Is Modern-Day Praying Really OK?

I’ve noticed how praying has because sort of selfish. Well I mean it kind of seems like that to me. We only pray to ask for something whether its for a blessing or something we want. Rarely do we ever say thanks. I was just wondering if anyone else observed that or something.

Many people pray for others too… so not really a selfish act, but there’s nothing wrong in praying for one’s-self in turbulent times… if you believe in a god to pray to, that is :confused:

Being of a spiritual (rather than religious) nature, I tend to work off good energies rather than religious fervour - my boyfriend and sister keep insisting they need to pray for me :unamused: but going by their general ‘lack’ of good vibes… they should be concentrating on themselves :slight_smile:

My mother believed prayers for herself were selfish. She was a tender spirit who saw the suffering of others as what to pray about. IMHO, a prayer for my own well-being translates into a prayer for others. Without this consideration, I can only spread my errors and illnesses.

I have trouble observing what people pray for. Grace at dinner usually includes thanks. A lot of prayer has compliments of God and worship elements - prostrations, exclamations of the greatness of God, etc. I guess I don’t really see this selfishness pattern.

In any case, selfish smelfish…

God in most religions is an all powerful being. Not much one can offer such a deity, though some religions seem to think offering God things is important.

If there is a powerful being/entity/organization that is supposed to love us and life is, well, tough, it makes sense that one would ask for things. I mean, I don’t eat for other people, in fact there is a whole host of things I do to take care of myself, praying could be seen as a part of this.

Is modern day athiesm allowed ?

Seems like…selfish?

A tender spirit is a good quality. People who are compassionate towards the suffering or needs of others is what compels us to intercessory prayer. Prayers of supplication are also necessary, but both are always to be done with thanks to God who provides all things to those who trust Him. [1John 5:14; Ephesians 5:20] It is not wrong to pray for yourself, in good times or in bad times. “you have not because you ask not.” God knows our needs before we ask, but He wants us to ask in faith, believing and trusting that He will provide it. [Matthew 21:22] Selfish prayers would be definately ‘out of order’ when it is outside of God’s will. [James 4:3]

We are all selfish by nature. When you develop a relationship with Jesus Christ through reading the Word and praying, you become less selfish and more focused on others. It is part of growing in Christ as only a true believer can. Wants are not bad: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” [Psalm 37:4] :slight_smile: Always say ‘thank you.’

And far more importantly… Mean it.

Absolutely, James :smiley:

Yes i’ve noticed that interestingly often coming from people who don’t really do anything that would warrant their prayers being answered, the few times i do pray, i specifically do give thanks and pray for others because praying for personal achievment and gain seems pointless. We are embodied with the ability to accomplish our goals, is this not the aid of God, what point is their of existing if everything you wish to gain was simply given to you?

Praying is sometimes the momentum that people need to go out and get what it is they want…for themselves. It’s like a psychological kind of faith. When the words are uttered, the will and awareness rise up and the person becomes autonomous - rather than waiting around for an omnipotent god to hand things over. Sometimes these people will thank a god.

At other times, prayer becomes the obstacle which keeps the person from drawing on his own resources and his own power. He/she simply waits for things to happen. Nothing happens and a god is blamed.

Meister Eckhart said: “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.”
A “thank you” perhaps just might be the best prayer…the only one which is needed. A thank you, to a deity, the universe, to anything, which at times may become a wondrously humbling experience, raises our consciousness to realizing what we do have - focusing on that - instead of what we don’t have. All else is stripped away.

Reverend Ike : “My garages runneth over.”

I think honesty is most important. If I don’t feel grateful, I don’t want to put on the good face, regardless of the relationship in question - at least not close ones. I can be polite with strangers because the relationship is not important in THAT sense.

I would want my kids to be honest, even if their not positive reactions came from confusion. Any God who cannot understand why humans are not always grateful, really needs to try manifesting again and walking a mile in human shoes.

Prayer is never a waste of time nor is it pointless. We are only able to accomplish anything because it is given to us by God. He gave you life. He gives you every breath you take. Your abilities are only because of the grace of God that is why giving thanks is so important.

I said to pray to God to allow you to complete a task is pointless, because God has already emobdied you with the ability to accomplish the task, perhaps redundant would be a better word?

He knows everything about you. He knows your joys and your sorrows. He knows your thoughts and your intentions. Being honest is very important. Although we all have many types of relationships, our most precious relatiionship is to our family that God has placed us in. We don’t choose our parents, we don’t choose our children - but they are ours. They should be treated better than anyone and usually they are treated the worst. We are all guilty of that because of our nature, which we mentioned before, our selfishness. Being honest, kind, considerate, generous, faithful are all the greatest signs of love. Love is not just an emotion…it’s an action. That is the most important thing we can do for our family and our children. Be an example to them, so that when they grow up, they will be happy adults with good traits that you instill in them, such as honesty. We can’t do this alone. That is where prayer comes in and it is powerful when offered through faith. God understands our unthankful hearts, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. Ask Him for help in dealing with things in your own heart and for the hearts of your children. If you don’t train them, someone else will. Don’t give up, Moreno, your children love you and are counting on you.

Hi Stoic, even so…it is never pointless. It shows your faith by trusting God to provide you with those talents and abilities and to be thankful to Him for giving these things to you. You provide for your family, and you should, because you care for them. God provides for you because he cares for you and your family. “My God shall supply all you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:19]

I’d say most prayers are selfish–either help me or credit me for caring about someone other than myself.

Hi Ierrellus. If by selfish you mean more centered on self, is that necessarily such a negative thing? If we are capable of praying for others, ought not we also be capable of caring for ourselves enough to pray for ourselves? Is that such a negative? I think the act of praying is more misunderstand than anything else. Anyway, if there is a god that IS capable of answering prayers, wouldn’t this god also be capable of knowing and understanding what someone wants, and giving it without having to be asked? I mean, we are only human and are not psychic but a god - I would say that a god must be pretty much deaf by now or maybe at least disgusted…by the fact that we humans lack the insight to realize that we’ve been given the tools to go after what we want. And let’s face it, if there is a god who has been truly answering our prayers, well, shortsightedness might be the name of that god. We don’t appreciate what we’ve been given anyway…and we just want more and more and more…of something not worth anything. Would any god worth his wait in gold give us something that has such little meaning and value? And if so, WHY?

And if one cares for, even is empathetic towards, others, then one can view a prayer for others as selfish. Since we will feel better if they do better, even if they are strangers. Selfishness is one of the most confused, and guilt trip related, concepts ever, and one that has done a lot of damage.

It is as if being a cold hearted asshole would be taking care of yourself (except that it makes God angry.)

How ridiculous.