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Science keeps us from lying to ourselves
11:39 AM on 03/03/2012
"When it comes to teaching children about prayer, I get excited, because if they can grasp this simple truth early enough in life, they will most likely grow up enjoying a fulfilling relationship with God and a satisfying prayer life."

I believe you are doing a disservice to all the children you teach and yourself. Truth requires evidence and teaching children that talking to themselves is talking to God is not truth, it's your belief. Big difference.
12:56 PM on 03/03/2012
"I believe you are doing a disservice to all the children you teach and yourself." -Tomaniac

This is your belief, there is no irrefutable evidence to substantiate this claim of yours, so according to you it is not truth.
Nigel Goodnow
02:51 PM on 03/03/2012
I sense where you're going, but I'm not sure you can get there from here. Is there any actual difference between "what I think is true" and "what I believe?" Telling someone, "you don't actually know ________, you only believe it" seems a bit tautological. Does Joyce "know" that god exists, or only "believe" that god exists? Does it make any difference? In other words, what's to prevent her from responding by saying, "truth requires evidence and teaching children that prayer is talking to themselves, not to God, is not truth, it's your belief?"

I do like the idea that "truth requires evidence", but my hunch is that even Joyce, in her mediocre IQ sort of way, has what she considers to be evidence.
11:37 AM on 03/03/2012
There is no 'teaching' kids to pray. You let them just do it naturally without adult intervention.
11:21 AM on 03/03/2012
Is there really a "right" way to do this? I didn't think it had any scientific basis. Are you sure you're not just brainwashing them?
max bmw
My micro-bio is empty!
11:14 AM on 03/03/2012
"This is how we can teach them to pray -- openly, honestly, about anything that's on their mind. ... They need to know they can tell God anything at all because He loves them no matter what."

It is a shame that the same can't be said for most christian parents. If you tell god you are gay, nothing happens, but try having that conversation with your christian parents and find yourself disowned.
To Jesus, resistance is futile.
11:42 AM on 03/03/2012
That may because many Christians do not understand that we are living under grace right now, why the disowning occurs and why when God is told of the being gay nothing happens. If you love Jesus (who died so we may repent through him) with all you heart and soul you would not do anything that is disapproving to Him. Much love and my God impart His truths in all. Peace.
per omnia extrema
10:51 AM on 03/03/2012
My wife was raised in a very poor and abusive family. One day when she was in the first grade it was raining very hard. The school bell rang - it was time to go home. She didn't have a raincoat like the other children. She prayed to God to stop the rain so she could walk home without getting drenched. God never answered her prayers. That is when she decided not to believe in God anymore. The message is, little children don't understand prayer or religion - and maybe we need to let them grow up first (get some frontal lobes). Prayer is not about granting one's desires.
To Jesus, resistance is futile.
11:27 AM on 03/03/2012
We should always say if it is the will of Lord, let it be so in the name of Jesus Christ. Peace.
09:45 PM on 03/05/2012
The will of God looks an awful lot like random chance, unfortunately. This is why it is hard to believe.
10:48 AM on 03/03/2012
I'm happy to report that I've raised my kids as Atheists and articles like this only proves my point further.
hurt no one but tell the truth
10:53 AM on 03/03/2012
I'm right there wih you.
12:58 PM on 03/03/2012
Question: Are you sure you did not indoctrinate them to be atheist?
Always learning
12:22 PM on 03/04/2012
Babies are born atheists.

Indoctrination can only be teaching them something else.

No one is born believing in Jesus, Allah or Joseph Smith.
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10:44 AM on 03/03/2012
child abuse!!!
like smoking, driving and joining the military children should wait until they are 18. then they can make the personal decision to smoke, pray or do what ever.
Slave to 3 cats
10:15 AM on 03/03/2012
I like this article, because so many religions, tell you only if you pray in a church they will hear you.

