Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Are We Praying For?

Hola Faithful Ones! I downloaded and read Christopher Hitchens’ last book Mortality over the weekend. In it he talks a lot about prayer. Of course, Hitch focuses mostly on prayer as it applies to people forcing their religion on him and how religion sucks and there is no God. But, prayer is something I've given a lot of thought to over the years and to be honest, I’m still not convinced it does much good.

I went to the Holy Family Shrine in Omaha once. I actually went there to pray for someone. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever done anything like that. I even signed the little book and included who I was praying for and why just in case someone else needed someone to pray for. Then I grabbed some free rosary beads and left. They had white ones and red ones. Not sure why two colors, I was just glad they weren’t red and blue so the congregation could be publicly divided by political preference.

Oh sure, like most things when it comes to religion it does help to make us feel better about people, places and things when we pray. And it makes us feel like we are doing something to help friends and loved ones when we feel like we can do nothing else for them. I guess there’s something to be said for prayer, like religion itself, bringing us comfort.

But, I wonder what we’re all actually praying for? Are we really praying for our friend with cancer, or someone going through a divorce or whatever, or are we just making ourselves feel better? A lot of people pray for “things.” They pray for fame or fortune or to do well on a test or to win a game or whatever. Surely those prayers get met with a “Well, you’ll have to do your part too” at a very minimum or hopefully a “Praying to God for personal gains or wins is a pretty selfish act, don’t you think?”

That would be similar to praying to change things, which seems a bit risky to me. Telling God he got something wrong might not be the best of ideas. “Yo God, it’s not my style to criticize but by the time I hit my mid 40’s I was supposed to be well off and good looking. Instead I’m fat and broke. What’s up with that shit?”

Lots of people also love to ask for prayers. They go on social media and say things like “My son is heading off to college tomorrow, could everyone please pray that he arrives safely and has a great first year.” I can see the “arrives safely part,” but going for the whole “great first year” seems to be asking a bit too much. I think less is probably more when it comes to prayers.

I admit to not being too much into prayer. Oh I’ve done it from time to time but try very hard not to pray for myself. Or if I do I try to point to God that there will be lots of positives for other, more deserving people, should he help me out. Hedging my bets is probably the best way to approach these things.

I’ve also had many people tell me that they were praying for me over the years. I was always appreciative even if I was a bit skeptical. I did ask one person specifically what she was praying for. “For you to see the light and become a Christian so your soul won’t be condemned to eternal damnations, of course!” I thought about telling her that she’s wasting her time because I was already a Christian, but decided not to. I would hate for her to think she’s been wasting quality praying time.

Besides, what if SHE’S the one who gets me into heaven?


In other news, on Sunday we celebrated PORN on IWS! It was a hilarious show as we talked about old school porn and obtaining porn before the internet. Also, a very special interview with Matt-Man talking about his days in the porn industry. And lots and lots more! Check it out ...

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I'm With Stupid said...

Amen. Cheers Jayman!!


Mike said...

'..won’t be condemned to eternal damnation..'

Do you want to be with your friends or not?

Edita said...

A post about prayer without the intention to start your own cult???? Wow, man.

Are you sure you are not interested in everyone saying ALL HAIL JAYMAN?

On a serious note, I used to be very into prayer. Everyday before sleeping. I did it for years. But then something snapped (no idea what, probably "real" life kicked in) and I have distanced myself from religion. Like miles.

Gnetch said...

I admire people who pray only when they mean it. There is this one girl on twitter who uses prayer (I mean first of all, why pray on social media???) to brag. She was all, "Dear God. Thank you for everything I accomplished today. I got this and that, I got chosen in this but I can't disclose anything yet..." (Yeah, second, she's praying to god but she cannot disclose anything yet. Come on.)

/end rant

Anyway... From prayer to porn? haha!

Dana said...

My prayers are limited to:

"Dear God, would you please make vodka free? Amen!"

I figure that's not selfish because ALL vodka drinkers would benefit.

I'm waiting patiently (and drinking cheap vodka) for my prayer to be answered!

Knight said...

First of all, I would like to thank Dana for her prayers. I appreciate it.

I pray all the time which I suppose is a little weird considering I'm not religious. From my perspective, you can pray for whatever the hell you need to. It's not required you say Dear Jesus and AMEN. I guess I believe that when something or someone is on your mind it's best to put that energy out into the universe. It's good for you and, who knows, maybe it's good for them too. If only from a self reflection therapeutic sense.

I'm With Stupid said...

Matt-Man: Hallelujah!


I'm With Stupid said...

Mike: That's a good point. I don't want to end up in Heaven and be all lonely up there.


I'm With Stupid said...

Edita: I think one can distance herself or himself from organized religion and still be religious enough to pray and believe.


I'm With Stupid said...

Gnetch: Yeah, I don't really get all the praying on social media either. I don't think God has a Twitter account. Not a verified one anyway. ;-p


I'm With Stupid said...

Dana: That's as good a thing to pray for as anything, I guess. A little bit socialist, but whatever. ;-)


I'm With Stupid said...

Knight: Does a person have to be religious to pray? I don't think so.


Jo said...

Are you still Christian, Jay?

I guess my chatty time with God is prayer. I go through periods when I don't talk to God, but for most of my life it's been a regular thing. I honestly feel connected when I do, and I don't really mean with God like I'm dialing him up, but more like I'm quieting the noise in my head so that what's there all the time can get through.

I think mind over matter is powerful and real...wherever a person gets their faith, if it moves them, they can do amazing things.

jAMiE said...

I agree...it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when people pray for things. I believe prayer is meant to comfort us and those that we pray for. Does it work? I like to think so..

I'm With Stupid said...

Jo: Last I checked I was still a Christian, but it could change I guess.

I guess chatty time with God is also considered prayer. Does he answer you?

Prayer to quiet the noise in one's head is probably what most people do. Just looking for a little time to meditate and settle everything down.


I'm With Stupid said...

Jamie: I agree. Prayer is mostly to comfort us and make us feel better about things. And, that's a good thing.