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When you pray …?

When you pray, (I am aiming at all religions here), do you truly believe that you are connecting with God? Do you think experience a spiritual awakening every time you pray?
For the record, I am an atheist. I had a conversation about a rabbi about this topic, and was interested in hearing other people’s responses.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Well… kinda.
    I think I’m always connected to God. If I wasn’t, I would cease existing.
    When I pray, I remind myself of that connection. I try to remember in a new, fresh way that it’s there, but I don’t experience spiritual awakenings every time.
    I have no doubt that I receive spiritual blessings when I pray, but that’s not to say I “experience” them right then and there.

  2. Yes I am connected with God.
    Yes I think a spiritual awakening is going on even if there is no particular out of the ordinary feeling that goes along with it. Many things go on with out a feeling being attached.

  3. I suppose it depends on what you mean by a ‘spiritual awakening’, but regardless, when I pray, I do indeed believe I am connecting with God.

  4. if you are sincere in your prayers and really feal you are speaking to god…then yes…i was raised a catholic…several years ago i gave up religion…its that i dont believe in god…its that when i ask a question..i.e..pray..i would like an answer..and i prayed several times for many years..in church…at home…in my car…at work…nothing…no response…not even a hint of an answer…i then figured after all those years i was no longer praying…i was begging…i dont think god wants beggers..so i quit and just went on with my life…alone…

  5. It depends on many environmental factors. If Iwas driving down the road less than a year ago, saw an accident, asked God to help everyone involved, jumped out of my car, prayed, called 911, prayed, started to help both injured parties, prayed… There really wasn’t time, for me to be seeking spiritual awakening. When I’m in my prayer closet, interceding, crying out to God, then yes, the more I put into it, the more I get out of it. My prayers, however, run the full spectrum between these two situations. I hope this helps.

  6. No, sometimes I feel as if I’m talking to a wall. But I know God hears my prayers. And other times, I am at peace and I hear Him reassuring me that He will never forsake me. It’s always nice to know that.

  7. When I pray I talk to God, not at Him, I know I am heard. I check in daily with Him, it is like talking on a phone,i talk and wait for a response,thru reading my bible being sensitive to the Holy Spirit if God wants to speak to my heart he can, His word says my sheep hear my voice, well I try everyday to hear and I listen as well when I say listen I mean be as obedient as I can. No I do not think an invisible hand will drop out of the sky each time I pray and I will have some kind of spiritual awakening,I do believe that God hears and knows my needs and covers me and my family thru prayer.

  8. I don’t know about the “spiritual awakening” but when I pray, I feel better because I open up to God and talk to him about my problems and thank him for everything… but I do admit that sometimes I only remeber to pray when I’m in trouble or when I need God’s help, and I feel kinda guilty or ashamed because I know I should thank him everyday…

  9. I believe I am connecting with God, either directly or through a chain of intermediaries — deceased relatives, saints, Mary, etc.
    I don’t experience a noticeable awakening every time. The awakenings I notice are relatively rare. But I don’t in order to be awakened as much as to become a better person, or that others in my life become better persons.

  10. When i pray to God, I know that He hears every word that I speak to Him; and He also knows every thought that I shall ever think. We can pray to God without ever opening our mouth. But at the same time, you do not have to experience a spiritual awaking, every time that you pray to God. If you are allowing the Spirit of God to lead and guide you each day, you should not need a spiritual awaking every time that you pray to God. Every Christian should be walking in the Spirit of God every day of their life. And we should also remember, that God does not always answer our prayers in the way that we may think that He should do so. Sometimes, God does not answer at the very second that we make a request of Him. Yet at the same time, if we are truly praying in faith as the Word of God teaches us to do, we should always know that God will answer our prayers; regardless of how long that He may wait to do so. Yet we should always begin to thank Him for answering our prayers at the time that we make the request of Him. Try reading Mark 11:23-24.

  11. It’s difficult to unpack this question in a meaningful way for my religion (Daoism, Shenxiao sect)… The western tropes of “faith”, “reason”, “God”, and “experience” simply are non-meaningful lexica; thus forgive if this comes out obtuse.
    When we pray (only one form of spiritual “work”), we do connect with the gods, as They exist, even in the form of our own flesh. The (higher) Realized Beings and Worthies have been emptied of the burdens of self, existance, even to the point of emptiness of non-existence. They are thus pervasive, whilst also rendering particular guidance which we percieve as a finite existence. “Belief” has nothing to do with it, since They aren’t subject to a referendum by our bounded views. There is no ultimate grammatical “there.” Paradoctically, since the Worthies aren’t there, they’re not NOT there, too. So, the gods, Realized, and Sages are pervasive and pre-existent, already “with us before us”, as we may yet be. The gap between microcosm and macrocosm is one facet of our bounded delusion.
    That relates to efficacy of prayer. Our criterion for prayer is as an effortless work, a “gongfu”, not a voyeuristic and gratifying “experience”. Pious cultivation refines, helping us bring the world (as we are pieces of the manifest world) into holy transformation. As we bring our selves and our stories into transformative cultivation, the Worthies guide us to the Dao, even through the karmic burden of that selfsame history. Regardless of our estate, They are delivering guidance. This is Their boundless compassion to which we are receptive party.
    That is, prayer and faith are not “either/or”. There is guidance when our prayer “fails”, too.

  12. 1. Yes
    2. No
    The awakening or insight may come long after the prayer. This may not be understood or seen right away. Someimes it is patience or growth before things unfold.

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