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Do you pray?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by revmaf, Sep 5, 2008.

?

Do you pray?

  1. Yes, regularly and intentionally

    8 vote(s)
    13.1%
  2. Yes, sometimes and intentionally

    10 vote(s)
    16.4%
  3. Yes, sometimes and accidentally ("Oh my God!" for example)

    7 vote(s)
    11.5%
  4. No, never

    37 vote(s)
    60.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


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    Still, I think it's misleading to state (as in the test) that "Oh my God!" counts as anything like a prayer. It would be equivalent to claiming that "Go to Hell!" is a prayer to Satan ;)
     
  2. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Disciple, I don't mean to criticize or anything, but I am truely curious. How do you figure yourself as your own god? Is this one of the 'there is divinity in all of us' ideas, or one of the 'I am my own goal and focus, therefore I am my own god' ideas, or something else?
     
  3. revmaf

    revmaf Older, not wiser, but a lot more fun

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    Certainly that is a respectable opinion and maybe I should have given that option a more detailed description - I tried to discuss this a bit in the opening post.

    For many people "Oh my God" is just an exclamation of surprise, dismay, happiness, whatever, with no intent to pray. However, for some of us :geezer:s, at least those of us who grew up in the southern U.S., that was not a phrase to be said lightly - we were told in no uncertain terms it was prayer and not a reverent prayer at that and just blurting it out resulted in punishment. So I still twitch a bit when I hear 10 year olds screaming it at each other when they get a text message from their boyfriend ;) or whatever. Maybe this is age-istic prejudice talking, on my part?

    But I do want to raise the question, as intended with the wording of the poll: why the continuing references to God if in fact no such reference is intended? The answer may indeed lie in linguistic atavism, but I have to wonder if that is the full explanation.

    Nevertheless, the main question of the poll is simply: do you pray, however you define that? And the answers have been quite interesting to me, and I hope to others as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  4. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Thats the English language for you - full of out of date expressions and words.

    Besides which, words are only symbols to convey ideas. Its the meaning that you attach to them that counts. So, for you, "Oh my God" is a prayer, but for me "Oh my god" is an expression of surprise. Same symbols, different meaning.
     
  5. revmaf

    revmaf Older, not wiser, but a lot more fun

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    Hmm, the picture theory of language combined with the idea that words mean what individuals decide they mean. Both widely held views of language, but not ones I share.

    Sorry, that's another thread, isn't it?

    But, on topic again, the "no, never" respondents have it so far.
     
  6. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I voted never, and say "Oh my god" frequently.
    It's really just a phrase. Much like when I say "Oh, sh*t!" although I have no actual intention of defacating. :p
     
  7. Kerfuffle Gems: 1/31
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    No, I never pray. I don't say "Oh my God" much either, preferring more... colourful language. :p
     
  8. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Perhaps, but I'm curious as to why you dont think words can have different meanings to different people? Do you think words have absolute meaning?
     
  9. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I was raised in a religious home, so I was taught to pray every night before bed...but once I was old enough to realize I was just repeating 95% of the same old stuff every night, I stopped. I continued to pray for very important things for a few years afterwards...during a life threatening asthma attack for example. (note, while in those situations, I don't feel like I'm talking to "god"...but from a very early age my brain was programmed to be calm, and have a sense of safety while saying a prayer...so I use prayer as a last resort to get my body to relax...which lowers my heart rate considerably, reduces tension, and relieves panic... so it can get me though the worst of asthma attacks.)

    That being said, I haven't said a prayer in years. :rolling:
     
  10. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Sometimes wishing can be praying...when you say 'I wish...' who are you sending your wish to?
     
  11. Goli Ironhead Gems: 16/31
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    Nobody. When I say "I wish", it's because I simply wish something would happen like I'm saying. Not because some higher power could hear and help, simply to tell someone else. If even that.

    I don't pray, being an atheist, and I also don't consider exclamations like "Oh my god!" or such praying unless the exclaimer specifically means them to be such. As has been already said, otherwise they've been used so much they've lost all religious connotations.
     
  12. BlckDeth Gems: 7/31
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    I used to "pray" before meals while still living at home (this is my first year in college), but to be honest, it was mostly just done to keep my parents happy. I really don't have the heart to tell my mom, a devout Catholic, that I am and have been an Atheist for about a year now. There's a right time for that though, I'm sure.
     
  13. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Football is my religion. Wembley is my church. I pray at the feet of Theo Walcott.
     
  14. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Everybody does. Everybody. But some pray to the god made by their religion, some just to god (male/female).
     
  15. Deathmage

    Deathmage Arrr! Veteran

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    As an atheist, I refer to God a surprising amount.

    Sometimes I say things like "Okay God, if you make this bus come, I'll like you a bit more" or "You better make sure this report gets a good mark, God."

    I figure he can take it.
     
  16. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    I don't pray. However, I am sure that I will pray just before death (given the chance). As an agnostic I have to acknowledge that maybe I just don't have the wisdom or grace to accept the existence of God....hopefully I send a prayer to the correct god just before my end.

    Also, I don't consider using God's name as a prayer at all. I use God's name regularly to make a point...I know my audience.
     
  17. Susipaisti

    Susipaisti Maybe if I just sleep... Veteran

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    I used to pray as a kid sometimes, but it stopped making any sense to me a long time ago. So no, never.
     
  18. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    I agree very much with this. In fact, it was the ridiculous notion of God as the switchboard operator (love that description, dmc!) that shaped much of my personal theology and set me on the path I'm on.

    Truthfully, I am constantly trying to move from the "sometimes" category into "regularly," I also believe that prayer without intent doesn't mean all that much.
     
  19. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Prayer should include an expressin of gratitude and praise, but also a petition for divine guidance and blessings for those in need. I've heard people pray for others to recover from illness, accident and routine surgery, seek protection for themselves and those that are travelling, and to seek spiritual guidance for those speaking and teaching in religious meetings. Privately, Guidance on real world issues, such as employment, spouse selection and education are encouraged...

    But one thing that we are taught to remember is that God's will is to be done, not ours. We may pray for the recovery of a loved one in the hospital, but if it's their time, they will die. I've heard (and offered) petitions for their physical and spiritual comfort rather than recovery when that is expected to be the case...
     
  20. NonSequitur Gems: 19/31
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    I find myself doing it more often, although not for the same reasons as I might have before. These days, I tend to pray for myself and others to find a deeper reservoir of humanity, strength, happiness, wisdom, kindness and/or humility within themselves. The idea of a deity (regardless of belief) as a pot-luck wish-deliverer, omnipotent suspender of universal laws or switchboard operator just doesn't sit well with me - that view seems like a dependent parent/child relationship to me. I have no patience for religious architecture erected and embellished at the expense of purpose and spiritual meaning.

    To me, prayer is more for a sense of having set my hopes down in words, and then being able to move forward without being tied to them. Whether you want to conceptualise a deity as an anthropomorphic (or other) personification or some pervasive force, I find that there is great comfort and peace to be found in prayer. Even if in the end it turns out you were only talking to yourself, something which can help you let go of your fears and worries (without obliterating your senses or harming anyone) can't be a bad thing.
     
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