Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Peculiarities of Prayer

A universal belief in a higher being brings with it an almost innate need to adore, thank, please, or supplicate to the chosen deity.

Christians like Catholics, Russian and Greek Orthodox, Presbyterians and others pray to God and Jesus and believe in the trinity--Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Some ask for help from the saints just like they would ask a friend to pray for them.

Muslims pray to Allah (God) and Jews pray to Adonai (God). Buddhists do not believe is any specific god and meditate instead. Hindus seemingly pray to many gods. Shiva is the destroyer of worlds, allowing for rebirth with the god Brahma. He is also responsible for positive death as in the destruction of ego and the shedding of old ideals and attachments. Kali is the goddess of time and transformation.

It is said that there are 330 million Hindu gods, one that is perfect for each person, but if you ask a person who worships one they will tell you they each represent the same divine and shapeless force of one spirit, Brahman.

Some worship dark gods like Satan or possibly one of his lesser demons like Baal, who was depicted as the demon who possessed Anthony Hopkins in the film The Rite. The movie showed the priest played by Hopkins living amongst cats, and frogs were featured frequently throughout the film.

Baal has been depicted as a three headed creature, with one head of a cat, one of a frog, and one a man.

Most religions express love, respect, want, or need to their god of choice through prayer. We are told to express worship through prayer, and to dedicate a certain amount of time daily to this ritual. If you are praying to one of the darker gods there is also a pretty straight forward way to show your love and affection--simply sell your soul! You can do it right here: (NOT recommended) http://demonical.com/sellyoursoul.htm 

It seems it is much harder to pray properly to the Christian God. Although a devotee can pray at home or at church, I have seen endless websites and books based solely on the way to pray properly so this god can hear you, or not take what you are saying the wrong way. http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/perspectives/correct-way-to-pray-luke-18-goodwyn.aspx  Among other things, this article talks about prayers that God cannot hear.

It says He can only hear prayers from the humble. Seems it might be a bit tough if you want to become humble and you are asking for help...

We are told to ask for forgiveness of the sins we have committed, and to be forgiven for the ones we don't even know we have done.  Here is a Wiki list of how to do it right: http://www.wikihow.com/Pray-to-Jesus

Hindu prayers are different than Christian prayers. The chosen god or goddess is invoked through mantras or prayer. He is said to appear as if after a long journey and will be offered water, food, and clothing, and a lovely place to sit and rest. He may be entertained with music, incense, flowers, lights, or candles. He is offered the utmost care and respect, and in return his essence fills the home or place of prayer. This is a form of communion with the divine.

Although I would not call Shinto a religion, many people in Japan follow the ways of Shinto, or kami. Kami is a prehistoric "religious tradition influenced by Buddhism and Chinese religions". Although they do not believe in or focus on one all-knowing entity, the kami are the powers of nature such as the sun, earth, mountains, animals, streams, etc. Offerings are sometimes made to the kami, such as food like fish or vegetables which are later eaten. The spirits of the deceased are also revered and celebrated. 

Shinto shrines can be found in groves of trees all over Japan. All the shrines have sacred gates (torii) and often contain water for symbolic purification of hands and mouth; larger shrines have main halls, buildings for offerings, and oratories. Inside the main hall resides the goshintai (god-body), which is sometimes represented by a mirror, but more often nothing at all. The classic Shinto shrine is the world-renowned Ise Shrine, the primary cult site for Amaterasu, arguably the most important kami. (from www.beliefnet.com)

Many prayers are focused on beings that are long gone and have left and important mark in history. We hear stories of Jesus if we are Christian or Kali if we are Hindu. No one that is alive has seen these beings. Although Mother Teresa died in 1997, her giving nature and offerings of help and caring are relevant to our lives now. Gandhi stood up against a harsh British rule and helped India through peaceful protest to find their way to freedom. Maybe they were both Jains, an Indian religion that focuses on non-violence to all living things.  I don't think it would be a bad thing if we all focused on how to be better NOW and what we could do about it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on prayer.

After thought:  I am not saying prayer is bad or obsolete, but it couldn't hurt to put as much positive thought and action into things that need help right now, and to support those that are currently helping.


  1. Hi,

    Interesting, as always!
    I was raised going to church every Sunday. Prayers before meals and bedtime. I even tried getting back in the habit of going a few years ago, didn't succeed.
    Do I think we all need something to believe in? Yes. Do I believe in the power of prayer? I've witnessed some things that make me wonder.
    Do I still pray? Yes, I do. Though, sometimes, I think, not often enough..
    I think we all have to have faith in something, be it a God or a Devil.

  2. I cannot believe you wrote either God or a Devil!!
    You sure surprise me sometimes, ma'am.
    Sometimes I find myself making a point of trying NOT to pray because somewhere down the line I either found it ridiculous or something angered me...
    Hmmmm...maybe I have to think this over...
    Thanks for the great comment!

  3. Hi, Penelope. I pray nearly every day. For me, He knows what I need, what I'm hiding, what my weaknesses and fears are. Prayer is simply me spending time with the Father. And to do that, I speak to His son who He sent to take my place on the cross. #nuffsaid
    I hope life is treating you well, my friend.


