"If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate."
—Carl Sagan (1934-1996); The Demon-Haunted World, p 30
In light of Texas Governor Rick Perry's Prayer Rally in Houston (6 August 2011), I started thinking about prayer. Where exactly does the Invisible Man in the Sky, in his Torah ― dictated word-for-word to Moses 3,323 years ago ― teach:
• What prayer really is, and
• How to pray, when, where and so forth
Supposedly, until Torah the earth did not have the "benefit" of god's words, teachings, laws etc. Moses supposedly committed all this to paper for Israel, the elders/tribes (and later gentiles by their own usurpation) to study and follow.
Regarding prayer, this IMPORTANT ritual or whatever, what exactly did god instruct the Jews (and Gentiles) regarding talking to him/her/it?
Certainly, if god created the human race (in his/her/its image) and turned us loose, (she)he/it would instruct us how to communicate with and what this Invisible Man in the Sky would do in response.
The Christians in their New Testament, are fairly definitive regarding prayer — who to pray to, via, where, where not to, what to ask for and results to expect. But what of the Jew? What is he to do and what is he to expect? Certainly the Invisible Man in the Sky would not leave his chosen people to flounder about in supposition and opinion, but would be forthright ― direct from god's mouth to Moses' ear and later pen to paper (parchment)! What specifically does the Torah/Chumash say about prayer for the Jew or any human being?
I could not find an online Jewish Torah that was searchable, so I had to resort to Christian bible search ― the King James Version. Here is what I found:
King James Version
prayer = no results
"I pray thee" = 50 instances
"I pray you" = 12 instances
These phrases are only used only as a figure of speech, pleading with another person, such as:
Genesis 16:11 "... I pray thee, go in unto my maid; or
Genesis 24:2 "... Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:"
So let's look at the non-figurative uses of pray and any derivative!
pray = 1 instance
6 And God said unto him in a dream,...7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Nothing in all of the first 20 chapters of the Torah describes or identifies prayer or explains it ― NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH! But, here Genesis tells of a man (prophet) who is supposed to do it (pray) for Abraham. Go figure ― maybe prayer then was not for the average guy, but a prophet only. Who knows? Evidently "pray" was not important enough for god to bother telling anyone about it in his book.
prayed = 5 instances
"So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children."
Eh, god, what is prayer, how is it done? Did the prophet ― 10 verses earlier ― teach Abraham? Surely, that was it because god didn't explain it to anyone else! God heals here, but for thousands of years ― and even today ― lets millions of children, women and men suffer grave illness, starve and die horrible and painful deaths. Go figure!
"And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched."
Again, another person ― Moses ― somehow learned about prayer, but god still has not given written directions and explanations for the rest of mankind! Go figure!
"Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people."
Duhhh, evidently Moses did not tell the people the secrets of prayer, for they begged him to pray for them! And Moses prayed ― the people did not! How did Moses pray? What did he say? How did he start and stop? How long? Did Moses plead in tears? WHAT? God never gives mankind this information from his/her/its lips to Moses ears!
What lesson do we learn from this? It is plainly obvious isn't it? People don't pray, but are to ask holy people to do it for them? If so, it was not important enough for god to describe to Moses to write into Torah.
"And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time."
How did Moses pray? What did he say? How did he start and stop? How long? Did Moshe plead in tears? WHAT? God never gives mankind this information from his/her/its lips to Moshe's ears!
"I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand."
How did Moses pray? Here we know what he said, "destroy not thy people." Is this it? Nothing more? Why then do Jews advocate shuckle (rocking back & forth during prayer and Torah study) and pleading over and over and over ― tearfully? Why do Mormons cross their arms? Why do people kneel? Should believers not learn from this to just get a holy man to make a short direct plea in their behalf? Perhaps that is all there is to it, but god never tells Moses in Torah ― from his/her/its lips to Moses ears!
Where in Torah does the Invisible Man in the Sky order Jews to constantly plead to him/her/it ― even several times daily ― "We Want Moshiach now?" It should be clearly evident even to the most dense religiholic that this is just, in Hebrew terms, Tzoas HaShorr, or more simply, Bull Shit.
All those holy rabbis, priests, preachers etc. cannot provide Torah citations (verses) where the Invisible Man in the Sky describes prayer; who is to do it; when; how; and for what (a lottery ticket?). Religiholic OPINIONS are like noses, everyone has one. The Space God does not give any prayer requirements in the Torah which (s)he/it supposedly dictated character-by-character to Moses.
So, just the facts! All this pray/prayer crap is just another invention of man, like their god(s).
The Hebrew god required no prayer of the supposedly chosen people, or for non-Jews as far as that is concerned.
As for Christianity, this all shows ― since Christianity claims it authority from the Hebrew bible and that the New Testament is their god's theological replacement of the Old Testament ― their prayer guidelines are also inventions of unknown men.
Maybe all this is precisely why prayer does not work! IT IS FICTION, A FALSE HOPE FOR THE WEAK OF MIND!
Maybe this is why god, the invisible man-in-the-sky, won't heal amputees! Maybe this is why god let your child, wife or husband die of cancer? Maybe this is why god does not stop world hunger? Maybe this is why it was not a god who, in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, killed nearly 230,000 people in 11 countries. Maybe, maybe, maybe ...
Having an "Invisible Fiend in the Sky" is just silliness ― pure fiction only suitable for those incapable of independent thought and logic or the intellectually weak and clinging ― a product of brainwashing since childhood! But, YOU CAN CHANGE!
As Dr. Laurence J. Peter said, "Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."
"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." —Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)