The church tradition to which I belong celebrates communion every week. And most churches have elders or other leaders who pray prior to serving communion. At times, those who pray have changed their voices in a way that one would think they speak the King's English. It's as if they believe all the thees, thous, and Faaaaaather God included in their prayer signifies a closeness to God that only they enjoy. The inflection in their voice could be a legitimate concern for scaring the unchurched (or make the churched snicker). I've always found this practice to be a bit strange.
I'm asked to pray at family gatherings or other community events. Often times, the title of pastor or minister leads an organizer to invite a clergyman to pray. Please understand, I'm not offended. In fact, I consider it a great blessing to pray. But to think or assume that someone in ministry has a direct line to God or will be heard before any others is laughable. In fact, there are times when I've been asked to pray I politely ask one of my kids to pray. The purpose is two-fold. First of all, I believe if one wants to learn to pray, a good place to begin is to pray. In other words, there comes a time where we must stop talking about prayer and pray. Secondly, my hope is it teaches the more mature in attendance that the faith of a child shouldn't be minimized.
Too often, people aren't comfortable praying in a corporate setting. They feel inadequate, not sure of what to say, or intimidated by what those in earshot might think about their words. This is a huge misconception of prayer and the reason for praying.
Richard Foster begins his discussion on prayer (Prayer: Finding The Heart's True Home) with a chapter on simple prayer. According to Foster, too often we forget that God wants to hear about the details. He wants to know our struggles, our victories, and our challenges. Nothing will surprise him. And just like we desire to be approached and loved by our children, God desires the same.
Sometimes, the best way to accomplish something is the KISS method. You remember the KISS method. Keep it simple stupid! There's no need for the King's English. God's okay with simplicity. In fact, being real makes God really proud.
against the kingdom of Satan
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