This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Words In Your Mouth

QUESTION: Today's comes from SL...
"I grew up in a church that always used printed or memorized prayers in its services, and I'm having a hard time learning to pray on my own. I even worry if it's wrong to try praying in our own words, because we might say something wrong and offend God. Is this a danger?".

When deciding on your spiritual beliefs you should look inside yourself and decide what you know to be true. Be careful to distinguish justifiable truths from wishful thinking. Trying to follow someone else's system of beliefs will inevitably lead to inner conflict. The prayers that you were given to say are an example, whereby you feel you are being holy but the prayers do not come from your heart and hence are meaningless. How do you feel about someone putting words into your mouth and telling you what to say? Most people would reject this, as the majority of the population pride themselves on making up their own mind. Religions such as Christianity are by their nature dissatisfying because they come from sources external to yourself. My advice is to decide what you believe in and ignore external influences.
Your question covers praying and worrying and wondering if you are fitting in with the correct dogma. The time and energy used up here would be better spent on thinking things through, making up your own mind, and enjoying yourself.


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