Let's discuss the power of prayer.
OK, we can start with prayer.
Of course, in my church, prayer is often applied to, well, everything. Someone has a headache, pray, someone is sick, pray, someone has cancer, pray.
Sounds like something Christ and apostles called us to do, so it sounds like your church is attempting to follow their example. I too believe in this, although I must admit I'm very lacking here (something I'm trying to correct).
Of course, I think most of the "miracles" we are nothing more than confirmation bias and suggestion.
I agree that I have witnessed or heard of very few "miracles" in the true sense of the word. I've seen "healing" ministers come through to my church when I was young and while they claimed people were healed of various maladies (hearing, walking with canes, etc.), I didn't really think most of the claimed "miracles" happened at all. No one jumped up and down saying "I'm healed", those hearing aids were right back in the ear the next time I saw those people (following week). So, I would concur with your observation.
In my church, there are two "amputees".
An old man is missing a leg, and my dad is missing a finger. I've never seen anyone pray for either of them. If God is truely working, why can he not restore their body parts?
Because I believe God to be omnipotent, I believe that he "can". Why he has not done it, I don't know. Why does He ever heal one and not another?
In churches, you always here of cancer going into remission following prayer. Well, cancer is very unpredictable, and this happens anyway. But, a case of a devout Christian dying of cancer, relatively young (mid-60s) shows that prayers doesn't always work. Now, the individual I'm refering to was a devout believer and wanted to live. She was mentioned in prayer requests for months last year until she finally died.
To some extent cancer is unpredictable. Other times it's very, very rare to see certain types go into remission. In my opinion, it's easier to classify one as a miracle if it "spontaneously and instantaneously" happens vs. someone who beats cancer through a long, painful process of radiation, chemo, surgery, etc. I'm not discounting those latter instances, but I believe the former to be much more compelling. I too know people who prayed daily and still died...it's painful and difficult to attempt to understand, especially when it is someone we're close to.
Several years ago, when I was still a Christian, I had an ingrown tonail that had become infected. Our church at that time prayed for it. It didn't heal for several weeks, and a lot of antibiotics.
You wouldn't be the first...since I believe miracles to be fairly here, but that doesn't mean I stop asking God to heal. I think there are many reasons why we see so few miracles, but I know of several, and that keeps me praying even during the times when I see God moving very little.
I constantly watch older members of my family's religion fall ill, and not have any divine healing, despite prayer. A woman having a lung transplant, a man getting a pacemaker, another having heart problems.
These are natural consequences of getting old, all of us eventually grow old and die. Medical technology has prolonged our lives, but we still all must succumb to illness and death. It is a consequence of humanity, something none of us will escape. Still, age doesn't prevent people from being healed, it just makes it seem more extraordinary when it happens.
I think that if God was truely with them, he would heal them of these afflictions or prevent them from having them.
You know, I think it would definitely be nice. But, that was never promised to us, that we would live forever after the fall. Rain falls and the sun shines on both the righteous and the unrighteous. This life is difficult, and most of the original 12 disciples (despite all the miraculous works we see in scripture) died martyr's deaths (crucified, beheaded, etc.). Why didn't God just give them a life a luxury and rapture them all prior to death?
Of course, they still scream "PRAISE JESUS" when someone says their back stopped hurting after prayer (for the third week in a role).
We're told to praise Him in all things, but I get what you're saying. They think they are healed and then come back the next week with the same ailment only to go through the cycle one more time.
A few years ago (back in my Christian days), I got kicked by a horse. Later that night, I was at a revival. My uncle prayed for me. In fact, he made me say "I will not leave this building until I am healed" (I did, I mean, I wasn't gonna stay there for weeks.) But eventually, after making me limp around the pews a few times and all the other stupid s**t evangelicals do, he eventually left me a lone.
I admire his faith, but it sounds like that wasn't in the plans for you that night.
It sounds like you seriously doubt the authenticity of the things happening
Seriously doubt? I'd go further. I'm about certain that these things are no more real than the performance of a stage magician. I've been there. I've done the falling on the floor, the speaking in tongues, the praying for sick, and whatnot. I've watched how Christians behave outside of church.
Me too. Sad isn't it? I watched the church I grew up in fall prey to this, and it destroyed the church. It still exists, but a shell of it's former self, really. If there is no fruit, it's man's work, not God's. The work of the Holy Spirit leads to repentance and to visible fruit in our lives. I had a friend that weekly fell "under the power", but couldn't make it through Tuesday without His life being a wreck. Same thing week after week, and his life never had ANY victory. In fact, he went to jail shortly after this for a year because of sin in his life. Every week he used fell on the ground during the "revival"...
You bring up the power of prayer. I've seen what Christians call the power of prayer. One person claims to feel better after a hundred prayers fail, and they claim it's divinity. I can not honestly believe that it has any real power.
For you it does not. You haven't seen it, experienced it, so I don't blame you one bit. I'll bet you've never had a single spiritual experience in your life to date that at this point you would consider authentic. You're not alone.