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Author Topic:   If god has a plan, then doesn't that make prayer worthless?
StormWolfx2x
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 63 (196595)
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


What would be the point on praying for an outcome if god had already decided the outcome. Unless god does not have a plan, because if god is omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible, then truly his plan cannot be changed based on the desires of a mere mortal.
Logically then either
1. prayer does not effect the outcome of events, because if it did it would violate gods plan.
2. God does not have a plan, is omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible and as such can influence the outcome of events, and he chooses to do so based partially on prayer.
or
3. God has a plan and can effect outcomes, choosing to do so partially on prayer, but he is not omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible so his plan may be altered by the actions of mortals, and he counters this by answering prayers.
At least 1 of those statements MUST be true.
I already posted this as a reply but I think it would make a good topic as well.
{Added some blank lines. Did some capitalization at beginnings of sentences and periods at end of sentences. - Adminnemooseus}
This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 04-07-2005 02:59 AM

Replies to this message:
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 Message 3 by Adminnemooseus, posted 04-07-2005 4:57 AM StormWolfx2x has not replied
 Message 7 by Gary, posted 04-07-2005 9:26 PM StormWolfx2x has replied
 Message 9 by arachnophilia, posted 04-07-2005 11:16 PM StormWolfx2x has replied
 Message 15 by riVeRraT, posted 04-08-2005 7:33 AM StormWolfx2x has replied
 Message 16 by Angeldust, posted 04-08-2005 12:01 PM StormWolfx2x has replied
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StormWolfx2x
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 63 (197379)
04-07-2005 3:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


Bumpity bump?
partly a bump, but I would like an admin to acknowlege this post.
If its not acceptable can you please tell me why, just for my own personal future reference?
-thanks
This message has been edited by AdminPhat, 04-07-2005 03:46 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-04-2005 1:36 AM StormWolfx2x has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-07-2005 6:03 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

  
Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3976
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 3 of 63 (197384)
04-07-2005 4:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


I think this may be one for AdminJar or AdminPhat to consider
I did some tweeking of the format of message 1.
As I see it, it is perfectly proper to bump a "Proposed New Topic", if it had gotten no admin response after a couple of day. Such is the case with yours.
I see no reason not to promote the topic, but I am going to defer action to one of the admins who is more up on the currently/recently active "Faith and Belief" topics. Perhaps it is best as you presented it in another topic, perhaps it deserves to be its own topic.
Adminnemooseus

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This message is a reply to:
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AdminPhat
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 63 (197389)
04-07-2005 5:56 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18338
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

  
Nicked
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 63 (197543)
04-07-2005 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-07-2005 6:03 AM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan
I read the link. Before going any further can I summarise so that we can agree exactly what Everystudent.com is saying. I'll use the language of the link to start with and then maybe we can define it all a little better in later posts. Tell me or explain if I'm going wrong. I think it's important that we understand exactly what the nature of the contract is between the person praying and god to find out if prayer is worthless.
1. Prayer doesn't work unless you 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.
3. When you pray you are asking god to reveal his plan to you so you can know what he wants.
4. If you have a "relationship with god" you will know what god wants anyway
5 If you have a "relationship with god" you will only ask in prayer for what you know he wants.
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.
7. Only god knows the whole plan and he doesn't do something because we determine that it must be his will.
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.
7. We can trust god because we know what he is like.
Is this a definitive explanation of prayer for every Christian? Are there other definitions?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-07-2005 6:03 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
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Gary
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 63 (197572)
04-07-2005 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


Maybe God just likes to hear people praying to him because it expands his ego and makes him feel special. Kind of like the way he used to want people to burn offerings because he liked the smell.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-04-2005 1:36 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
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Citizzzen
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 63 (197576)
04-07-2005 9:41 PM


Thanks to Phatboy for getting me in the game...
I asked a similar question in another proposed thread (See above) because I had the same thought. I discussed this with my Christian friend again, and a pastor friend of mine. It seems to me the key questions here are:
Q: Does God ever give people what they don't need, simply because they pray for it?
A: My pastor friend says, "Yes, if only to teach them a lesson".
Q: Does God deny people's prayers, even if they need/want what they are asking for?
A: (Same source) Yes, he has a master plan for people's lives, and it might involve hardship to learn a lesson.
So that would suggest that prayer has the ability to make day to day changes in your life. I don't know what the scriptural basis for this belief is, though. Without that, it's an interesting belief, but it's just a theory...
Citizzzen

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 1370 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 9 of 63 (197592)
04-07-2005 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


just a short response.
when we're children, what do we ask our parents for? how do we talk to them when we grow up?
does prayer have to be asking for something? should it be at all?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-04-2005 1:36 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 18338
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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StormWolfx2x
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 63 (197608)
04-08-2005 3:12 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-07-2005 6:03 AM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan
I still think that your scenarios fall into my original set of options
1) Why can't prayer be part of the overall plan?
Would fall into option #1
1. Prayer does not affect the outcome of events, because if it did it would violate gods plan.
2)Why can't non-prayer also be part of that same plan?
Again would fall into option #1
3) Are human decisions, foreknown by God, included as part of the overall plan?
If yes, then again option #1
If no, then option #2
God does not have a plan, is omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible and as such can influence the outcome of events, and he chooses to do so based partially on prayer.
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.
Since this is not a scenario I can’t fit it into an option. However I would contest that logically if God has a plan for everything, and he is infallible, then free will does not exist, only the illusion of free will. So to answer your question no we would not be responsible for our actions because all three conditions
God has a plan, god is infallible, mortals have free will.
Cannot, logically, be true at the same time.
PS: thank you admins for being so courteous with my online incompetence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-07-2005 6:03 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
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StormWolfx2x
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 63 (197609)
04-08-2005 3:20 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by arachnophilia
04-07-2005 11:16 PM


"does prayer have to be asking for something? should it be at all?"
thats kind of what im getting at, thats why I said "praying for an outcome" that was meant to reference prayers that were asking for something, specificaly something that was not already going to happen anyways.

This message is a reply to:
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StormWolfx2x
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 63 (197611)
04-08-2005 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Gary
04-07-2005 9:26 PM


"Maybe God just likes to hear people praying to him because it expands his ego and makes him feel special. Kind of like the way he used to want people to burn offerings because he liked the smell."
I know this was meant to be sarcastic, but it actually is a logical answer, and it falls squarely in option 1#.
(I guess it would be god equvilent of listeing to cristian rock )

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Gary, posted 04-07-2005 9:26 PM Gary has not replied

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 442 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 14 of 63 (197630)
04-08-2005 7:31 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nicked
04-07-2005 6:42 PM


Re: Prayer is part of the plan
To me, everyone has a relationship with God.
Some choose to ignore him, thats their relationship.
But usually at some point in your life, you stop and ask God a question, and hope for a response.
We even get answers, yet we choose to ignore them, and justify his non-existance.

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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 442 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 15 of 63 (197631)
04-08-2005 7:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


Jesus prayed
Do you have any biblical references for God having a plan?
Jesus prayed everyday, even though he was the son of God, and knew what was going to happen to him. He even told everyone too

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-04-2005 1:36 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
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