Marianne Williamson
Williamson is a unique figure in the presidential race – a proudly spiritual person in a Democratic field where religious beliefs are not often worn on the sleeve.

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson sparked a fierce online debate earlier this week when she posted on Twitter urging her fellow Americans to pray and visualize Hurricane Dorian changing direction. “Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind,” she wrote.

The backlash to this suggestion was immediate. Critics pounced on Marianne’s comments, arguing that it was incredibly irresponsible for a public figure – and a presidential candidate at that – to tell people prayer was the answer to an impending life-threatening storm. Looking to the heavens for a solution instead of listening to science-backed storm predictions and evacuating could literally get people killed, they pointed out.

Others accused her of implicitly suggesting that Bahamians “didn’t pray hard enough” to avoid Dorian. The Bahamas took a direct hit from the storm.

She soon deleted the tweet:

Backpedaling, But Not Backing Down

Marianne Williamson has not shied away from controversy since announcing her candidacy in January. Her first two debate appearances made her a household name (for those following politics, anyway), and led to the unearthing of past comments on vaccines and depression that raised eyebrows.

Williamson is a unique figure in the presidential race – a proudly spiritual person in a Democratic field where religious beliefs are not often worn on the sleeve. The author and self-help guru has previously argued that it will take a “moral and spiritual awakening” in America in order to defeat President Trump in 2020.

With all that in mind, perhaps it’s not surprising that in the face of mounting criticism, Marianne stood by her conviction that prayer is an important tool for enduring life’s challenges. In fact, in a follow-up message, she even blamed the Democratic party’s middling election results on “the overly secularized Left” which has treated people of faith “with mockery or condescension.”

Are Prayers Effective?

Controversy aside, Marianne Williamson’s comments have led to a renewed debate over the efficacy of prayer. Although millions of Americans still attend church services each week, studies show that number is steadily diminishing – as is the number of people who pray regularly. Put simply, prayers don’t seem to have the same status they once did, at least in the collective consciousness of a nation.

In the midst of the mass shooting epidemic, the phrase “thoughts and prayers” has been relentlessly mocked by atheists and gun control advocates alike as a meaningless gesture. A growing contingent of Americans seems to view prayer as a silly, naïve response to hardship – no more consequential than wishing on a star or writing to Santa Claus.  

Meanwhile, religious folks are appalled to see things moving in this direction. To them, prayer is a vital aspect of spiritual life – not something to be mocked or scorned.

It’s rare for something to transcend politics these days; most conservatives probably wouldn’t agree with Marianne Williamson on much, but they’d no doubt take her side in this argument.

Where do you stand? Is prayer a useful force that can be harnessed to create tangible outcomes (such as repel a hurricane or defeat a political foe), or is it more of a feel-good strategy better confined to the past?

116 comments

  1. Lionheart says:

    These people are so delusional, they actually believe that speaking to an imaginary friend when looking at the floor, or a wall, or the ceiling will eventually get through to their imaginary god. Is there any hope really left for us here in the USA?

    🦁❤️

    1. David says:

      “Lionheart” (not his real name) is a mean-spirited troll who has no business on a religious website, since he has no belief in or respect for religion in any form. Anonymous Troll “Lionheart” should be banned from this site since his only reason for posting is to monopolize the discussions with his juvenile bigoted anti-religion opinions. His diatribes detract from the intellectual rigor of discussions.

      1. Leonard says:

        What? Lionheart is not his real name? I wonder if Leonard is even a real name anymore. Lionheart is a bit of a loudmouth, but he’s not a troll. This website, at least in the past, offered Jedi credentials for money. I’m not sure you’ve fully grasped what this organization is or isn’t.

      2. ET says:

        David, I find no problem with Lionheart. He shares his path as all who use this site do. No need to quiet him because you don’t follow his path. “We are all children of the same universe”.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          And, although ET is an extraterrestrial, he is also one of us. It doesn’t matter what planet he came from, he is one of our fellow brother ministers, and belongs here just as much as the rest of us. I once had a landlady named Godbehere, a good friend named Kangeter, and a great-grandfather named Sir Ernest Grave who never worked in a cemetery, so I don’t have any doubt that Lionheart could be an English last name. As a matter of fact, I believe I’ve heard of others named that, which is a bit of alright, to say the least.

      3. Lionheart says:

        I apologize if you see me coming across as “mean spirited” David. I merely like to interject a different realistic thought structure to those who might just possibly be sitting on the fence wondering if speaking to a wall, or the floor, or the sky, which many do, does actually get through to any deity. That’s if any deities really exist of course.

        I am guilty though of adding some humor into some discussions, but I see that some humor might just be going over some people’s heads, and that’s okay. Those who get it, lovingly smile.

        Suggesting moderators should ban anyone with a different school of thought is a bit childish don’t you think? Isn’t that a communistic type of approach?

        I wish you well David, and I really mean that. May you always have love in your heart for your fellow man.

