Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: On The Nature of Prayer

  1. #1

    On The Nature of Prayer

    Some has written to me asking:

    Question: Do you pray? I've wondered about prayer, in school we had
    to memorize prayers, we learned prayers for every occasion, and we
    just rattled them off at the proper time, usually not even thinking
    about the words. My Mom says the same bible verse every day (if that
    what works for her, thats fine with me). I find that type of prayer to be
    lacking but I'm not sure what else to do.

    Answer: I grew up with no prayer or religion. I entered a Greek
    Orthodox Monastery at age 23 for one year, and remained Orthodox
    for 20 years, participating in the prescribed prayer practices.

    I next spent several years with Zen Buddhists, meditating and
    observing their practices.

    Next, I spent several years with Hindus, worshiping in their fashion.

    Now, for me, my writing, my thoughts, are my meditation and prayer
    and worship.

    I thought I would gather together (below) some of the things I have
    written during the past seven years regarding prayer in different
    religious traditions.

    =======================================

    Some years ago, I was watching an interview on television with some
    politician and his family, who were devout Christians. They mentioned
    that they had been praying about some particular issue. They
    described the words of their prayer. It was sort of like... "Lord, We
    would like THIS to come to PASS, if a certain sequence of events
    transpires, IF IT IS YOUR WILL, or, if THAT turn of events is not pleasing
    to You, THEN we pray that SOME OTHER (desired thing) SHOULD come
    to pass, IF THAT IS Your Will, or IF NONE OF THIS SHOULD work out
    according to our wishes, THEN give us the equanitmity of
    ACCEPTANCE, IF THAT is Your will,.... but in any and all events... THY
    WILL BE DONE... AMEN!"

    Well, what can I say! They certainly covered all the bases! Basically,
    they were working out all the possible permutations and
    combinations of outcomes. Funny, how Jesus said, "Your Heavenly
    Father ALREADY knows your needs, BEFORE you ask".


    Western religions are very QUID PRO QUO (something done in
    anticipation of or exchange for something else). IF you do this THEN
    YOU will be rewarded WITH THAT. But if you FAIL TO DO THESE OTHER
    THING,.... then you will be PUNISHED with these consequences.
    Eastern Religions, Hinduism and Buddhism and others, seem not to
    be quite so QUID QUO PRO oriented. One notices that, while Christians
    are always asking for one anothers prayers on various issues, Hindus
    and Buddhists DO NOT request the prayers of others.


    For a Hare Krishna devotee, prayer is the Mahamantra "Hare Krishna
    Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama
    Rama Rama Hare Hare". The devotee vows during their initiation
    ceremony to say this prayer/mantra, 108 times for each rosary
    (prayer rope, mala), and 16 rosaries per day, for a total of 1728
    mantras, taking between 2 hours and 3 hours per day. for the rest of their lives (this is a lifetime commitment). For them,
    mantra repetition IS A FORM OF INCARNATION of Lord Krishna (God).


    The mantra on the tongue is likened to young Lord Krishna dancing on
    the heads of the poisonous serpent, Kaliya. With each step of Lord
    Krishnas feet, the heads of the serpent were injured, and the serpent
    began spewing venom in all directions. Lord Krishna asked Kaliya
    "Why are you doing this?". Kaliya replied,"My Lord, you have created
    me as a poisonous serpent. All I have is venom to offer You as an
    offering. Where would I get Nectar to offer you. So I surrender to you,
    and I accept my nature, and offer You the only thing which I have."

    This notion of a snake offering venom in place of nectar suggests that if, with faith and devotion, we take whatever is troubling us or tempting us, and offer it up, that it shall be accepted and sanctified and we shall find shelter and relief.

