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Author Topic:   Stories about prayer
Faith
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From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
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(1)
Message 1 of 80 (862363)
09-04-2019 11:38 AM


Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
One of the things I watch on Netflix from time to time is the series titled "Forensic Files," which is a collection of TV shows on crimes solved by forensics. There are over three hundred of them in the series.

I've been struck by how frequently people mention God in the series. It's very few overall but more than we usually hear about. Mostly it's the families of the victims abut even the investigators some times mention God or prayer in connection with solving the crime.

I didn't keep track of earlier instances of this but recently a couple stood out and I decided to bring them up here. I'm in the 8th collection now but I didn't write down the episodes in which these occurred, just that they were in this collection or the previous one.

One was the victim of a serial killer/rapist, a seventeen year old girl who was the only one of this criminal's victims to escape alive. In her interview she talks about having God inside her and asking God to protect her, then determining that she should cooperate with the man, and trying to see under her blindfold so she might be able to recognize landmarks they pass while she's in the man's car. She saw enough to help them catch the man. He released her into a parking lot and said not to take off the blindfold for five minutes. He'd killed all his other victims.

The other story was about a serial killer of young boys. He'd killed three and was on the loose when a woman prayed that he'd be caught and that she might be involved in catching him. She was a teacher of young children and was setting up her classroom before her day started when this killer drove into the parking lot and came into her classroom and threatened her. She recognized his car. She ran from the room and escaped but got the license number of his car. So her prayer was very specifically answered and her information got the man caught.

I just want to tell these stories because people are always saying prayer doesn't work. Well it works for me and it worked in these cases. I often think when I hear about horrific situations people get into, such as crimes and disasters, how the victims should have prayed and how sad it is that they don't.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
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Posts: 4512
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 2 of 80 (862373)
09-04-2019 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Faith
09-04-2019 11:38 AM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
I’m pretty sure most people would be praying their hearts out while the bad guy tortured and killed them. You found two that lived through their ordeal. Hundreds of others didn’t.

This is answered by probability. Statistics.

Prayer is ineffective because your god doesn’t answer prayer. It can’t. It ain’t there.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Faith, posted 09-04-2019 11:38 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 09-04-2019 12:40 PM AZPaul3 has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 32954
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 3 of 80 (862378)
09-04-2019 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AZPaul3
09-04-2019 12:30 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
People who trust God would make a point of mentioning praying in such a situation. Most people just don't think of praying, it's usually juts people who are already used to praying. So I think your assumption that people do pray in such dire circumstances is unfortunately not true.

God doesn't always give us what we pray for. There are certain categories of prayer He seems to always answer for me but other categories He doesn't, so I figure He doesn't want me to have what I ask for in those cases.

Sometimes it takes many people praying in concert, and some times it takes persistent prayer and answers come after a long time. Some situations are so convoluted the answer has to wait while a whole series of causes and effects runs its course. There's no way to predict the outcome of prayer in all situations.

But there are instances like those I mention in which it is clear that prayer was answered. Those are the ones I want to document here.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
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Posts: 7068
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 4 of 80 (862382)
09-04-2019 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
09-04-2019 12:40 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
Faith writes:

there are instances like those I mention in which it is clear that prayer was answered.

If prayer was answered you'd be able to prove it objectively, not give us silly apocryphal stories. When it HAS been properly tested it doesn't work.

Why is that?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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ringo
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From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
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Message 5 of 80 (862384)
09-04-2019 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
09-04-2019 12:40 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
Faith writes:

He seems to always answer for me but other categories He doesn't, so I figure He doesn't want me to have what I ask for in those cases.

I always answer prayers too. If you get what you want, I did it. If you don't, the answer was, "No."


“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.”
-- Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

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Faith
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Posts: 32954
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 6 of 80 (862386)
09-04-2019 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tangle
09-04-2019 1:01 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
The circumstances of the stories are evidence enough that prayer was answered in those cases.

Unless there is evidence that people did in fact pray you can't assume that they did. Even believers forget to pray, which is really stupid of us.

In the Forensics Files cases they are always solved with or without prayer so you could make an issue of that if you want. But some cases take years, decades, to be solved. Asking God for help might have speeded things up.

