression of that soul in the next life.



When the friends and fellow students prayed for the youth did they pray for


A.  God to save their friend from dying of meningitis?


B.  God to help the progession of their friends soul to the next life?


C. God to do something? 


So wether the youth lived or died the prayers would be answered.  It is therefore impossible to prove that prayers work.   No matter what had happened you can say that the prayers worked. 


Your claim cannot be disproved.  No matter what happened you can claim that God  did something.    Is that correct? 


Have A Thinking Day And May Reason Guide You




nope you should stop and think god is not the only the only force out there that governs our lives almost every one belives the in the anti god (devil) and its minons and temtation is not the only wepeon they they and use we know they currupt and taint the pure so if they find use of someone they would take advantage even if that means saving a life beside how can they sit by and watch a perfectly good soul march through those pearly gates makes you wonder what else evil they pass off as purity

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