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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Here is the definition of PRAYER (may you all have peace... and please note, the underlining, bolding, and italicizing may be mine):

Quote:
(1) : an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought <said a prayer for the success of the voyage> (2) : a set order of words used in praying b : an earnest request or wish
2: the act or practice of praying to God or a god <kneeling in prayer>
3: a religious service consisting chiefly of prayers —often used in plural
4: something prayed for
5: a slight chance <haven't got a prayer>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prayer


Here is the etymology of the word "prayer":

Quote:
pray (v.)
early 13c., "ask earnestly, beg," also (c.1300) "pray to a god or saint," from Old French preier "to pray" (c.900, Modern French prier), from Vulgar Latin *precare (also source of Italian pregare), from Latin precari "ask earnestly, beg, entreat," from *prex (plural preces, genitive precis) "prayer, request, entreaty," from PIE root *prek- "to ask, request, entreat" (cf. Sanskrit prasna-, Avestan frashna- "question;" Old Church Slavonic prositi, Lithuanian prasyti "to ask, beg;" Old High German frahen, German fragen, Old English fricgan "to ask" a question).

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pray


In BOTH instances one can see that PRAYER... is a one-way effort. TO God... but not necessarily back FROM God (which, understandably, can be frustrating, and perhaps accounts for why many leave OFF praying "to" God).

In contrast, the definition of a CONVERSATION is:

Quote:
obsolete : conduct, behavior
2a (1) : oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas (2) : an instance of such exchange : talk <a quiet conversation> b : an informal discussion of an issue by representatives of governments, institutions, or groups c : an exchange similar to conversation

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conversation


And the etymology of the word "conversation" is:

Quote:
conversation (n.)
mid-14c., "living together, having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" from Old French conversation, from Latin conversationem (nominative conversatio) "act of living with," noun of action from past participle stem of conversari "to live with, keep company with," literally "turn about with," from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + vertare, frequentative of vertere (see versus).

Specific sense of "talk" is 1570s. Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c. Related: Conversationalist; conversationist.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=conversation


And, related:

CONVERSE:

Quote:
1.​(now literary) Familiar discourse; free interchange of thoughts or views; conversation; chat.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/converse


Indicating... a TWO-way effort.

I am posting this in the HOPES that those, who may not yet be able to quite see the difference between "prayer", which is a ONE-way effort... and "conversation," which is AT LEAST a TWO-way [and ORAL] interchange... are NOT one and the same. And that while there ARE many in the earth who pray TO Christ (and/of God)... there are others... albeit, perhaps few ("... many are called; few are chosen")... who literally have conversations... WITH Christ.

I hope this helps alleviate the confusion [of those who may not know the difference... yet].

Again, peace to you ALL!

A slave of Christ,

Shellama


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Coolness


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:25 am 
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Just an instant response. This being the first thread I've read this morning.

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Here is the definition of prayer.


Not really. This is a definition of prayer, would be more accurate. One definition in one book. This is one definition of prayer. It includes a good overview of much that prayer is, but is scarcely an exhaustive dissertation on prayer, let alone prayer in bright scarlet block capitals!

Just wanting to lay out some thoughts, if we're going to have a thread on prayer.

"Here is the definition of PRAYER" being an absolute statement appearing to define prayer absolutely, once for all time, and designed to do just that, especially in bright scarlet capital letters, but of course it does not. It's one reasonably good lexicographical way of looking at the word, not the concept. Not finite. Not once for all time. Not the last word in considering what to some of us here will have been a lifelong and constantly ongoing activity.

Just wanted to have the cards properly set out on the table, before any discussion starts! :D

It seems a somewhat unexpected, unusual approach to prayer from one who makes much of her own conversations with the divine, very much of the tradition of St Joan of Arc, of great fame, whose voices regularly encouraged her successfully to lead armies to throw the English out of France, or St Francis or St Ignatius Loyola, both of whose adventures in prayer led them to transform their own ways of life and acquire followers down the centuries in the friars and the Jesuits, or St Theresa of Avila, whose mystical ecstasies of prayer actually led her to float in the air, so transcending was her experience.

