Author Topic: Prayers for Nelson Mandela  (Read 1038 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Quesi

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1986
  • Darwins +371/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« on: June 11, 2013, 02:56:46 PM »
So the government of South Africa has put out a call.  They want prayers for Nelson Mandela. 

Now I just need to say flat out, I am a zealous, starry eyed fan of Nelson Mandela.  I signed silly petitions to free him from prison years ago, called legislators and urged them to support the boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era, and I still get teary eyed thinking about attending that ticker tape parade in his honor here in NYC.  Like so many others, I have followed him as a human being, and I’ve followed his career, and I honestly look to him as a superhuman superstar.

So prayers, huh?  I mean, those silly petitions I signed years ago didn’t mean anything either.  So I suppose I could offer up a prayer.  But I’m really unclear.  What is it that I am supposed to pray for?

Are we praying that he gets better?  That humanity gets to enjoy the honor of sharing planet earth with him for another decade or two?  I mean, the guy is 94, and has lived a thousand lifetimes in those 94 years. 

His immortality perhaps?  Seems unlikely. 

Or are we praying that he is comfortable and pain free?  Are we beseeching God not to make him suffer in his final days?  Are those the sorts of prayers that God likes?  I mean, He might be inflicting pain on this man just because.  But if enough of us pray, maybe He won’t?   Is that what God is like?

Are we praying for his soul?  I mean, are there those here on earth who are concerned that Nelson Mandela might not be worthy of a reward in the afterlife, and so we are praying to God to point out his good deeds, and beseech the Lord to forget his trespasses?  I mean, during all those years in prison, I bet there were times that he forgot to keep the Sabbath holy.  And that is one of the BIG TEN sins.  Or maybe he coveted his (former) neighbor’s home during those years in prison, and envied those who did not share his fate.  Do we think that maybe God is still holding a grudge over that silly stuff all of these years, in spite of his momentous accomplishments?  Does God need us to remind him of what is really important? 

I would love to honor the man.  But prayers?  Really?  Religious folks here… can you tell me what the content of those prayers might be? 

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Darwins +180/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 05:49:27 PM »
Religious folks here… can you tell me what the content of those prayers might be?

Afraid I can't. Of the options you listed, I would imagine that most likely it's that he's comfortable and that his passing can actually be seen as a blessing to those closest to him, in spite of their loss.

I agree that calls to 'pray for someone' serve no real purpose without being a bit specific about it. The bible says that Christians are to bring all things before God in prayer, but Jesus also very specifically gives Christians a model of how to pray, and the first two things in that prayer are that God's name be made holy and God's will be done. Too often Christians are guilty, me included, of praying that our will be done first and foremost.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline Nick

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10491
  • Darwins +189/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 07:14:08 PM »
Pray for him to be 20 yrs old again.  Why can't God heal old age?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
  • Darwins +129/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 07:50:34 PM »
As a nurse if I were to pray it would be for him to die in peace and dignity.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Quesi

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1986
  • Darwins +371/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 09:00:03 PM »
As a nurse if I were to pray it would be for him to die in peace and dignity.

Lori, I want him to die in peace and dignity.  And comfort.  Surrounded by family, and the best medical professionals in the world, ensuring that he needs are being met.

But tell me about this prayer.  Was God planning on letting him die in pain and disgrace, but after getting 10,000 prayers, God decides to offer him peace and dignity? 

Are the prayers for him at all?  Or are they just for you, to make you feel like you are doing something.  Because I could understand that.  I want to do something.  Even something symbolic.  So is that all the prayer really is?  Or do you really think something changes as a result? 

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12673
  • Darwins +333/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 09:55:20 PM »
Religious folks here… can you tell me what the content of those prayers might be?

Afraid I can't. Of the options you listed, I would imagine that most likely it's that he's comfortable and that his passing can actually be seen as a blessing to those closest to him, in spite of their loss.

I agree that calls to 'pray for someone' serve no real purpose without being a bit specific about it. The bible says that Christians are to bring all things before God in prayer, but Jesus also very specifically gives Christians a model of how to pray, and the first two things in that prayer are that God's name be made holy and God's will be done. Too often Christians are guilty, me included, of praying that our will be done first and foremost.

Don't forget the closet, man. Alone, by yourself, in a closet.

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
  • Darwins +129/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 10:17:35 PM »
As a nurse if I were to pray it would be for him to die in peace and dignity.

Lori, I want him to die in peace and dignity.  And comfort.  Surrounded by family, and the best medical professionals in the world, ensuring that he needs are being met.

But tell me about this prayer.  Was God planning on letting him die in pain and disgrace, but after getting 10,000 prayers, God decides to offer him peace and dignity? 

