"First, let’s acknowledge that our faith tells us that miracles do seem to happen. But real healing miracles are rare. In most cases God does not intervene to change the course of nature."
Well this was a completely depressing article! You are wrong to say that real healing miracles are rare and that in most cases God does not intervene to change the course of nature. Just look up Fr. Peter Mary Rookey or famous shrines, or read the book, "Chosen to Heal" or the book, "Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart", or the website Spirit Daily. And you quoted one scientific study but what about the other scientific studies that did show prayer changes outcomes? Anyone who is a true believer in prayer and dedicates their life to prayer will find this article completely wrong. I hope people who are looking for the power of prayer don't become depressed reading this article.
Wayne GiffordMay 8, 2011
Good morning, Mr. Connors,
This article has raised more questions and my frustration level with intercessory prayer.
The questions: 'What are we really doing when we pray in this way?" and, "And what good is our prayer if it isn't influencing God to heal?"
"In most cases God does not intervene to change the course of nature."
So if we are not influencing and God is not intervening (not just in illnesses), then just exactly what are we praying for? An athiest can give aid and comfort just as well as a Christian and accomplish the same thing.
So if someone is ill or dying, then what should we be praying for? I have two friends who,for years, are not getting better from strokes and one with complications from a disease he picked up from a patient.
If God does not interfere with one's free will, then what should be our prayer concerning our leaders, an addicted relative or friend? If God isn't does not interfere with one's free will, then what should be our prayer for an athiest/agnostic relative or friend? I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this? I do my best to live up to Matthew 25: 35-40, but just what I'm suppose to specifically pray for eludes me.
The article also mentioned "All these sad and mistaken thoughts actually seem to lead us further from God rather than closer to Him." Which reminds me of the late comedian George Carlin. He went to Catholic school and became an athiest: "I tried to believe in God, but I never got an answer to any prayers. If something did happen, it could have been a 50/50 chance. Now I pray to my neighbor, Joe Pesci, because I know Joe will answer me."
I've heard Southern Baptist preachers say our prayers, in order to be effective, need to be specific to the person needs, but what if those specific needs are unknown? They need to be fervent prayers, but just what does fervent prayers mean? Does one have to spent hours on one's knees praying?
I do pray, but now these questions are an interference. The big question is "What do we pray for"? I would like to see some articles in CD clarifying this issue of intercessory prayer. There must be other people with similar questions.
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