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Author Topic: Is it Appropriate to Pray about a Volcano?  (Read 1989 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bogoliubtsy
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« on: January 31, 2009, 02:23:04 AM »

Bogoliubtsy,

I moved the following diatribe regarding the appropriateness of this thread away from the Prayer Forum.  In the future, if you want to comment on the appropriateness of a thread in the Prayer Forum, you need to start a separate thread on some other board or use the "Report to Moderator" function.  Please don't distract from the piety of the Prayer Forum by posting such commentary there again.

- PeterTheAleut



Is this appropriate for a prayer forum? This is a natural phenomenon that is part of the creation and subject to its natural cycles/flare ups. How is it appropriate to pray for it to not do what its own nature intends it to do?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 03:47:17 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 02:27:09 AM »

Is this appropriate for a prayer forum? This is a natural phenomenon that is part of the creation and subject to its natural cycles/flare ups. How is it appropriate to pray for it to not do what its own nature intends it to do?

Nature doesn't have a will to intend anything.
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 02:32:01 AM »

Is this appropriate for a prayer forum? This is a natural phenomenon that is part of the creation and subject to its natural cycles/flare ups. How is it appropriate to pray for it to not do what its own nature intends it to do?

Nature doesn't have a will to intend anything.

What, so God created it all and set it into motion to act on its own? Then when we don't like how it acts we pray for Him to step down from His holy throne and protect us? Come on...this isn't the 16th century- it's a volcano...it spews fire and lava and that's how it is. Instead of praying that it doesn't, perhaps we could help people get out of its way when it does or advise them not to live so close to a volcano.
Next we'll be praying to God that trees don't fall on my house the next time there's a lighting or ice storm. How about instead I move out of the woods.
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 03:41:59 AM »

Bogo, if you read the thread from which I split off this commentary, you will note that not one person posted any prayer asking that God will keep the Redoubt volcano from erupting.  Ialmisry petitioned in the OP merely that the eruption would not reach disastrous proportions, which reads to me like a resignation to the fact that the volcano WILL erupt, together with a mere request that the consequences of such eruption be minimized, whether by speedy evacuation of nearby residents, or by diversion of the ash cloud away from major population areas, or what have you.  Everyone else merely voiced their assent to Isa's prayer with their "Lord have mercy!"s  Do you really need to read into the thread intentions that were just not there?
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 03:44:51 AM »

Beside the "Lord, have mercy", I considered praying "Thy will be done!"

If God wills the volcano to erupt, then so be it!  If he spares the rod, then so be it!

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!  Blessed be the name of the Lord!
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 03:46:14 AM »

Beside the "Lord, have mercy", I considered praying "Thy will be done!"

If God will the volcano to erupt, then so be it!  If he spares the rod, then so be it!

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!  Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Indeed!  Thank you for your understanding. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 04:17:14 AM »

When we say, "Lord have mercy" we leave it up to God how that mercy be shown. That is up to God and God alone.
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 09:20:57 AM »

Is this appropriate for a prayer forum? This is a natural phenomenon that is part of the creation and subject to its natural cycles/flare ups. How is it appropriate to pray for it to not do what its own nature intends it to do?

Nature doesn't have a will to intend anything.

What, so God created it all and set it into motion to act on its own?

We're not deists.

Quote
Then when we don't like how it acts we pray for Him to step down from His holy throne and protect us? Come on...this isn't the 16th century- it's a volcano...it spews fire and lava and that's how it is. Instead of praying that it doesn't, perhaps we could help people get out of its way when it does or advise them not to live so close to a volcano.
Next we'll be praying to God that trees don't fall on my house

LOL.  So sure we'll be praying for that, are you?

Quote
the next time there's a lighting or ice storm. How about instead I move out of the woods.

Yes, I think getting out a little will do you some good.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 09:21:44 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 08:28:34 PM »

Next we'll be praying to God that trees don't fall on my house the next time there's a lighting or ice storm. How about instead I move out of the woods. 