        🦁❤️

        1. Anna Brown says:

          Lovingly smiling. Glad you are here, Lionheart. Sometimes you are the only voice of reason.

          1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            The girls around here seem to like those over-bearing, macho types. What our wives don’t know wo’nt hurt them.

        2. Mark says:

          Your references to speaking to a wall, hugging a tree, or speaking to the floor, or the sky is condescending. You’re in effect, mocking prayer. Don’t be smug.

          1. Lionheart says:

            Oh for goodness sake Mark. Go and watch a good comedy on Netflix and lighten up.

            Of course I’m making fun of people speaking and nodding at walls and at imaginary friends etc,. Who in their right mind would not? Oh………but wait…….sorry Mark!

            If you find my comments pathetic Mark, try watching someone hug a tree!!!!

            🦁❤️

          2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            You’ll never become a leader by telling people what to do.

        3. Duckin Acup says:

          It’s not the difference of opinion that makes you mean spirited, Lionheart, it’s the childish and mean spirited way you express yourself. Just because someone else’s beliefs are different from yours, or where there eyes are focused during their prayers doesn’t make them delusional. To make such pronunciations does, however, make you mean spirited and childish.

          1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            And what do you think gives you the right to be critical of others, Ducky (quack, quack)? You aren’t a staff member, or moderator of ULC. It’s about time you got down off your high horse, don’t you think,girl?

          2. Lionheart says:

            Oh, I am so sorry Acup that I don’t meet with your literary levels of approval. Do my comments touch a nerve? Life can be very difficult at times can’t it?

            You wouldn’t by any chance be one of those that speaks and nods to a wall would you? Or knows someone that does? Just asking!

            🦁❤️

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      The only thing more powerful than prayer are Witches casting spells. Praying does’nt have anything to do with belonging to do with belonging to a particular religion, or any religion. We only have to believe in whatever it is we are praying to, which doesn’t even have to be a god, or other dirty. It could be used as a way of focusing and directing creative visualization, which comes from within our own minds. But try praying to yourself, and see what happens. We must pray to an outside higher power for it to ever work. I know, that doesn’t sound logical to scientific minds, but not everything that always happens is. By the same token the next time you’re sad force yourself to laugh. While you’re laughing you’ll be happy. It’s impossible to be sad while we’re laughing. That doesn’t seem logical either, but it’s true. Our unconscious and subconscious minds don’t process and act on our thoughts the way our conscious minds do. And prayer does sometimes work, believe it or not. I have seen and experienced the benefits of it more often than not (which is enough to win a civil case( a preponderance of the evidence), so how could it be rational for me to doubt. So, does it come from the power of mind, or God? I’ll bank with Hermetic philosophy in that everything exists within the mind of The All. The universe, and everything in it, is mental.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

        P.S. The poltergeist that possesses this Android phone put the word dirty in place of dirty …< It just did it again. That word was supposed to be d-i-e-t-y, not dirty! The poltergeist in this phone is even more mischievous than the one in my last phone. I have to be very careful, and make sure I always proofread.

          1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            Is that too big of a word for your dark gray matter to comprehend? Look it up in a dictionary.

          2. Dark Gray says:

            D-e-i-t-y

            Not D-i-e-t-y, which is how you were spelling it. It’s no wonder that your spellcheck didn’t recognize it.

      2. Lionheart says:

        I challenge you to a dual Carl…..broomsticks at dawn! 🤪

          1. Dark Gray says:

            I’m not normally a spelling Nazi, but (a) I figured I’l clue Carl in on why his phone kept auto-correcting to ‘dirty’ and (b) the idea of challenging a dual-Carl just seemed too funny. Is that like an evil twin or something?

          2. Lionheart says:

            I knew as soon as I’d sent it but I figured Carl would spot the error first 🤣🤣

            🦁 ❤️

          3. ET says:

            “To err is human, to forgive devine “.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          Not before we sit down, and have a cup of coffee, sir.

          1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            My broom is called a besom, and gets top jet speed around the moon during esbats (some more big words for little Darky Gray). Are you sure you can handle such a challenge, my lionhearted friend?

          2. Lionheart says:

            I take mine white with cream, and raw sugar.

            Esbats, or sabbats is good with me. I’ll race you, and the loser has go skyclad for the rest of the day.

            I’ll bring my athame to cast a circle and honor the four quarters before the race.

            🦁❤️

          3. Lori says:

            Now we’re talking! Can I watch?

    3. chris says:

      It is getting closer and closer by the day. Read Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky, The religious right is now the Christian Nationalists. They will be the cause of US collapse as a nation.

      1. Lionheart says:

        You could well be correct chris. It could be a toss up between those, or the Islamic fundamentalists, or a mixture of both. Time will tell I guess.

        Postings to this blog don’t always show up right away chris, but they eventually show.

        Thanks for your comment.

        🦁❤️

    4. chris says:

      I already posted a reply. Why is it not visible?

