Art of Prayer

I was at a friend’s ordination service and noticed several disturbing patterns of prayer. Many of which I have often abused in my own prayer life. It seems that prayer has moved on from an intimate conversation with our Father and is now an effective Swiss Army ministry knife:

  • Parenthetical Prayer – In this mode, you may open and close your service through the clever use of prayer. When you open in prayer, everyone feels better because they know its time to stop talking. It also gives off a good vibe about God’s direction. And with every good service, the closing prayer let’s us know when the service is over.
  • Transitional Prayer – If you have a new speaker walking up to the mic or need some extra time while the band gets ready, consider using the tactical transitional prayer. 
  • Preaching Prayer – Pull this mode out when you feel like your message wasn’t long enough or maybe you feel like driving the point a little closer to home. While praying, give a brief summary of the sermon you just preached. We’re thick headed and need the extra help.
  • Food Prayer – You can’t eat it, if you don’t pray. What happened to the simple gesture of being thankful? Instead we need God to bless it to the nourishment of our bodies while we consume high fructose corn syrup and other genetically modified chemicals. *typed while drinking my Dr. Pepper
  • Binding Prayer – If you want us to know that you are very serious about something, always bind Satan in your prayer. 
I felt like Pavlov’s dog going through the motions of the service. Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT questioning the sincerity of people’s hearts, for that is not my place. However, I wonder if Christ referred to our condition responses when he warned against the repetition of prayer in Matthew 6:7.
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2 thoughts on “Art of Prayer

  1. Kevin,This is so true. As with most things there are no absolutes to this, and it boils down to a matter of the heart. I thought about this while I was at WBU because I noticed others (and myself for a time) praying in a way we would never talk in. “Father God, thank you for this day, Lord, and we just pray, God that you will be with us, God, while we listen to Bro. so and so's message, God.” Kevin, that would be like me, Kevin, repeating your name, Kevin, as I talked to you, Kevin. Why do we get into these strange habits with prayer. It really is an interesting thing. It is like we add prayer to things to make them seem more holy. Or we speak in a certain way when we pray because we have segregated prayer from the normal aspects of our lives. I don't think my thoughts are very collected right now, so I hope I made some sort of intelligible point!Megan

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