Life of prayer: Attitudes and beliefs about prayer evolve in old age

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  • DRay Roy, UT
    May 30, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    There's no law that says you have to wait until you are old to pray often and meditate on the purposes of this life, and its end. LDS are taught it is smart to "learn in (their) youth to keep the commandments of God," one of which is to pray to him continually. Too bad some folks have this mistaken notion that its okay to wait until they are very old to start worrying about that. All things witness that there is a God, and that he is partner with us in this entire mortal life experience, not just the end.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    May 25, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    "If honesty matters to you at all, live your life well, in the real world, and accept that the only immortality you'll ever achieve are the memories of you and your works that you leave when you're gone."

    If ceasing to exist is our ultimate end what kind joy can you find in your life? Even if you lived it to its fullest, you would be no better than someone who lived life as a complete reprobate seeing as neither one would be able to recall their life and you could never know how you lived it anyways. If your immortality was based on leaving your mark for posterity what satisfaction would that give you if you ceased to exist when you died?

    If someone does not believe in God and believes they cease to exist when they die then I would think that when they died and realized they still existed that the shock of that realization in itself would be enough to create a sense of dread. Better to believe in a supreme being and at least cover your bases then to be caught by surprise.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    May 23, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    Prayer can be comforting at many levels. Properly understood, it is the process of aligning your personal will with that of God. If you do not believe in God, then prayer is sometimes called meditation or contemplation.

    Far from abandoning action, proper prayer galvanizes and strengthens actions by calming passions and gaining perspective and understanding for those around you (even if you do not agree with them).

    At its apogee, prayer is the process of "singing with one voice" and "seeing eye to eye" with infinite love, holiness and kindness. It kindles humility, enlivens gratitude and strengthens resolve.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    Accepting your own mortality is unnerving. Religion is based on convincing people that death is avoidable.

    The stories you tell yourself about immortality are emotionally comforting, but they're just stories.

    If honesty matters to you at all, live your life well, in the real world, and accept that the only immortality you'll ever achieve are the memories of you and your works that you leave when you're gone.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 22, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    When I offer a prayer, I have no way of knowing if anyone is listening. If they’re not, they’re missing some really good stuff.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Russian Proverb: Pray to God...but row for shore. After decades of praying and seeking help, I've learned that God will not do for me what I can do for myself.

    I was raised by a really faifthful father who believed that prayer could bring about great things but I kind of wondered what kind of effort he was making himself to make the changes come about. And when things didn't happen he just blamed himself for not having enough faith.

    That kind of teaching has been difficult to overcome for many of my siblings. I believe in prayer. I believe God answers prayer. But I pray as if it all depends on the Lord, but when I stand up from prayer, I go and work as if everything depends on me.

  • Brother Dave Livermore, CA
    May 21, 2013 6:41 p.m.

    Prayer is Trusting that the Lord IS actually There, and Listening, and Caring.

    If we try to out-guess The Lord, we are only fooling ourself.
    We do not have His perspective.

    We can easily (with our limited human brain power and human logic) talk ourselves
    out of that Trust mentioned in my first sentence. A number of people think, in our
    present world, that that are "smarter" if they Don't believe in the Power of Prayer
    because they don't get or see all the answers of life in an obvious display.

    Things aren't that simple. No human being has all the answers.

    I'm really Glad that I know that Prayer is An Effective means of communication.

    That knowledge is one of my Greatest possessions.

    I thank the Lord almost every day for that knowledge.

    Lord Bless You All!!!

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 21, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    To me, the whole idea of prayer as we are taught it is severely flawed. In order to receive certain blessings we have to ask god for them. For other blessings, he gives freely. He knows what our needs are, yet we still have to ask. But asking doesn't guarantee that we will receive. People who pray over everything in life will often think it is their prayers being answered when something they ask for is given... Yet many who pray for safety are killed, and many who don't pray for safety are spared. So then, why pray? Just like the tornado victims in the midwest. What a tragedy. Children were killed, why weren't their prayers answered? Why were others spared who may not have prayed? It doesn't make sense. If what is going to happen is going to happen regardless, then there is no real benefit to it.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 20, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Paul said that when he was a child he spoke as a child, understood as a child, and thought as a child. Kind of like using prayer to give God a proper education in what ones problems are and expecting him to fix them.

    It's expecting prayer to change God when it should change the one who's praying.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 20, 2013 1:59 a.m.

    Hope that the extraordinary stay with us. Through the good times and the bad. It's the spirit of things, a you mater thing, a force of nature. It's a psychological phenomena.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 19, 2013 2:02 p.m.


    There is a lot more to prayer than psychological well-being. Also, I don’t see prayer as requiring we let of control but it does help us understand the limits of our control (which is often less than what we think).


    I love nature and find power in its lessons. But it does not take me away from church nor need it do so for any.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    This is not that surprising. As we near death, we start thinking about the possibility of immortality. It has been said there are no atheists in a fox hole during battle. Vonnegut said that was more of an argument against war, rather than an argument for God. The validity of prayer and its outcomes is not even the issue. Its only real positive result is the psychological well-being of the person praying. I would never "let go" of control and leave everything up to some invisible supreme being. There is nothing noble or liberating about surrendering your power and will hoping you will receive some cosmic help.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    May 18, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Spirituality, appreciation for nature. life, and the universe evolves as one slows down in life.
    At this point, human beings are now able to take the time to study and take a close look at the numerous religious denominations.
    How can we decide which one may work for us?
    After much study, we may become more fascinated, admiring nature, and sadly, becoming disgusted with what man is doing to our society and to our planet.
    Nature has become "my Church".