    5. Dark Gray says:

      “These people are so delusional, they actually believe that speaking to an imaginary friend when looking at the floor, or a wall, or the ceiling will eventually get through to their imaginary god. Is there any hope really left for us here in the USA?”

      I suspect that Marianne Williamson does not believe she is praying to “an imaginary friend” or trying to “get through to [her] imaginary god.” I find a lot of atheists come across as arrogant because they insist on inserting their personal judgments (e.g. “imaginary”) into their descriptions of other people’s actions and beliefs. (I find a lot of Christians come across as arrogant as well, but for different reasons. 🙂

      I don’t know much about Ms. Williamson’s “self-help guru” career, but as I recall, she was one of the original people involved with A Course in Miracles, which postulates a much, much closer relationship with God than most Christian denominations do. ACIMers definitely believe in the power of miracles and prayer and, most of all, forgiveness, but as a whole, they are not as focused on producing purely physical results like diverting a storm. In my experience, they’re generally more into bringing about changes in mind and attitude and thought. So I’m a little surprised at her saying something like that. Eh, maybe that’s the “self-help guru” coming to the fore.

    6. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      I’m from a little Island right next to Texas called Galveston. Guess how many times I’ve prayed for hurricanes to go the other way? I don’t care who likes it, and can’t swear that it works, but I’m not going to take any chances.

  2. ET says:

    She is sharing her path. To denigrate her for sharing her belief in prayer is sharing the path you have chosen also. What is is. We are all children of the same universe and follow varied paths through life.

    1. Lionheart says:

      It’s an interesting thought, but do we really know that to be true? Perhaps this life is all there really is and speaking to something that isn’t there is just a tool to help us get through it.

      🦁❤️

      1. ET says:

        🦁❤️: if it’s helpful to someone is it too difficult to accept that it’s their choice to make? I accept that this life might just be all there is. Why is the tool someone else chooses to use to get through this life any less valid than mine or yours? I agree we probably don’t really know what’s true.

      2. revbjbecker says:

        It’s a little difficult to state categorically that focusing your mind on something serves no purpose. As an actor, I have to focus on the character I am playing and the script, and the whole mis-en-scene. There are a number of techniques that are used for this. Sportsmen and women are often told to imagine the result they want to achieve. Prayer can be something similar. If it doesn’t work for you no problem. But as ET says, it may not be our place to tell someone how to practice whatever they believe. Even if it’s just a “Tool to help us get through it.” So is a walking stick. Don’t deride a person with a cane.

        I do have to say that praying INSTEAD of doing something practical might not be the best idea.

          1. Christy Jo says:

            I see Miracles because I believe in them. I believe the people that don’t have them don’t save them there are everyday miracles all around us if people don’t see them yes I believe in miracles

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          Faith without works is dead. Pray first, then act. You might have a better chance of winning an Oscar. What would it hurt to take that chance. Try it, you might even like it.

          1. revbjbecker says:

            Exactly. If you have read any of my sermons you will see that I hold no brief against belief. But I do hope to see belief (and prayer) leading to compassionate behavior.

        2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          Dr. Fontenot told me in December to go back to using a cane. I sometimes follow that order, and even tie it to my bicycle frame before going riding.

      3. Lori says:

        Lionheart, your ego is enormous. It’s your choice to NOT believe in anything but yourself, but the self inflated and closed minded stance you take, equals the ground that the fundamentalists of various religions stand on. It’s the same as saying “I am right and everyone that doesn’t think like I do, is wrong”. You must be one of the smartest guys on the planet!
        Overly RELIGIOUS people are usually closed off in their perception and have an impulsive need to tell others what they should believe. I see the same thing in you, just at the other end of the spectrum.
        You are delusional in you hardened view and self absorbed by your rejection of the openness that brings people together.
        As I said, it’s your choice if that’s who you want to be, but don’t INSULT those who have a spiritual nature and use it for good.
        If Miss Williamson starts telling people what to believe, then she becomes a problem. If she’s simply trying to bring people together through their compassion and concern, then there is no harm.
        …..And you really don’t have All the answers.

        1. Lionheart says:

          Please don’t misunderstand me. It’s not my intention to be a know-it-all, because far from it I don’t.

          If people want to talk to a dog, a wall, a ceiling, hug a tree, feel a crystal, and they actually get comfort from it, and it helps them get through life, I say go for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all tend to lean on something for comfort. I tend to lean on my wife, and she in turn leans on me.

          🦁♥️

          1. Lori says:

            I don’t think I do misunderstand. From the things you say, I think you truly believe everyone with a sense of spirituality is delusional. I also get frustrated with the megga religious bible thumpers, but I am happy to hear when someone is spiritual and directing it, without pushing their practices, with a peaceful and constructive message. You tend to slam anyone with spirit centered philosophies. So, as I would say to a fundamental Christian, how do you feel justified being on a universal blog that promotes acceptance and tolerance?