Are the prayers for him at all?  Or are they just for you, to make you feel like you are doing something.  Because I could understand that.  I want to do something.  Even something symbolic.  So is that all the prayer really is?  Or do you really think something changes as a result?
Lately I don't think prayer changes squat.  But when I was working it made some families feel better to think someone was praying for their loved one.  Especially if they thought their nurse took a personal interest in their loved one as more than just another case number.  If I could tell a family was not religious I would make sure to let them know that the patient was in my thoughts.  I always wanted them to know they were important and valued.  I think the patients are able to be more peaceful when the people around them are less anxious.  I did what I could to promote that.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12673
  • Darwins +333/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 10:20:37 PM »
Being in ones thoughts and prayer are two different things.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
  • Darwins +129/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 10:25:56 PM »
Being in ones thoughts and prayer are two different things.

-Nam

That is the point.  I wouldn't insult a non-theistic person by suggesting that I would be praying for them.  But I would be thinking about them and hoping for a peaceful/favorable/appropriate outcome and I would want them to know that.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12673
  • Darwins +333/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 10:39:08 PM »
That's not how you make it sound. You make it sound as if it's the same thing yet for the person you say it to as if they wouldn't know the difference.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1247
  • Darwins +129/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 11:56:54 PM »
That's not how you make it sound. You make it sound as if it's the same thing yet for the person you say it to as if they wouldn't know the difference.

-Nam

To me praying is speaking or appealing to god.  Thinking of a person is just that - thinking about him/her.  Whether someone knows the difference is immaterial.  If I said I would pray for someone I would pray for them,  if I said they were in my thoughts then they were.  I did whatever I said I would do.  I would respect the beliefs/cultural practices of whoever I was caring for.  I was fortunate that I never encountered a situation where there was a conflict that I could not stomach.  I would not do something that would cause harm to my patient.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1781
  • Darwins +88/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 07:17:29 AM »
I would think it's really somewhere in between for a lot of people.

Yes, there are a lot of fundies and bible-thumpers out there, but also a lot of nominal Christians who might warm a pew on Sundays but not put all that much thought into their faith on a day-to-day basis.

For them, the term "pray for" is nothing more than the hope for a particular (or even a very vaguely defined) outcome to something with just as vague of a notion that there is some entity "hearing" it. Somehow, tacking that idea of god onto a wish makes it feel more like a contribution.

I suspect that there are quite a lot of people out there for whom the idea of praying for someone is nothing more than this.

Offline Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Darwins +97/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 07:24:38 AM »
I suspect that there are quite a lot of people out there for whom the idea of praying for someone is nothing more than this.

A bit like a "get well soon" Ecard

Offline William

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3564
  • Darwins +92/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 07:09:22 PM »
I suspect that there are quite a lot of people out there for whom the idea of praying for someone is nothing more than this.

A bit like a "get well soon" Ecard

Heheee yes  ;D, and also a bit like posting a public message to someone on a forum saying: "I sent you a PM" .... when you've haven't and have no intention too.

It's a fake display of faith and solidarity - done primarily to accrue perceptions of goodness towards of the person saying: "I pray for you".
Git mit uns

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 08:04:08 PM »
Back in the day (pre deconversion), I told many a person I'd prayer for them and either never did or remembered days later (after whatever they were wailing about was already passed)

I think it's just xian throwaway speech sometimes, like saying "how are you" in the hall when you pass someone quickly at work.  You'd generally be annoyed if they stopped and said - "now that you ask... blah blah blah"
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Bereft_of_Faith

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 926
  • Darwins +39/-2
Re: Prayers for Nelson Mandela
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2013, 04:29:00 AM »
To me, the death or impending death of someone whom I greatly admire is one of the hardest things.  They have contributed to my life and even my way of thinking, and to do nothing, that is, to not try to honor them in some way seems so ungrateful.

However, that hard truth seems to be that my life, and the life of those I admire or love, are all so temporary.  Everything is temporary.  The great significance I may have attached to or associated with them is, in the light of that hard truth, of barely any significance at all.  To me, attempts to honor such individuals seems empty and futile.  I fight against the impulse to do so.  I know how temporary life is.  I know we all die.  I know that no matter what good (or bad) we do, at some point in the future, it will mean nothing.

We are atheists.  We are rational.  We are realists who train ourselves to resist the pull to see things that are not there.  We avoid sugarcoating our reality or drizzling our feelings in sentimentality.  It's largely who we are. (or whom I try to be)

The only cold comfort I can derive from such instances of loss or impending loss is that the fate of the most respected people whom I have read, watched or followed, is a fate that I will face, just like them.  In the end, we will all pass from this to nothingness.

So... has anyone heard the one about the priest, the minister and the rabbi?  :D
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 04:32:23 AM by Bereft_of_Faith »