    It is considered that the "incarnation" of the Avatar in the sound and
    vibrations of the Mantra is like unto the manifestation of the Avatar in
    the cloth of the Sari of Draupadi. The enemies of the Pandavas were
    trying to humiliate Draupadi by stripping her naked, but as they pulled
    off her Sari, the Lord manifested as an INFINITE length of material, so
    no matter how much they pealed off from Draupadi, she remained
    fully clothed. This is sort of the reverse of the situation when Mother
    Yashoda attempted to tie up young Lord Krishna to a pillar, to punish
    him for his naughty pranks. No matter how much rope she fetched, it
    was always one inch to short to encompass Lord Krishna, since this
    was an attempt to BIND THE INFINITE. Finally, Lord Krishna took
    mercy and allowed himself to be bound to the pillar, for which he
    received the name Damodar (which means He who is bound at the
    belly"). So the Lord, though it is His nature to be ABSOLUTE MASTER
    OF ALL, yet simultaneously allows Himself to be BOUND IN SERVITUDE
    to the Devotee.


    It is only AT THIS MOMENT , as I write, that the resemblence between
    the Crucifixion of Christ and the binding of Lord Krishna to the pillar
    occurs to me. Interesting!


    So in Hinduism, prayer is not necessarily FOR ANYTHING, in the quid
    pro quo western sense. Rather, through Mantra, humanity CO-OPERATES with Divinity in ON-GOING avataric incarnation/manifestation.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-22-2005 at 05:57 PM.

  2. #2

    The Origin of our word "Bead"

    I am attempting to avoid length limitations by breaking this into several posts.

    =============================

    Do prayers always get answered?

    In Western (Abrahamic) religions, prayers are always prayers (or
    requests) FOR SOMETHING. Such western religions are extremely
    QUID-PRO-QUO (i.e. something done in exchange for something of
    value expected).

    It is interesting to note the english etymological origin of the word
    BEAD (as in a mala of beads which one might use for prayer, or a
    bead necklace which someone might wear as an adornment).
    In the ancient Church of England, a Bede was a member of the Clergy.

    The english word "BEDE" OR "BEAD" derives from the same root as
    BID or BIDDEN, i.e. I BID you to do this or that favor for me, or I
    REQUEST thus-and-such.

    The original function of such bead malas in many cultures (not just
    english or western), was to COUNT prayers or mantras. We call such
    beads a ROSARY. Even modern Greek men may be observed to carry
    "worry beads" which they fiddle with when they are nervous or idle or
    passing time in coffee shops or taverns. Strings of beads became
    trinkets or jewelry adornments for those people who lost the interest
    or energy or perserverance to continue in the actual activity of prayer
    itself.

    Now, we may observe that such QUID-PRO-QUO prayer consists of
    requests or bids or petitions to the Divinity either to acquire pleasant
    things (food, shelter, spouse, children, etc), or to be spared from or
    delivered from unpleasant things (such as illness, death, captivity,
    etc).

    If we examine one message of the Gita, Lord Krishna explains
    (paraphrasing) "it is INEVITABLE that dukkha and sukkha, pleasure
    and pain, good and evil come to all embodied souls or jivas; BUT THAT
    PERSON WHO HAS YOGIC EQUANIMITY in the face of such pleasures
    and pains, has truly advanced in their spiritual development"....

    So we see in eastern religions something which is different from the
    quid pro quo western mentality.

    But if we are to develop equanimity and surrender in the face of
    pleasures and sufferings, what then becomes the purpose and
    function of prayer?

    Lord Krisha explains elsewhere in the Bhagavad-gita
    "I am the sacred syllable AUM.... of sacrifices I am JAPA (ceaseless
    prayer of mantra)...".

    This type of prayer is not prayer FOR anything at all. Such mantra or
    "prayer of the heart" as Greek orthodox Christians would call it, is a
    form of AVATARIC manifestion. God literally APPEARS AND
    MANIFESTS within the sounds or vibrations or vritti of the mantra or
    prayer or divine name.

    I see two enormous problems regarding religion:

    1.) If there is a purpose to sickness and suffering, why do people
    constantly seek healing miracles? But if there is NO PURPOSE to
    sickness and suffering, then WHY anticipate mercy and favors from
    the CREATOR of such a world, which contains pointless sufferings and
    disappointments?

