Do you pray?

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  • Throughout my life I've prayed when I've been in difficult situations. That's been regardless of my currently held beliefs, or lack of them.


    So, do we do it through social conditioning, through a genuine spiritual need, or is it someone else?


    So, what does prayer mean to you?


    Is there anyone here who has never ever prayed, or even made a conscious deliberate effort to stop?

  • Cant say I have , even in difficult conditions , though I think maybe had a bit of a Chunner to myself when I have found myself in circumstances concerning friends/family in dire needs . { basically death pending situations } Cant really say theres much up above really so don't see any point .

  • I wonder if anyone would even think of praying if such things weren't wedged into children's heads before the poor little things have a chance to form their own opinion?

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • I am happy with the fact that the universe in someway,shape,form or name has created me,and therefore I accept that its work is done with me,as it has given me the strengh and ability to sort out any problems thay may come my way,therefore making me the master of my reality.
    I have in certain social situations joined in with other peoples prayers,meditations or whatever there chosen ritual may be when they search for an answer,and at such a time I will keep an open mind and respect their beliefs,and not just sit there thinking " what a load of bull".
    Everyone has the right to believe in what they want,and that should be respeted. hence that I stear clear of dogma and fanatasism.


    All this said though,every now and then I may look upwards or outwards and say thanks :rolleyes:

  • I can recall praying once, years ago, after a long period taking acid and loosing a grip on reality/family responsibilities/ I was fked and at an end. So thought fk it, be what may. That was a turning point for me as it happened. Not that my prayer was answered, just that I had hit the bottom by this time.

  • Apart from school, where we had to, I can only remember properly praying once.
    When I was a young teenager, and my father lay dying. A last hope, I guess. It didn't work, so I haven't bothered since.
    Same with the national lottery; did it once, didn't win...


    Like Itinerant says, in his wise reply, I have no problem with other folks praying, or with joining in with their particular ceremonies, if I happen to be present. I must admit I have liked pagan services best, and of christian sects, the Unitarians were nicest.


    There is in many human beings a very fundamental natural tendency to wish to worship and to pray, and it would be interesting to know how this came about, and what was its survival value.

  • hmmm, i pray, very rearely, but its not 'shristian' prayer, its not to gog. last tiem i prayed was just after getting the news my friend had connited suicide. at that point there mas nothing i could do,i was utterly helpless and i knew it and the only thing i could do was offer up the hurt and helplessness, to the universe, to 'something' i dont know, i dont elieve there was anyone in particular listening, but to me it was all i could do. I spoke to a friend about it at the time and he said it was probably quite a wise thing to do, to recognise that i could do nothing, and just offer up what was to the uiniverse, that made sense, i think being faced with death is the only time i do anything i would call prayer as such.


    i do meditate, which has the same intent in some ways, to ask something to change, either your mind, the way you are, or to change your lack of acceptance and develope equinimity, so i relate the the comments about that, but its not quite the same thing. thats pro-active, prayer to me is the place my mind takes me in extremis.

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • So far on here we have given views about praying in the sense of asking for something, often something for ourselves or for someone dear to us. We have also touched on prayers in some cases being used as a last resort.
    This seems to be common in perhaps more than 70% of people, regardless of race or creed.


    But there is another side to 'prayer' too, that of wanting to give thanks when something good has happened to us, or to someone we know. Sometimes it might 'only' be a natural thing, like a fine shared sunset, or a beautiful starry night.


    Even I have felt this grateful feeling powerfully at times, and wanted to say thanks to something. As I have no gods I have just thanked the universe for being there at that time.


    Like the need to pray in many people, this feeling of gratitude and need to say thanks may also be programmed into some of us.
    I would love to know why....

  • our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.. .. [and you can fill in your own blanks from there on.. .]. up until the age of i cant remember exactly, we behaved like little heathens, and smacked-arses, or the threat of a smacked-arse, were the order of the day. dad did the bread-winner thing up at the nuclear plant on the edge of town, and mam wielded the wooden spoon, back at the ranch.. .. ..[and, on one occasion at least, at the PTA meeting, or so i'm told] - i think our heathen-ness must have flipped a switch in mams head, cos all of a sudden she caught religion - [CofE] - she rapidly progressed to being an evangelical devotee, so sundays we were packed off to the sally-army, then later, dragged along to the 'hands in the air' services at a 'fellowship group' [new life something or other, praise the lord, hallelujah].. .. ..


    later i found the religion of 'queer and proud of it' and that saw me through college and almost through university [well - the first time i got almost through the first semester, then the second time [different uni] right through the first year.. . along with the religion of pot - plus some other spurious indulgences].. .. which was when the shit hit the fan.. .. ..


    .. ... more recently, i lived in a buddhist community for a year or so, and praying was kinda mandatory [fuck: some of the sessions were hours long] - but there's only so much anyone can take, so i moved out, and into a relationship.


    the thing about praying [and i guess the question boils down to whether you believe in there being anyone to pray *to*] is that i see how the mechanics of doing it would work.. .. .. like, we make our own reality, and praying is a means to strengthen that reality [why have a deity if you cant pray to him/her/it?].. .. but along the buddhist-ish vein, i dont see the value of prayer.. .. .. i thought it was all supposed to be about self-reliance.. .. withdrawal from consumption.. .. withdrawal from desires.. .. accepting the shit hitting the fan and maintaining composure.. .. ..


    maybe i'm getting it all wrong [like the picture of the volcano i drew in juniors, which didnt show enough passion, so couldnt represent a proper volcano, properly, or so the teacher seemed to be saying].. .. .. but i'm on this thing now where peace-of-mind is everything and we dont need to be bothered about conscious actions.. .. so long as we maintain our peace-of-mind [not much room in there for praying].. .. .. now if i could just walk the walk, instead of so much talking the talk, in my head, i might actually be able to shed some light on the praying-thing question people have going on.. .. .