Saturday, August 28, 2010

Public Praying

The scriptures make the distinction between private praying and public praying. Both are important and necessary. The way you pray in private though is often not (and should not) be the patten you pray with other people. At times I have spoken to people about praying together and how what they are saying is inappropriate or really just preaching to others but using prayer as the format to do so. I do not want, in this post, to get into a debate on all that, though the discussion is important and is necessary as praying together is one of the gathered purposes of His church! We get to talk to OUR Father... not just yours or just mine but he is Our father and we, as part of His family need to talk to God together..

I say all this because I just read a quote from a very godly, older man named Stanley Hauerwas. he is a very well known theologian who really loves the Lord. He is greatly respected by many well known Christians.

Anyway... read what he writes about public prayer in a new book of memoirs entitled Hannah’s Child.

Page 255 “I do not trust prayer to spontaneity. Most “spontaneous prayers” turn out, upon analysis to be anything but spontaneous. Too often they conform to formulaic patterns that include ugly phrases such as, “Lord, we just ask you …” Such phrases are gestures of false humility, suggesting that God should give us what we want because what we want is not all that much. I pray that God will save us from that “just.”

I say "just" all the time when I pray publicly so I was challenged by his thoughts. Though I do not feel I am trying to be false in my humility in my prayer, but I get what he is saying. We ask in prayer because Jesus invited us to ask! So no need for a "just" as in "sorry to bother you Lord... I have just a small little request of you..." No where is this type of public praying in the word suggested. Boldness is though... with humility in who we are in relationship with.

What do you think?

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