What's your intellectual opinion on prayer?
Good parts, bad parts.
Why are said parts good/bad.
Y'all get the gist, aye?
No different to trying to cast a magic spell, and about as effective.
No, they're really not the same. A spell is an invocation of a force. With a prayer, you're communicating with God. A prayer is more like a phonecall, where as a spell is like a taser. In the latter case, you are commanding something work. In the former case, you are asking for God's help. It doesn't mean you will get it.
You're asking for outside intervention to aid you personally, call it invoking a force or asking for help, it's basically making a wish. And it's nonsense. At best you get a placebo effect or confirmation bias.
No, you don't. Clearly your saying this as someone who has never studied prayer from a Biblical perspective.
Prayer is, linguistically, yes, an asking for Gods help, but unlike a spell it isn't expecting it. A spell is a command of a force. It's like turning on a switch or pulling a trigger. You expect that it will work because you have followed a set of procedure. The right words, the right invocations, the right ingredients (in the sterotypical view) etc. With a prayer, you are asking for God's help, yes, but it isn't a demand expecting it. A prayer is more of an act of faith and trust.
As for the effect, that distinction is kind of trivial to us unbelievers as we would expect the same amount of assistance to come about from either one approach, none that is.
But that isn't the point. To compare it to a spell is to misunderstand it and thus to approach it wrong. A prayer is more about putting your Faith in God.
It's absolutely the point, if the outcome of the two are the same, i.e. nothing. Then for all intents and purposes they are the same. You call it putting faith in God, someone else calls it invoking spirits, point is, they're appeals to outside forces to intervene.
Firstly, the outcome is different, but that's not the point.
Secondly, a spell is not a request. It is a command. By using the right words, the right ingredients and following the correct rules, with a spell you are supposedly MAKING the thing happen. With a prayer, you are not. You are putting your request before God, and hoping he will listen, but not because it will nessecarly make him respond. Remember, being omnisicent, he would have known your request anyway. The point of making it is a submission. It builds your relationship with God. I'd recomend reading some of Philip Yancy's book on this.
A spiritual invocation is not a command, in order for the spirit to allow the invocation to complete they must find the person worthy of it. So he is right to say that prayer is like casting a spell. Invoking a spirit for strength to handle a bad situation, is no different the asking God to do the same thing. Both are requests both are more often then not, denied.
A spiritual invocation is not a command, in order for the spirit to allow the invocation to complete they must find the person worthy of it.
Please re-read what I said
By using the right words, the right ingredients and following the correct rules
This isn't the same as prayer at all.
Hmm... saying Amen, addressing God, making the sign of the cross.... In Islam, kneeling, facing Mecca, saying the right words...
All sounds like ritual to me, using the right words in the right way to appeal to a divine authority to intervene,
We can debate semantics all day, to me, there's no difference, one person waves a wand, and another asks Jesus for help, and another kneels before Allah.
All sounds like ritual to me, using the right words in the right way to appeal to a divine authority to intervene
Except that the Bible is clear. You do not somehow command God into intervening by saying the right words. There are traditions, but they are not spells. You don't have to say amen, you don't have to make the sign of the cross.