    2.) If we assume that God is BOTH eternally perfect (complete) AND
    ALSO perfectly WISE, then here is a problem: Since God is COMPLETE,
    there was no need for creation therefore, God performed a
    meaningless, senseless act in creating the universe; yet that
    contradicts the assumptiom of God's WISDOM. But, if there WAS A
    PURPOSE for creation, then GOD lacked something PRIOR to creation,
    WHICH contradicts the assumption of God's completeness.

  3. #3

    An Impoverished King and Queen

    In the Mahabharat there is a story about a King and Queen who are
    driven into exile from their kingdom and are forced to live in a simple
    hut in sight of the majestic Himalayan Mountains. The King is a very
    religious person and always performs his prayers and offerings, in
    good times and in bad. One day, the Queen emerges from their
    impoverished hut and sees the King ardently engaged in prayer and
    worship. She asks him, "Why do you continue to worship God so
    ardently, seeing that we have been deprived of all our riches, and live
    in such poverty?" The King points to the majestic Himalayan
    Mountains in the distance and says, "See how grand, majestic and
    beautiful the Himalayas are! Do those mountains bear some guilt for
    our misfortunes? Should I cease to gaze upon them and admire them
    and praise them, and spite my eyes and my senses to behold them no
    more, simply because of my misfortune?"

    Only a very few actual writings and prayers have come down to us
    from Lord Chaitanya , the sixteenth century Vaishnav saint. One of
    those prayers basically says, "O Lord, I do not ask for money, or
    pleasures, or even liberation from the cycle of birth and death, but
    only to serve at Your Lotus Feet life after life, even if your foot should
    crush me." We see in the Ramayan that when Lord Ram (an avataric
    incarnation of God) shot the wicked Balin, who had usurped his
    brothers throne, Lord Ram had compassion upon him and offered to
    heal his wound. But Balin replied, "How many lifetimes might come
    and go without receiving the honor to die at the hand of the Lords'
    Avatar." So Balin was seeking Union and Moksha, rather that further
    life and enjoyments.

    Christianity has a curious habit of asking other people for their
    prayers. "Pray for me because I am sick. Pray for my parents. Pray for
    my son and daughter. Pray for that nation torn by war, plague and
    famine." Epictetus made an interesting observation in his Discourses.
    He wrote, "Why do you pray to Jupiter for the safety of your son before
    he embarks upon a long journey. Why not ask Jupiter for the
    Equanimity of an Even-Keeled Spirit, to endure whatever good or bad
    fortune might result." In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna, similarly,
    says to Arjuna, "It is necessary that Joys and Sorrows should enter
    each persons life, but he who endures them with Equanimity and a
    balanced spirit is the True Yogin and master of the Self." The Western,
    quid pro quo notion of prayer is to ask for something. The Hindu
    notion is that each good and ill that we suffer is our very own doing; a
    karmic consequence of some thought or action from this current life
    or from a previous life. And furthermore, each good and ill that we
    suffer is for our benefit. King Solomon basically said (if I may
    paraphrase his writings) : "Every son whom the Lord loves he chastens
    every one whom He receives, and places their souls in the fire of
    adversity, until they reach a seven-fold purity like gold in the furnace."
    There is a sort of impertinence in the notion of asking God to alter our
    circumstances, if they are for our own benefit and instruction. Such
    supplicatory prayer is almost a lack of faith in Divine Wisdom, Mercy
    and Providence and a sort of insult to God. And the insult is
    compounded when we do not even offer such prayers ourselves but
    ask others to do it for us. If we had an important favor to ask of a
    King, and we sent a relative, to ask on our behalf, what would that
    King think? It is for a busy King to dispatch a messenger to us, and we
    are honored by such a visit but it is our place to petition in person, if
    we are to even petition at all.

