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Is the concept of "the power of prayer" valid?

  1. Clive Donegal profile image77
    Clive Donegalposted 5 years ago

    Is the concept of "the power of prayer" valid?

    That is, does prayer work? If so, is it because there is a divinity who grants, ignores, or reinterprets petitions or because it fosters hope and self-confidence?

  2. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 5 years ago

    i'm an atheist but i do believe that for some praying does help. it gives them faith that something out there is looking over them and some people need that .

  3. pstraubie48 profile image87
    pstraubie48posted 5 years ago

    Absolutely, unequivocally, yes. Too many times, in too many situations, prayers have been answered for friends and family members. Sometimes prayer is not answered the way we wish it ot be but that does not give one cause to no longer pray.
    I wrote about being a Lighthouse in one of my articles...praying for everyone on your street or in your town so they may be blessed.
    Fervent sincere prayer keeps the lives of those who pray connected and in tune with God. Be still and listen...He does answer...

  4. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 5 years ago

    Every scientific experiment that has examined prayer has shown that it doesn't produce any significant healing effects.

    Why has God never regrown a limb?  Why is it that ostensible "recoveries" are always something that medicine or the body can heal on it's own? 

    Furthermore, what kind of God makes you beg and plead for his healing powers?  If I had a child, and it was dying of cancer, I wouldn't say, "you better ask me often and nicely to heal your cancer, otherwise I won't do it."  Is God incapable of doing something without being asked?  Does prayer somehow make it more likely he will show mercy?

    It's an absurd little game.

    1. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hmmm....are you sure about that? I seem to recall having read something to the contrary about the healing effects of prayer. God does not ask us to "beg and plead." Who do you think designed the healing process in the first place?

    2. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Why do you pray at all if God doesn't want you to beg?  God already knows what you are going to ask before you ask.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/healt … wanted=all

      Sorry.  The evidence is in.

    3. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That is true, God does know what we need before we ask. Sorry, but I don't need to NY Times to tell me that. it's in the Holy Bible. You should read it sometime 0 you will be amazed.

    4. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I'd rather not get my moral advice from a book that condones slavery.  Thanks for the suggestion though.

    5. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      What book is that? You think the Bible condones slavery? You should read it sometime - you'll be amazed!

    6. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Oh I have.  I grew up in the warped world of conservative Christianity, which says every word is divinely inspired, but has terrible trouble dealing with verses like Colossians 3:22, which claims, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything..."

    7. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Too bad - you should study the Bible under some good instruction.

    8. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I was enjoying the discussion when it was focused on the issue of the power of prayer. I don't see that personal attacks further the discussion--or benefit anyone.

    9. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      When Mr. Dubu stopped even attempting to answer objections, it was obvious what was going on.

    10. Caries Mission profile image59
      Caries Missionposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      God always answers your prayers. He answers them 3 ways. "Yes, No, or Later." The Lord's Prayer says " Your will be done." You cannot pray to God "telling" him what he should do. You need to ask him what you need if it is His will for you to have it.

    11. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Won't you find out what God's will is going to be when the events actually occur?  Are you saying prayer gives you a sort of road map to the future of your life?

    12. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      God answers prayer. He remains sovereign, but prayer has the power to change things. I have no idea what you are referring to about me stopping responding - I have other things to do than answer irrational, hostile posts all day long.

    13. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      When presented with empirical evidence, you backed away and said you "knew better."  Sorry.  If you want to remain irrational, be my guest.  It's a free country.  But don't pretend you actually offered a defense of your position.

    14. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Ridiculous. I'm done here. Not because I "backed away," as you choose to believe, but because any further discussion would be a waste of my time. By the way, I was napping this afternoon.

    15. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I wasn't referring to your lack of response.  I was referring to the lack of engagement with what I actually said.  I apologize for being unclear.

    16. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Many scientific studies show that people who're prayed for while sick require less pain medication, and heal faster and regain normal function faster.
      This happens whether or not the person knows they're prayed for, which rules out placebo effect

    17. profile image0
      whowasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Catherine Kane,

      That is a fascinating comment. Can you tell me where to find the studies you refer to as I'd be very interested in reading them? Thank you so much.

    18. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Found them years ago as reference for magazine article I wrote  on faith as a survival trait. It'd take awhile to dig up, but if you search the medical effects of prayer, you should find plenty (as I recall, at least one from Mayo clinic)

    19. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Catherine.  I'd like some citation please.

