I've never visited this section before but does prayer work?

(30 Posts)
MrsPercyPig Thu 25-Jul-13 23:02:16

Devastating news within my family circle (not my immediate family) and I'm so heartbroken for the parents.

I can't do anything to help.

Should I pray? Will it achieve anything?

This may sound strange but I'm not sure what I should pray.

Sorry, am aware I'm not making much sense.

InGloriousTechnicolor Thu 25-Jul-13 23:04:33

If you feel it will help you, then you should. Perhaps you could pray for strength to help you and them through. I'm not sure prayer 'does' anything externally but I believe it can be valuable.

claig Fri 26-Jul-13 00:30:48

I think it can help. Pray what you feel and what you want with belief and honesty. Have faith in what you pray about.

niminypiminy Fri 26-Jul-13 07:11:31

Prayer isn't magic: praying doesn't (or not normally in my experience) lead to miracles. But praying does work, because we are asking for help from outside ourselves, and opening ourselves up to receive it. When you pray tell God about the situation, about all your fears and feelings about it. Tell him about what would make it better -- or if not better, bearable. Tell him about what might comfort you, and the parents. Ask him to comfort you, to give you hope, and consolation. Ask him to help you and the parents to bear it. Be angry at him! Tell him exactly how awful the situation is! Tell him how unbearable it is for the parents. Ask him what the hell is wrong with the world when things like this can happen.

As claig says, pray what you feel and what you want with faith and honesty. God will be with you, and God will be loving you, and God will be listening to you. And things change -- not in 'everything will be made all right, ker-pow miracle ways -- but in indefinable but important ways. Not the least of which is that we are helped by God to help the people we are praying for.

rob99 Fri 26-Jul-13 07:25:43

Don't worry about anything....pray to God and he'll take care of it.

Not knowing what the situation is so maybe something like this:

Father God - hold the family and friends of beloved child in your care. Give them courage and strength in their troubles - give wisdom, skill and clarity to those who care for beloved child and the family. Be with friends and families as we struggle to know what to do or say. Amen

or a more formal prayer

Most merciful God,
whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,
surround the family of beloved child with your love,
that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss/anger/grief/pain
but have confidence in your love,
and strength to meet the days to come.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

I've done my fair share of shouting at God at the sheer unfairness of a situation (friend's cancer, terminial illness in a child to name but two) and I figure he is big enough to cope with it. Prayer is a relationship and not magic so it isn't about saying the right words and it all comes right. It does help me cope and I pray that you can find the right words and actions for yourself and this family in the days ahead.

minniemagoo Fri 26-Jul-13 07:36:45

2 quotes I really like regarding prayer (have to paraphrase,its early)

Cs Lewis: the more I pray the more co incidences happen

And (unremembered right now) Get angry at God, he can take it.

Most people write off prayer because they pray for the wrong things, yes miracles can and do happen but often we are left disappointed.
Pray for understanding and acceptance that what is happening is Gods will. Get angry at Him because you can't see that right now, ask for help for dealing with the anger. Ask for help to be a good light for those around you, God will hold you up. Think of the footprints poem that right now you need God to carry you emotionally.
Ask others to pray for and with you, fellowship does help.

stressedHEmum Fri 26-Jul-13 09:25:09

prayer does work, but maybe not in the way the people hope it will. what we pray for has to be in accordance with God's will, so people often pray for the wrong things and then are shattered when the prayer "doesn't work".

Not knowing exactly your situation, it's difficult to tell you how to pray, but I agree with others. Just talk to God, tell him how you feel, how awful the situation is and that you don't understand why these things happen. Pray for comfort and strength for you and the family and friends; for wisdom, skill and understanding for those involved in their care; for the right word to say to the family and the strength and empathy to help them; for guidance in how to help them. Just talk to Him.

Prayer isn't magic and doesn't, in my experience, bring about big, obvious miracles, but it can bring about a great change in you and in those around you, especially in your ability to cope with things and to handle situations.

My prayers are with you just now.

specialsubject Mon 05-Aug-13 11:02:36

experiments have proved repeatedly that prayer has no actual effect on the outcome. But if it comforts you, then it is of help.

Gingerdodger Mon 05-Aug-13 19:11:36

Sorry to hear of your awful situation, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

It's difficult to answer whether prayer 'works' as each and every experience and expectations are so different. Prayer is not a magic wand and sometimes the outcome we desperately want doesn't happen. However prayer is a conversation and can provide a range of things, comfort, a place to be upset and express feelings, unexpected answers and a space to really explore your feelings. So hard when you see people hurting and just want to be able to put it right but God will help you find the right answers and the path for you to provide comfort.

headinhands Mon 05-Aug-13 19:18:46

Hi op, so sorry to hear you have received some sad news within the family. Is there anything practical you can do? Are they nearby? Or a relevant charity to donate to etc so you feel you have done something?