    The early Greek Christian theologians told a parable about the three
    types of devotion of believers; the Slave, the Hired Hand, and the
    true-born Son. The Slave acts out of fear of punishment. The Hired
    Hand acts from hope of reward. The true-born Son acts neither from
    fear of punishment nor from hope of reward but from selfless love of
    the Father. I am somehow reminded at this moment, as I write these
    words, of Chaitanya's words concerning "the Lord's CAUSELESS
    MERCY", and that verse in the Gita where Lord Krishna says
    (paraphrasing), "What my Devotee has achieved, I preserve from birth
    to birth, and what my Devotee lacks, I supplement and provide
    through Grace." In the oddest sort of way, we see that God does not
    create the physical Universe, or sentient beings as His goal. What God
    CREATES or RE-CREATES, IS GOD. Even a Greek Bishop, Athanasius, of the fourth century, said, "God became man so that Man might become God."


    Atheists and Agnostics might speak about man creating God.
    Theologians might speak about God creating the Universe and
    mankind. But there is in Hinduism, I suspect, some talk of God
    CREATING GOD through the perfection of all beings in His Divine Lila
    or Pass-Times.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-22-2005 at 06:04 PM.

  4. #4

    Many Religions have Rosaries

    Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox all use a form of rosary or prayer beads.

    One reader writes:

    I have very recently begun to practice Zen. I have also started to
    attend a Zendo and while there I noticed that my teacher was wearing
    the mala beads. It got me to thinking, "What are mala beads for?" I
    looked them up and all I could find was that they are "counted during
    prayer" types of information but nothing about where they came from
    or how to use them. So my question to anyone who will answer is,

    "What are they and what are they for?"

    A second reader replies:

    I do not know the history of these beads, but I use them. Having been
    raised a Catholic, I used a rosary. Mala beads are similar in their
    function. In Tibetan Buddhism a mala is used to have a tactile
    awareness of prayer. Also many of the mantras are said in blocks of
    108, which is the number of beads on a traditional mala. I find them
    useful when I have to stand in line or am in some way 'waiting'. So at
    those times I recite mantra or pray. But this is an activity which can
    easily occur without a mala or a rosary. It is just easier sometimes to
    stay focused when passing beads between one's fingers.

    Sitaram replies:

    The English word "bead" is related to the root of the word "bid" (as in
    "I bid thee adieu", or "making a bid on a house"), as well as to the
    ancient English clerical position of Bede. The primitive meaning is to
    ask or request or call or summon.

    The original function of beads was not cosmetic for decoration but
    was indeed to count prayers.

    The Russian prayer rope, or rosary or mala, is called the "chotke",
    which is related to the Slavonic word for counting "chetatch". It is a
    rope with elaborately woven knots.

    The Greek prayer rope is called "kombvoskeene" (which means,
    knotted rope).

    The eastern orthodox Christian notion was that solid beads would
    make a noise during use, and thus distract from prayer and
    concentration.

    The modern Greek "worry beads", which are not used for prayer, but
    are "played" with while people are sitting idle, to relieve tension, or
    pass the time.

    As centuries passed, beads and malas came more to be a form of
    decoration, or a toy, than a tool for prayer.

    In the Epistles, St. Paul said "I would rather say FIVE WORDS, with
    understanding....". Early Cristians came to believe that those "five
    words" referred to the "Jesus Prayer", which in Greek is "Iesous
    Xristos Uyay Theou Elayeson" (Jesus Christ God's Son, Mercy! or Lord
    Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me, if one does not feel the
    need to be a stickler about FIVE words). In Greek, the first letter of
    each of the five words happen to spell "ICHTHYS" or fish, which is one
    reason why the simply drawing of a fish was an early Christian
    symbol.