Meriam and Webster did their etymological New World best, but it is hardly an exhaustive definition of prayer!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:49 am 
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Location: I dare you to close your eyes...
*puts on construction hat and holds surveyors plumb in paws to see where this foundation leads to* ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:00 am 
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Leads to every conceivable form of dialogue between the divine realm and that of mankind, Pup! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:32 am 
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Yes Shelby, highlights the difference between talking TO and talking WITH.

Loz x

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:47 am 
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Exactly that, Loz, couldn't have put it better myself! Prayer is both those things and actually even far more than that, as more than two thousand years filled with the rich diversity of Christian prayer in all its many forms and manifestations testify.

Naturally, the limitations of years spent within the tight confines of Watchtower restrictions is understood, and it must be wonderful to be able to stretch your spiritual wings in this new form of prayer dialogue! Naturally, to those hitherto so very restricted it must feel very new and special. There is so very much more to prayer than merely talking to, isn't there?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:54 am 
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Not playing the game Chariklo. You're on your own.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:18 am 
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Lovely concept for a thread, Loz, prayer, wouldn't you agree?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:38 am 
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Yep, prayer can be both BUT it really should be a conversation.
That said, Our Lord does know that sometimes we just want to "vent" and He also knows that we are not always ready to have a conversation with Him.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:45 am 
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Yes, Paul. It's all a matter of where we are on a spiritual journey.

Emerging from the Jehovah's Witnesses must be a bit like a caterpillar's transformation. What seemed so limiting once, develops boundless possibilities.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:47 am 
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Quote:
This is a definition of prayer, would be more accurate. One definition in one book. This is one definition of prayer.

Quote:
Meriam and Webster did their etymological New World best, but it is hardly an exhaustive definition of prayer!


Then do you have another example defining the word, 'prayer' that we could then discuss?

peace,
tammy


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:02 am 
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tec wrote:

Then do you have another example defining the word, 'prayer' that we could then discuss?

peace,
tammy


Well, I think I've just experienced a further example of divine intervention, and the bountiful provision of exactly what's required. Let's hope so.

I read your request, Tammy, and toyed with the idea of various possible resources to go to for your definition, and experimentally typed into Google "What is prayer?"

Back came the results. At the top, the expected minimal and basic dictionary-type summary definition, and then this, the top page in the Google Search results under the dictionary summary

http://carm.org/christianity/prayer-min ... hat-prayer

"Prayer is the practice of the presence of God."

That'll do for me. It encompasses everything and anything at all. Prayer is the meeting point between man and God, man (or woman!) and Christ, even man and the Holy Spirit, who surely moved me to search for exactly that phrase, having absolutely no idea of what would result.

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God, which certainly includes all manner of communication and talking to and with and silence in the presence of Our Lord. I like that definition very much indeed. I hope you, Tammy, and others will too, and I hope it'll be helpful.

But let's not stick with one. What does the second link on that Google results offer?

http://christianity.about.com/od/prayer ... prayer.htm

"Prayer is simply a practice of communicating with God - listening and talking to him. "

Better and better.

The third link on that page, and I'll stop reproducing them after this as people can see for themselves, is this

http://nationaldayofprayer.org/what-is-prayer/

Perfect! "For Christians, prayer is communion with God. (NB: communion with, not talking to. Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God."

Exactly. With all that that entails. With, not to, listening and hearing and talking and practising the presence of God.

I don't think we can do better, can we?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:14 am 
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Quote:
Shelby wrote:
In BOTH instances one can see that PRAYER... is a one-way effort. TO God... but not necessarily back FROM God (which, understandably, can be frustrating, and perhaps accounts for why many leave OFF praying "to" God).

This is so true and why I don't pray as I never heard back or got anything answered.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:36 am 
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Location: I dare you to close your eyes...
Not sure as to the reliability of the text but isn't Jesus said to have taught how to pray when asked?

Our Father who are in heaven....etc

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