CoteDAzur Tue 06-Aug-13 22:51:09

It will "work" in the sense that it will make you feel better, since you will feel that you have done something to help them.

I am sorry for whatever has happened. I believe that prayer works. I believe I have seen the power of prayer in my life. I agree though with other posters who have talked about how prayer works. It is not a magic solution but can be powerful. Can I pray for you?

Of course you can't have an effect on anyone else by praying. I can see how you might h

You might think you have achieved someth

Something for yourself by praying that e.g. You will feel confident when you start your new job.

I'm sure your family will be glad to know you're thinking of them and you may help yourself deal with your upset by talking to yourself about it, effectively, but you can't feel responsible for anything else by praying or not praying as it cannot logically do anything.

PPART - at women's fellowship this week I prayed that the friend of one of the women there would be rid of a growth that she was terrified about having to have surgically removed. At her next x ray, it had gone. God answers our prayers, as others have said, it's not always in the way we expect, but my opinion is that prayer works. In James it says you have to have faith to move that mountain.

springytoofs Thu 15-Aug-13 15:27:33

Does prayer work? If you mean is God loving, kind, compassionate and powerful then, yes, prayer works. It kind of 'works' on so many levels.

As for do miracles happen - well, yes, ime. Loads. I hear of a situation and I'm right there, straightforward: heal them please! Change this situation! Make it good! etc (no point hanging about). Then I just don't leave it alone - I go on and on. I'm reminded of the unjust judge (where a woman nags a crooked judge to give her justice and in the end the crooked judge is so fed up of her that he gives her what she wants - and God says if someone who is horrible does that, think what I will do) - I don't do it to manipulate - he has said you don't get because you don't ask, he has made it clear that he wants us to come to him with concerns, petitions etc; and I just know what I want and I won't shut up. I kind of stick to him like glue. I am convinced that he is good, loving and powerful and that's what spurs me on.

springytoofs Thu 15-Aug-13 15:35:25

I also remind of what he has said about himself - that he is good: along the lines of 'this is what you say you are, then please be it in this situation' sometimes I don't say please

springytoofs Thu 15-Aug-13 15:37:49

I remind him (left him out! shock )

MrsKwazii Thu 15-Aug-13 15:57:02

Prayer can bring you comfort and show/send love and compassion to people at a time of need. Can it change outcomes though? I don't think so. My daughter died last year. I and many family and friends from many different religions were praying for a positive outcome, which unfortunately was not to be. What will happen will happen, regardless of prayer.

springytoofs Fri 16-Aug-13 00:12:19

oh MrsKwazii I'm so sorry your daughter died. That must be so hard.

I hope you have found, or will find, the God who is close to the broken-hearted and to those who mourn ie has an ear to hear the full breadth of a broken and grieving heart, and knows how to comfort. I am currently grieving a very painful and confusing loss, so what I am suggesting is not just theory.

I would still say that prayer changes things, that it is powerful. I suppose prayer is a relationship, talking to God. Although we may not always get what we want, it is good to talk to God, to lay out what is in our heart - and to hear what he has to say.

MrsKwazii Fri 16-Aug-13 15:36:37

Thank you Springtoofs. I agree with your earlier post that prayer works on many levels, but still do not think it affects outcomes. It can change how you approach and learn how to live with situations though.

Well, no, it doesn't 'work' in the sense of changing anything, because there's no one there to talk to. If it makes you feel better, go ahead, but a more effective use of your time would be to write a kind, loving letter to the family, telling them how sorry you are for their loss.

springytoofs Tue 20-Aug-13 00:59:30

Is it me, or was a 'imo' missing there in your post SGB?

Why you trawl these boards is anyone's guess tbh. But trawl you do, putting everyone 'right' who has a faith: that it's a load of bollox. Your opinion, as I said.

headinhands Tue 20-Aug-13 08:38:50

This is also the philosophy area which, as Wiki puts it, is;

the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3]

Furthermore the op asked if we thought prayer worked. She was clearly fielding general opinions.

What HIH said. This board is not restricted to those who believe in some or other imaginary being, and the OP asked an open question. I don't go on threads discussing points of doctrine or whatever, but general threads are open to all.

expatinscotland Tue 20-Aug-13 19:11:48

I suppose it can help your own mental state and that of others if they know you are praying. But as to the question of whether it works on affecting the outcome, IME, no.

If you feel like praying, then do. If you don't, then don't and don't feel guilty about that.

expatinscotland Tue 20-Aug-13 19:12:53

And what MrsK said. Sorry for your loss. My daughter died last year, too.

MrsKwazii Wed 21-Aug-13 21:47:04

Totally agree Expat, and thank you. I know how hard the last year must have been for you after the death of your beautiful daughter - and how it throws so much into sharp relief and changes your perspective for ever.

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