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  1. The Experiential Problem for Petitionary Prayer.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (3):219-229.
    Sometimes people petition God for things through prayer. This is puzzling, because if God always does what is best, it is not clear how these prayers can make a difference to what God does. Difference-Making accounts of petitionary prayer attempt to explain how these prayers can nonetheless influence what God does. I argue that, insofar as one is motivated to endorse a Difference-Making Account because they want to respect widespread intuitions about this feature of petitionary prayer, they should also be (...)
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  • Omnirationality.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (1):1-21.
    God is omnirational: whenever he does anything, he does it for all and only the unexcluded reasons that favor the action, and he always acts for reasons. Thisdoctrine has two unexpected consequences: it gives an account of why it is that unification is a genuine form of scientific explanation, and it answers the question of when the occurrence of E after a petitionary prayer for E is an answer to the prayer.
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  • Praying Together: Corporate Prayer and Shared Situations.Joshua Cockayne & Gideon Salter - 2019 - Zygon 54 (3):702-730.
    In this article, we give much needed attention to the nature and value of corporate prayer by drawing together insights from theology, philosophy, and psychology. First, we explain what it is that distinguishes corporate from private prayer by drawing on the psychological literature on joint attention and the philosophical notion of shared situations. We suggest that what is central to corporate prayer is a “sense of sharedness,” which can be established through a variety of means—through bodily interactions or through certain (...)
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  • How Puzzles of Petitionary Prayer Solve Themselves: Divine Omnirationality, Interest-Relative Explanation, and Answered Prayer.Daniel M. Johnson - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):137-157.
    Some have seen in the divine attribute of omnirationality, identified by Alexander R. Pruss, the promise of a dissolution of the usual puzzles of petitionary prayer. Scott Davison has challenged this line of thought with a series of example cases. I will argue that Davison is only partially correct, and that the reasons for this reveal an important new way to approach the puzzles of petitionary prayer. Because explanations are typically interest-relative, there is not one correct account of “answered prayer” (...)
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  • On (Not) Believing That God Has Answered a Prayer.Brian Embry - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy (1):132-141.
    Scott Davison has raised an epistemic challenge to the doctrine of petitionary prayer. Roughly, the challenge is that we cannot know or have reason to believe that a prayer has been answered. Davison argues that the epistemic challenge undermines all the extant defenses of petitionary prayer. I argue that it does not.
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  • Answer to Our Prayers.Martin Pickup - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):84-104.
    There is a concern about the effectiveness of petitionary prayer. If I pray for something good, wouldn’t God give it to me anyway? And if I pray for something bad, won’t God refrain from giving it to me even though I’ve asked? This problem has received significant attention. The typical solutions suggest that the prayer itself can alter whether something is good or bad. I will argue that this is insufficient to fully address the problem, but also that the problem (...)
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  • Aquinas and Gregory the Great on the Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Scott Hill - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    I defend a solution to the puzzle of petitionary prayer based on some ideas of Aquinas, Gregory the Great, and contemporary desert theorists. I then address a series of objections. Along the way broader issues about the nature of desert, what is required for an action to have a point, and what is required for a puzzle to have a solution are discussed.
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  • Is Praying for the Morally Impermissible Morally Permissible?Daniel Peterson - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 75 (3):254-264.
    Saul Smilansky has argued that, since acts of petitionary prayer are best understood as requests, not desires, there may be many more impermissible prayer acts than one might expect. I discuss Smilansky’s analysis and argue that his conclusion follows only for those who do not believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly benevolent deity and take advantage of what Smilansky calls the theist’s ‘moral escape clause’. However, I take my argument to lead us to a variant of the problems of (...)
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  • Divine Goodness and the Efficacy of Petitionary Prayer.Jonathan Reibsamen - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (1):131-144.
    Is divine goodness incompatible with efficacious petitionary prayer? Scott Davison has recently argued that prayer cannot make a difference in what God would do since a good God must always do what is best. I examine Davison's presentation of the divine goodness problem for petitionary prayer, and argue that the argument fails. I go on to argue that, since there are certain relational benefits uniquely made available through responding to petitionary prayer, divine goodness leads us to expect that God would (...)
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  • Philosophical Reflection on Petitionary Prayer.Nicholas D. Smith - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (3):309-317.
    If God actually answers prayers that petition him for something, then it seems he is willing to withhold some good from the world unless and until someone prays for those goods. But how is this compatible with His benevolence? On the other hand, if God is dedicated to providing every good to us that we may need, it would seem that He would provide these to us even if we did not pray for them. But if so, it would appear (...)
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