When I Pray, I Feel God’s Presence

Praying-Man-Bible

Christian: When I pray I feel God’s presence. The sense of love and security tell me it’s right and that I know God/God knows me. When I go for a long time without prayer I feel uneasy, like things are not right. I feel a sense of longing to pray again.

Gary: The problem is, many people of many different religions, cults, and sects claim to intensely “feel” the presence of their deity. How do we determine who is right?

Christian: That makes no difference. God is working in all cultures. Exclusivity is not the reason to accept Christ. There are other arguments.

Premium Photo | Muslim man praying at home

Gary: How do you know that it is a god causing all these emotional experiences and not simply misperceptions of reality? Many religious experiences seem to be tied to unusual events which the person perceives as a divine miracle. Isn’t it possible that these odd events can be explained statistically as nothing more than rare, but very natural events? If this is the case, these emotional experiences are based on misperceptions of reality, right?

Christian: The concept of God is the basis of reality itself. The nature of mystical experience contains the sense of holiness and union with God. Mystical experiences can be evoked by all kinds of things, not caused, but triggered by mundane things.

Gary: The question remains: Are feelings and perceptions involving mystical experiences reliable sources of information regarding universal truth claims? Can you provide evidence that disproves my proposition that all mystical experiences may be nothing more than misperceptions of reality (illusions or delusions)?

Prayer to hindu god Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

Christian: Dr. [Ralph W.] Hood made the argument and it is backed by the M scale that we should expect a naturalistic psychological process to differ in experiences since religious symbols are culturally based, but the experiences are the same, meaning they experienced the same reality.

Gary: Reality? How do you know it is reality and not misperception? You don’t. In the ancient past, and still today in primitive cultures, the most mundane of events was/is seen as an act of a god, whether it be thunder, lightning, drought, or even just the the rustling of the wind through the trees.

Based on collective human experience, mystical experiences are most likely nothing more than superstitions—misinterpretations of reality—unless you can provide better evidence.

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One thought on “When I Pray, I Feel God’s Presence

  1. It’s similar to the Buddha attaining enlightenment. When I read the story, I thought, how does he know that was it, maybe if he’d searched longer, or went in a different path, he would have found something else he thought was enlightenment.
    Similarly, there are not planets floating around with flashing neon signs above them indicating fully intelligently designed and created vs not designed but evolved without supernatural direction.

    I don’t think defenders of religious experience have a convincing way to know that their experience is from a supernatural source rather than their own mind or other internal process.

    Like

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