• James Eichenlaub

Why Do We Pray?

Why do we pray when it's so much easier to get an answer from Google!

Yes, I am being facetious, but at the same time, I find it curious that everyone prays, but seemingly without regard to whom or what they are directing their prayers. Had I enough faith in the efficacy of prayer to assume it would work when I asked to spell the word 'facetious correctly,' I would have foregone the use of auto-spellcheck and misspelled it. Then again, when we ask "God" for things, are we not also supposed to give it our best effort as well, making the use of auto-spellcheck the proper thing to do? You know the saying; God helps those who...and so on.

Yes, I'm sure you recall the story of the man trapped in the flood and clinging to the roof of his house. He prayed, "Oh God, please save me from this flood!" Later, a boat came by, "Jump in!" they said. "No, thank you, I am trusting God will rescue me," he told them. Several more boats came by, and still, he refused; until the flood swept him away and he perished. Then, in the resurrection, he asked, "God, why didn't you rescue me?" Of course, God replied, "Hey, I sent boat after boat after boat, and you refused them all! What's up with that?"

The fact is, we pray for many different reasons, do we not? Troubled mind, anxious soul, ailing disposition, the sick and dying, peace, protection, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and the list is as long as our fears, feelings, and desires will take it. Some pray because they feel it makes them righteous; others pray because they know and understand they are not. Search it on Google. There you will find "POWERFUL PRAYERS!" All sorts and types of prayers to fit your fondest, to your most desperate of circumstances. How these people deem their prayers to be so powerful is, well, something to wonder at, but still, there they are!

Of course, on Google, most prayers are free, but some you can buy. Some make you feel better; some make you wealthy, while others just make you feel better about yourself. Poured into the air every second of every minute of every day, potentially NINE BILLION prayers per second (take 86,400 seconds per day and multiply that by NINE BILLION) all being delivered directly to the lobby of God. And you thought YOUR INBOX was jammed up!

Aside-i.e., not a 'him' or a 'her' but, A GOD. Often referred to as 'him' because, or so I assume, we learned that "God created man (him) in his (God's) image, ergo, him/God/God/him. Fact is, God has no gender, was not created, does not procreate, is not like us at all in that respect,but for the sake of clarity, pardon me if I refer to Him. Apologies for the digression. 

Another thing: Why is it so many people like to pray in 16th Century English? This misguided belief results, most likely, from the mistaken idea that the "King James Bible" is the same Bible Jesus used. I actually heard someone say that once! Oh duh! Jesus did not HAVE a Bible but is a character in the Bible. As well; Jesus DID NOT speak in 16th century English; he was a Jew!

Another person told me that she prays that way because it shows respect for God as if God would answer her the voice of James Mason saying, "Thou art forgiven, my child!" A very similar situation resulting from movies where people 'think' they heard God speak.

Obviously, should you "Google" it, you will find there are as many ways to pray as there are people in the more than 30,000+ different Christian beliefs in the world.

Due to all of these 'viewpoints' about prayer and all the religions that claim their prayers are heard and answered, I find a few, well, conundrums about praying that give me pause, and perhaps you can explain them.

  1. From associating for most of my life with Jehovah's Witnesses, I learned from the Bible book of Psalms 83:18 that "Jehovah" is God's name. Yet, most people do not have a name for the God to which they pray. Why is that? To whom are they speaking when they cast out their prayers to the sky?

  2. Of course, there are those like Marilee Pierce Dunker of the World Vision organization, another ecumenical group that wants everyone to believe that Jesus is God. In her little dissertation, she says, "I find it helpful in my prayer times to focus on which of the Holy Trinity I need to talk to." Wow! Does God allow us just to make it up as we go'? Is this how we have our prayers heard; pick a dogma and let it fly?

  3. Since the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:5,6 "For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." NIV If God has a name, then, by whose authority is it that people are told NOT to use it? Satan did not want people to know who Jesus was (is). Does not hiding his Father's name not cause confusion as to whom we should pray?

  4. Why does the catholic orthodoxy state that Jesus is God when even their own historical records state that no such thing is found in the Bible? So when we pray then, should it not be as Jesus said, "Nobody comes to the Father except through me!" Which is to say that there is no MARY, or SAINTS, or anyone else who can hear prayers or grant wishes.

  5. A deaf man that I knew from the time I was a child read his Bible daily, through and through. When asked, "Who is Jesus?" He immediately answered, "God's son." Why? Because of having been deaf all of his life, he learned the Bible by reading it and NOT ALLOWING others to TELL him what it says!

  6. If the Nicaean Council made this non-scriptural 'assignment' of Christ as being equal to God in 325ad and the Catholic Church knows that it is not part of actual scripture, why do they teach it as dogma, and why do they direct the prayers of people AWAY from Christ?

  7. Is it proper to pray for peace among the nations or even among religions when we consider what Jesus said, Matthew 10:34, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household."

  8. Is it not counter-intuitive to pray that the world will find answers to war, hunger, crime, hatred, etc. when the scriptures say that this is the 'expected' condition of the world? 2 Timothy 3:1-4 Or is the letter to Timothy other than what it seems and not actually about our time as so many want to apply it?

You see! This is another conundrum. Read 2nd Timothy, chapters 1 through 4.

  • To whom is it written? (a) Timothy, a very young apostle of Christ.

  • By whom is it written? (a) The older and about to die, apostle Paul

  • What is the reason? (a) To encourage Timothy not to hold back because of his age and to stand up to those who deviated from the truth and not follow in their course.

  • To encourage him (Timothy) to remember, "if we go on enduring, we will also rule together as kings..." as one of God's anointed followers. Whoa, whoa! Are you talking to me? No! You? No!

  • So the letter was NOT actually written for us at all, then? We are not going to "rule as kings," are we? From what it says, it appears that we may be reading something into it that we should not! Ergo, if the letter to Timothy was about the anointed and Timothy's service at that time, then the warnings in chapter 3 are referring to THAT TIME also, not OUR TIME.

  • In fact, this warning about critical times hard to deal with was referenced multiple times throughout history. (One of the more recent examples is called The Battle Hymn of the Republic. "Mine eyes hath see the glory of the coming of the Lord...") and blah blah, blah.

  • As I've mentioned multiple times, the Bible holds very, VERY important information for us, but by all appearances is also very esoteric in nature and cannot, and should not, be arbitrarily applied like aspirin for our wounds, i.e., not taken as needed.

  1. So then, Jesus Christ is the King of God's Kingdom... NOT God.

  2. The end of this mess will come when God (Jehovah) determines it to be the proper time.

  3. Faith in Jesus Christ is essential for salvation, and the resurrection will grant that opportunity, i.e., there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.

  4. Not everyone is going to heaven, but most will remain eternally on a "New Earth."

  5. Timothy and Paul were two of the 144,000 'anointed' few who reign as Kings and priests in heaven, with Christ Jesus. (Revelation)

And I feel certain that after this system is removed and the Kingdom begins ruling, the dead will be resurrected and the judgment period will begin, and we will receive a message from heaven that says:

"I know you think you understand what you THOUGHT you heard me say, but I don't think you realize that what you thought you heard isn't what I meant."

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