To listen to a lot of public prayer in churches is too often like listening in to a private quiet time -- and that is not meant as a compliment. The erosion of the boundary between public and private and the relentless march of the aesthetics of casualness have taken their toll here. It seems that unless somebody prays in public precisely as we think they might do in private, we all fear that there is a affectation that prevents the prayer from being `authentic' -- whatever that might mean. Yet oftentimes there are people in the congregation on Sunday who have come from a week of pain, worry and confusion; they may be spiritually shattered; they might barely be able to string two words of a prayer together; and at this moment a good pastor can through a well-thought out and carefully expressed prayer draw their eyes heavenwards, lead them to the throne of grace and give them the words of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and intercession which they cannot find for themselves.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Trueman on Public Prayer
As are most things I read from Carl Trueman, this is worth your time to read the whole thing. Here is an excerpt.