Something to Ponder....
Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
I've been wondering lately. I've said before I'm doing a research paper on religion, and other things. This is my question. (disclaimer: this question is not meant to offend anyone, I am looking for the most truthful answers. )

If something horrible happens to you, and then you pray to God for a recovery, why do you thank him when you get better? Shouldn't you be mad he made you go through that anyway? What about if a believer, a relative, gets hurt, suffers, and dies. Why do you thank him for relieving their pain? Didn't he put them in that predicament? It's just really confusing to me. When I went to church, everything was a test of your faith. But why did my dad die? I subsequently started losing my faith, at my Catholic father's urging. He always let me be a free bird, but as I got older he started hinting that i need to think about it.

Just please give me your honest answers, if I use any, I will expressly ask for permission in an email, then cite them properly.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
Actually, prayer has always puzzled me, as most people use it. If something awful happens, wasn't that part of "God's" plan? Shouldn't we be like Job and just thank god for everything that comes out way and not request any changes to what he/she/it/them had doled out? After all, he/she/it/them knows best.

Thank you lord, for this hideous disease. Good work. Why ask to be healed if he/she/it/them thought you should have it in the first place?
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
Amorette, that's a good point. Being a job's daughter, I know the whole story of Job. He was quite the faithful man, and I'd have to say I could never have that much faith.
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Posted by luvlife (+285) 11 years ago
Smiley, I think this is one of the questions most people ask themselves...why does one have to suffer here on earth?

In my Christianity...i believe this life is more or less just a temporary "home". I was always taught to believe it isnt God that causes illness and heartache...its just our world and the evil that exsists within it. I feel we all just try to muddle thru this life the best we can and have faith in knowing that in the end we each have beautiful eternity to look forward to. That is God's promise to all of us.

Jesus had to suffer and died for our sins... in the end God gives us the gift of eternal life thru this and having faith in our everyday life helps one to get thru these hardships in knowing this isn't the end of all.

We know in this life there is a time to be born and a time to die, How we die, or why we get sick, or why we suffer isn't because of God...but, throught him and having faith we get thru this and know he has a much bigger plan.

I have a friend going thru a terrible illness right now...she says because of this experience she has learned many new blessings and i believe she has taught people who know her a lot and touched many lives. Maybe this is why its said, God works in mysterious ways beyond our comprehension. She has faith in knowing whatever the outcome of this illness...there is a greater plan.

Thru faith, she will continue to fight and except what is before her. Life gives us many times that we are tested forsure and with faith and being a Christian it really gets you through these times. I just can't imagine living life without believing.

This explanation is just a simple one without all the big words and theories...it all doesn't matter when you know in your heart.
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Posted by MRH (+1489) 11 years ago
Boy, you really want folks to stick their necks out today. Well here goes, but remember the information may be worth what you paid for it. I am speaking as a believer that has strayed from the church scene and one that has experienced disease and eventual death of immediate family members. I have also experienced several ailments, but so far have lived through the experiences.

I tend to believe God is good and not evil. In other words, some things (bad) just happen, but that is not necessarily God's will. Prayer, for me, is almost a form of relief and an opportunity to share my concerns and at times ask for help for myself and others, and gain a better understanding of what is occurring around me. Remember these are just my thoughts, and I am sure other's ideas may differ from mine.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
An honest discussion of theodicy is something that is hard to do, primarily because one side will offer up caricature and overly simplistic arguments, and the other side will simply pretend it doesn't exist.

So good luck with that.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Prayer is something that can be twisted to the prayer's purpose in many unintended ways. Praying that your team will win the game? Stupid. There are some churches which advocate prayer as a means of financial gain. So if you are rich, you are good. If you are poor, you are bad. Again, stupid.

