When one prays to God, He has 1 of 3 answers: yes, no, or not now. He is not a vending machine. It doesn't work that way.<quoted text>
If you are to review these teachings, one should also include the whole context and not just a portion of the teaching.
(14) Jesus said to them:
(1)If you fast, you will bring forth sin for yourselves.
(2) And if you pray, you will be condemned.
(3) And if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits.
(4) And if you go into any land and wander from place to place,(and) if they take you in,
(then) eat what they will set before you. Heal the sick among them!
(5) For what goes into your mouth will not defile you.
Rather, what comes out of your mouth will defile you."
....meaning if you were to put yourself into the position of Jesus - doing the instructing - contemplate this for a moment:
- What will fasting help with?
+ this is an action - a choice - one makes. But why? because other men told them too?
- How will praying help another? Shoot - not one person on this "religous" forum will even venture to test the theory that it works, and participate in an experiment with me. Do you have proof praying works?
+ Like Jesus implies - maybe one should pray for oneself and be watchful for what one puts forth.
If you understand this, all of the above actions are produced by the Self - whether for someone else or for yourself, but in the end, it is what we "produce" (speak, action, etc) is what defines us.
Also, Jesus taught the Apostles to deny themselves. And Paul said that it wasn't himself that lived but Christ who lived in him.