          2. Lionheart says:

            I feel very justified being on a “universal blog” Lory (whatever that really means) that promotes acceptance and tolerance. And I do hope you can accept my points of view, with acceptance and tolerance.

            Again, if someone gets great relief from hugging a tree, speaking to a crystal, or a wall, or the sky, or the floor, or waving around incense (smudging) and believe they are clearing bad energy, or tarot reading, or believing a god is angry because we have bad weather at times, I have no problem with it.

            We all have different points of view Lori. This is a wonderful blog that we can share these views, even though we may not all agree with them, they give us food for thought.

            Peace ✌🏼

            🦁❤️

          3. Lori says:

            If you consider yourself so universal then why do you throw out the insults to anyone who leans in a spiritual direction? Acceptance and tolerance means you don’t attack people for having a spiritual path, as long as they’re not pushing it on you. Universal means we all support each other.

          4. Lori says:

            Lionheart, perhaps you should review your first comment.

          5. Lionheart says:

            Lori, I can see that it’s possible I may never be able to appease you, or others, with my comments, especially regarding spirituality.

            I see many strange actions in this world that are suggested to be spiritually based. Benny Hinn is a typical example where I believe he has duped many into believing that when he taps them on their forehead they seriously believe they are being filled with some special spirit. I realize I could be wrong, and perhaps he really is a special person from god, with miraculous gifts, but something just doesn’t sit well with me with that man, and there are many other just like him.

            Does that comment seem to be insulting to you? If you agree with me, then presumably it isn’t an insult. That comment could of course be classed as insulting if you agree with his tapping-on-the-head thing, or the waving of his white jacket to impart the Holy Spirit to the masses.

            Where does one in fact draw the line as to what is spiritually insulting and what isn’t? Is it insulting if I disagree with hugging a tree? Is it insulting if I find it ludicrous that someone thinks they have moved a hurricane by prayer when dozens, possibly hundreds, have died trying to do the exact same thing recently?

            🦁❤️

          6. Duckin Acup says:

            I like you, Lionheart, because you are living proof there are greater jackasses in this group than I am. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tone down your rhetoric. Or even just shut up for a few years.

          7. Lionheart says:

            Try not to put yourself down too much Acup, I’m sure that in reality you are quite a loving person!

            Go and speak to a lonely wall for a bit, I think you will feel much better about yourself. Just know that if you do, you won’t be on your own, many do it! And besides, the wall will love you for it!

            🦁❤️

          8. Lori says:

            I don’t need to be appeased. You are absolutely right. There are a lot of strange things in the world related to religious practices. Can’t argue that. I don’t think you’re grasping the nature of my protest. It’s about respect. It’s that you see your perspective as being the only one that should exist. If you didn’t you wouldn’t try to ram it down our throats so often. You throw out science and your perception of reality as if the rest of us live under a rock and don’t function at your level. Sorry, there are others here that are just as intelligent as you and some, more so. Sometimes you make a lot of good points. I can respect that.

        2. ET says:

          Lori,

          Thanks for saying very well what I was mulling around in my mind. Your response to Lionheart was in my humble opinion, right on target. Nice work.

          1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            Walls especially show their love when they have long, deep, holes in them. You can even tape a pin-up in front of it.

          2. Lori says:

            Carl…. you always come through with a bit of comic relief. I am smiling.

      4. Kathleen Cooper-Loher says:

        I don’t believe that she is referring to speaking to an imaginary or real God to help in this situation. I believe that her comments have been misinterpreted. Instead, she is referring to our own God given power of our minds and our hearts to put out an intention. This has been proven in studies to change things. It is also a principle of quantum physics. Our mere observation of something changes it. There are many experiments that prove this, such as light wave experiments and Dr. Imoto’s water experiments. It has also been proven that our vibration and intentions helps plants to grow. She is referring to scientific fact, as well as spiritual principles.

        1. Lori says:

          I agree. We don’t have anyway of truly understanding the creative forces around us. Science is digging deep to reveal new possibilities.

          1. LISA L KOHLER says:

            metaphysics has proven that thought has energy. That’s why prayer/visualization can work!

          2. Lori says:

            “Proof” is a strong word, but I do believe they’re getting close with the work being done at the Institute of Noetic Science. There is a book, “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart that goes into the scientific studies surrounding metaphysics.

          3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            Can’t y’all remember that guy who had his own T.V. show in the seventies named Preskin (or something like that). He was a psychic who bent forks and other stuff through the power of his mind, which he called E.S.P..

          4. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

            If they would dig deeper they might find that Hermes Trismegistus knew all that stuff they think they’re now discovering, thousands of years ago, and it has ever since been described in Hermetic philosophy, but understood and used by few. Read the Kybalion.

          5. Lori says:

            I have read the Kybalion, Carl. It is something that everyone on a spirit centered path should read. Science and spirituality are becoming more intertwined. The psychological processes behind shamanic practices are opening new pathways to collective consciousness.

