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So What Did You Replace Prayer With?


Abmin9
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SO now that we know we had been sending messages from the heart out to a vacuum, never to be responded to, I must ask... As an ex-christian, what have you replaced, if anything, your prayers with?

 

In other words, at the end of the night, I used to thank god for my family, food, health, etc, etc. Of course, I'm still glad I have all those things but chuck it all up to luck of the draw and I have NO superstitions at all!

 

I do think that mentally and psychologically there must've been something to prayer and the quiet time spent. Maybe it was that empty hope that one day we may hear back. Or maybe it was praying for the sun to rise the next morning and "Well, What Do You KNow... it Happened!! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayer!! You are so faithful and kind!!"

 

Yoga? Meditation? Breathing? Singing? Sex? A hobby? Cooking? Reading? Reading Ex-c.net?

 

Did you substitute prayer with anything?

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SO now that we know we had been sending messages from the heart out to a vacuum, never to be responded to, I must ask... As an ex-christian, what have you replaced, if anything, your prayers with?

 

In other words, at the end of the night, I used to thank god for my family, food, health, etc, etc. Of course, I'm still glad I have all those things but chuck it all up to luck of the draw and I have NO superstitions at all!

 

I do think that mentally and psychologically there must've been something to prayer and the quiet time spent. Maybe it was that empty hope that one day we may hear back. Or maybe it was praying for the sun to rise the next morning and "Well, What Do You KNow... it Happened!! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayer!! You are so faithful and kind!!"

 

Yoga? Meditation? Breathing? Singing? Sex? A hobby? Cooking? Reading? Reading Ex-c.net?

 

Did you substitute prayer with anything?

 

hi Abmin9! This is a very good question you ask this morning. Made me think! I think for me - the things that I prayed about and asked for - I now try to 'answer' all my own prayers. God was a great ' procrastination' tool for me, because I could ask for 'something' and I didn't feel as if I had to do anything about it until I was sure I heard the right answer from the lord.

 

Now, I know I must conquer all the things I want myself, seeing that there is no sky god who really ever gave me an answer anyway. I feel like I am taking charge of my life and doing what feels right to me.

 

EX-C is where I have spent most of my time since December when I joined. You know all those people who run home to watch their favorite soap opera? Well - that's me with exchristian!!

 

I can't get my housework, shopping, errands, yard work, paperwork, etc....... done fast enough, so I can get on this site and read and post.Right now, it is the only place I can come to for help with deconverting. I have had a harder time with deconverting than what I thought I was going to.:shrug:

 

Anyway, I'm glad your here. These questions help me to sort out all mt new answers. Thanks!

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So What Did You Replace Prayer With?

Masturbation.

 

Really, prayer served a purpose in the context of Christianity, but after leaving the religion and realizing I was an atheist I felt no need to replace prayer, tithing, or bad pot luck dinners with anything else. It's like when I quit the bowling team I had no desire to replace the old bowling glove with knickers or a hat.

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Well this is an unfair question for the ex christians here who didn't become atheists. Or am I the only one?

I simply found deities that listened to me. My prayer context and behavior has changed, but that's due to the gods I pray to. I found no "vacuum." I just found that Abraham's god either didn't exist, or doesn't appear or listen. Either way, I pray to those who have shown up and do listen.

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I meditate these days, but not as any replacement for prayer. After deconverting, I found myself wanting to pray simply out of habit. There were also a few in-case-you-are-real-and-I'm-wrong prayers, but today, I don't miss prayer at all.

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When I first left I still prayed to a "God" not sure if it was the Christian one or not. It wasn't a habit there for long. In times of great stress I had also turned to this generic deity but in the latest trial in my life I was surprised that "turning to God" didn't even pop into my mind. The only thing that's really changed is that I no longer pray in situations where I would be better off actually doing something about it.

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mainly i go on a walk and talk to myself.

 

It works better in that I usually work out my problem...or at least define it better.

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I talk to myself, which drives the wife crazy but clears my mind. Meditation, to concentrate on my problems and how to solve them. I find myself praying at times. Old habits are hard to stop. I relate it to meditation or self-hypnosis.

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I pray, if that's what you call it. Meditate. Get into the zone, become one with the flow. Gratitude is constant, with every step I take, I am so glad to be alive to be healthy to be loved and surrounded by beauty and people I love. It makes me life so much better.

 

 

 

 

E ve ry dance/Every run, every ride/Every swimis a prayer/I hope to be fast/I hope to be strong, more beautifulHow can I be more perfect/to be loved, to love moreI love this life, this is how I love/and give me more

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Wow!!!!

 

All of you who have posted so far,

I LOVE hearing back from you! As I type this, I realize I have replaced prayer with something I actually get an answer from.... YOU!!

And then, at the end, I'm FREE to choose what jibes with me and what doesn't!

 

At the moment, I'm listening to FANTASTIC music and have a great buzz going after a nice happy hour with my lovely wife!

 

Yeah, I guess I found my answer!

 

Again, thank you ALL for your replies! I look forward to more!

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I will meditate - or really just try to clear my mind and not force myself to focus on anything in particular. I don't chase thoughts or dwell on them.

 

I don't ask for things in prayer. Sometimes I speak out loud when I am by myself mainly to focus my thoughts and think things through.

 

I think the best replacement for petitioning prayer is devising a plan to make positive, incremental changes until you achieve what you want on your own or through the help of supportive friends and acquaintances.

 

For prayers for wisdom and insight, I substitute research and dialog with others.