    When David went to meet and slay the giant, Goliath, Saul offered
    David his own armour, but David refused it saying "I have not tried this
    armor, so I will not use it in battle." Instead, David took a SLING and
    FIVE stones. Early Christians saw these FIVE stones as mystically
    representing the five words of the Jesus prayer, and Paul's "five words
    with understanding". Of course, a sling resembles a prayer rope, and
    when long prayer rope is held in the hand, hanging to the floor, it
    resembles a SWORD. When David met Goliath on the "field of battle",
    he said to Goliath, "You come against me with a sword and a shield,
    but I DEFEAT YOU WITH THE NAME OF GOD."

    A Greek monastic prayer rope has 300 knots (symbolic of the Trinity),
    and a typical prayer rule is to say 33 such prayer ropes (for the 33
    years of Christ's life), which typically takes a monk about two to three
    hours to complete.

    Hare Krishna devotees use a mala of 108 tulsi wood beads (tulsi is
    sacred to Lord Vishnu). A good devotee will say 16 "rounds" of the
    Hare Krishna mantra per day. Saying these prayers also takes about 2
    to three hours per day.

    The origins of the Jesus Prayer can be seen in the Gospels in several
    places where afflicted people cry out to Jesus, as He is passing by,
    saying "Son of David have mercy".

    One of the functions of the Jesus prayer is to attract God's mercy,
    grace or forgiveness. The eastern notion of mantric repetition is quite
    different. The Hare Krishna devotee believes that the "sound of the
    Divine Names" (Sabdha Brahman) is actually an Avataric
    manifestation or Incarnation of God's presence. There is a story about
    young Lord Krishna dancing on the many heads of the poisonous
    serpent, Kaliya. This serpent began spewing venom everywhere, and
    Lord Krishna asked him why he was doing it. Kaliya answered, "Lord, I
    am only a serpent! Where shall I find sweet nectar or honey to offer
    You. All I have is venom, so this is my offering." But in the Gita, we
    read that God accepts ALL worship and offerings, even from those
    ignorant of His nature. The devotee imagines his tongue as the
    serpent Kaliya, and the sounds of the mantra as Lord Krishna
    manifesting and dancing upon the tongue.

    There is a verse in the Gita (I think in Chapter 7), where Lord Krishna
    says "The ENTIRE UNIVERSE is strung upon me like pearls on a
    thread". (Of course, in Sanskrit, the word for thread is SUTRA). So we
    may see here also the imagery of God and Prayer and Beads and
    Thread and Sutra "intertwined" (if you will pardon the pun).
    Sutras became commentaries or "threads" on other scriptures. How
    ironic that today, in the internet, message boards like this ALSO have
    "threads", strings of related messages.

    It is most interesting to note that even in Islam, there is the notion
    that the "sacred Qur'an" when properly recited or chanted, is ITSELF,
    non-different from Allah (similar to the notion of Sabdha Brahman, or
    Brahman God as SOUND).

    Also, in the Gita, Lord Krishna in one long passages, cites the many
    things that He (God) is. One is of course the sacred syllable "AUM".

    Another is "japa", or mantra chanting with a mala. Another is "Ram"
    the archer/warrior. Lord Krishna also says of the offering at the
    sacrificial fire, "I am the offerer, and the ghee butter which is offered,
    and also the fire into which it is poured." Of course, we get our
    modern word "ignition" from the ancient Sanskrit word "Agni" for God
    as fire. The Greek word for "holy" is "Agios" or "Hagios". I have often
    wondered whether that word is related to the Sanskrit "Agni", God as
    fire, (from which we get our word "ignition").

    How similar, the passage in the Epistle of James (I think), "Every good
    gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from Thee,
    the Father of Lights", which is said at every Liturgy, together with the
    words "Thine own, of Thine own, we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all,
    and for all". There is some resemblance in these words to the notion
    of Krishna as the offerer, and the offering poured into the fire, and the
    fire. Ancient theolgians asked the question "Why the seeming
    redundancy of every GOOD gift and every PERFECT gift". Their answer
    to this puzzle, is that every GOOD gift is our daily necessities of air,
    food, and water, but that the PERFECT gifts are the Sacraments or
    Mysteries of Eucharist, Baptism, etc.

