Aout a previous thread with a sequence of coded prayers

I’m looking for a previous thread. (Yes, I searched.)

A certain non-Christian sincerely and honestly wanted to try to reach out to see if God was there. A well-respected Christian (either Liberal or Polycarp, forgive me for not remembering) suggested a series of short daily “prayers” to be attempted in a manner that God might choose to reveal Himself.

What’s more, each prayer was given in an alphabetic code, so that one might not inadvertently see what was ahead. The alphabet was inverted, so that, for example, TODAY became GLWZB. A new prayer was to be decoded each day.

Please help me find this thread. I searched for everything I could think of, including even “decode” and “GLWZB.”

Or, if you are the author of these prayers, would you be able to re-post them if you still have a record of them?

Thank you very much.

I’d like to continue a discussion of such approaches, and how God has perhaps revealed Himself to various non-believers.

I participated in that thread, the individual who drafted the prayers and “encoded” them was Liberal (at that time still Libertarian), and the person who agreed to try the test was a former member named Glitch. I went looking for that thread without success about a year ago. I’m wondering if Gaudere might have some clue as to what might have happened (lost in the attempted archive, for example?), or if it’s just another problem with the Mighty SDMB Search Engline. (Asking Gaudere specifically because she was involved in the topic too as I recall, and is of course an Administrator now.)

It could have been one of the threads we carefully archived, and the archive was lost during the next upgrade. Unfortunately I can’t think of a unique search term that’ll help us find it, even if it is still around.

I don’t follow what’s going on here. Are you saying that if you pray in code, God will hear it better than if you pray in English (or in “thought”)? I’ve never heard of this before. Can someone expand on this?

Also, is this a widely spread practice?

The code doesn’t have anything more to do with this than making sure the prayers aren’t read all at once. They’re supposed to be prayed in whatever language you prefer, after having decoded them one by one each day.

No, the thread went all over the place in terms of topic content, but to summarize a couple of main themes:

  1. The difference between prayer and “magic” is that prayer is a request to Someone who is likely to answer it, in accord with His will, but who doesn’t have to. If magic really worked, it would be the magician, a human being, coercing a result: Wave your wand in a particular mode and recite the proper magical formula, and some elemental will be compelled to transform that top hat into a six-foot rabbit. Prayer, on the other hand, is making a request – and He is God, we’re not. He, not we, decides whether prayer X gets answered, and how. Proof or disproof of the efficacy of prayer falls on this ground: it’s less like performing an experiment than in writing to a compassionate expert looking for advice. If you mix sodium carbonate and hydrobromic acid, reaction X will occur; if you drop an object heavier than the ambient medium in a gravitational field, it will fall to the floor. But if you write Stephen Hawking or Cecil Adams, you will get an answer if and when SH or CA decides to produce one; unless you’re Ed Zotti, you cannot coerce one from him.

  2. That said, God has committed Himself to answer certain prayers. Lib and I asserted that He would grant to an open-minded non-believer that proof which would suffice to prove His existence and faithfulness to that particular person, on request.

  3. Glitch, an agnostic, volunteered to try the experiment. Lib wrote a series of prayers intended to provide an unmistakeable result yet not of the “coerce God” form. Glitch would attempt these prayers over a certain period, IIRC two weeks. To avoid the “read-ahead” problem, Lib wrote them in a transparent code, of the form ragerdude mentions (though I don’t recall if he had the exact formula that Lib used. The only reason for the coding was to prevent inadvertent reading of a given prayer before the day it was to be used. I’ve forgotten at this late date why the timing of the prayers was important to the experiment which Lib designed.

  4. FWIW and IIRC, the results were less than definite. They did not prove God – but they gave Glitch an interesting spiritual insight he had not previously had. So it cannot be fairly argued that they proved or disproved anything, except perhaps something about human psychology.

I find this fascinating. Can we run the experiment again? Or could you expand on what prayers God has committed to answer?

I’ll second that. As an agnostic with what I believe to be a reasonably open mind, I’d be very interested in giving that a go.

Failing that, I was very intrigued by the following, which I hadn’t run across before:

If the original thread can’t be found, and it’s too much work to set up the experiment again, are there any books that expand upon this idea that would be accessible and worthwhile for a layperson?

Conclusion: Ed Zotti is God.

Hey, somebody had to say it! :smiley:

I too would be interested in this.

And who and when god committed to answer what prayers?

And should no answer occur, would it because the God hypothesis is false, or because the agnostic is not sufficiently “open minded”? How does one measure this open-mindedness, anyway?

Excuse the puntuation.