Chapter 13: Corporate Prayer

12/16/1990

PRAY in public gatherings if there is a prayer on your heart, not because:

A) It’s your turn in a “chain prayer”;

B) Someone assigned you an opening or closing prayer.

To do such a thing as assigning someone several days or weeks in advance to be the official “prayer‑person” (or “sermon‑giver,” for that matter) is poor, poor, poor! Who can know several weeks or days or even hours in advance who will be functioning in purity and faith and sincerity, and who is therefore even able to speak on others’ behalf before the Throne of God? Who even knows in advance that a “prayer” or “sermon” is what God desires to happen on the occasion in question?!

C) You want to get in your two bits so no one wonders if you’re spiritual.

Can anyone relate to that? You don’t want anybody to ask how you’re doing, so every once in a while, you pray or say something. Right? That way, no one will wonder if you’re doing okay. Please don’t do that.

D) You want to pray to fill the gaps so that you or God aren’t embarrassed by the lull in the action.

If the prayer’s welling up on your heart in reality, pray. If not, don’t. Or if you are deliberately and forcefully moving towards God, pray in spite of not being filled to the brim at that moment. Also, please get rid of the religious prayer cliches (protestant and catholic mantras) that so easily roll off our lips when we are lazy, empty, or fear men’s opinions! God doesn’t like ’em.

 

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