Thursday, March 27, 2014


Who Thinks These Things?

Why do you write and use written prayers I was asked at a recent workshop? Aren’t said prayers dead prayers? Aren’t spontaneous prayers the only living prayers?
When I first read that I was stunned - who would actually think a thing like that? Then I read on. This post is written from a charismatic perspective. But even if you take glossolalia out of the equation, it does not take much to see what is going on here.

Such sentiment is born of the thought that prayer is about us. It is about what we have to say and, in this modern and narcissistic age, about us expressing ourselves. Prayer, like pretty much everything else, is about God. The object is not for us to express ourselves, but for us to say what God wants to hear. Indeed, at times, God wants to hear our innermost thoughts and desires. But often he wants to hear things that have been better expressed by others.

And then there is the simple logical conundrum presented by the quoted sentiment. If God wants only "spontaneous prayer," why in the world did Jesus teach the apostles a "form prayer?" Why, for Heaven's sake, were the Psalms preserved through the ages?

I would have a hard time being understanding if someone came to me with such questions. The questions are so self-absorbed, and so ignorant of simple logic and Christian teaching that I would just want to tell the individual that they were not yet mature enough to do much but sit and listen. But then, that is probably what I need prayer for.

In the end this does raise an interesting question. We are so quick to grant everyone "equal standing" in the church. Have we forgotten there is such a thing as maturity?


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