2 vs 1

Somewhere in the New Testament (I think it is when Jesus is entering the city either in John or Mark, I don’t have my bible handy), there is something to the effect that:

If any two Christians pray (and truly believe presumably) for something to occur it will occur.

Am I remembering this wrong?

If not then why two? Why do things have to be decided in committee? What does this mean if a single Christian prays for something? Will it be summarily dismissed?

Why does God need anybody to actually pray for something? Doesn’t He already know what those people want and how badly they want it? Doesn’t He already know if they believe in Him?

Or is He just so egotistical that He likes to see people down on their knees, begging Him for things?

What I think you mean is the verse where Jesus said that when 2 or 3 are gathered together in his name that he will be there…something like that. Is this the verse you meant? I have never gotten this verse myself because God is everywhere. I don’t think it’s really necessary for us to meet in groups since prayer is a private matter between a person and God. And good point David, I’ve wondered why we have to pray at all since I was a little kid. I’ve always thought it was meant to institute the church and make us understand that we have to remain one body (I can see how well THAT worked) and not divide ourselves.

That could be the verse I was thinking of, but I thought it was more along the lines of:

If any two of request to God that such and such be, so shall it be. In particular I thought it was in reference to moving a mountain.

If nobody else knows what I am talking about, I guess it must be the one you are referencing LongHrn. Thanks in either case (good question by the way).

Nothing wrong with praying, whether alone or with others. But I’ve often wondered about the folks who say “I just pray that God’s will be done.” Like that makes a difference. If God exercises God’s will, then God’s will be done…whether anybody prays or not!

Okay, the following is the opinions of Jeffery, take it for what it is worth.

In Mathew 18:18-20 It says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be [4] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be [5] loosed in heaven.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

From this I believe that 18:19 is what the OP was talking about. It says that if two on earth agree about anything you ask for then it will be done by God. 18:20 is the verse that was posted by LongHorn, I believe.

On the surface this seems like a lot of cool power. “Hey my wife and I agree that we should have a mansion and lots of money and stuff, so God will do it huh?” But if you read the preceding verses, it talks about if your brother sins against you what you should do. First go to them and discuss it directly and alone. If he refuses take along one or two others to be witnesses, if he still does not fess up, then take it to the church. The it goes into the next verses talking about the power of the two.

I believe this is partly based on the laws of the time having to have a certain number of witnesses to try a crime. If you are the only accuser of your brother, then there is not really any punishment, if there are others to substantiate it, then action can be taken.

As for why should God require prayer. Prayer is not a system to get things you want. Prayer is talking to God. It is how we get to know God. If you never talked to your parents how would they know who you are. Sure God knows everthing so he knows what you need, but you do not know him very well, if you do not talk to him. It seems that people believe that since God is all powerful, then he does not have any feelings. He does not hurt, or feel joy. I believe that he does have feelings. It hurts him when his creation denies him. When they act like God does not exist. If you were a parent and your child denied you, would you not hurt? Sure you would still love them, but if they do not accept your help what can you do?

Let’s say your child committed a crime and is jailed. Now you as a parent do not want to see your child suffer, so you try to get them out of jail. The jailer comes to you and says you are free to go, your parents have paid your bail. If the child says, “I do not believe that they are my parents and I do not accept their help.” Will the jailer take the child out and send them on their way? I believe that the jailer would say “OK, stay here then.” That is what happens with God. He offers everyone their freedom, but some choose to stay locked up in sin, yes he could force you because he is God, but he does not go against you choice.

He sometimes does give something to someone who did not ask. Sometimes he does not give something to someone who does ask.

Jesus should be the model for all Christians. When Jesus prayed in the garden, He did not want to die for people as yet unborn. He would rather have done it another way. But he told God, not my will but yours be done. When people pray for something and add if it be your will, they are expressing their unworthiness. They are letting God know that they would like for something to take place, but if that is not God’s will then they are stating upfront that they will not quit believing in him due to it. God answers all prayers from believers, but sometimes he says “No”.

Just my thoughts.


Thanks for finding that verse and explaining its likely meaning! It is truly appreciated.

