the green fields beyond

Theologylifelovehistoryfaithmoviesrants...

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Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guilty as charged...

Oh, I have definitely been guilty of the "pseudo-prayer" described below when leading a church service. Don't try to impress people with your praying, or to (not so subtly) preach at them during the prayer. And don't pray aloud(as i once saw being done), "And Lord, we ask that some of us, like the girls in the back row, would stop giggling and be more respectful." No matter how much you want to.

"Prayer should not have another purpose than to speak with God...prayer as a demonstration [to listeners] of one’s own faith, as a disguised sermon, prayer as a didactic preparation of the listener for the sermon or as a summarizing resume of the content of the sermon, prayer as an instrument of edification for other people, is obviously not prayer at all. Prayer is not prayer if it is addressed to anyone else but God."
--Ulrich Luz, "A Commentary on Matthew chapters 1-7," quoting Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics III.4,88

2 Comments:

said...

You know someone's headed in that direction when they are praying and referring to God in the third person!

"And we just pray that our young people would come to know God and be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and that they would love and serve God all their days..."

It's praying like a Bob Dole campaign speech.

9:29 PM  
said...

It's also amusing/sad when you hear announcements during prayers: "And we thank you for the birth of so-and-so, child of so-and-so, born whatever date, weighing blank lbs and blank oz." I've definitely heard that at Jimmy's home church.

4:37 PM  

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