Anyone watching the funeral and praying for our government?

(16 Posts)
ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 19:19:36

I don't want to commit to an Alpha Course - I work odd hours so I can't really. The church has ways of avoiding questions - they don't mind being rude if they think the questions are too hard smile

I think you should definitely get answers - maybe an Alpha course would be something to try? I think it's really important to question.

I'm not a good example of a standard Christian. I think God is not a different entity but instead lives in us and all around like a universal consciousness. In prayer I'm doing many things - communicating with God, prayer for understanding and compassion, praying for Thatcher's family (controversially praying for Mark Thatcher to be touched by the love shown in the service he was at today - that it would impact him for good instead of arms dealing and making money out of misery), praying for those she harmed with her policies - I specifically prayed for the mining towns today by name as they came up on the news.

I don't expect a different entity to change it, I'm praying for others that they will effect change too, that it will give them strength.

I hope that makes sense, even if you don't agree or believe smile

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 16:22:10

I don't go to church any more. I am an atheist. I couldn't make sense of any of it, but I gave it a go. When you ask questions at church, you don't get answers, although, coincidentally, people do say they will pray for you smile

None of those encompass every option nor the entirety of why I pray.

Why do you pray then Arthur when you pray for the government in your church? Which one of your options suits you?

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 15:36:12

So you are praying for her because she is your enemy, but the way the prayer works is by changing you?

So you want God to make you more accepting of what you think is wrong? To give you more compassion for her? What exactly were/are you asking God for?

I remember praying for the government at church so I know it's common, I'm just entirely unclear as to what the expected outcome is, as they all seem to have huge implications for some aspect of the definition of God.

Prayer seems to be:

a) please God place my wants above everyone else's
b) please God change the way another person or persons are acting
c) please God change the way you are acting
d) please God change the way I am acting

A, b and c imply questions of the very nature of God.

God's intervention doesn't seem necessary for d.

And it's quite common for Christians to pray for their governments whether they agree with them or not.

I was looking for others on here today to see if there were any because of the funeral - instead I've found some people interested in discussing beliefs about prayer grin

So I hope you find your answers (even if I haven't provided them as I can only state what I believe)

I'm sure there are many ways of looking at prayer but the way I look at it isn't mentioned here.

I said that I prayed for her as the Bible calls us for Christians to pray for our enemies. In prayer I'm asking for many things, not least for compassion towards others.

Also I believe prayer works not by changing God or by changing people but by changing myself and praying with others to effect change.

I'm not saying that it changes God or free will, prayer is about changing ourselves.

I'm afraid I have no idea if Thatcher was a Christian.

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 13:41:34

infamous - quite. Thatcher herself was Christian, so presumably she was praying for God's guidance and help too.

It seems most odd that He would tell her one thing and then answer prayers asking for the opposite whilst making it appear to everyone else that He had done nothing at all.

LizzyDay Wed 17-Apr-13 13:34:00

I don't understand the form of prayer which says 'please God make X happen'. Because it's not like 'he' can be persuaded, is it.

I can better understand people saying 'God give me the strength to go out and make X happen myself'. So like a form of focused meditation or something, and I suppose you have to believe that someone's listening for that to work, hence the religious bit.

infamouspoo Wed 17-Apr-13 13:20:03

wont you be up against all the right wing christians praying for the cuts?
confused

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 13:17:52

I think it's naive to think people aren't affected by protests. When I lived in London a big protest meant that I'd have a hard time getting to work, for example. Why would you wish to add two hours to my commuting time, and time away from my family, if you truly believe that asking God to sort it out works?

I find prayer baffling. It appears to be that you are saying that God allows things to happen that he doesn't like, but he can change them if people ask him to.

This means that people don't have free will - God will intervene if (one, many?) people prays for it, so the person whose actions God changes or prevents does not have free will. This of course begs the question of why God doesn't just stop 'bad things' without people praying for it. The "free will " argument is clearly not valid as an answered prayer over-rides free will.

Or are you saying that God has his mind changed by prayer - so whereas he might initially have been happy with the Poll Tax, the prayers of mere mortals persuaded him otherwise? This would imply that God is not omniscient, though.

Or are you saying neither of those things: that God is always right and so never changes his mind, and always allows us free will - in which case there is no point in prayer?

I think your questions apply generally to all types of prayers - people often pray for opposite prayers.

I'm afraid I don't know what God decides. I'm not sure a human can answer that.

There are plenty of posts on prayer which may help you to make your own mind up.

I don't think what I personally believe about prayer would help you though of course I've already said that I believe in prayer.

I don't know of anyone affected by the democratic protests confused - unless you mean the people who were smashing windows of shops? Naturally I wasn't part of that.

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 12:30:18

I'm confused. You think the prayers had an effect, but you (presumably) were praying for her to change her policies.

Which policies do you think changed as a result of your prayers?

Why did you protest - when doing so caused distress and inconvenience to the people living near your protests - if you thought prayer was working?

Do you think your prayer changed God's mind? Do you think he would have let Thatcher implement policies (free will) but stopped her from doing so (preventing her from having free will) as a result of your prayers?

How does God decide what to do if two people pray for the opposite thing (e.g. one for and one against the Poll Tax?)

How does God decide what to do if two people pray for one thing and one person prays for something else? (e.g. two for the Poll Tax and one against?)

Yes, I think prayers have an effect or I wouldn't bother wink

Machadaynu Wed 17-Apr-13 11:46:26

Do you think your prayers in the 90s and since re: government policy have had any effect?

I really loathed Thatcher, protested at her policies at every opportunity and joined the million on the London Demo.

However, even back then as a Christian at uni I prayed for her and other enemies.

Anyone praying for the government today - I am, I'm praying they change their minds and hearts about the benefit cuts.

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