Excellent points, Jeffrey, I’ve heard many preachers give the same speach, but not nearly as well as you. Sorry about the misreference, Bernard, I was too lazy to walk upstairds and get my Bible. The part about the moving the mountain (no verse here, same reason as above) was Jesus said that if our faith was as big as a mustard seed, ie just a little tiny bit, that we could tell a mountain to move itself into the sea and it would be done. Some say this doesn’t necessarily mean real moutains, but problems in our life that we see as “mountains.” If it did pertain to real mountains, I’m sure that would take care of the miracles topic. :slight_smile:

Jeffery said:

I’ve said this before to ARG, but here it is again.

I have children. If my children for some reason denied me and ignored me, I would be upset.

That said, I would not punish them by tossing them into a lake of fire to burn for all eternity. That doesn’t sound very much like love to me.

David, I also wrote:

I understand your point of if your child denied you, you would not throw them into a lake of fire.

But the analogy is more along the lines that I have already given. God does not cast you into the lake of fire. You choose where you will spend eternity, by your choice of whether or not to believe. If your child did as I wrote and chose not to accept your offer to bail them out, what would you do? Let’s say that you had evidence that would get them off and prove that they had not done whatever. And let’s say that they said they did not want a new trial. They did not want out of prison. They want you to leave them alone. Now in our world, maybe you can get the courts to have a new trial, but if you could not. Can you force your will on your child? No. And God does not force his will on us.

It costs nothing to believe in God. I have a happy life and a wonderful family. I can do the things that I want to do. I accepted Gods love, not to escape hell, but because I saw how he cared for me. I do not want to go further because I do not want to tick anyone off for witnessing. But those are my beliefs.


Thank you LongHrn for you kind words.

As to the mountain quote. I would agree with you. I believe that it is a metaphorical mountain that Jesus refers. Meaning that if you have but a little faith, you could do much for Christ.


Depending on what you mean by that I disagree.

If you mean literally that it costs nothing to simply believe in the existence of God, then that is true.

However, if you mean it costs nothing to be a Christian believer in God, then this is quite false. Such belief would cause you take some actions over others, it alters your perspective on issues (which could have profound influences on your life), it premeates your entire life. This is above and beyond other directs costs in terms of time spent praying, going to Church, etc.

This isn’t to say that maybe all of the “costs” of being a Christian would be positive or at least well spent. I assume you would clearly believe that. But at any rate, it is still only a maybe. If God doesn’t exist then maybe significant portions of a person’s live could be considered wasted or negatively impacted from Christian belief.

Note, lots of maybes and opinion in this post.

You are correct. Being a Christian is no bed of roses. Although it could be a bed of the thorns, just kidding. My point is, that it is not a money or power thing. Anyone at any level can have it.

But sure, there are always tradeoffs and decisions. Maybe I could sleep later on Sunday mornings. Maybe I could go to the lake instead. Maybe I could ignore this person and their pain instead of feeling like I should act like Christ and help them.

Even if there is not a God, was my time wasted? Not in the least.

I have developed many good friends in church. I have had many thoughtful conversations with other believers. I have gained a foundation with which to build a life with my wife and daughter. I have gained an aspect that helps me keep my life centered and on balance. I have gained a peace that helps me thorough any situation. I mean if God is all powerful and he is with me then what need I fear?

I would never see my life or time spent with God as being wasted, even if He did not exist. It may not be for everyone, but it has been great for me.

Let’s put it like this. I became a Christian when I was eight. Now I was not some gang banger or hell raiser at eight, but I did cause a bit of mischief. After my conversion, I realized that such behavior was not what Christ wanted from me. Did I still get into trouble? Occasionally, but for the most part, I became a much better person and I hope that remains true today.


I saw this thread from the beginning, but decided not to post anything right away. I’m glad I made that decision.
Jeffery: Your posts are excellent, and we seem to share the same heart on the matter. I must say it feels very good to see another Christian spread Word so effectively.

Bernard: I’m not quite sure what Jeffery meant when he said “it costs nothing to believe in God.” But you are right, in that living the Christian life costs us…well, our life.

The gift of salvation, however, is free, and costs us nothing.

Jeffery said:

This is very tough for many people to swallow, but it’s so, so true. I’m so glad somebody else thinks the way I do.
BTW Jeffery, if you feel like witnessing, they’ve given us this nice Forum to do it in, so go ahead and spread more of that Good News. :slight_smile:


Adam I believe that you mean well in all that you do and say. I think however that sometimes you get a little overzealous. If I remember correctly you are 21. An interesting age. You are an adult, but when you look back later in life you realize how you were still quite clueless about life. (At least this was my experience.)