How about both?  Why does it have to be either/or?  The prayer forum is the place for prayer; bulletin boards and radio time in Alaska are the places for advice on where not to live, in order to avoid volcano eruptions.  Whatever happened to that having-faith-of-a-mustard-seed-and-moving-mountains thing?
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 08:46:15 PM »

Aren't a lot of prayers exactly of this type: asking God to intervene and change the natural way things would go. Whether you're talking about a natural phenomenon like a storm, being healed of a disease, or getting a job, or whatever else, you are often times praying that God will intervene and cause some change that wouldn't have naturally happened. That's why we call God's intervention miracles, because they are supernatural, transcending the created order.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 10:57:44 PM »

Here are some examples...


Prayer for Protection from Natural Disaster
Written by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
July 2008


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O Gracious God Who created the earth and all that is in it, Thou didst give us so many blessings;
Indeed, Thou didst fill the world with so much beauty, bounty and no end of wonders!
We ask Thee now to save Thy people from nature's fury, from storm and flood and raging fire.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Save those in California whose homes and families are in the path of the wild fires that are consuming the land.
Comfort those in Iowa and throughout the Midwest whose farms have been obliterated by the flood waters rising throughout that region.
Quiet the swirling, whistling, tornadic winds that churn across the Great Plains, sweeping away all in their path.
Let the earth shake no more in Nevada or elsewhere and lull back to sleep those awakening volcanoes that have lately blackened the Hawaiian air.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have sinned against the earth Thou didst fashion, O Lord.
We have not been the good stewards Thou didst commission us to be.
Yet have mercy on us for Thou art a merciful God.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do not allow the forces of nature to carry out a sentence upon us, even though we are deserving of it. Save us, O Lord, from the destructive power of storm and flood and fire.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Give courage to those who fight fires, who clean up and help others to rebuild after disasters strike.
Give strength to all survivors and peace to those whose lives are lost because of natural disasters.
Send down gentle rain to quench the flames in California.
Steady the sun to radiate its drying warmth overt the flooded lands in the center of our nation. And let the flowers bloom unruffled by strong winds across the plains.
As Thou didst send to Noah of old, send also to us a rainbow of hope.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nature may rage but Thou, O Lord, we know art a Loving God Who ever holdest in Thy hand all Thou hast created.
Unto Thee do we give thanks for all things
Grant us the humility to repent of our negligence in tending Thy creation and give us henceforth the will to serve Thee more faithfully.
All the days of our lives may we remember to honor and worship Thee as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Humbly in Christ our Lord,
+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!
USA

 
 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 10:58:35 PM by Jakub » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009, 11:17:35 PM »

Next we'll be praying to God that trees don't fall on my house the next time there's a lighting or ice storm. How about instead I move out of the woods. 

How about both?  Why does it have to be either/or?  The prayer forum is the place for prayer; bulletin boards and radio time in Alaska are the places for advice on where not to live, in order to avoid volcano eruptions.  Whatever happened to that having-faith-of-a-mustard-seed-and-moving-mountains thing?

I believe the idea of the "faith of a mustard seed moving mountains" is metaphoric, as in we shouldn't literally expect mountains to move. By extension, we shouldn't wait for God to manipulate the happenings of the natural world through our faith. I say this because I have had no practical experience of my prayer actually changing a material situation that is governed by the laws of nature. Perhaps if I had more faith certain relatives of mine would have avoided early deaths.

I don't look for the manipulation of matter, but I do believe that meaning can be derived from all events, however horrible...and that this understanding is God's will.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2009, 11:28:56 PM »



I believe the idea of the "faith of a mustard seed moving mountains" is metaphoric, as in we shouldn't literally expect mountains to move. By extension, we shouldn't wait for God to manipulate the happenings of the natural world through our faith. I say this because I have had no practical experience of my prayer actually changing a material situation that is governed by the laws of nature. Perhaps if I had more faith certain relatives of mine would have avoided early deaths.