  5. #5
    There is a Jewish anecdote about two rabbis who went upon a long journey but are now returning to their home. As they reach the outskirts of their town, they look in the distance, in the direction of their neighborhood, and see a huge plume of black smoke which can only mean that someone's house is on fire. One of the rabbis prays "O, Master of the Universe, let it not be my house that is on fire."

    The second rabbi looked at him in surprise and said, "Your prayer is not an ethical one."

    Of course, if one analyzed the prayer, what it is really saying is "Let SOMEONE ELSE'S house be on fire."

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    KÝbenhavn for the present
    Posts
    6,516
    Blog Entries
    34
    Wow Sitaram...five consecutive posts

    When I was in sunday school, the teacher taught us that praying is one of the best way to communicate with the Lord. He listens to us. There's a pic hanging on my house wall. A girl is praying and there's Jesus behind her smilling. Tis to say that God is not actually far away up in heaven when you pray, but He's right there beside you though you can't see Him. Tis a sweet picture

  7. #7
    Fresh, Fair and Innocent Adelheid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the only planet which supports life
    Posts
    700

    Praying

    Praying is not only talking to God, and telling Him all our needs, our requests, and things like that, but also listening to Him. It cannot be one sided. There has to be a balance- listening and talking. You are right when you said that

    "Jesus said, "Your Heavenly Father ALREADY knows your needs, BEFORE you ask". "

    But then, even if He does know, shouldn't you ask it? This verse come in the context about not worrying. Jesus was saying what good will worrying do? But I getting off track here. :-)

    So, yeah, there has to be a balance.

  8. #8

    My Life Is My Prayer

    A reporter once asked Gandhi, "Do you have any message which you would like to give for future generations?"

    Gandhi, looking somewhat surprised, answered "My life is my message."

    If we look at the Old Testament of the Bible, at the beginning of the First Book of Samuel, we shall see that it is a woman, Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel, who enjoys a unique honor.

    She is the very first, in the Bible, to utter the phrase "Lord of Hosts."

    We see that phrase nowhere prior to the Books of Samuel, but it occurs frequently in the books which follow.

    Hannah was childless and desparate. She was passing by the Temple in Jerusalem, praying for a child. The high priest, Eli, was standing nearby and saw her lips moving from a distance. He was young and his vision was the kean vision of youth, so he could discern such a minute detail as the movement of lips from a great distance. But he did not have the spiritual discernment which sometimes comes with age. He assumed that her lips were moving because she was drunk and he scolded her. Eli did not recognize prayer.

    Hannah's prayer was answered. She had one son, the prophet Samuel.

    Now, God had raised Samuel up as a prophet for a specific purpose, namely, to rebuke the sons of Eli and their priesthood for the error of their ways.

    When Samuel was still a youth he joined the high priest Eli in the Temple to stand guard overnight. As Samuel was preparing to sleep, he hear a voice call his name "Samuel." Since Eli was the only other person in the room, Samuel said to Eli, "Did you call my name?" Eli answered "No, my son."

    But a second time, Samuel heard the same voice calling his name. Again Samuel questioned Eli, who had spoken not a word.

    Now three is the charm, is it not?

    Eli began to realize that Samuel was hearing the divine voice of the Lord. Eli counselled Samuel, "If you hear that voice again, say 'Here I am Lord.'

    Samuel did hear the voice again, and did as Eli instructed, and the Lord spoke to Samuel.

    Scripture mentions that Eli was now old, with failing vision. The vision of his youth discerned the movement of lips but not the nature of prayer. But the discernement of old age allowed him to recognize the divine voice.

    And even though the priesthood was corrupt, after the fashion that human institutions often become corrupt, yet the repository of oral tradition which Eli embodied was required even by a prophet, to be instructed in the proper manner to recognize and answer the divine voice.

    Such is the nature of prayer.