    20. Conservative Lady profile image74
      Conservative Ladyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Sooner - seems as though you are only here to provoke. I will pray for your peace of mind...... I know that prayers are answered simply from my personal experiences in life.

    21. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I ask for evidence for claims.  If you don't have any scientific studies that's fine.  Just don't pretend like it's a well established fact.

      Your personal experience is NOT representative of the population as a whole.  That's a hasty generalization.

    22. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Sooner, it's a fact, but that doesn't mean I need to spend hours doing your research for you. Googled it yourself -you'll see plenty of references.
      Your comments tho make it clear your mind's made up. No point in proof that makes you uncomfortable

    23. Conservative Lady profile image74
      Conservative Ladyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Here is a link that references several studies regarding this question. http://www.plim.org/PrayerDeb.htm
      I said I (meaning me/myself) know that prayers work because of MY personal experiences - I am not generalizing or claiming to represent anyone b

    24. profile image0
      whowasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi everyone, I am not here to provoke. I am genuinely fascinated by this discussion. I followed the link given by Conservative lady but couldn't find any direct refrence to any research, although various experiments were mentioned.

    25. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Any discussion of faith or prayer seems to evoke contention. I respect the impassioned responses of believers and am perplexed by those who become exercised about others who believe. I understand being atheistic or agnostic, but not the hostility.

    26. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      When you claim something, YOU provide evidence.  It's not that difficult of a concept to understand conservative.

      You just keep dodging the call for evidence, and it doesn't help your case at all.

    27. derek gulbranson profile image79
      derek gulbransonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      How can taking a sugar pill can have an effect because you believe it will, but praying to an omnipowerful god can't have the same effect? The question is about the power of prayer, not the existence of the invisible deities they're praying to.

    28. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this
    29. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Katherine, you are ignoring that opposite studies are coming to different conclusions.  If prayer were consistent, that would NEVER occur.

      Furthermore, why is it that limbs don't regrow, and that people who rely SOLELY on prayer don't get healed?

    30. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Sooner
      Why don't medications/operations always work to heal people either? Because health is not black and white. Both approaches have been found to be statistically effective, but neither works always.
      Knew you'd ignore proof- this was for WhoWas

    31. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Medicine isn't divinely inspired and supposed to be at the helm of an infinitely powerful God who is perfect.  He seems rather limited in what he can do to help his own children, and needs the help of modern medicine to give him a boost.

  5. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years ago

    Yes, prayer works. I have heard countless stories of answered prayer. I pray a lot for God to help me find my keys and He always does! But I have heard amazing stories of how God has cured people of cancer and other serious illness or provided for people in other ways that are inexplicable except as an answer to prayer.

    However - I do think it is important to pray correctly. God isn't Santa Clause and does not grant our every wish! We need to approach Him with a heart of reverence, gratitude and humility and not always to ask for something, but also to worship Him and "talk" to Him.

    He has said, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and He said, "But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33).

    "The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17) None of us are "righteous" apart from the saving grace of God.

    Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

    "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

    "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45). He said, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Luke 11:9)

    1. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You raise some excellent points. In particular I am interested in the idea of "hearing God's voice."
      Is it like Jiminy Cricket or more like (inspired) intuition?

    2. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      If you are really interested, read the Bible and pray about it and you will find out. Also find a Bible-based church to assist you in your journey.

    3. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I am not sure why you assume that I don't. In fact, I do read the Bible every day, and the Quran most days. I am not sure what you mean by "Bible-based" church. Which churches do not meet that description?

    4. Conservative Lady profile image74
      Conservative Ladyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Very thorough and useful answer Dubuquedogtrainer, thank you for sharing some great references for all as well. Take care and God Bless.

  6. Freeway Flyer profile image91
    Freeway Flyerposted 5 years ago

    I would lean toward the latter, although I can't say for sure. Prayer can have several valuable functions, but the idea that my prayer significantly alters the course of events in the world is (to me) ridiculous. At least as often as not, prayer clearly fails to prevent horrific things from happening in the world, and if you believe in free will, God would have to waive this repeatedly in order to answer prayers that require large numbers of people to make certain choices.

    http://freewayflyer.hubpages.com/hub/Fu … -of-Prayer

  7. ackman1465 profile image59
    ackman1465posted 5 years ago

    Perhaps it's only a placebo effect....but I would always be happy to pray for someone who is in distress.....  I think that I've seen "results" in the past.....