And yes of course there are lots of cases that never get solved and didn't make it into the TV series for that reason.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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AZPaul3
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Posts: 4512
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(4)
Message 7 of 80 (862391)
09-04-2019 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
09-04-2019 12:40 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
So I think your assumption that people do pray in such dire circumstances is unfortunately not true.

Like your knowledge of geology, genetics, politics, your knowledge of human psychology under stress is also woefully inadequate.

God doesn't always give us what we pray for. There are certain categories of prayer He seems to always answer for me but other categories He doesn't, so I figure He doesn't want me to have what I ask for in those cases.

Interesting how gods's's answers to prayer break down into standard bell curves.

Those are the ones I want to document here.

So this is to be an ongoing thing?

Good. More to ridicule.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

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AnswersInGenitals
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Posts: 510
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 8 of 80 (862406)
09-04-2019 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Faith
09-04-2019 11:38 AM


What part of omniscient do you not understand?
But, but, but God is omniscient. He new these horrible (to the human mind) things were going to happen. He knew that these people were going to pray for help. He knew how these events would play out. And he knew all this from the beginning of time. Nothing happens that is not for-ordained by God. Nothing.

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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 9 of 80 (862412)
09-04-2019 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
09-04-2019 1:05 PM


Re: Instances of prayer in the series "Forensic Files"
The circumstances of the stories are evidence enough that prayer was answered in those cases.

. . .

And yes of course there are lots of cases that never get solved and didn't make it into the TV series for that reason.

Thank you for presenting an excellent analogy for how natural selection works. Especially with that last sentence, that the only cases that that show examines are the ones that got solved.

And out of that very small set of cases, you are similarly selecting for those that involved prayer. So you are looking at a smaller set of cases which got solved, got selected for this show, and involved somebody having prayed. An extremely small set compared to the set of all cases.

Unless there is evidence that people did in fact pray you can't assume that they did. Even believers forget to pray, which is really ****** of us.

It has been said that as long as there are history exams, there will be prayer in public schools. Even lapsed believers will often pray in dire situations, provided they have time to sit and wait for whatever's coming to hit them (sudden life-and-death situations, such as sudden car or plane crashes, simply don't provide enough time to say anything more than "SH*****T!", reportedly the most common final word in the cockpit voice recording). Obviously, one can safely assume a lot more praying going on that you would allow.

So for the cases that make it to that show, prayer is not the leading factor. Instead the leading factors in descending order would be:

  1. Being selected for the show.
  2. Having been solved (which you yourself point out).
  3. Involving someone having prayed.

We neglected to include the factor of the phase of the moon, which would probably rank as third on that list.

Sorry, actually a good #3 factor would be the type of community (eg, big city, suburbs, small town, countryside, wilderness), which in turn would be a contributing factor for #2.


From a Unitarian call to prayer: "We do this knowing that prayer does not change things, but rather prayer changes us and we are the agents of change."

Edited by dwise1, : Added "signature" quote


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Faith
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Posts: 32954
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 10 of 80 (862413)
09-04-2019 9:36 PM


Thread is for reporting answered prayers
I'm not interested in probabilities on this thread. Not all prayer is answered, there may be all kinds of different reasons for that, but that's not what I'm interested in. I just want to present cases that suggest prayers that did get answered. I think the two I presented show that, especially the second one in which specific circumstances the prayer asked for were specifically answered.

If no more examples show up this thread will end here. Otherwise it's available for reports anyone wants to contribute.


Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4512
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 11 of 80 (862414)
09-04-2019 10:20 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Faith
09-04-2019 9:36 PM


Re: Thread is for reporting answered prayers
Well, here's praying your program has more saved victims.

This thread has a high entertainment potential.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Faith, posted 09-04-2019 9:36 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Faith, posted 09-04-2019 10:50 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 32954
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 12 of 80 (862415)
09-04-2019 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by AZPaul3
09-04-2019 10:20 PM


Re: Thread is for reporting answered prayers
The thread isn't just for the forensics program, it's for any examples of answered prayer.