  4. What I meant to say is; I think we all need to BELIEVE in something, be it a God or a Devil. Faith is an entirely different animal.
    I think, no matter what God you choose to pray to, not all prayers are answered and we wonder why someone else's is and ours isn't. We get angry and turn our backs, until we need something and start the process again.

    1. I think that happens a lot!
      I remember being on a terrible flight--lightning crashing and awful turbulence. I SWORE if we got out of it safely I would go to church and pray and bla bla. Well obviously I am fine and I did not follow through...
      How quickly we forget.

    2. If someone only called on you when they need you or made you promises in the heat of the moment, but didn't keep them, would you be there to answer, next time they called?

    3. If it was someone who constantly professed to test my faith in them and never showed proof of themselves...YES!

      I find it AMAZING that people can believe in something that was created to keep control of the masses, yet they need to see aliens and Bigfoot with their own eyes to believe in them.

      Sorry...I don't mean to offend and I totally believe in TO EACH HIS OWN...wherever one finds comfort is fine with me, but I have my own beliefs too, and they're based in science and nature.

    4. I feel it happens both ways. And I assume he would forgive me according to all I read ;)
      And as for the testing--yeah--not my favorite way to be forced to love something...
      In all fairness--we know a Christian god from the Bible written by man...not sure if I believe much of it.
      BUT--not saying I can't be swayed in either direction. I am VERY skeptical until I see something.

    5. I believe Bigfoot exists, he's just a wily creature, that has sense enough to stay as far away from us as possible.
      Aliens, yes, those too. I sometimes think they walk among us, laughing their as*ses off at our stupidity.
      I'm not one that has to see things to believe they exist, I am one who needs to have it proven, by whatever means, they don't.

  5. Hi Jimmy!! Great to see you here :)
    I always feel some envy when people say things to me like you just wrote. It sounds like a beautiful thing.
    I think many feel like you and most in my family do.
    I find the idea fascinating yet somewhat out of MY reach.
    And yes! Life is good. Congrats on your new book--love the cover.

  6. OMG, that "Sell Your Soul" Web site's hilariously funny; I totally laughed out loud at Option Two "I DESIRE TO SELL FOR $5.00 CASH NOW." ROTFL. C'mon, souls get better rates than that in Times Square!!! :-D

    More seriously, I talk to God every day. I find I'm more connected to the conversation when we're just talking, as opposed to me saying a "proper" prayer, though of course, any conversation with God can be a prayer.

    But I'm not sure what's up with Him. Why does He choose to be so coy? Why can't He just straight up tell us stuff? Like, "Don't waste your time on that guy, he's a player," or "You're asking me for that job you just interviewed for, but I'll tell you right now, that supervisor's incompetent and you'll hate it there." I mean, sure, sometimes you get gut feelings about stuff and you just know it's His voice, guiding you, but you know, there's something to be said for a simple, forthright response.


    Or maybe it's all just BS. How can any of us on this side of eternity ever really know?

    For me, I wanna have faith. It ain't easy maintaining, but I feel called to keep striving.
    Some Dark Romantic

    1. Five bucks!! Not a bad deal ;)
      And I am right the with ya Mina...the quite gets to be a bit too much for me. I am direct in life and though not loud and brash, prefer a direct response in return. Faith for me only goes so far.
      I admire anyone really that can maintain a true and loving faith without any resentment...it does not happen for me.

  7. I don't pray for things, and I don't pray for miracles, what I pray for is the strength to get through rough times or the wisdom to make the right decisions. And I agree with Debbie ... if you had someone in your life who was constantly coming to you ONLY when you needed someone you would kind of be like "enough already" ... but I don't think God does that. I think he's here for all of us just maybe not in the ways we'd like.

    1. Sometimes I feel that God in IN us--or part of us, not a separate being at all.
      If we make a bad decision it hurts US-- that part of us that is trying so hard to be good.

  8. I remember reading a Bible verse about the Holy Spirit praying to God on our behalf if we can't do it ourselves. I always thought that was a powerful image.

  9. Margaret I'm glad you told me about that verse. I find it very interesting and it makes me feel good somehow.
    I'm starting to feel that my relationship with God has been disrupted by too much 'human' intervention--or interpretation. This little passage shows there is someone (thing) on our side.
    I think I may have just gained back a teeny percent of faith.
    Now I'm nervous...
    Thanks so much for pointing that out and stopping by,

  10. Well, that's my problem then. I'm not humble.
    At a place I worked for, I used to ask a Catholic woman to pray for me because she seemed very humble and believed strongly in her faith. Things seemed to happen when she did.
    And as far as selling the soul, I think Steve Jobs found that site--or somewhere--to do that.

    Me? I believe in myself, my potential, and I've given up on praying. I wish hard for things, sometimes it works out. I simply have to do one day at a time.

    With that said, I've finally found another publisher, and that's what I've been hoping for for a long time, since the last one quit on me.

    Enjoy your posts, as always, Pen, dear. Have a good one!

    1. Thanks Lorelei! Yeah--no praying here--but I'm sure that does not surprise you. As a matter of fact--all the times I remember praying for something ended badly.
      I've always taught my son to work hard for whatever he needed--the bible teaches us we are nothing without Jesus--I'll pass.
      Thanks for coming! Always love your comments Lorelei!


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