There is only one supreme being, not matter what you call it. That person is with you at all time, he will hear your prayers no matter where you are what you are doing and understand your wishes even if they are just ramblings.
10:33 AM on 03/03/2012
We do not have to be bound by man-made rules. When Jesus was crucified, the curtain was torn in the temple. We have a direct relationship with Jesus and from that time on, could go directly to Him and to God. Unfortunately, there are many soured church-goers who will try to keep people from attending church. The weeds grow right up with the corn...we have to be aware of those who are for us and those who are against us--no matter where we meet them.
11:08 AM on 03/03/2012
Yes---and remember all the zombie saints who emerged from their tombs!

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Mt. 27:51-53)
Whatever good things we build end up building us.
12:08 PM on 03/03/2012
Is that Zeus you're talking about? Saturn? Odin? Shiva? I guess we're all atheists about other people's one supreme being. Just let kids be kids and not burden them with silly superstitions about someone reading their minds and constantly watching everything they do.
Chris Hollier
09:46 AM on 03/03/2012
"As a mother and grandmother, I think kids just need to understand the simplicity of prayer. It's asking God for what we need and believing He will do the best thing for us."

These parents prayed to God to heal their daughter. She suffered a month long, very painful, death. What from? Juvenile Diabetes, which for those who don't know, is so easily treatable its not even funny.

Is this what God thought was best for this child Joyce Meyer? There are hundreds of examples of this happening in America. And you people, who claim prayer is so important, are partly to blame.
12:07 PM on 03/03/2012
Chris F&F. I agree wholeheartedly. One would have thought that reasoning, rational people might have worked it out by now. Talking to oneself in the hope of persuading an invisible sky-daddy to grant one's wishes is an absurd activity. Those who think prayer works delude themselves with what they think are positive results but they should ask themselves why he doesn't listen to millions of other prayers such as those offered for the little girl in your example.

If it crosses their mind, they will find an excuse that satisfies them.

27 million children die on this planet every year and he does nothing about it.
09:44 AM on 03/03/2012
Exactly what Jesus set out to teach us all is that Holy Spirit has placed Himself within every heart to know him. God asked. Do you not know You are the Temple( each one are the Living Temple of God, make up God's Church) of the Lord? There is no right or wrong way to prayer and even God says he is not pleased with repeated words. Prayer is but a conversation with God Our Father in our Daily Walk in Life. Read the Psalms. All prayers that were song also telling God first in Praising Him, giving thanks, tell God of our trials and tribulations, asking Him to protect us, ask for our needs, ask for His guidance, tell Him are troubles and joys. Prayer is communication with God, Like any Father a child goes to even when older, who seeks guidance, advice, telling them we love them, tell them our troubles and our joys. We are the living Temples of God and God is Head only over our living Temple. Choose God or chose Man. Jesus bowed only to God and only God, not man was Head over Him.
Patrick Flannery
Editor, nerd, dad.
09:39 AM on 03/03/2012
The first people children trust are their parents. And their parents should take that responsibility seriously and teach their children how to think instead of what to think. So the message to children should be "Some people think they can hear an invisible person called god talking to them when they pray. Here's how you do it...give it a try and see if it works for you."

Of course, this would require admitting the possibility that the child will not hear anything and remain unconvinced that god exists.
If God is your Co-Pilot; let him land the plane.
09:26 AM on 03/03/2012
America allows people to talk their personal, invisible supreme being of their choice or as many as they like.
10:23 AM on 03/03/2012
Atheist Evangelism at its best!
It's a wonder what you'll find with an open mind
11:12 AM on 03/03/2012
If Atheism is a religion, then OFF is a TV channel.
If God is your Co-Pilot; let him land the plane.
09:22 AM on 03/03/2012
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
~1 Corinthians 13:11

It is time to stop being child-like and talking to invisible supreme beings.  At least with the Santa Claus myth; we tell children at some point it is not true.
10:28 AM on 03/03/2012
Here is where prayer is specifically mentioned.."But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees from the hidden place will reward you." Matthew 6:6
11:01 AM on 03/03/2012
It would be nice if you would take your own advise! !
Science keeps us from lying to ourselves
11:16 AM on 03/03/2012
It would be nice if believers could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a God to pray to. As a child of 6 without any help from anyone, I concluded that God was not real, Santa took longer because I actually saw evidence for him.

If our criminal court systems used the same kind of evidence to find the accused guilty as believers do to support a belief in God, there would be a lot of innocent people in prison.