Those from my own life that get answered are very often requests to understand a particular problem, maybe a question I have about the creationist debate, or how to understand a particular Bible passage. I once asked for the biblical view of gluttony, and had the amazing experience of finding such references every time I opened the Bible after that. I'd never have guessed there were so many references to that particular sin.

Another instance that comes to mind was one day years ago when I decided to ask God to put me in a situation where I could be of help to someone. I should have prayed that one every day but I just happened to on that particular day. When I was out shopping I saw a man with his hood up in the parking lot and a small child in the car, and I was able to offer my car for him to use his battery cables. I probably would have done that anyway but since I'd prayed for such a situation I take it as answered prayer.

I've been in other situations where I didn't pray but felt some kind of urgency to get somewhere in a hurry and found myself in a position to help a friend as a result.. Since I've been more or less housebound for years now I don't think of being able to be of help to anyone but I probably should nevertheless. Maybe I'll pray for that now and see if I get an answer.

I don't know to what extent God might answer the prayer of an unbeliever since there is scripture that says He doesn't answer scoffers, but nevertheless sometimes He does, so anyone here could pick a situation to pray about, preferably something that would have an unambiguous answer, and see what happens.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Hyroglyphx
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Posts: 5805
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 13 of 80 (862417)
09-04-2019 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Faith
09-04-2019 9:36 PM


Re: Thread is for reporting answered prayers
I'm not interested in probabilities on this thread. Not all prayer is answered, there may be all kinds of different reasons for that, but that's not what I'm interested in. I just want to present cases that suggest prayers that did get answered.

The point is how is anyone supposed to validate the efficacy of prayer? I prayed to God, I got what was requested, therefore God fulfilled it. The inverse is I prayed to God and nothing happened. We can't ask all the dead who prayed for a miracle and God didn't deliver. I'm sure that 90% of the people in the Trade Towers uttered a heartfelt and earnest prayer out of pure desperation... right before all of them died and no prayers answered. What's your metric?

Seems like you're purposefully excluding all the instances where people were savagely slaughtered on Forensic Files and focusing on the handful of lucky bastards that lived. What of the hundreds of others?


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

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Thugpreacha
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Posts: 12813
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 14 of 80 (862418)
09-05-2019 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Hyroglyphx
09-04-2019 11:34 PM


Re: Thread is for reporting answered prayers
Answers writes:

But, but, but God is omniscient. He new these horrible (to the human mind) things were going to happen. He knew that these people were going to pray for help. He knew how these events would play out. And he knew all this from the beginning of time. Nothing happens that is not for-ordained by God. Nothing.

It has been said that prayer is for our benefit. It is a conduit towards accepting God at that moment. Some would argue that it does nothing. Personally, I would disagree.
Hyroglyphx writes:

We can't ask all the dead who prayed for a miracle and God didn't deliver. I'm sure that 90% of the people in the Trade Towers uttered a heartfelt and earnest prayer out of pure desperation... right before all of them died and no prayers answered.

I believe that all prayers were answered that day. Everyone who ultimately died and who prayed lives today in another realm...a good realm. Anyone foolish enough to simply ignore their impending death would be judged accordingly...according to what they have done with their lives, what they could have done, and the reasons for their choices. I realize that prayer has been "proven" to have no effect in life, but if God is the energy that answers the prayer, He is not simply going to allow Himself to be measured---and judged---by wee little human piss ants. And I know the counter-arguments. I can hear them now! How a good God should be impartial and simply answer all prayers if he has the power and ability...assuming once again that humans desire a God whom they create. Hence why we have so many imposters and wannabe Deities. Finally, I believe that altruistic prayers (for others) get answered more often than simple selfish ones, such as praying for money. All this being said, I have no evidence to back any of it up. But why would I?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


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Faith
Member
Posts: 32954
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 15 of 80 (862419)
09-05-2019 12:42 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Hyroglyphx
09-04-2019 11:34 PM


Re: Thread is for reporting answered prayers
I'm interested in the subject of answered prayer and want to choose examples where it seems clear that is what happened. If others want to discuss the whole topic of why prayers are often not answered that's another subject and needs another thread. And I really don't think people pray as often as is claimed here, but even if they do that's not the subject I'm pursuing.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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