  9. #9
    Fresh, Fair and Innocent Adelheid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the only planet which supports life
    Posts
    700
    Ummm, Sitaram, sorry for the correction, but I'm quite sure that God later blessed Hannah with more children after Samuel. In fact if you read 1 Samuel 2:21, it says that she conceived 3 sons and 2 daughters.

    But this is off the topic of prayer. Just to let you know.

  10. #10
    Sorry for my ERROR, but I was writing bleary eyed at 3 am, as quickly as I could type, from memory, and feeling with certainty, as I typed, that something would be in error. Its been about 10 years since I looked at these matters. As I look at what I wrote, my error was in the "one" (and isnt that always the way with Abrahamic religions?) Had I written "a son" I would have gotten off scott-free. But I did capture the gist of things, I think.

    I suspect, if I read between your lines, that you were more anxious to let me know that I had made an error, and that you had found it, than to let me know of Hannah's maternal joy.

    http://www.webedelic.com/church/hannahf.htm

    My real error was not taking the time to google, for Lord Google has the power to make everyone look smart.

    And here I thought someone might rush to tell me that I had written something moving, or profound, or meaningful, or insightful or original.
    Such is our human nature, these earthen vessels of ours.


    The business about Eli's good vision in youth, and poor vision but insight in old age, as well as the business about the importance of "oral tradition", which is placed in human repository such as Eli (those "treasures of gold in earthen vessels of which St. Paul speaks); I have never encountered those interpretations in my readings. They are something I saw a few years ago. I would be curious to learn if anyone else has ever made such observations.

    I am hoping that one or two observations/insights during my life are original and make some small contributation to posterity.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 02-02-2005 at 08:24 AM.

  11. #11
    Super papayahed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    17,049
    So prayer needs to be praticed to be good at it? or to understand what you getting out of it?
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  12. #12
    At this moment, I am reminded of a passage in the Gospels where Jesus tries to pray and heal someone (or cast out a demon) and FAILS the first time. He comments that certain tasks may only be accomplished through much prayer and fasting. Later, after work, I shall try to find the exact passage. There is also a passage where Jesus prays in the garden of Gesthemene, and literally "sweats blood" from the effort.

    I mention these things to demonstrate that, from a Christian perspective, even Jesus indicates that prayer is difficult and challenging.

    In the Hadith, Ayesha, the youngest and favorite of Muhammed's wives, describes the prophets appearance during the reception of a Surah, as one sweating with a fever.

    I shall try to write more later.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2
    Quoting Sitaram: "I suspect, if I read between your lines, that you were more anxious to let me know that I had made an error, and that you had found it, than to let me know of Hannah's maternal joy."

    Nothing of that sort. You mistake me entirely. Seriously, I knew that several people thought Samuel was Hannah's only son. Even I used to think that until just recently, so my correction was just to set you right. Please don't be offended.
    Last edited by Violet; 02-03-2005 at 06:01 AM.

  14. #14
    Fresh, Fair and Innocent Adelheid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the only planet which supports life
    Posts
    700
    Ooopsies! Wrong user! But you know what I mean, Sitaram.
    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:9-11


  15. #15
    Fresh, Fair and Innocent Adelheid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the only planet which supports life
    Posts
    700

    Exclamation

    It's not Jesus, it was the DISCIPLES! This is a mistake indeed! But we all make mistakes don't we?

    Here is the passage:

    "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. " Matthew 17:15-21
    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:9-11


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. human nature
    By imthefoolonthehill in forum General Chat
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 08-05-2011, 02:41 PM
  2. On The Nature of Metaphor
    By Sitaram in forum General Literature
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 02:26 AM
  3. Mark Twain's THE WAR PRAYER
    By StevenMN in forum Book & Author Requests
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-24-2004, 12:28 PM
  4. how is double think used to change the nature of man??
    By binqker in forum Orwell, George
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-13-2004, 06:26 PM
  5. A question about Huck Finn
    By plea4peace in forum Huckleberry Finn
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-28-2003, 06:01 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •