Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THY WILL BE DONE

Jesus told us to pray, "Our Father, your will be done."  He prayed, "Father let your will be done not mine". 

“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31, King James Bible).
 
Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29-31 which is commanded by the depraved prophet Moses in Deuteronomy 6). That is, God is to be loved wholly. We do not love him most and give the rest of our love to others. We must love him alone and love others for his sake. You pray for them only for God's honour. If you ask for help for another, you are really just asking God to do what he wants be it helping or not. This is not really asking for them to be helped but is about worshipping God by saying he is the kind of God that would help if circumstances permit.
 
To love God with all your heart means to hate sin with all your heart as well. Prayer is opening up to this principle - its merely consenting with sincerity of heart to love God totally. That is what really matters. That is the true meaning of prayer - and the only meaning. To pray for health is a sin unless you are asking for the health solely that you can serve God and are willing to accept illness instead if he wants to make you sick. If you ask for health without much concern for God, really you are telling him that health means more to you than him. You are not praying but insulting. You are trying to manipulate him. Manipulation is violent in the sense that it tries to impose your will on others and trick them into thinking that is not happening. Freedom and truth go together. The happy person who feels free but because of a religion's lies is not free at all. He is not allowed to be his own person and is therefore a victim of violence.

Is prayer an intention to change God’s mind or the way he does things even if it’s not an attempt to? You may know you have no hope of getting the cheque from your boss but it does not stop you intending.

Jesus saw prayer as seeing God as good so that you should align yourself or match yourself up to the good purposes of God and to what God is like.  Prayer is matching yourself to God.  Prayer is an action - you communicate to God that you want to be sort of absorbed by him.

People pray for something to change - maybe they just ask to love God more or they ask for success with a job interview. These are examples of petitionary prayer. If the petition matters to the person not God then it is not really prayer but an attempt to trick God and thus worse than magic.  Jesus prayed for things but was clear that prayer was an act of submitting to God and to God's care. It is acceptance of the will of God 100%.

Prayer for acceptance is itself a petitionary prayer.  So to pray for a bike and to pray you will accept whatever response or none you get is two separate prayers.

Petitionary prayer should be about acceptance only. 

And this is acceptance of God's will.  It is about letting God be God and not about you getting feelings of acceptance.  The latter is about you not God.  If God will not give you the feelings then fine.  That is not the acceptance we are talking about.  It is really submission. 

To pray for a nice meal when you are dying of hunger should mean you are praying for help to accept what you have to do go try and get the meal and to accept going without.  If you pray for funding to save your baby from death then you are praying for the gift of acceptance to be given to you and everybody else should the baby die.  You are praying to accept it if nobody contributes.  In other words, your attitude is, "The supernatural/unknown that might have done things differently has done this and I respect its choice and accept the situation it has created." But it is not right to appear as if you want to save your baby when your attitude is you accept his death as much as his cure.  Those who pray for you make you feel supported and that is very deceptive.  Acceptance of an intelligent force letting your baby die and making the forces that kill him is extremism.  Acceptance of it being blind force is not.  The former demands a level of approval while the second does not.  Your acceptance on religious grounds is actually insulting your baby. 

The Christian says you must accept the will of God for it is up to God what to do not you. Acceptance is passive. Does acceptance imply that you think that God is not going to change things? Yes. This is said to contradict the Christian insistence that we must assume the best of God. It does not - if what is in the future is the best then the best will take place thanks to God. So thinking you cannot change anything but the best will still happen are compatible. Whether a Christian does good or not, the Christian is still passive. Doing good is submission to the will of God as much as doing nothing is. It is still extremist in the sense that it is all about an object of faith - God.
 
If you feel supported by people because they are praying for you then clearly you do not see prayer as merely about accepting the will of God for you whether it is good or bad or horrendous. You do not see those people as looking at it that way. You look on it as if they are trying to twist God’s arm. You are comforted by how they support you in spite of God even as they pray. But that attitude is anti-Jesus.
 
Prayer is usually understood as communication with God. Though prayer can be offered in words, the words have no value except to express a willingness to do what God wants and to let him make you what he wants you to be.
 
You can pray even if you hate God for you can still talk to him. You must intend to communicate because if you don’t you are not praying but just play-acting.
 
Religion says that God alone is wise and good. Therefore all prayer is, in essence, the hearty praying of, “Thy will be done.” It consists of confidence in divine power and submission to it which is the same as submission to him. In other words, you do not ask God to keep you safe on the boat tomorrow. That is expressing a desire to be safe when what you should be desiring is that God will do what he wants even if it means leaving you to drown in an accident. You are asking God to fulfil his desire instead of your own. In fact, if you really believe God is always right you will not wish to be safe on the boat. You will not wish it for anybody else either. You will wish that God will do what he wants even if that means he will send a storm to drown you.
 
Prayer then should not change how we feel. But religion markets itself on the premise that it can and will. It distorts the meaning of prayer to this effect.
 
Prayer cannot be of any value or have any merit before God unless it is about entering into communion with him which means letting him be Lord and master by submitting all you want and do to him so that he calls the shots in your life. If God is influenced by prayer then he cannot be swayed by prayer that does not express the desire to be in union with him, that is, to love him or submit to him. This communion must be selfless – seeking nothing for yourself. We know how sick and dangerous selflessness is. It suggests that other people matter and you don’t and you are just an instrument while they must be thought of as persons. They are to think of you the same way so the end result is that nobody should be happy.
 
Holy prayer is the union of the heart and mind with God.  It is the only real kind of prayer.
 
God has the power to reduce the inclination you have towards sin and make you more inclined to do holy things. The Church says he helps us in these ways and this help is called grace which means free gift. It is called free gift because we do not deserve it! And the Church says we cannot be saved without grace. God in his Bible says the same thing (Ephesians 2:8-10). If you don’t pray you don’t get grace. What is so offensive then about prayer and grace is the notion that we don’t deserve to be helped to live a better life. That is incoherence. If we don’t deserve that we deserve nothing and are trash. If we can earn God’s help then we don’t need prayer. Prayer is offering yourself to God while you try to make yourself feel like dirt. It’s an insult to God. Christianity calls this humility but it is degradation.
 
Holy prayer is not prayer or a sincere communion with God when it does not will only what God wills. It is just a pretence then. All holy prayer is, in essence, the hearty praying of, “Thy will be done.” It consists of confidence in divine power and submission to it which is the same as submission to him. In other words, you do not ask God to keep you safe on the boat tomorrow. That is expressing a desire to be safe when what you should be desiring is that God will do what he wants even if it means leaving you to drown in an accident. You are asking God to fulfil his desire instead of your own. In fact, if you really believe God is always right you will not wish to be safe on the boat. You will not wish it for anybody else either. You will wish that God will do what he wants even if that means he will send a storm to drown you.
 
Good wishes expressed through prayer, "I pray that God will heal you", "I pray that your marriage will be happy and blessed with children" and so on are really just believers being false. It is no wonder that God believers live out a hypocrisy that is often astonishing.
 
Comforting people by praying for them PROPERLY is a waste of time. Religion should have the honesty to teach this openly and forbid prayer as prayer is always done. It should forbid wishing that the children will not be picked up by some insane paedophile when they come out of school for it might be God's intention that this should happen. But religion refuses to be honest for people would see that it is only foolishness to expect anybody to gain comfort and psychological strength from prayer. Religion would lose its attraction so it keeps the sinister doctrine under wraps to deceive its followers. Yet in dusty tomes that the public never reads, the Church admits that prayer cannot and is not meant to change God (page 133, Unblind Faith).
 
“Thy will be done”, then is the essence of prayer. How can it be a petition because God is going to do his will whether you ask him or not? All it is, is saying, “I ask nothing of you. I want you to do what you want, I am not asking you but I am just telling you what I want.” You can’t say you have asked somebody what they are guaranteed to do for asking implies they might not and need to be encouraged to do it. So rather than a petition, “Thy will be done”, is an expression of submission to the will of God. It means, “I approve of your will O God and I submit to it”. Therefore the prayer of petition is a hoax. It’s a bait that the Church knows will attract you to her and that is all she wants it for.
 

Finally

Helping others in the Christian scheme is only a way of showing love to God and for God. It is only an instrument for pleasing him. Love is a part of you and what you are about so it follows you are an instrument. Prayer is accepting if God makes a sacrificial future for you for it is not about you directing God to make the future different.  This is all hugely degrading if there is no God or if there is but the believer who prays does not care enough about evidence or verification.  The feeling you get of support when somebody prays for you is based on their lies and religious manipulation.