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Author Topic:   If god has a plan, then doesn't that make prayer worthless?
Phat
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Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 5 of 63 (197391)
04-07-2005 6:03 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by StormWolfx2x
04-07-2005 3:21 AM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan
Hi StormWolfx2x....I think that you have some great questions! Lets get this topic rolling!
Here are my questions back at you
1) Why can't prayer be part of the overall plan?
2) Why can't non-prayer also be part of that same plan?
3) Are human decisions, foreknown by God, included as part of the overall plan?
4) In the final analysis, is not each and every one of us accountable only to our emotions and decisions of THIS present moment?
In other words, if I decided not to pray yesterday, that decision is still open for review at this point in time. Ultimately, my relationship with God (or, freely chosen without Him) is based upon my decision at any given point in time.
I see it all like a big game of musical chairs. If the music stops, am I standing on faith or sitting on my own throne? What other possible outcomes could occur that are not part of the overall plan?
EveryStudent.com writes:
Where we trip up is assuming we know God's will, because a certain thing makes sense to us! We assume that there is only one right "answer" to a specific prayer, assuming certainly THAT would be God's will. And this is where it gets tough. We live within the limits of time and limits of knowledge. We have only limited information about a situation and the implications of future action on that situation. God's understanding is unlimited. How an event plays out in the course of life or history is only something he knows. And he may have purposes far beyond what we could even imagine. So, God is not going to do something simply because we determine that it must be his will.
That is a good website. Here it is: (check it out)
Get Your Spiritual Questions Answered - Short Articles & Videos
Add to Topic:
Citizzzen had another topic starter which was like this one, so I am adding his response to this thread:
Citizzzen writes:
I asked a Christian friend of mine the following question:
If God knows what people need/want, and if he knows whether or not he wants them to have it, what is the purpose of prayer? If God wants them to have it, and knows they need it, is he only going to give it to them if they ask? It seems unlikely that God is going to give anyone anything he doesn't want them to have, even if they do ask..
My friend offered two suggestions:
1 - Prayer is for people, not God, as it helps them feel "in touch" with God.
2 - There is an ongoing battle between good and evil, and prayer helps the forces of good. (He did not explain how...)
I asked him if these ideas had any scriptural support, and he said no.
So I ask, what is the scriptural reason Christians pray?
Citizzzen
This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-07-2005 04:13 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-07-2005 3:21 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Nicked, posted 04-07-2005 6:42 PM Phat has replied
 Message 11 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-08-2005 3:12 AM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 10 of 63 (197596)
04-08-2005 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nicked
04-07-2005 6:42 PM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan:Nicked>>>>
nicked writes:
1. Prayer doesn't work unless you have a "relationship with god".
I don't know. Who would you be praying to if you did not have a relationship with God?
2. A "relationship with god" means he has forgiven all your sins and you have completely given your life to him.
Yes, and in addition o that, you cheerfully and willfully form a daily relationship with Him.
3. When you pray you are asking god to reveal his plan to you so you can know what he wants.
Not always. Sometimes you just want to talk with Him and not always to ask Him for something.
4. If you have a "relationship with god" you will know what god wants anyway.
Well, your will will become more like His will as you allow His Spirit to sanctify you. He still will always see a better picture than we will, however.
5 If you have a "relationship with god" you will only ask in prayer for what you know he wants.
You should, but you won't always do that, seeing as how we are human
6. If you pray and it doesn't get any better then he didn't guide you because you did not have a "relationship with god". You presumed to know god's plan when you didn't really know it.
Who determines or defines what is better? Better according to whom?
7. Only god knows the whole plan and he doesn't do something because we determine that it must be his will.
Say what?
8. If it doesn't get any better after praying then keep your "relationship with god" because you may not have seen the full outcome yet. In the meantime you'll find comfort in god anyway.
Sounds like a good plan!
7. We can trust god because we know what he is like.
We are only beginning to scratch the surface!
This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-07-2005 09:32 PM