I pray that as you grow older and wiser, you realize how to deal with people. You must deal with them on their own terms. I was a little more brash on the AOL boards just a couple of years ago, but hopefully I have learned. Listen to what people have to say. Especially listen to SoxFan, Tomndeb, CK, Keeves, Snark. These and others may not have the same beliefs as you but they know what they believe and if you take what they say and compare it to scripture and pray about it God will enlighten you as to the truth.

I do not choose to witness on the board, because it will not do much good. These people do not know me. Maybe I believe what I say or maybe I am making it all up. Witnessing works best with people that know you personally. That way they can see what God has done for you.

I will however, continue to share my beliefs and will specifically address questions and points that others may make. I will also answer direct questions either on this board or in e-mail.

Adam, we do seem to share common beliefs, but remember, we also share common beliefs with Catholics, Jews, LDS members, etc. We follow the same God and most have the same savior, we mostly just have some differing beliefs that if we argue them will always keep us apart.

Please do not see this as an attack, but see it as a fellow Christian brother giving advice and encouragement to you.


It is very important and I mean this only as to emphasize and not to attack.

The cost is an issue of maybe or maybe not. Yes, believing in the Christian way, God or no, can have its benefits. But those benefits are to be had without the cost as well (unless you mistakenly believe that all non-Christians are evil, which you seem to intelligent to believe. And, yes, I once had a belligerent Christian say that I was evil … what a fool). Why not be good regardless of a Christian message?

So, again, if you spend you time being a Christian you will reap things. Some of the things may be good, maybe some other things will be bad. Maybe, maybe not. It is impossible (or nearly so) for us to say what our lives would have been or not been had we do or not done this or that (how is that for a sentence).

So again, simply for clarity, because I understand and respect what you say. Being a Christian is not without cost, and ultimately the price may or may not be positive. Choosing to be a Christian for some reward is, in my view, a poor reason to be a Christian. The only reason, in my view, to be a Christian is because you belief in Christ and that he is the only way to salvation.

Arg: I don’t think there is any way you can get:

“Salvation is free.”

out of

“There is not cost in believing in God.”

Sorry, man. I think you are really taking a leap on that one.

I shouldn’t say there isn’t any possible way. But I really don’t think that was what was meant in the context. It sounded more to me like I believe in God, and this doesn’t cost me anything.

You are correct Benard, there is indeed a cost. Not of dollars, but of time.

Of course, I do not believe that those who do not believe in God are evil. There are many great people on this board and IRL that are very nice and do a lot for their communities. And I do have friends outside of church some that do not go to church and do not believe in God.

My point is that in my life every cost that I have paid to be a Christian, I have reaped more in return from being one. Sure I do not know what I would have been like had I never gone to church, but I do like who I am now.

My point is that some people use the excuse of “I would have to give up too much to be a Christian”. Well depending on your life that may be true. If you are a spouse abuser and a drug addict, and a thief, you would need to give those things up. If you are a good person, mostly all you have to give up is some time.

Seek my friend and ye shall find.


p.s. If I do not post for a week, it is not due to my disregarding your posts, it is because I am on vacation and may not have access to a PC.

Well, Jeffrey, I guess you’re not going to respond to this for awhile, but I have to put in my two cents in regard to your prison analogy. If it were really analogous to the situation of humans with God, in the first place, the prisoner would never have seen his parents, and would only have heard from them through second- and third-hand accounts; there would have to be a bunch of other people also claiming to be his parents; and the prisoner would have to have been born and raised in prison and not really sure if there’s a better world outside. Thus, when the jailor comes along and says that his parents bailed him out, the prisoner would be justified in wondering whether these “parents” are really imposters trying to take him off to a worse fate. This is the dilemma that we unbelievers face.

As to the idea that God doesn’t throw us in hell, we put ourselves there: well, God presumably created hell along with the rest of the universe, and presumably for the purpose of torturing people since it seems to have no other. I see little difference between that and the idea of him actually throwing people in there as punishment for unbelief.

In other words, God=Ollie and We=Stan.

“Now look what you made me do!”