      5. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

        It,’s a good tool, that works for me. Whatever works for you use it. Whatever doesn’t, don’t. What works for some, doesn’t work for others. I wouldn’t be caught dead hugging a tree, either. And all of my trees and plants at home are artificial. I haven’t been able to think of the right spell to cast to make them come to life,yet. However, I wo’nt succumb to nay sayers.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          Are you sure her name was McTaggert, and not Taggert. Taggert was a character on the X-files, who was a soldier left behind in ‘Nam, and developed his mental power to the degree that he was able to make himself seem invisible. He used that ability to shoot and kill some of the generals responsible for leaving him and others in Vietnam. Of course, Moulder figured it out, and shot and killed him in the end.

  3. astrologysflame says:

    Williamson must not be praying hard enough, or she would be leading in the polls.

    1. Dark Gray says:

      That’s assuming that God wants her to be President. Maybe the divine goal here is just to heighten awareness of some of the ideas she’s proposing. After all, it’s rare that a third-party candidate wins any kind of office, but most new political ideas come from these same third-party candidates.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      That also depends on how hard people are praying against her.

  4. gordon mccaffrey says:

    There is power in thought. Perhaps this power is only for the person with the thought, I don’t know. I do know the Buddhists and some others rely on that power. I’m not sure a prayer is much different. Now, are thoughts and prayers all we should do? Maybe not, but to even take a moment of time out to think about someone else in a different situation may make a difference. It may even lead to doing actual work helping in a situation, and that in itself makes a difference. I don’t believe they are just an empty bunch of words personally. Good day!

    1. ET says:

      If prayer is effective or not, at least it alone cannot hurt. And if it brings comfort to someone, whether or not I believe, no problem.

      1. Lionheart says:

        I totally agree with you ET. We all take comfort from many things, even if it’s just holding hands with someone. I’ve done that in my role as a hospice volunteer with those who are terminally ill, close to leaving this life. Touch can bring great comfort in times of real need.

        🦁❤️

        1. ET says:

          It’s good to know that you are a caring volunteer. It just proves that someone doesn’t have to believe in a supreme being to be a compassionate person. Be well, fellow traveler through life.

        2. Lori says:

          Nice, Lionheart. Now that I can respect.

        3. The Doctor says:

          When it comes to Buddhist monks its a lot more then just seeking comfort. mere humans cant practice meditation nearly naked in the snow for hours without frostbite. Nor dry soaking wet clothes on their backs in freezing temperatures. And tahts just what the novice monks that are allowed to be watched are capable of.

          Keep in mind Lion, quantum physics tells us that every particle of light reacts to being perceived, hence the strange wave/particle nature of light the building block of all that we call existence.

          All things both absorb and radiate energy. There are those who ponder since what we call genius does not seem to have a genetic factor behind it, that perhaps its connected to the concept of reincarnation. After all even Albert E himself a devout jew felt the eastern idea of reincarnation made a lot of sense when you consider that every thought we ever think is an electric impulse that radiate and the matter that makes up our bodies merely alters form as well.

          Who knows maybe every true genius is just another incarnation of the Buddah. After all time is just a man made concept based on our physical perception.

  5. Rev joyce meder interfaith minister says:

    I think marianne williamson brings a unique perspective to many of the world’s problems. She may not become president but i think there is a place for her and her ideas…aDept of Peace. Science has proven the power of prayer. Larry dossier i believe is the authors name. Also Dr Eben Alexander. Proof of Heaven. I had a near death experience and came back joyful and an angel cured me of asthma. I actually felt the heat energy coming down and lung dr said i was cured. I do believe in the power of the mind. Thoughts are energy. Look how Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee. I am not sure if many people are evolved enough to understand metaphysics and power of the mind

  6. Sharon Shores says:

    Consider …not down playing the power of prayer. Thoughts are indeed energy.
    Many articles and research studies have demonstrated the power of prayer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802370/ and https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/what-prayer-is-good-for-and-the-evidence-for-it/ and
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617154401.htm and https://youtu.be/MsSdPDcJ5oU

  7. Paul says:

    You can call me a fool or whatever you want but prayer does work, I have seen it and experienced it. I can’t say for certain whether it is God or the innate power of the mind but I know for certain that if you get enough people focused and praying in the same thing that many times it happens. Who are we to say there is or is not a God? If there is even the slightest possibility that there is a God and the bible is true then would you want to take a chance on being wrong? I would not. Ultimately it is each persons choice concerning what they believe and we should not deride them for that choice. Yes some christians do go overboard trying to get people to believe the same thing they do but keep in mind that they are trying to do what they think is right. Those people do not understand that they can show more by their actions than they can by their words. Yes there is a trend toward moving away from the church and I blame that on the church itself. When I was young you went to church and you had church (preached from the bible) and you had Sunday school (more bible learning) and once in a while you had a church picnic but there was no basketball or baseball or anything like that. Todays churches have become so diversified that they have forgotten what the church was originally about. A lot of churches don’t even preach or teach from the bible anymore, it all comes from what some other preacher wrote or from they read in a magazine. People are moving away from the churches because they know something is missing that there is supposed to be more. Any time you have a denomination you have mans doctrine not the doctrine of the bible. Over and over man has shown that when he is in control of something he has to change it to they way he wants it and messes it up. Again it is in the end it is each persons right to chose what they believe and we should support them in that not rake them over the coals so to speak. Thank you for reading this some if you will understand and agree with what I am saying and some of you will not. I understand and expect that and it is ok because you have that right.