To me prayer is a time of contemplation and meditation. Meditation has been scientifically studies and shown to have beneficial effects on mood and concentration. I have never understood the "God will answer your prayers" mentality of religion. I gave up trying years ago.
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
The purpose of prayer is not to change God's mind but to change my willingness to be God's hand in helping that prayer be fulfilled.
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
Also, I do not believe that God causes anything bad to happen to us. That verse that says "God will not give us more than we can bear" is more correctly interpreted from the the original language to say, "God is NOT THE ONE, who gives us more than we can bear."
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
Thank you polar bear for that insight. The general argument would be there is a lot us humans can't bear. I thin we have all experienced it in our own lives or that of someone else.
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 11 years ago
I don't believe in a god who makes people sick or lets little kids get killed in accidents or any other horrible thing. God, as I know him, is good. He's about love and kindness, sunshine, beautiful sunsets, gorgeous mountains and beautiful clouds. God gave us many, many wonderful things, the least of which is the ability to love one another.

We as fallible human beings have managed to muddle up our world. We have developed toxic chemicals, carcinogens, radiation, medications and numerous other things that cause illness and often subsequent death. God did NOT make us do this. In our quest for bigger and better and advancement we have created things that are killing us.

There are too many people today who live only to control others. I could tell you horror stories of people who have been harmed and even killed by the actions of those "in authority" while others say that it could never happen. People have become greedy in their need for power.

We developed alchol and cigarettes. Those two things alone have destroyed more people and families than anyone can begin to tally.

Do I pray when something is wrong. Yes. I ask for God's help and support. By doing so I am asking for the collective positive energy of all believers. Do I pray when something turns out good? Yes. I give prayers of thanks. Do I pray other times? Yes. There are days that I just feel the need to connect to the power that is greater than all of us. When life seems to be so full of negativity I want to recenter myself.

The god of the old testament was a god that was vengeful and killed people. Those books were written by men. To scare men. To make men behave like the authors wanted.

That is not the god I believe in.

I hope this gives you another perspective.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 11 years ago
I don't know about the prayer part, but you can't experience pleasure without experiencing pain -- otherwise pleasure and pain would be equal -- pure hell, since you wouldn't know any difference.
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Posted by luvlife (+285) 11 years ago
Yes, we ALL experience things that we can not bare in this life time...in saying that, isn't it amazing how much we can bare? Just saying...with prayer and faith...it makes life even more bareable.

Life is a tough one forsure...like i spoke about in my above post. I think Smiley, when one has religion really pushed hard and heavy on you as a young person and then you obviously question as you grow into your own person...its hard to fathom???

You have a seed thats planted within you as a child and then it grows thru out your entire life...yet, along the way a lot of weeds to pick through.

Faith is such a personal thing for everyone and we all use it the best way we know how...to help us bare what is before us.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 11 years ago
Author: Smiley Posted: 9/13/2010 9:13:29 AM From: - MT
<I've been wondering lately. I've said before I'm doing a research paper on religion, and other things. This is my question.

(disclaimer: this question is not meant to offend anyone, I am looking for the most truthful answers. )>

Yeah...well, lets see about that...

<If something horrible happens to you, and then you pray to God for a recovery, why do you thank him when you get better?>

First....The prayer is not for God's benefit. He doesn't need anything from us....including your prayer. Its for your benefit. YOU are the one who needs the benefit of prayer. Ultimately it doesn't matter whether you recover from the illness or keel over and die, God is still worthy of your adoration and praise. Think of it...You are going to die sometime...and suggesting that God has to be merciful at any time we ask is silly.





<Shouldn't you be mad he made you go through that anyway?>

Again...are you suggesting that you don't think you ought to pray unless you can be assured He will grant your request?

<What about if a believer, a relative, gets hurt, suffers, and dies.>


Believers and relatives die all the time...whats the big deal? Nothing wrong with rejoicing when we are granted repreive from dying...for a while...but thi9nking we ought never to have to step into eternity is both silly...and futile.