I don't look for the manipulation of matter, but I do believe that meaning can be derived from all events, however horrible...and that this understanding is God's will.

God said seek and you shall find. He didn't say, wait there I'm coming.  Cheesy
We pray for those things that are out of our own ability to grasp. This is where faith is most needed. Don't think miracles can't happen. God can grant anything to people that love him.
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2009, 11:44:28 PM »



I believe the idea of the "faith of a mustard seed moving mountains" is metaphoric, as in we shouldn't literally expect mountains to move. By extension, we shouldn't wait for God to manipulate the happenings of the natural world through our faith. I say this because I have had no practical experience of my prayer actually changing a material situation that is governed by the laws of nature. Perhaps if I had more faith certain relatives of mine would have avoided early deaths.

I don't look for the manipulation of matter, but I do believe that meaning can be derived from all events, however horrible...and that this understanding is God's will.

God said seek and you shall find. He didn't say, wait there I'm coming.  Cheesy
We pray for those things that are out of our own ability to grasp. This is where faith is most needed. Don't think miracles can't happen. God can grant anything to people that love him.

I like that Smiley , kind of.

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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2009, 01:57:17 AM »

I think that it would only be inappropriate to pray to a volcano, not about one.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2009, 02:07:46 AM »

I think that it would only be inappropriate to pray to a volcano,
Especially if it involves human sacrifice. Tongue
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2009, 03:39:15 AM »

As far as I understand, any act of nature that causes pain, suffering and death is not in fact "natural." Nature (that is, irrational creation) was "naturally" intended to serve man by promoting his well-being, particularly his communion with the Creator. The destructive effects of nature are a consequence of the fall, and, as such, are not "natural" insofar as nature's "original nature" is concerned.

At Christ's baptism, the descent of the Holy Spirit at the Jordan river signified the return of the Holy Spirit, not only to human nature, but to irrational creation also. From the very beginning of Genesis we have testimony regarding the Holy Spirit's intimate relationship to creation, His hovering over the waters being likened to a hen nurturing her eggs. When man sinned, the Holy Spirit departed from all creation, and so irrational creation lost its original "nature."

In light of the above one should begin to realise the absurdity of the sentiment that we should not pray regarding the present acts of nature because they are "natural"; the appropriate sentiment is that we should pray regarding the present acts of nature precisely because they are not natural. The natural condition of nature is contingent upon its realising the redemptive fruits commenced at Christ's baptism. The Church has a duty not only to the salvation of mankind, but to the salvation of all creation. We have a responsibility to pray that all creation, rational and irrational, returns to its original condition, and the original condition of irrational creation, as we have said, is not to threaten man's life, but to promote it and to instrumentally raise it to immortality.
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2009, 12:31:45 PM »

How about both?  Why does it have to be either/or?  The prayer forum is the place for prayer; bulletin boards and radio time in Alaska are the places for advice on where not to live, in order to avoid volcano eruptions.  Whatever happened to that having-faith-of-a-mustard-seed-and-moving-mountains thing?

I believe the idea of the "faith of a mustard seed moving mountains" is metaphoric, as in we shouldn't literally expect mountains to move. By extension, we shouldn't wait for God to manipulate the happenings of the natural world through our faith. I say this because I have had no practical experience of my prayer actually changing a material situation that is governed by the laws of nature. Perhaps if I had more faith certain relatives of mine would have avoided early deaths.

I don't look for the manipulation of matter, but I do believe that meaning can be derived from all events, however horrible...and that this understanding is God's will.

My position does not deny that meaning and purpose can be found even in the most horrible of natural events; however, in addition to our preparations and thoughtful action (i.e. not living next to an active volcano, fleeing when warnings come down) we can also pray for a cessation of tribulation, for calmness of nature, etc. - just like the disciples in the storm-tossed boat.
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