  8. susansparrow2015 says:

    Gosh! She never recommended prayer INSTEAD of taking shelter or evacuating. I’m really getting tired of pragmatists insisting it’s only either/or – that you either follow the dictates of scientific discovery (which, lo and behold evolves daily) or you base your belief system on faith alone. This is poppycock, in my opinion, because we really do have room for both.

    1. Lori says:

      You’re a bit dramatic. It’s never either or, except in the minds of those that reject spirituality on all levels, or are fanatics pushing their fundamental faith. Science and spiritual practices do go together and both should always be considered. I didn’t get what you did from this article. Did I miss something?

  9. Rev. Elizabeth S. Arsenault says:

    Here is my $.02 on this prayer controversy. Of course all the naysayers is saying prayers do not work. For me personally, every time I pray, my prayers are answered. I live in East Central Florida and it was depicted to put my home in the Northeast side of the category 5 hurricane. All Floridians know this is the worse side of the storm. I grabbed everyone in my prayer group and my sister and we all prayed for it to not cut across Florida, but to go east away from everyone. The predictions changed drastically after that. We faced the approaching storm, my sister and I and prayed for it to stay out to sea. When it came to Florida it did what I prayed for that I only experienced a tropical storm with no power loss nor damage. I also prayed for it not to hit my family in NC and it didn’t when it was projected to do so. By the way, I did vacate my home in preparation of this storm and prayed I don’t lose my home. I didn’t stay in danger even though I prayed for it to not come on land, to go east, exactly what it did.

    Here is where I went wrong and won’t do that again. I thought of myself and my family. God answered my prayer as He always does. I trust Him. I need to trust Him more because I was crying. I saw what happened to Freeport. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t trust 💯. Now, I’m also realistic because I’m not the only person on this planet and what everyone forgets is that this is not God’s world, yet. It still is Satan’s and he will do all he can to hurt everyone, because he is like that. With that being said, where I went wrong, it says in the Bible that we talk to God through Jesus and that what we speak will happen. Ask and you shall receive. Believe that what you ask has already happened. I did not speak in my prayer to protect the Bahamas. I did not ask anything like that except to protect my home and my family. I did pray for it not to hit Puerto Rico because I have friends there and they are still trying to recover from Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico was spared, my home area was spared and my family in NC was spared, praise God! Now, I have to word my prayers better.

    After saying all this, it all boils down to, prayers work. You have to feel your request in your heart and trust God to answer your prayer and most importantly you must say that you ask this of God because this is what you want, in Jesus’ name. Take heed of the danger and protect yourself and loved ones, but still pray. If it always works for me, why wouldn’t it work for everyone? God never lets me down. One more thing I want to share… praying for millions of dollars won’t come true. He’s not an imaginary genie. He knows our true heart. He knows before we ask. He will not interfere unless invited. We have free will. He will grant your prayers based on what is best for you. I truly believe what I just typed here. I agree with this woman. Face the storm and tell it to go away. Apparently people in Freeport did not do so? I don’t know. Maybe the survivors did and the unfortunate loss of lives did not? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I just know from my prayer group and my sister, how we pray and the results are always positive when situations look bleak. I never listen to the media putting good and beliefs down. I never listen to the “Left” when all they speak is negative. Think, feel and speak what you want. Watch your words, they hurt you. She is a brave woman putting her spiritual beliefs out in this anti-Christ world. It will cost her oh so much but I so commend her for doing so.

    I feel better now for getting this all out to you all who read this. I do pray for the Bahamas. They have a lot of recouping to do and I pray for the loved ones of the people who died. May they find peace in their hearts and understanding.

    I ask that God sends His blessings on all of you, in Jesus name. Be well.

  10. Albert A Hernandez says:

    If we believe that God controls everything, we should believe He controls the weather. Jesus calmed the storm when the disciples panicked. He said to them, “Ye of little faith.” He ordered the storm to stop, and it did. They believed in “Him.” The World needs to know how to pray, and who to pray to. Those hurricanes, killer tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, are God speaking to us. Only He can control them. We’d better start praying fervently because these are getting stronger and deadlier every year. There is another one coming soon. It is going to hit our country like never before.