< Why do you thank him for relieving their pain? Didn't he put them in that predicament? >

Make no mistake...He really did allow them to be in pain...just as he allows many of us to exprience absolute joy much of the time. Its HIS call. You see it is God who brings us into the world and it is God who takes us out.


<It's just really confusing to me.>

Yes it IS confusing until you get a handle on the character of God.


< When I went to church, everything was a test of your faith.>

Then you went to the wrong church.

<But why did my dad die?>

You might better ask...why does anyone die. You Dad is special to you...but God is no respecter of persons. He knew/knows your Dad much better than you ever did....and as far as your dad's eternal destination...you have nothing to worry about because rest assured the Judge of all the earth will do right


<I subsequently started losing my faith, at my Catholic father's urging.>

nope...you get no points for suggesting your "catholic" father caused you to lose faith. Those that say they "lost" their faith never reeallyu had it to begin with. They just thought they were good folk.


< He always let me be a free bird, but as I got older he started hinting that i need to think about it.>

Thinking about it is always a good place to start. Most really don't like to do that however (as this website illustrates) because any sincere person who is honest about what he sees and experiences will inexorably be driven to God....and when he IS driven to seek God...He is not always going to be jumping for joy...at least until He learns a little about the character of God..which will drive you to learn more about just who YOU are and what your responsiblity is before a holy Creator.

<Just please give me your honest answers, if I use any, I will expressly ask for permission in an email, then cite them properly.>

Well...there you have it. Truthful answers to the best of my ability. Godspeed with your search.
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
Well, I am very pleased with the answers so far

Everyone seems to have such a different idea, but there is the same basis that prayer is a selfish thing, for hope and compassion. It seems as if it is a thing to keep private. I don't know if I picked that up right, but I'm reading that you pray for yourselves, knowing that "God" can do with it what he chooses.
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Posted by stephen (+250) 11 years ago
My personal feeling on this question is that if you pray to get better and then go to the hospital, don't thank god thank the doctor. If you didn't go to the doctor thank your immune system.
The point I am trying to make is that To much emphasis is given to the supernatural and not enough on simple biology as well as the world around us.
The human mind can rid itself of cancer in what some religious fanatics would call miracles, yet it is simply that a mind that is more positive has the strength to heal the body in which it inhabits.
Of course This is yet again just my belief which I have gained through the study of tests and other materials related to science.
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
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Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 11 years ago
<My personal feeling on this question is that if you pray to get better and then go to the hospital, don't thank god thank the doctor.>

So...you want to pray to the doctor?


< If you didn't go to the doctor thank your immune system.>

who created such an ingenious thing as an immune sytem?


<The point I am trying to make is that To much emphasis is given to the supernatural and not enough on simple biology as well as the world around us.>

How can too much emphasis be given to God if He is the ultimate causer of it all?


<The human mind can rid itself of cancer in what some religious fanatics would call miracles, yet it is simply that a mind that is more positive has the strength to heal the body in which it inhabits.>

nonesense. The mind cannot heal anything. Your mind could possible fool you into thinking it had healed you...but only because you were so gullible. Not one molecule in this universe can move unless God specifically causes it to.


<Of course This is yet again just my belief which I have gained through the study of tests and other materials related to science.>

Sounds like a LOT more study is in order to me.
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Posted by Tracy Walters (+302) 11 years ago
The interpretation of the Bible and God's Will that I am familiar with is that prayer is to ask for God's support in your life, and that prayer doesn't just happen when you think you need help.

Prayer should be a continous thing...not only in the morning on your knees, but throughout the day whatever you are doing. Ask God to help you work through something according to His will. Prayer is praising God, not asking for free gifts. We need to ask for God's forgiveness in prayer, but also for help in understanding and doing His will.

