Here...our responses to each other assumes you and I are praying to the same deity (focal point of prayer). Whether you believe he's real or fake, this is the assumption.
Honestly, I don't think it matters, but I will play along.
So let me qualify my earlier responses by saying "outside of the rules, you are not praying to Yah but to someone/something else". My earlier responses assumes you're praying to Yah, the Most High...a Singular deity who is One...and beside He, no one else is. I'm not talking about prayer to one of the false trinity: Gad, Jesus, Ghost.
Alright Joshua, then show me how to pray to Yah in the way you want, and I will see if it's true. Or better yet, if you think you meet all of your own criteria, YOU do it and prove your point with a verifiable, repeatable, falsifiable test procedure. Or best... find someone you think epitomizes and exemplifies ALL of your criteria and have them do repeated intercessory prayers and see what happens.
I am saying that none of it really matters. You claim that there are specific requirements to be met by someone who prays that will enhance the possibility of receiving an answer to a prayer. You can say Most High, Singular diety, the One, the Only, the Alpha and Omega, the be-all and end-all... the point I am making is that no matter which diety it is, there is no difference. I am claiming that Yah, and all the other dieties that you claim are false dieties, and all the ones you aren't even mentioning here, do not answer prayers at all. Unless you can prove that YOUR special diety answers them, then you are just as stuck as everyone else.
There is this whole subplot in scripture about "stealing worship through deception and/or proxy", as there was another who always wanted to be worshipped like the Most High; who would give as much as he could to you if he was the one who was worshipped instead...
I don't worship any diety. Nobody is stealing my worship. I think all previously postulated god(s) are simply not real.
Do you really think it's surprising that a religion that was formed amidst many, many other competing religions would have a phrase in it's holy book about other dieties who want to steal worship?
My point is, if you prayed (outside of the stipulations I've provided) you are/were not praying to Yah.
How do you know that? How can you possibly know my current standing with what you consider to be the most powerful being in the universe?
If you claim I can't pray to Yah, then how am I ever supposed to get to know Yah in the first place? What does it take to know this Yah character you keep talking about? And don't give me that wishy, washy "you have to ask with all your heart" bull, because I'm not a 5 year old. I won't simply fall for that trick, where I either ask for the rest of my natural life, or I convince myself that this Yah character exists. I need some sort of timeline. How long do I "seek" Yah before I give up and am allowed to say "Nope, Yah isn't real." I need some sort of way to know that I am "right" with Yah. I'm not just going to take your word for it either way. Obviously he's not someone that people know about.
And if your prayer was answered positively, it wasn't Yah who answered your prayer but something else. Your prayer wasn't sent in worship of Yah, but in worship of another.
Joshua, please, you have got to start thinking a bit here. I am asking you to respond directly and comment on what I am about to write, OK? Don't dodge it, don't go around it, answer these questions honestly....
Given the complete lack of verifiable evidence that any prayer has EVER actually been answered by an act of a supernatural entity, is it not possible
that there is nothing out there that answers prayer in the first place? Is it not possible that the "other" thing that you say answers my prayer is not a "thing" at all, and is nothing more than normal circumstances that happen to occur, and my prayer had no bearing at all on the outcome of what I prayed for? And if that is possibly
true, is it also not possible that all of your excuses and criteria are nothing more than the rationalizations that you have come up with to explain this scenario in detail, without having to give up your belief in your invisible surrogate parent? Think about it, please. I am talking possibilities here, not certainties. Where does that logically fall apart for you?
And regardless of whether you believe in this "other" or not, my point is "prayer can not be used as a litmus test to determine the existence of Yah (as a variable) unless there are no other variables in the equation; unless you first adhere to the spitulations of praying specifically to Yah".
No, it can't. You're right here. But you ARE able to establish a reasonable doubt if you meet ALL of your stipulations (not SPITulations) prior to praying, and you still don't show any increase in probability of answered prayer, agreed? So set up the test. And if you even remotely say "Yah can't be tested", then I will simply say you're wrong and you don't hold a belief that can be logically maintained by a reasonable person. If you can't test your theory, then don't even bother saying it.
Your position holds that this Yah character does answer prayer but only under specific yet incredibly vague and unprovable conditions that allows you to claim that the person who prayed didn't meet one or more of your criteria simply by looking at the result of the prayer (yes or no). My position holds that intercessory prayer holds no value at all in terms of the outcome of what is prayed for. I believe that the outcomes of intercessory prayer are nothing more than the natural end results that would have happened regardless of whether it was prayed for. In effect, intercessory prayer is tantamount to asking the air for help. Useless.
With all due respect, I believe this is all in your head Joshua. Really it is. Without any type of proof here, your theory involving specific criteria holds no more weight than anything that anyone else could make up. In fact, if I were to say that all future prayers have to pass through my kitchen sink in order to be answered, then I can just as easily rationalize that any yes answer passed through my kitchen sink and any no answer didn't pass through my kitchen sink. Can you please tell me the difference between your belief and that? Seriously, what's the difference?