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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people 45+. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is told in chapters 11-25 of the book of Genesis.
Learn More:Abraham & Sarah

Aug 10th 2013 new
(quote) Dave-104327 said: There's another option you forget which is, "here's something even worse." God is not likely to rearrange the timeline of anyone's life based on a prayer chain, or a novena or a rosary. (I say not likely since I do not pretend to know the mind of God, and I still believe that He can do anything if He so chooses) But many religious people do think they can know God's mind and use prayer as a way to alter events. Predestination is frowned upon by the RCC but it's kind of the way things really work. However, I would like to have another word to define it. We've all heard the slot machine analogy to prayer. St. Monica was just feeding the prayer slot. I greatly admire her tenaciousness, but it was in a way self-serving. She might well have been capable of great things that she did not attempt. She chose rather to spend all that time praying for Augustine who was going to convert in the long run anyway.
Miracles of healing, which are very thoroughly investigated by the Church, are required before saints are canonized, so there is ample evidence that such occurrences do indeed occur.

The reason religious people pray is not because they think they can understand God's mind, but because they have faith that God is pleased by prayer and will act on them in a manner that is in accord with His will (i.e., invoke His active will in place of His permissive will). The is a fundamental principle of out faith, which is revealed in Scripture (both the Old and New Testaments) as well as being part of Sacred Tradition.

Yes, it is possible God may answer our prayers in a way that we don't care for. Subjectively, the response may seem worse than what we request; however, objectively it is directed to improving our eternal salvation -- the only outcome that really matters.

Aug 10th 2013 new
All I can say is "ask and you shall receive." If we don't ask God for what we need or for His forgiveness we will never get it. So I don't understand why someone would say praying is a waste of time. God has His time table not ours. How little faith one has if he does not believe God will grant their prayers, unless their prayers have never been answered. Maybe your intent or lack of faith in God has not made it possible. I pray that all that you ask from The Lord is given to you.Corinne
Aug 11th 2013 new
I've prayed for all sorts of things, love being among them, but these days I don't even know what to pray for. It seems as though the answer is just, "no."
Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Jerry-74383 said: Miracles of healing, which are very thoroughly investigated by the Church, are required before saints are canonized, so there is ample evidence that such occurrences do indeed occur.

The reason religious people pray is not because they think they can understand God's mind, but because they have faith that God is pleased by prayer and will act on them in a manner that is in accord with His will (i.e., invoke His active will in place of His permissive will). The is a fundamental principle of out faith, which is revealed in Scripture (both the Old and New Testaments) as well as being part of Sacred Tradition.

Yes, it is possible God may answer our prayers in a way that we don't care for. Subjectively, the response may seem worse than what we request; however, objectively it is directed to improving our eternal salvation -- the only outcome that really matters.

I don't think I mentioned miracles, but if a miracle occurs you can rest assured it was not because anyone prayed for it. It was going to happen anyway. Numerous double blind studies have been done testing the efficacy of prayer on hospital patients. The statistical outcome has regularly been that patients that were prayed for, fared slightly worse than those that had no one praying for them.

If a praying person expects God to act on their request in an active way in place of what would otherwise happen via his permissive will, they are implying that they know what makes God act and they are hopeful that He will act in their favor which essentially changes the outcome of what would otherwise happen permissively.

Without actually knowing the mind of God it is not possible to assume with any sort of certainty that the result of an unfulfilled prayer was directed to improving our eternal salvation - but that is what we hope.
Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Jerry-74383 said: "Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)

It's not an either/or situation: we can -- and should -- pray for guidance first; to pray while we are doing -- or, in many cases, not doing things that shouldn't be done; and to pray in thanksgiving afterward.

To willfully avoid prayer is a very good way to head off in the wrong direction or to not achieve the results we could have otherwise. Our actions have no merit on their own, but only through God's grace.