 

There's really no need for prayer when we realize there is not one all knowing benevolent god out there.

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I never got into prayer very much even when I was a Christian. It just seemed like I was talking to myself. I thought the idea of praying with someone was embarrassing. I never did it. I thought praying out loud in any form was either dumb or embarrassing. Its like why can't God hear if you just think the stuff to yourself?

 

Makes me wonder if I really was ever a Christian since one of the defining things about being one was that you prayed. I liked the Book of Common Prayer they had in the Episcopal Church. Some of those prayers are beautifully written and I didn't mind reciting something someone else wrote, although it seemed rather useless after a while. It really didn't seem like prayer, I don't know.

 

So I can't say anything has replaced it since I didn't ever do much of it. I did take up meditation in the last four years. I like mantra recitation if I am really uptight about something. It does have a calming effect if you say a Sanskrit or Tibetan phrase about a thousand times. I enjoy reciting certain of the Dharma Samudras (chanted Buddhist prayers) with the group at the local Dharma center about twice a month.

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I have replaced prayer with just general feelings of gratitude or repeating a mantra (instead of prayer that I would not wreck a car, I would just repeat to myself, "I will not wreck this car," over and over again).

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When I stopped praying I was expecting the need to pray to arise in difficult situations. Actually, when I'm having a hard time and prayer comes to my mind, I'm more like "screw that, I'll deal with it myself".

I found out that when I'm intensely happy, I'm more inclined to pray... but then I prefer to just fall asleep with a smile on my face.

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I still prayed at night out of habit - it was a bit like a comfort blanket to settle my brain for sleep. I didn't expect anyone to hear but it just shut my brain down for the night. I used to pray myself to sleep cos it was so boring it was the one thing I coud count on to tackle any insomnialmao_99.gif

 

 

I think over the past few years I've replaced prayer with talking to people. I'm much more likely to ring a friend or family member and rant on the phone for a bit to process my thoughts, where as before I used to pray to get it all of my chest. This new way is significantly more efficient and beneficial!

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Meditation, walking and thinking, or journaling.

 

Sometimes I still catch myself sending up silent wishes to the universe for strength or insight or whatever, but at the same time I know there's nothing out there that hears them or grants them. It's just a artifact of habit and culture.

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SO now that we know we had been sending messages from the heart out to a vacuum, never to be responded to, I must ask... As an ex-christian, what have you replaced, if anything, your prayers with?

 

In other words, at the end of the night, I used to thank god for my family, food, health, etc, etc. Of course, I'm still glad I have all those things but chuck it all up to luck of the draw and I have NO superstitions at all!

 

I do think that mentally and psychologically there must've been something to prayer and the quiet time spent. Maybe it was that empty hope that one day we may hear back. Or maybe it was praying for the sun to rise the next morning and "Well, What Do You KNow... it Happened!! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayer!! You are so faithful and kind!!"

 

Yoga? Meditation? Breathing? Singing? Sex? A hobby? Cooking? Reading? Reading Ex-c.net?

 

Did you substitute prayer with anything?

 

I substitute prayer to a biblical god with prayer to the universe. The emotion you send out has an effect on the world and yourself. Faith actually does something in the quantum field. The heart is not just an organ that pumps blood. As a result I haven't killed myself but actually feel ok, which is a fucking miracle considering the shit I've been through.

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I'll often start praying, usually when I'm late for work or if I dropped a box on my finger or if I'm worried about a family member, but each time I have to force myself to stop and go "No, there's nobody up there. Stop that."

Kind of depressing, really. I see why people do it, now.

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Not much to add. I talk to myself depending on the situation, especially if there is a serious problem to solve. It can help relieve the pressure just to get it out there in words. I think that is a large part of what prayer is--the psychological part, anyway. Deva brought out the various traditions surrounding prayer--prayer books written by someone else ahead of time, silent prayer, audible prayer, group prayer, individual prayer. I was for the silent prayer addressing each and every feeling of need and gratitude as Paul says to pray day and night.

 

As a teenager I learned a song:

 

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire unuttered or expressed;

The burden of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast.

It goes on to say prayer can be a sinner's tear "returning from his ways." So I concluded that prayer is not necessarily saying prescribed words in a prescribed physical position, but an attitude toward life.

 

For several decades I conscientiously observed day-and-night silent prayer--or the singing of hymns which are often in the form of prayers of supplication or thanksgiving--as I went about my daily duties. However, one day after I had left the old horse and buggy community for a university education I was overpowered by the conviction that prayer is wrong.

 

By that time I was by no means an orthodox traditional Christian anymore but since I didn't know any other life philosophy I still identified as a Christian. I was no longer singing hymns and praying all the time. Life was too full of new experiences. Leaving the old community had been social suicide and the idea that God had helped me--that I hadn't done it on my own strength--was debatable.

 

It should have been easier if God had helped me. And now I was having serious problems in my "new and improved" lifestyle. Things were so tough and God wasn't making an appearance. Prayer seemed wasted breath. Whatever the reason, I was convinced that prayer was wrong.

 

So from that day on I quit praying. A few years later I deconverted.

 

Once in a while, when I have dreams of a frustrating nature, I find myself praying the dear heavenly father lines, wondering if I am reconverting, but it seems so right. When I wake up nothing has changed. Rehashing the problem to myself clarifies the situation and the ideas given in the posts above normally do the trick much better than "waiting on the Lord." The up-side is that one feels like one is actually doing something.

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