    Albert A. Hernandez, D. Div.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Albert, I know you mean well, but you need to understand that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc, have always been a part of the geology, and meteorology of this earth long before mankind inhabited it. It happens on other planets with no known inhabitants. These events are not the result of an angry god and never have been. They are natural events that occur throughout our solar system and our universe.

      You are right that there could be another one coming, but that’s a given. They will always occur, some minor, some major. The earth is moving and changing all the time and has done for millennia.

      🦁❤️

      1. Lori says:

        ….And, Lionheart, you don’t mean well. I don’t necessarily see things the same way Albert does, but he is open to possibilities. He’s not condescending in his comment, as you are in your comment to him.

        1. Lionheart says:

          I’m sorry you see that when someone points out the obvious educational facts of geology and meteorology, you see it as condescending.

          Lori, it really is how the earth, and all other celestial bodies work. What is it that you don’t understand about reality, for you to say I am being condescending when I’m stating the obvious?

          I know it’s possible for you to read this last paragraph as being rude, but I really don’t know how being factual can be said in any other way.

          🦁❤️

          1. Lori says:

            These things are true Lion. You and most of the people on this site, whether they are spiritually centered or not, have some understanding of how the universe works. We all recognize that science is an on going process and it’s comprised of facts, mathematics, research and theory. No one seems to be disputing that. If that’s the only thing you have to fling, you’re preaching to the choir. There are actually other intelligent people, besides yourself, that are not talking to walls and hugging trees. They are free thinking and open minded. You are not….and if that makes you happy, that’s a great thing. Enjoy. Actually, I’m happy for you. In fact, most of the time I agree with you on many issues. All I can say is I respect who you are. Respect is a wonderful word. Don’t you think?

  11. Joseph Lee Langer says:

    Do something….. then pray. I was always told that The Lord helps those who help themselves. The problem is not when people pray, but when that is all they do.

    1. Lori says:

      ….but that’s not all they did. Most evacuated. I think most people realize when it’s time to get out of town, regardless of prayer. What I see is that there are people here that just don’t like to hear that others are praying. It doesn’t mean they’re not functioning. It means they are focusing on something other than impending doom.

  12. Lori Lassiter says:

    I dunno, it worked for Alabama! 😂

  13. King says:

    She clearly said prayer, visualization and meditation. referring to collective consciousness and how it can help. This is just a proven scientific fact that collective consciousness exists. So simply calling it “prayer” is not what she did. But she is for sure correct in what she said.

    1. Lori says:

      And the King is King and right on target. So true.

  14. cindalkitty says:

    I can’t know exactly what she meant. Twitter is hardly the right medium for expressing fully fleshed out thoughts. However, I believe in the power of meditation – perhaps not to circumvent tragic events – but to tend to ourselves in the face of those events. Prayer, to me, is a form of mediation. In the end, I see it as us coming together in a single intention, whether through prayer, mediation, visualization, or well-wishing: for the safety and well-being of those involved. By itself, especially in times like these, coming together with a single intention – a good intention, no less – is a rare and precious thing. It stands to show we can be united, connected, in some small way. It may not change the course of a hurricane, but it may help change our path as a whole if we can somehow look to the person next to us and know they’re feeling something similar.

    Who knows. Maybe in that silence we grant ourselves to pray, to hope, to do whatever it is we do that comes with “thoughts and prayers,” we’ll find an answer that can legitimately help curb the pain and violence that’s made itself so prevalent in our current moment in history. What I do know is that we won’t find that answer while enraged and looking to tear the person next to us apart because of their beliefs.

  15. M Anderson says:

    Even without any metaphysical component, thoughts move us to decisions, which move us to actions, which change things. Who can doubt that thoughts create movement? Perhaps another way to think about it is that, at the very least, the positive thoughts of responsible, compassionate people will create movement that results in an outcome less devastating than sitting frozen in fear? Even if we’re not ready to believe in unseen, unprovable forces, we can certainly derive value from the idea of uniting in positive thoughts to avert or diminish a disaster. Maybe Ms. Williamson’s word choice does not resonate with all, but the idea could.

  16. RebTk says:

    What constitutes thought? What constitutes prayer? What is missing? When we say “thoughts and prayers,” we neglect the next step which is “action.” Typical of politicians.

    Some things are logically (and scientifically) beyond our control. The ways of the planet of which we are a part is point made. We can “pray” ’til the cows come home… but there is no such thing as magic when it comes to the forces of nature.

    All of the ancient schools understood that nothing happens “by magic.” The “magic,” or “miracle” that takes place is the very human, ritualized (guided/structured) “experience” one is provided with (by gurus, clergy, whomever) to make sense of the world.

    Tens of thousands of years of human mental ability, (“I think, therefore I am.”) manifests in our ability we call thought: we “think,” and “choose,” impulsively, or through reasoning.

    In possessing “logical” processes, we also possess doubt, itself a logical process we think is illogical: if A then B, but what about C, D, E, and F? All those little voices in our heads! “The sky is falling!”

