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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 10 years ago
I have recently been thinking about the phrase "I'll keep you in my prayers" or "thoughts and prayers" and wonder how many people say that and acutally do it. Are people really stopping and acutually praying each day? I'm not a pray-er, so to me the statement holds no water. But when someone says it, do they literally mean it, or just figuratively like "wishing you better"? Or has it become the acceptable and almost required thing to say to someone in crisis?

Your thoughts please.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 10 years ago
To me it means "I'm thinking about you and doing what I can to cause a miracle to make things better for you."
It's positive thinking. Nothing wrong with that.
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Posted by GW (+440) 10 years ago
When I say, "You are in my prayers." I pray for that person. Most of the time, right at that moment. When I say my daily prayers I add people and thank God for the prayers he has already answered. I am thankful for the ones who pray for me and I am blessed with the power of prayers from others.......
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
In my experience, it is nothing more than a method to deal with cognitive dissidence. It is usually a euphemism for I feel bad about sitting on my butt and not helping you with your situation in a tangible manner.
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Posted by Kelly (+2804) 10 years ago
... and thank God for the prayers he has already answered.


Translated: An outcome favorable to me occurred, without evidence of divine intervention.
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Posted by GW (+440) 10 years ago
Not everyone gets the answers they want, but like the Garth Brooks said, "Thank God for unanswered prayers". (I believe that too) I have had many unanswered and many answered. When others have prayed for me it might be because I am sick or looking for a job, or worried about my kids or etc..., but sometimes I don't ask for prayers but people keep me in their prayers. There are those who believe and those who don't. I am a believer in God and the power of prayer!
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 10 years ago
When I tell someone I am keeping them in my prayers I am praying for them. I pray for positive things, for peace, for health.

As for positive outcomes, prayers of thanks.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
Richard said

In my experience, it is nothing more than a method to deal with cognitive dissidence


Oops... that should be cognitive dissonance. I regret the error.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 10 years ago
I was praying you would make the correction!

So Kacey,

You really are praying? Like "Oh Lord please _______ "? Or is it more like "I hope this happens for them", and that's good? I'm just trying to understand.

[This message has been edited by Cory Cutting (5/4/2012)]

[This message has been edited by Cory Cutting (5/4/2012)]
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Posted by TMF (+653) 10 years ago
It is usually a euphemism for I feel bad about sitting on my butt and not helping you with your situation in a tangible manner.


Richard alot of the time when you say your praying for someone, there's not much you can do. I'm sure if they could magically wave there hands over someone to make them better, they probably would. Praying for some one, is a way of showing hope when there isnt any, or asking for a miracle or to stop suffering or pain. There are alot worse things out there than death. Personally, when I say my prayer's go out to you and your family or i'll pray for them, I make it a point to do it.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 10 years ago
The difficult part of answering this question is that there are so many ways to pray. If the question is, when I say I'll pray for you, do I drop down on my knees in front of an altar and rub prayer beads until callouses form on finger tips, then the answer is no.

If the question is a bit broader than that, then I'd answer similarly to TME and others above.

I use prayer in my life the way Norman Vincent Peale describes in his classic book "The Power of Positive Thinking." Unfortunately, his spiritual approach to positive attitudes has been taken to ridiculous extremes today by pop-phenomenoms like "The Secret" and certain "think it, acheive it" ministers that focus on material rather than spiritual results.

I believe in prayer because I've seen it work miracles in terms of providing people with the strength to face with grace everything from life's daily struggles to its most challenging moments. Sustenance and resurrection of the spirit is often as difficult and impressive as sustenance and resurrection of the flesh.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
The only thing accomplished by prayer or meditation is to change brain chemistry.

This link explains some of how that works:

http://www.npr.org/templ...=110997741

And yes, if necessary, I will expose the elephant in the room.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 10 years ago
And does any of that make life any less miraculous?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
Depends on how you are defining "miraculous".
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12288) 10 years ago
If god is omnipotent and knows what is best for us, shouldn't we just accept that? Why ask for him to change his mind? Do we really think that asking him to change his mind will work? Do we really think that he is counting the votes? Does he save people based on how many petition for that person or does he save people based on his judgement?

I don't pray for people. I try to help if I can and worry about them if I can't. Best I can do.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 10 years ago
If I were a cynic, I would define it as any occurence for which the cause of the effect isn't understood.

For me tho, the more we understand the origin of life, of the universe, and of conflict and confluence at all scales, the more miraculous all of those things seem.

When 1+1 doesn't just equal 2, but instead equals 1/0 (as it does when sperm + egg = life) -- well, that's a miracle, no matter how well you map the DNA.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
If god is omnipotent and knows what is best for us, shouldn't we just accept that? Why ask for him to change his mind? Do we really think that asking him to change his mind will work?


The property of god being "all knowing" is "omniscience", not omnipotence. Omnipotence is unlimited power.

The notion that god is all knowing and would know that he can be talked into changing his mind or know that he will in the future change his mind, is evidence that he in fact isn't omniscient and therefore can't exist.

The the ability our of our species to create brain chemistry to cope and suppress our cognitive dissonance is fascinating. "Miraculous", "miracle", etc are words that are carelessly tossed around and is usually the result of selective observation.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (5/5/2012)]
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Posted by Exalted Buckaroo (+249) 10 years ago
Many in my family pepper each visit, phone conversation, e-mail, or card with this phrase or some other mention of God, usually to irritate the poop out of me. Works every time.
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Posted by howdy (+4944) 10 years ago
I could swear that some folks intentionally use that phrase "I will pray for you", to act like they are looking down on you and saying you need prayer for some reason...Like they belong to some exclusive club, and are reminding you of it...and I don't mean all folks by a long shot, just some...and I agree they are very irritating but then I remind myself that their prayers probably couldn't reach above the ceiling, truth be told, LOL..
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 10 years ago
That's hilarious, Howdy.

I think praying for a person is only powerful if both you and that person have faith the power of prayer. If someone tells me they don't believe in prayer, then there is no reason to do it. If someone tells me (as Brian once did) that they specifically don't want any prayers, then there is a reason NOT to do it.

That doesn't stop me from hoping for their (recovery, success, whatever) and worrying about them if they are in a dangerous or stressful situation, which is a simple function of caring about them. But to pray when you've been asked not to is rude and disrepectful of them.

The worst use of prayer is to put someone down and/or build yourself up above another person. If there is a sinful way to use prayer, it's to use it as part of a judgement that someone "needs" it.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 10 years ago
It's just all about what you believe. What might be soothing for some people could piss off others.
Just the other day we had a 15yo going into hysterics at the news of her father's accident. A very religious team mother who knew the family well got her calmed down with a prayer. Magic. Whatever works for you. I'm a huge fan of positive thinking, myself. And I think my fellow human has the right to believe in whatever makes them a better person.
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 10 years ago
Yes Cory, I really pray. How I pray depends on the circumstances and the need.

Sometimes people in serious circumstances can't get the words together. Sometimes fear over illness or surgery or impending death blocks a person's ability to pray. Shock will block a person. That's why others who believe in prayer will offer their prayers.

Yes, God knows what we need. But the act of praying keeps us connected to God. Not only prayers of supplication but also prayers of thanksgiving.
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Posted by mule train (+1056) 10 years ago
BATTING 1.000 on prayers answered. But then again, my god and me have an understanding.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 10 years ago
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