Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Praying and reading publically

We want to get people involved in praying and reading scripture in public worship to get a better participation. To this end a number of people have said that they are prepared to do this. So I’d like to give them some pointers as it is very different to speak up front than what it is to do so in private.

But in talking with a colleague he related the story of how a young girl recently was given some pointers, but now her praying has become stayed and conservative instead of the slightly ‘messy’ but real and passionate style she started off with.

Which got me thinking. What’s important and what is not? I’d like to give some direction, but would not want to box or limit the prayers into one narrow-minded style – a couple of people who pray just like me are not what I want!

A couple of key things that I will be looking at are:

  1. Trinitarian prayers – my pet peeve is when people thank the Father for dying on the cross when it was Jesus who died on the cross (you could perhaps theologically argue differently, but this issue is about not being conscious of how we pray)
  2. Repeatedly using some name for God. I know a person who will repeat one of God's names every fifth or sixth word. This is not helpful, we don’t speak like that to our friends, why should we do so to God.
  3. The prayer would be helpful to be spoken in a communal style as is Our Father... not My Father...
  4. We are not talking to those present but are voicing their prayers publically to God...sometimes we sermonize in our prayers
  5. Keep it simple, conversational and directed
  6. It’s OK to write your prayers out – to pray spontaneously is not necessarily more Spirit filled!

What else do you think would be important principals?

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