    All those little voices saying one and a million things all at the same time can freak us out ,or make us do something grossly inappropriate! Which caused a lot of social problems.

    Ancient peoples developed ways to quiet and focus what is going on in our heads: call it contemplation, meditation, prayer, or whatever…, it is a way we choose to manage our minds, tens of thousands of thoughts, ideas, fears, etc. and try to make some kind of sense of it all across many contexts, including belief (logical, perhaps) faith (perhaps illogical).

    But then things happen that we cannot control, and something needs to be done.
    There are those who think: such and such happened.
    There are those who think: such and such happened and something needs to happen.
    There are those who think: such and such happened, something needs to be done, and this is what I am going to do.

    This is the point of “empowerment.” Beyond hopes, cognitions, and meditations, there is action, and while many things cannot be prevented (like a hurricane) we can rally ourselves to the aid of those who need help.

    Politicians excluded.

    Peace..Out…RebTk

  17. Hazel says:

    Regardless of what anyone feels about any specific religion or faith, obviously prayers have not stopped Hurricane Dorian.
    A
    I don’t think it’s because the Bahamians haven’t prayed hard enough, I think it’s just because God/dess doesn’t want to stop it.

    There is no such thing as unanswered prayer, a prayer where you don’t get your own way is still answered, just not the way you want it to be.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      She (the Goddess) moves in mysterious ways, so the song goes.

  18. LISA says:

    Metaphysics has shown us that thought has energy. That’s why visualization and prayer can be powerful.

  19. Dick Stone says:

    If prayer worked, the Las Vegas casinos would have gone bankrupt long ago.

    1. Mark says:

      That’s absurd.

      1. Lionheart says:

        It obviously was a humorous comment Mark, but possibly clouded in some truth. It’s a bit like, if there really were people who could truly see into the future they would be very rich, but you just don’t see any them ever winning the lottery where you choose your own numbers, or winning on horse racing do you? 😜

        🦁❤️

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          Then again, people who win such games by magical, psychic, or other ways that aren’t accepted by mainstream society might prefer to keep a low profile, and not say anything about it.

  20. Secretary3rd says:

    When I was in grade school playing outside was a a lot more fun then studying for a test. On that faithful day I pray that I would pass that test. I guess an higher being was out for the day for I got a whooping “F”.
    It could be like the people who pray for rain only to have their answer in two ways. No rain or its Noah time.
    I pray to win the big lottery number, but again not even one number is corrected.
    So if enough people pray then it makes them feel good about themselves.
    For moving Mother Nature around they spit into the wind.

  21. George Kirchnet says:

    Scientific medical research says prayer seems to work to heal.
    Obviously, Dorian stopped. There is an entire world beyond the tiny vocal headline catching group of cynics thrive on raising guilt and doubt in who we are. Power and control of human beings is the endgame.
    George

  22. Albert A Hernandez says:

    Science and theory go only so far. Then comes reality: GOD.

    Albert A. Hernandez, D. Div.

    1. Lionheart says:

      I’m sure you mean well Albert, but of course, in “reality”, you don’t know for sure if any god, or gods, exist at all, so science and theory is all we have.

      🦁❤️

      1. Albert A Hernandez says:

        We have the Scriptures that tell us of the GOD who has created the heavens and the earth and who’ll someday judge us all. Whether we believe or not, that’s up to us. “Those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. Those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”—St. Thomas Aquinas.

        That’s all.

        “ALBERT”

        1. Lionheart says:

          Oh okay! So you don’t have any evidence then, apart from stories in a book? Much like the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita, and other such books revered by other religions I guess.

          🦁❤️

  23. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

    That makes sense to me.

  24. Mark says:

    Lionheart, I took your advice and watched several comedies over the past couple of days and I still think you’re smug.

    1. The Doctor says:

      He may indeed come off as smug at times and certainly mocks, but mockery is not itself a bad thing, after all what are other people for if not to be mocked?

      If for example the cake makers had just mocked the gays but still been willing to make the cake, more then likely the gay couple would of looked elsewhere and there would of been no need for a court battle and all its needless drama.

      I myself prefer a little harmless mockery over litigation. I tend to think those who cant handle mockery had a very sheltered life. I myself as the youngest of 3 sons with a bit of an arse for a dad, was basically mocked my entire life. Not unlike in the song a boy named sue, by the time I was an adult the opinions, insults, and mockery of others rolled off me like water off steel.

      A tongue silvered and sharpened to a razors edge infused with venom and coated in honey is better then the fangs of any beast when it comes to rending a man down to a quivering mass.

  25. Steve says:

    I had a experience with talking to god while back I prayed very hard and in 22 min I was answered it’s a long story but I have Proof And a life was saved I told 2 girls it will be fine they look at me like what I told them god told me so

    1. Lionheart says:

      Interesting, so does your god answer every time you pray, or only on the odd occasion?

      Just asking!

      🦁❤️

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