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I won't stop someone from praying for me.  There's just not much empirical evidence it will actually make an impact.

    2. Catherine Kane profile image80
      Catherine Kaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      As previously noted, there's a wealth of empirical evidence that it's helpful. This is something that mainstream medicine has been studying for over 10 years now

  8. edhan profile image59
    edhanposted 5 years ago

    It works for me. I do believe that our prayers need to be sincere and have 100% faith on what we are praying for. Our prayers are answered in many different ways. You will be able to sense or know whenever your prayers are being answered. It is those who lose faiths will find themselves questioning why their prayers are not being answered.

  9. Civil War Bob profile image59
    Civil War Bobposted 5 years ago

    Prayer works.  I can produce 77 spiral notebooks and part of my computer in which I've recorded 207,184 specific answers since 12/13/1980...slightly more than a series of coincidences over almost 32 years.  Granted, this 'evidence' will not sway anyone not given to believing it, but there it is.
    I should point out that the only prayer God guarantees to answer is "All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Once that is done, the Born Again person (John 3:3) can rely on this verse, "... let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4)...
    In fact, John 15:16 says, "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you."
    Sorry about the length.  You might check my hubs, "Just How Efficacious (Aint That A Great Word?!) IS Prayer?" and "    Spiritual Warfare Rules of Engagement"
    Have a great day!!

    1. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image58
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Well said!

  10. ibbarkingmad profile image81
    ibbarkingmadposted 5 years ago

    I say 100% yes. And it is because there is a higher power who I have come to know and love as my Heavenly Father. That being said, this is an issue of faith. This can't be proven by evidence that I can show you. It is something were you have to test it out on your own. Testing the principle loses you nothing and gains you everything. It is a spiritual application of the scientific method.
    God does answer prayers. Some of them are yes, many are no or maybe. I do not presume to question God's will because there is so much I do not know. I will say that God loves people who are proactive and self starters. Revelation comes on the move.

  11. Catherine Kane profile image80
    Catherine Kaneposted 5 years ago

    I'd say yes.
    There are a number of studies in medical journals that show that sick folk who are prayed for, recover faster, require less pain meds, get normal function back more quickly, and, in the case of serious or potentially terminal diseases, survive longer and are more likely to go into remission.
    And the funny thing is that this holds true whether the person knows they're being prayed for or not (which rules out the placebo factor)

    When the statistics and the data are such that medical personnel are taking this seriously, you know that something's going on there more than wishful thinking...

    Prayer's good for you. Prayer is a potential survival characteristic...

    1. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I have seen the same--or similar--reports.
      Thank you.

  12. Quirinus profile image75
    Quirinusposted 5 years ago

    Yes, if one believes in the power of prayer. Our belief has the power to change our physical reality or experiences.

  13. Burgeon profile image79
    Burgeonposted 5 years ago

    When you pray, you find peace. When you have peace, you are sober to find solutions. This is my understanding about the "power of prayer" in some circumstances. But there are other forms of prayer power beyond my imagination.

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      VERY interesting way to look at the "power of prayer."  I'm voting your comment up since it was so clever.

    2. Clive Donegal profile image77
      Clive Donegalposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Is that the same as the "power of positive thinking"?

  14. derek gulbranson profile image79
    derek gulbransonposted 5 years ago

    Absolutely. If a placebo can make you feel better, so can prayer.

    There is no evidence to suggest an invisible deity is involved.

  15. Ramsa1 profile image62
    Ramsa1posted 5 years ago

    I can't explain it but it does work. There is a higher power and he does answer prayer, but sometimes he says no.

  16. connorj profile image77
    connorjposted 5 years ago

    Absolutely. Although I do not understand why or even how, indeed there is a power in prayer. If you read my hub, titled There and Back from this link, http://connorj.hubpages.com/hub/There-a … -Version-2
    Perhaps it will help you begin to see the hidden world that is all around us. Perhaps it will not; however, if you read it, it may indeed begin to affect you away from your dis-belief in the power of prayer. I would also suggest reading some C.S. Lewis or perhaps even J.R.R. Tolkien...

 
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