This message is a reply to:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 17 of 63 (197706)
04-08-2005 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by StormWolfx2x
04-08-2005 3:12 AM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan
God has a plan, god is infallible, mortals have free will.
Cannot, logically, be true at the same time.
Well..in the context of free will having the freedom(ability) to cancel out God or His purpose, I guess that free will cannot coexist with destiny.We have a limited free will in that we can choose our destiny within the choices created.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-08-2005 3:12 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-09-2005 3:50 AM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 22 of 63 (197854)
04-09-2005 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by StormWolfx2x
04-09-2005 3:50 AM


God has a plan and we have a rational mind.
Think about it. First, for those of us who are believers, God definitely is a reality--a personal reality and a part of our daily verbal communion.(conversation or prayer)
He is wise beyond our comprehension. He knows human nature and He knows how people are likely to act. There could have been far better ways to introduce us to Him than through an ancient book that is a focal point of controversy.
And then there is science and modern reason. Surely God knew that this development would occur, and He knew that people would question His existance more and more. Perhaps this was the plan.
All of this and much more is the fodder of many future discussions.
The issue that I want to comment on is prayer. Prayer is STILL the primary way to talk to God. How else would one address an invisible presence who is the Creator of all things (coincidentally.)
Prayer is only worthless if you want something from God and, indeed, expect it. Where was it ever said that He owed any of us anything?
I think that, rather, He wants us to mature to higher altruistic levels ourselves. Prayer somehow refreshes us and gives us room to grow spiritually. IMHO, that is.
Check this response to similar questions:
oneplace.com writes:
As the father of eight I can tell you that I sometimes know what my children need before they ask me. However, what I as an earthly father only sometimes know, our eternal Father always knows. No need to pull out the prayer beads or attempt to wear God down by need before you ask him!
I fear the very reason that this question is so often posed is that we have been conditioned to think that supplication is the sole sum and substance of prayer. Repeating the same prayers over and over ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
But prayer is not only a means of presenting our requests, it is a means of pursuing a relationship. It is about deepening our intimacy with Him, not just supplication. Just as I want my children to submit their requests to me as a sign of their trust and reliance on me, our Lord wants us to approach Him in prayer for reasons of relationship that go far beyond just learning the nature of our needs.
Again, the key is the developing relationship.
This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-09-2005 01:42 AM

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 32 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 12:41 PM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 34 of 63 (198059)
04-10-2005 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by tsig
04-10-2005 12:41 PM


Re: God has a plan and we have a rational mind.
DHA writes:
If he is beyond comprehension, how do you know he is wise?
Lets put it this way....If He is stupid, than we are all in a heap of trouble!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 12:41 PM tsig has replied

Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 36 of 63 (198066)
04-10-2005 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by tsig
04-10-2005 12:50 PM


Re: Plan failure
DHA writes:
So god's plan failed?
I think that God foreknew the result from Eden. It is not as if He slapped His almighty forehead and said "Doh". Those humans! Now what do I do?
He foreknew that sending His Son to bail us out was the original plan to begin with! Eternal life is an option and a choice.
If one fervantly believes in no God and that when they die they become wormfood, Eternal life will STILL be an option upon their death. To reject it then on the grounds that freedom of rational thought supercedes truth would be ludicrous yet allowable.
God will not force anyone to play nicely in Heaven with the other children.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 12:50 PM tsig has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 1:19 PM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 38 of 63 (198069)
04-10-2005 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by crashfrog
04-10-2005 12:45 PM


Go tell it to the Lily Pond!
crashfrog writes:
Oh, don't you know? He's beyond comprehension until something happens that they can credit to God to stick it to the atheists; when that happens suddenly all the believers are experts about God.
Certainly not experts, although every chance that I get to tell the little froggies that God loves them I do so.
I certainly have no more motive to "stick it to the atheists" than they would have about refuting me.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 42 of 63 (198080)
04-10-2005 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by tsig
04-10-2005 1:19 PM


the anthropomorphic Almighty
Your god seems anthropomorfic
Well how else can He relate to us? That is why His character is Jesus and not Flipper or Gentle Ben.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 1:19 PM tsig has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 1:43 PM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 44 of 63 (198088)
04-10-2005 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by tsig
04-10-2005 1:43 PM