It seems simple, but many hate the thought of it, and it's really hard to give up control to Him. I fought it for 44 years.
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Posted by Billie Deutscher (+32) 11 years ago
Remember that in the Beginning God gave us a beautiful paridice to live in, with everlasting life. It was Saten who brought sin and death into the world. We pray to god to help us live our lives according to his standards. He gave us the Bible to follow and to live ourlives by his promise is still the same that someday we will live on earth in a paridice. The meek will inherit the earth. Ps 37:10 & 11
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 11 years ago
Everyone seems to have such a different idea, but there is the same basis that prayer is a selfish thing, for hope and compassion. It seems as if it is a thing to keep private. I don't know if I picked that up right, but I'm reading that you pray for yourselves, knowing that "God" can do with it what he chooses.

Wow. That is not at all what a lot of people are saying. Giving prayers of thanksgiving is not a selfish thing. Praying for those we know in this life is not a selfish thing. And it's not a private thing either. The most powerful prayers happen when people are joined together in prayer.
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Posted by luvlife (+285) 11 years ago
Smiley...i have to agree with Kacey...you've got it all wrong in what your hearing from each individual. There is nothing selfish about prayer in any way, shape or form. You wanted a reply from different individuals on this post...and possibly wanted to hear something different then what most of us are telling you.
Maybe re-read it again, because i did...and did not hear what you are hearing from those posting.
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
Lol ok, I guess I missed the mark. My apologies, it wasn't meant to offend. I was collectively observing that, but I guess I was incorrect. Again, I'm sorry but I still want input,
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Posted by luvlife (+285) 11 years ago
Smiley...its ok...we prayed for you and now you have been forgiven! (JUST KIDDING)!...just trying to lighten things up!
I was just curious...is your paper your doing on this for college? I remember a religion class i had way back when...seems to me it was rather confusing and somehow my teacher put both science and christianity together and it all made sense then. Wish i could remember exactly how she put it...but, it was good.
Anyway...good luck on this! I'm always into learning and growing from others...never to old!
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
I have to say that I expected this thread to be a train wreck and it has turned out pretty well. Nice work .
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
HAHA levi, Ditto.

I am writing a research paper for college writing 2. This is just the skim. I'll use things from here intermittently.

The paper's topic is ... Well, Learning about Atheism to Combat Evangelists. That's my honest topic, and I'm not hiding it, really. The paper is not about attacking anyone(even though it says combat) but more about people who are not anything getting educated to make smart decisions.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
It sounds like you are starting this "research" with a some assumptions already in place. I hope you are listening and trying to understand rather than looking for ammunition for your thesis. After all, the point of research is to gain an understanding of what you are researching, not to prove what you thought when you started.
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Posted by Smiley (+847) 11 years ago
No assumptions really. I think about 8 weeks into it, my thesis will crumble under evidence and ill have to start over. And you are absolutely right.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
An honest discussion of theodicy is something that is hard to do, primarily because one side will offer up caricature and overly simplistic arguments, and the other side will simply pretend it doesn't exist.

So good luck with that.


Well said.

I am currently wading through a book entitled "The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World". Written by William Dembski. It has been interesting and thought provoking read on the subject of theodicy.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (9/15/2010)]
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Posted by Steve Allison (+981) 11 years ago
Ok first off I need to say the Confirmation classes were many many years ago and what fallows is what I can remember from discussions way back then. People were granted free will from God, this is an important element of being human. Above all other creature, we are granted the ability to tell right from wrong and act as we wanted to with that knowledge.
Every religion was a set of laws or rules governing moral behavior. But, being the creator of the life, Universe and everything, God also created the laws of physics. Just because church people didn't write them down, they are no less important then the written moral laws. This means that prayer can not save you from falling if you step off a cliff or other high point, prayer can not allow you to breath water at the bottom of an ocean and prayer will not save you when you build home in an area historically call tornado alley.
We were also taught the purpose of prayer is not to change Gods mind but to help you except the consequences of the life we have chosen and help us work towards better choices in the future. Traditionally a prayer should end with 'thy will be done', even if that will is beyond our understanding.
Well that is a couple of my cents worth on the subject. Thanks for lessoning.
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