FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: How bad do you want it? The prayer measure
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
(This post is my own idea and an original speech,I didn't read it anywhere.)

Many people Go to great lengths to achieve their goals;waking up at 4am, diet, tiring excercise, risking their money.. but how much do they pray? The amount of time they pray for their goal is what truly states how much they want their goal. Can a man say he REALLY wants a rise of he doesnt pray a rosary for it?
If you want to recover from a disease,but can't pray half an hour;do you value time and health so much?

My idea is not manipulation of prayer for goals(and Interesting discussion tho),but -measuring- how much someone wants something based on how much time.they use the biggest self-improvement tool:prayer
The problem is that there's zero "scientific" evidence prayer does anything but make you feel subjectively better, while there's plenty of evidence that spending 30 mins a day exercising, studying, or working towards a goal can make a difference.  I'm NOT suggesting spending more time praying is a bad idea, only that it's a REALLY tough sell to people when the results are pretty subjective, especially when many people are already pretty weak in faith. 

The way I've always looked at it is that prayer should be done for its own sake, not to get anything specific.  There's really no way to prove other than perhaps intuitively that prayer makes any difference at all.

Some of us feel like praying is in and of itself almost intuitive and as necessary as breathing, but not necessarily for any particular goal other then a conversation with God and a sense of trust that He will somehow mysteriously provide.  

I almost feel like prayer is something you just have to do whether you feel like it or feel like you get anything out of it or not. 

I'm not trying to be harsh here on purpose, just giving you my own two cents as someone who has prayed almost instinctively for decades and who has struggled deeply to pass it on to anyone.
(04-08-2020, 01:26 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]The way I've always looked at it is that prayer should be done for its own sake, not to get anything specific.  There's really no way to prove other than perhaps intuitively that prayer makes any difference at all.

Some of us feel like praying is in and of itself almost intuitive and as necessary as breathing, but not necessarily for any particular goal other then a conversation with God and a sense of trust that He will somehow mysteriously provide.  

I almost feel like prayer is something you just have to do whether you feel like it or feel like you get anything out of it or not. 

I'm not trying to be harsh here on purpose, just giving you my own two cents as someone who has prayed almost instinctively for decades and who has struggled deeply to pass it on to anyone.

I agree. The purpose of prayer is not to receive feels or material things, God is NOT a vending machine. Prayer is a conversation between you and God through the Holy Ghost. It is meant to build upon love of Christ, to form a relationship with God. You can only grow in love of God, charity, through prayer, and that is the entire point of this life. So I completely see how it can be a hard sell to those lacking faith.
It's both, though ...

There are four ends of prayer in the traditional Thomistic formulation : Adoration, Thanksgiving, Reparation and Supplication. I always teach the acronym ARTS, and then have the students remember to switch the two middle terms when the want the correct ordering of reasons for prayer.

The first three all refer to something beyond self, and thus like has been said, we pray for it's own sake as a way of adoring and thanking God while making reparation for our sins and those of others. This is, in a sense, prayer for its own sake.

The last, however, is a valid and important purpose. God does want us to ask for certain things which are necessary or good for our salvation : "Ask and it shall be give you."

It is also to be remembered that God is immutable—He cannot change. Therefore prayer does not change God, or God's plan, or God's will. Prayer changes us, and God conditions certain things on the prayer that He knew we would say, sacrifices we would offer, etc. This is because, while supernatural graces are always from God, and cannot be caused by us (who are natural creatures elevated to a supernatural end), God wants us to participate in a certain degree in disposing ourselves on a natural level, so that the supernatural grace can be given.

So, while the highest and best prayer is always to pray for the sake of God (to pray for the sake of prayer), to pray to obtain what is really profitable for our salvation is not only possible, but also noble and part of God's plan. 

Asking for things is obviously not the highest form of prayer, but it is not improper or unreasonable. Asking for material things which we know are not helpful to our salvation is not very reasonable, but asking for material or supernatural things we think are necessary or profitable for our salvation (even if we're wrong), is perfectly good, provided we condition it on God's Will and the truth of whether these things would be good for us. Recall Christ prayed that the chalice pass from Him, and the conditions. So this is okay for us too, if Christ is giving the example.

None of those ends of prayer ought be neglected, even if the the higher reasons for prayer should be, in the life of a Christian, the reason we pray more often than mere petition.
Quote:Prayer is a conversation between you and God through the Holy Ghost. It is meant to build upon love of Christ, to form a relationship with God. You can only grow in love of God, charity, through prayer, and that is the entire point of this life. So I completely see how it can be a hard sell to those lacking faith.

Here you get to the heart of the problem. Many people don't want a relationship with God--they think in terms of results, and He doesn't.

Great thread.