Tag: prayer

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How George Carlin Misunderstood Prayer

William Blake, Ancient of Days (1794)
The famous comedian George Carlin was a fervent atheist, and had a particular disdain for Christian prayer. He argued that it was arrogant of us to ask the God of the Universe for anything. He’s got a Divine plan, and then we come along to ask Him for special favors. But Carlin also viewed prayer as either destructive or worthless. After all, God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God of the Universe, and He has a Divine Plan. If our prayers cause Him to change that plan, Carlin reasoned, we’re making things worse. If our prayers don’t cause Him to change His plans, what’s the point?

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The O Antiphons

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Back in 2011, I wrote a series of reflections for the last seven evenings of Advent (tonight through the evening of December 23rd), focused upon the traditional “O Antiphons” tied to each night.  Each one addresses Christ by a different title, based upon the Messianic prophesies in the Book of Isaiah.  Most people are familiar with these titles […]

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Does Scripture Teach Us to Pray for the Departed, and to Pray to the Saints?

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Daniel Chorny, The Bosom of Abraham (15th c.) In regards to prayer and the Saints, Catholics do two things to which Protestants tend to object: Praying to the Saints: Asking the Saints to pray for us, etc. Praying for the Saints: Praying for the dead, commending their souls to God. Yesterday, I talked about some of […]

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Three Things You’re Probably Getting Wrong about Praying to the Saints

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As Christianity Today acknowledges, prayers for and to the Saints date back to the early Church (in fact, these practices date back far earlier, even to Old Testament Judaism, but I’ll talk more about that tomorrow). Nevertheless, these practices are controversial within Protestantism. Today, I want to look at just one of them — prayer […]

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Faith Alone v. Forgiving Trespasses: How the Lord’s Prayer Contradicts the Reformation

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Lines from the Lord’s Prayer, in various languages.From the Eucharist Door at the Glory Facade of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. It’s Lent in Rome. That means it’s time for one of the great Roman traditions: station churches. Each morning, English-speaking pilgrims walk to a different church for Mass. This morning, on the way to […]

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American Atheists, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Straw Man

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The following is a guest post by my friend and classmate Brian Straus, a seminarian for the Diocese of Springfield/Cape Girardeau, in response to the following ad (and the surrounding controversy): An article from the Christian Post Wednesday called attention to a new billboard being raised in New Jersey that renounces prayer and pokes fun […]

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