SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
Prayer Undermines and Halts Trust in Yourself
Take a policy of, "Identify with others but without comparing."
Rating yourself against others is bad for you only see a part of what they are like and see the surface of their success. It implies you think they are better than you and that is why you use them as a standard to judge yourself. Doing that puts you at risk of looking for people who you think are beneath you. You do that to make yourself feel better. It leads to hate of everybody. Rating is bad for your self-esteem and confidence and theirs.
Rating is also a lie for you cannot really rate yourself against anybody else's life for you cannot know all the details of that person's life and many pretend to be having the ideal life. You cannot rate yourself against the goodness and success of another person that may only be a front. It is an act of self-abuse.
You cannot identify then with God who by definition is morally perfect and perfectly happy. So you have to compare. The concept of God merely puts you down. This is actualised though prayer. If you do not report that effect then as far as you are concerned you somehow are God!
If praying for others in times of trouble is sincere you will be motivated to help them. But it is clear that it is the sincerity that is the cause of the motivation not the praying. Praying then shows you do not trust yourself to do good and want a God to supply you with the power to. If you feel that incompetent then there is a risk that you will not help for you will think you cannot help or will make things worse. If you see yourself as useless you will not want to bother the person who needs your help by inflicting yourself on them.
If I pray, it is because I assume that God may listen to me and because I asked he may:
-Cause something to happen in the way I have asked in the natural world.
-Make me a stronger or better person.
I assume that if I don’t ask for say God to heal somebody and they don’t get better that it may be my fault. To suggest that it may be your fault is a serious accusation. Do not let the "may" let you feel soft on this topic. Those who say that there is no may about it and it is not your fault are hypocrites for there is a may and they cannot know there is not a may.
Inability to trust others indicates that you don't trust yourself. If you like yourself, you will find it easier to trust others. If you dislike yourself, that causes you to fear that others will hurt or punish you. If you unleash a harmful attitude towards yourself you will expect others to do so as well. It diminishes trust. If you believe in God but don't trust him that would indicate you have very serious problems indeed when you cannot trust an all-good God. You would need therapy. My advice would be to drop the belief altogether. That you would need to drop the belief, shows there is something wrong with believing in God. Prayer encourages this wrongness for it is based on trust in God. It proves that religion is evil and lying for saying that faith in God is inherently and essentially good!
Imagine you are struggling to help somebody. You lack strength or you feel you do. You pray and you feel stronger and complete the task.
Maybe you created the strength yourself.
Maybe you were stronger than you thought all the time.
Praying urges you not to take the credit for your own strength. It encourages dependency.
You will be afraid to believe that this strength was your own, You will try to feel that it came only from God. So you are just putting yourself down. The joy of feeling it was God then comes at a price - the fear of feeling that the good came from you.
Paradoxically, you are not allowed to really trust yourself and yet if you do you still do not trust God in reality. Refusing to trust yourself raises questions about the sincerity of your trust in God.
If you didn't trust God, the prayer wasn't answered but ignored even though it looks like you got what you asked for. Just because you pray for something and because you get it doesn't mean the prayer had anything to do with it.
Perhaps the main reason people bother with God religion is so that they will have something to hang on to when they are on their death beds. Do the dying feel they are doing something to help themselves when they pray for death? But when prayer means that you have to leave the future and decision making to God that cannot be the case. The feeling then would be sinful for that reason. God can allow really deep depression to happen. He doesn't give comfort to everybody. Feeling loved and being loved are not the same thing. The Church says that as God alone is to be adored what matters is being loved by him no matter how you feel about it. It is a sin to make an idol of the feeling.
Praying that your suffering will end in death or praying for another to get to their rest and be relieved of their terminal agonies does not fit the modern religious claim that life is more important than happiness and so that life must be the thing that should be looked after at all costs! Religionists are always contradicting themselves as hypocrites do. To desire that somebody will die would be wrong when God can have other plans. We can't pray for God to mercifully end a life for that is not a mercy if life is so important. What then is the point of bothering with religion? It would be evil for us to bother when it causes so much trouble.
To pray for somebody to die is to consent to their death. Is that not fanaticism? Is that not staking too much on a mere belief: God? If there is no God, perhaps they are better off alive than annihilated.
Jesus commanded unconditional love for God. You are to love God wholly and entirely because he is God and not because he is good. To love good would not be the same as loving God - it would be impersonal. He told us then to love our neighbour as ourselves. This is conditional love. Conditional love means, "I will love you if such and such is the case and as much as the rules allow it." The rule is that you don't love your neighbour as much as God or yourself. It is madness to think that the God of Jesus Christ really answers prayer when he is so hateful. A God that wants to be loved totally as you confer shoddy inferior "love" on yourself and others is not the kind of thing you would want to be praying to.
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