Does God answer every prayer?

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SamBee
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by SamBee » 30 Nov 2020, 17:49

No, I don't believe that, because some prayers are just, well, stupid. And others are just plain evil. And many contradict each other.

I don't know if any of you have seen the film Bruce Almighty. One of the things he has to do is to go through prayers - he finds that there's billions of them so he can't read them all... So he decides to grant them all. The result is that thousands of people win the lottery, but because they all win, the prize is tiny and rioting begins among other things.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Minyan Man
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Minyan Man » 30 Nov 2020, 20:36

SilentDawning wrote:
08 Aug 2020, 09:50
A while ago I was reading a book by Gene. R. Cook in which he talked about prayer. He made the assertion that God answers EVERY prayer.
SD, does the author go into any details how God answers every prayer? I'm just curious.

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SamBee
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by SamBee » 04 Dec 2020, 04:57

Minyan Man wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 20:36
SilentDawning wrote:
08 Aug 2020, 09:50
A while ago I was reading a book by Gene. R. Cook in which he talked about prayer. He made the assertion that God answers EVERY prayer.
SD, does the author go into any details how God answers every prayer? I'm just curious.
Maybe in the same way, some not-very-well-off parents "answer" their eleven year old daughter's constant requests for a horse:

"Not just now."
"When you're able to pay for it."
"Maybe when you're older."
"If you promise to look after it."
"No, because you'll grow out of it."
"We don't have the space."
"When you're more responsible."
"They're unsafe."
etc.

😆
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Minyan Man
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Dec 2020, 07:15

Thank you. I needed to laugh this morning. :thumbup:

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SilentDawning
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Dec 2020, 19:24

Minyan Man wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 20:36
SD, does the author go into any details how God answers every prayer? I'm just curious.
No, he doesn't -- he just says that he believes every prayer is answered.

I guess if you consider silence "No", then he does answer every prayer -- but that's a pretty low standard.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Roy » 06 Dec 2020, 12:18

SilentDawning wrote:
05 Dec 2020, 19:24
I guess if you consider silence "No", then he does answer every prayer -- but that's a pretty low standard.
:lol: :lol: :lol: If you force all possible scenarios to fit your thesis then yes, God does answer all prayers. :lol: :lol: :lol:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SamBee
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by SamBee » 07 Dec 2020, 06:32

Yes, that's a bit of a double bind... It's a bit like me getting sent a letter from Argentina (or wherever) and not writing back.

The folks in Argentina wouldn't know whether it had been lost in the mail or if I didn't want to reply.

Like I said in the Bruce Almighty scenario I don't think all prayers can be answered. If there is a very attractive person in the church, then it's not unlikely several people might all be praying for that person to love them. It's not going to happen. At least not all at the same time.

I suppose you could see a scenario in a country where one person prays for peace, another prays against the freedom fighters/terrorists and another prays for what they see as the foreign occupiers to concede and leave - that's three contradictory requests.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Dec 2020, 07:52

Roy wrote:
06 Dec 2020, 12:18
SilentDawning wrote:
05 Dec 2020, 19:24
I guess if you consider silence "No", then he does answer every prayer -- but that's a pretty low standard.
:lol: :lol: :lol: If you force all possible scenarios to fit your thesis then yes, God does answer all prayers. :lol: :lol: :lol:
I do see the humor in this and also chuckle at it along with many other little dogmatic things.

In seriousness though, answer to prayer was part of my faith crisis and the "all prayers are answered" dogma was the biggest part of that aspect the crisis because I was in a situation where silence was all that was happening...for months. It took me years to learn and let go of it, like other dogma.

I think you hit the nail on the head Roy and if it's an if/then thing (perhaps to avoid the crisis) then if I believe all prayers are answered as I so often hear in church, then silence must mean no because the prayer has to be answered. I think it's either what you say - that people force all possible scenarios to fit their thesis - or an excuse/cop out, or all prayers really aren't answered. My Deist view pushes me toward the latter because it fits, but during my more angry and cynical phases I went with the idea that it was a cop out. I still believe much of what I hear from those who believe all prayers are answered but can't explain the silence (for example) are cop out excuses. FWIW I detest the "sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it's no, and sometimes it's not yet" dogma - huge cop out. If God really answers prayers then why doesn't God give you an answer you can understand. Is that what a loving parent would do? "Oh, I'll just not answer my children's repeated question/request, and they'll figure out that my real answer is no or wait awhile." [Stepping off the soapbox now.]

(Note I was typing at the same time as Sam.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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AmyJ
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by AmyJ » 08 Dec 2020, 06:22

I go down this line of questioning periodically.

The painful root of my faith transition was that I felt that I had changed and was trying to connect to God understanding better my communication limitations and being willing to assume that answers that I thought were God speaking to me might just be me.

I was looking for reassurance and a stronger prompting of what it "feels" or "looks like" getting answers from God in this situation so that I could essentially re-calibrate communications. I had successfully done so with communications to my spouse and my mother - 2 of my strongest communication partners.

Instead, when I admitted that the feelings that I thought were God may not be - when I took that seriously, it as if the heavens closed to me.

I am hurt. I am confused. I have come to terms with the lack of communication. So, God and I don't talk right now. I have nothing to say, and evidently, neither does God.

As a parent, if my daughters came to me and said, "Hi, I figured out where I haven't been listening - please talk to me again so that I can practice and get more insights and information this time around. I want to hear your voice to separate it from others." - I would have been all over that, talking their ears off.

Periodically, family members call me out on pride and urge me to talk to God. They think I am flippant for putting the ball in God's court. They may or may not be looking in the sky for lightning bolts with my name on them. They also have reassurances that I will hear the voice of God eventually and that God knows where I am.

After 2.5 years, my husband finally gets it. For the first time (in forever), I did not get the pride talk for stating that showing up at church and being the best person I can be while waiting for an off chance that God shows up with a message for me was the narrative.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Dec 2020, 09:27

AmyJ wrote:
08 Dec 2020, 06:22
Instead, when I admitted that the feelings that I thought were God may not be - when I took that seriously, it as if the heavens closed to me.

I am hurt. I am confused. I have come to terms with the lack of communication. So, God and I don't talk right now. I have nothing to say, and evidently, neither does God.
This is very much where I'm at, although I can't say I'm hurt or confused anymore those feelings were definitely present during my faith crisis. I do sometimes talk to God but I don't expect an answer and I don't ask for anything. If peace is an answer, I do feel peace often (but not always) when I pray. I'm OK with my current relationship with God - I don't bother God, God doesn't bother me (much like my former boss).

I'm going to step back on the soapbox because I apparently wasn't really done before. ;) I think there are several reasons people believe (or at least say they believe) all prayers are answered.
1) Parroting, which happens way too often in the church. Even GAs regularly do it. Someone really doesn't have any direct experience with the topic, but they heard it so many times it must be true so they just repeat it. Or "The prophet said it, it must be true and worth repeating."
2) Repetition to make it true. Related to parroting but also it's own thing. If someone tells himself or herself (and testifies to others) enough times that something is true, it becomes true - no matter how ridiculously untrue it might be. (Note that I am using this in general, and I am not insinuating that no prayer has ever been answered or prayers can't be answered - I believe some prayers probably are answered.)
3) Desire for it to be true. Again related to the above but it's own thing also. Some people have to believe prayers are answered because they want them so badly to be answered. I think this is the root of the "no" or "wait" cop outs.
4) Related to 1, 2 & 3 but it's own thing, I do believe some people believe all of their prayers actually are answered. Hard sell to me, who believes the total opposite, but perception is reality - if that's what they perceive, that's their reality.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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