Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Peters on Prayer

I am seeing a lot of links out there to Pastor Peters' blog, Pastoral Meanderings.  This blog will be no exception!

Today I am highlighting his post on prayer.  I highlight this because it is an area of my own life that I need to work on.  Resources like the Treasury of Daily Prayer are helpful, yet cumbersome.  Finding a time and a place for meditation is challenging at best.  Satan likes to grab hold of me in this area and, of course, I let him!

Here is a highlight from Pastor Peters post:
We have all been there when someone began to pray and instead of a prayer we got an update on some one's medical condition or a justification for why we were asking this of God or a series of rather pedestrian statements usually beginning with the words "we just..." We have all been there when prayers took on the character of long speeches -- especially prayers following the sermon that are used to review the salient points of the sermon, one more time, this time in the guise of prayer. We have all been there when paragraphs of prayer waxed eloquent but in the end we were not quite sure what it was that we were saying our "Amen" to. The problem is that these are often held up as model prayers that we should aspire to -- when the model prayer is, of course, the Our Father, an economy of words that directs our hearts to voice spiritual needs when we are generally focused upon physical ones.

Spontaneous praying is assisted when we have learned to pray the prayers of others first. Then we learn how to give voice to our own hearts.

All of these things frustrate me in my own prayer life and in the prayer life of the church.   Pastor Peters provides some clarity through all of this.

I particularly like the "collect" form* that is prayed before the readings in the Divine Service.  Lutheran Service Book has a section of prayers starting on page 305 that tackle many topics, and most of them follow the collect form.

Look for future posts on prayer here at All for Hymn.  I confess, posts on prayer are as much for my learning experience as anyone elses.

* "Collect" is pronounced KAH-lekt, with the emphasis on the first syllable.  A future post will talk about this form.