Re: the anthropomorphic Almighty
DHA writes:
So god's plan is to give us a choice that he knows we will screw up, then kill himself to correct the problem and afterwards burn all those who can't see it?
Not exactly. Gods plan is to give us a choice that we can accept if we are willing to give up our sturbborn idea that we know the answer.
He never killed Himself but, rather, gave His life over and allowed that same stubborn spirit that thought that it knew the answer to kill Him through those people who were themselves zealous know-it-alls. Still, He never sends people to Hell. People send themselves there by continuing to follow that deifying spirit of know-it-all that proclaims itself to be as god.

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 Message 43 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 1:43 PM tsig has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 4:35 PM Phat has replied
 Message 63 by nator, posted 04-15-2005 10:13 AM Phat has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 46 of 63 (198109)
04-10-2005 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by tsig
04-10-2005 4:35 PM


Re: the anthropomorphic Almighty
DHA writes:
Jesus allowed satan to kill him?
In essence, yes. It was people who crucified Him, but those people were being influenced by Satan.
DHA writes:
So he just creates hell and greases the skids under all who do not believe as you do and is not responsible?
It is one thing to have freedom to believe as you want. You could go on the roof, proclaim that you could fly because you believed that gravity was not absolute, and then proceed to fall flat despite your beliefs.
I don't want to get into the whole belief thing in this thread, but let me ask you this.
If God exists, and If He created Hell and If He is responsible for creating Hell and Evil, He is STILL not responsible for your decisions. It would be as if I made a hangmans noose in the backyard for evil people and you chose not to listen to me and went and hung yourself. OR...you chose not to listen to me and I was the source of all good. Ultimately, you would be hanged by virtue of ignoring your source. (Thats where your freewill will get you)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 4:35 PM tsig has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 5:34 PM Phat has replied
 Message 52 by Citizzzen, posted 04-11-2005 12:09 PM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 48 of 63 (198125)
04-10-2005 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by tsig
04-10-2005 5:34 PM


Re: the anthropomorphic Almighty
Yeah I know. I suppose that there should be a class action suit against God for not allowing any alternative options to be allowed besides Him. In that sort of a court case, however..Who would be the Judge?
God Almighty v. People

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by tsig, posted 04-10-2005 5:34 PM tsig has replied

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Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 51 of 63 (198248)
04-11-2005 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Angeldust
04-11-2005 8:46 AM


Re: That's exactly the point!
angeldust on soapbox writes:
It really doesn't matter how/why you believe God responds to prayer. In the long run, he'll respond/not respond not based on your beliefs but on his character.
Hear, Hear! I thoroughly agree! I might add that He will respond based on our relationship with His character as well.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 53 of 63 (198428)
04-12-2005 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Citizzzen
04-11-2005 12:09 PM


Re: The Celestial Hangman
Lets look at what you said another way,OK? Let me change a couple of words in your statements and then YOU decide....
God also made me, and my nature, or spirit. So, he knows what sort of "evidence" I would need to overcome my doubts. If he doesn't provide that level of evidence, then who is to blame for me acting the way I was made?
OK. He Himself IS the level of evidence. Trust in Him and you WILL overcome. But lets change a couple of words and try this sentence again.
God also made me, and my nature, or spirit. So, he knows what sort of "evidence" I could choose to overcome my doubts. If he doesn't provide that level of evidence, then who is to blame for me acting the way I was made?
So? Whose choice is it? Is it your choice to trust HIM or is it HIS choice to make it so you would automatically choose? There is a level of Faith that you must accept.
This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-11-2005 09:51 PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Citizzzen, posted 04-11-2005 12:09 PM Citizzzen has replied

Replies to this message:
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