Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prayers Of Praise And Petition

Dr Richard Sloan, Professor of Behavioural Medicine at Columbia University Medical Centre and author of the book Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine, is one. Though he admits such sites as essentially harmless, he also believes they’re "utter nonsense" in terms of the prayers' spiritual impact or these sites' communal value. "I suppose people who use these sites think they're doing some good. But are they really connected? You may log on and pray for the person, but you don't really have any contact with that person, or any contact with the benefit of the prayer."

But he flags up an additional worry, what we might call the commercialization of prayer. By depicting it as a straightforward practice of wanting something, or not wanting something, “they suggest prayer is as easy as bidding on eBay or buying a book on Amazon. It simplifies prayer. “The prayers on these sites are all prayers for petition, as opposed to prayers of praise, or prayers of wonder. Jesuits, for example, don't believe in prayers of petition, they only believe in prayers of praise."

Link (here)

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