I don't avoid prayer. My prayers are prayers of Thanksgiving, Adoration and Reparation. I rarely utter a prayer of Petition and even then I feel like I'm just putting a coin in a slot machine and hoping.
Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Jerry-74383 said: And you computed these odds.... how?

I suspect that there is a mathematical algorithm that would explain the possibilities, but I'm no mathematician. It's more of a left handed or back door logic that leads one to the conclusion that since he did eventually convert, he was destined to convert, short of the divinity altering his life timeline.
Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Corinne-916860 said: All I can say is "ask and you shall receive." If we don't ask God for what we need or for His forgiveness we will never get it. So I don't understand why someone would say praying is a waste of time. God has His time table not ours. How little faith one has if he does not believe God will grant their prayers, unless their prayers have never been answered. Maybe your intent or lack of faith in God has not made it possible. I pray that all that you ask from The Lord is given to you.Corinne
Thank you for the insight Corinne.

I do ask for His forgiveness regularly (probably to the point that He is tired of hearing about it) And I do feel that I am forgiven, so it's not that I have no faith. But I don't remember a prayer of mine that was answered. At least not one of such significance that I remembered it. Every one of us on Match is asking God to help us find our other half. What do you suppose is the success rate over the years? I would guess less than 2% have made a match here. So does that say that for the other 98% God has some other plan? That doesn't really shout "Ask and you shall receive to me." And I further suspect that a goodly percentage of us are really good, loving, caring and helpful Catholics. Who better to shower grace and the benefits of a lifelong partnership on than us - the Good Guys? And the old saw about no answer to a prayer is an answer in and of itself, is just a word game handed down from some old theologian who had no good answer to the question. I admit there is one thing I do ask of God, but it's not directly for me. I ask Him to grant patience, peace and serenity to my son who's in jail. If your grand daughter follows you around the kitchen while you bake cookies asking you for one, do you give her the silent treatment and expect her to think that your silence is an answer?
Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Dave-104327 said: I suspect that there is a mathematical algorithm that would explain the possibilities, but I'm no mathematician. It's more of a left handed or back door logic that leads one to the conclusion that since he did eventually convert, he was destined to convert, short of the divinity altering his life timeline.
There is no more logic here than there is mathematics: it is, plain and simple, an unsupported personal opinion.

Human behavior is very unpredictable, so it is impossible to know what impact his mother's prayers had on Augustine. However, there are many, many examples of medical cases, where prognosis is much more deterministic, of completely unexplainables cures occurring in association with prayers to various saint or candidates for canonization.

Can you propose a valid line of reasoning to support your contention that behavior is refractory from influence by prayer while physical health is not?

Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Pam-953847 said: I pray, yes. But then again I also say, if I see a man fall off the "ACME turnip truck- that's God's sign to me!"

Pam
In that part of the country, I'd think seeing any Acme grocery truck would be extremely rare. Now a Harris-Teeter, Winn Dixie, or Food Lion turnip truck... wink


Aug 11th 2013 new
(quote) Dave-104327 said: I don't think I mentioned miracles, but if a miracle occurs you can rest assured it was not because anyone prayed for it. It was going to happen anyway. Numerous double blind studies have been done testing the efficacy of prayer on hospital patients. The statistical outcome has regularly been that patients that were prayed for, fared slightly worse than those that had no one praying for them.

If a praying person expects God to act on their request in an active way in place of what would otherwise happen via his permissive will, they are implying that they know what makes God act and they are hopeful that He will act in their favor which essentially changes the outcome of what would otherwise happen permissively.

Without actually knowing the mind of God it is not possible to assume with any sort of certainty that the result of an unfulfilled prayer was directed to improving our eternal salvation - but that is what we hope.
No, Dave, , we can rest assured of no such thing.

There is a difference -- a very large difference -- between praying to request an outcome and praying with expectation of an outcome. The former is an expression of faith and hope that is part of divine revelation and sacred tradition; the latter is a form of superstition the Catechism warns against.

Obviously, the efficacy of prayer is not subject to quantification by clinical trials.


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