Prayers that are not prayers

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Rippon, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Have you ever ( for those of you non-pastors like myself ) listened to a pastor close his message with the words : " Now let us pray . " Then he proceeds not to address our heavenly Father , instead he summarizes some main sermon points and tries to get some decisons . " With no one looking around , does anyone want to confess that they are sinners and need to turn to the Lord Jesus in faith ? There may not be another opportunity for you . I just want you to slip up your hand -- yes , I see that one , God bless you. Is there another ? You may have been coming here for many weeks , months or even years now -- yet you haven't recognized your need of Christ . This is the time --today is the day of salvation . There are men in the back who would be happy to meet with you and open up God's Word so that you will be saved . Dear Father ...

    So heads are bowed and eyes are shut but it is that in-between zone . It is not prayer -- it is a kind of prelude to it . I think a pastor should continue with his message and not call it a prayer . Prayer should be prayer . It should be set aside as a specfic time where God the Father is addressed .Any thoughts ?
     
  2. LeBuick

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    Sounds like the prayer was over and he was extending the invitation to discipleship. I agree he has a unique method but it my be effective for him.
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

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    Rippon, just an obeservation here, it seems that from many of your threads you have some "issues" with pastors.
     
  4. saturneptune

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    If you have a problem with the leadership of the pastor and his methods, move to a church where you think things are being done right. The local church elected the pastor, and until such time as the church reverses the vote, he is there to lead the church as the Lord leads him. From reading, I see no problems with his methods. It sounds like you are nit picking to me. Go where you can worship without worrying about such silly things.
     
  5. Trotter

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    I have run into that in almost every church I have set foot in. the ones I didn't I was only there for a single service, so I probably missed it...
     
  6. J.D.

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    I think it was in John R Rice's book about prayer that I read something to the effect that we should be talking to God when we pray, not to the congregation. As he put it "Are you praying now, or preaching?" His words were directed toward those that are called on to lead in prayer. Some people think that means it's their turn to preach while pretending to pray.

    If all that is true, then it's true for the pastor as well.

    What I see here as the problem is the worn-out invitation system. If a person makes a private decision, then why do we need to bow our heads and close our eyes? And if a person is ready to make a public confession, then again, why do we bow our heads and close our eyes?

    These questions may seem nitpicky, but kids notice these things. Mine used to ask me about this very thing, and back then, I didn't know what to say except "just bow your head and close your eyes like the preacher says and don't be askin no questions!"
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    I should add to my above post that I do not care for such a thing in a prayer at the end of a message either. I also do not like when a preacher repreaches his message after the invitiation time when everyone is ready to go home.
     
  8. Gershom

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    I'm with you on this in regards to the "Every head bowed, every eye closed... No one looking around..." silliness. Can't imagine the Lord or one of the apostles doing such a thing.
     
  9. Rippon

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    The main thing I am trying to address is that prayer to the Father should be just that . There should be a clear line drawn between preaching and praying . The people are ready for prayer , the pastor led them to expect it -- but a talk follows while the congregation in the corporate sense is in the prayer mode -- eyes are shut and heads are bowed . " Are we praying , or not praying ? Did I miss something ? "
     
  10. Joseph M. Smith

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    And then there's the "prayer" that is just an extended announcement .. "Lord, bless the meeting of the Finance Committee that will take place Tuesday night at 7:30 in the church parlor, where we will discuss what to do about our budget shortfall, which stands at $40,000 as of last week".
     
  11. Psalm 100

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    When I was going to a charismatic church, the pastor would end alot of services like that. Of course, no one in the congregation knew if anyone really raised their hands or not, or if the preacher was "planting the seed of obeyance" by making it sound like there were others so that you wouldn't feel you were the only one doing it.

    Thankfully, my pastor now doesn't do this. He will close the sermon, and say, now if God has spoken to you, or if you just need to come down to pray for something, the altar's open for as long as you need it. After that, the new members or Christians will be introduced, and pastor will say the closing prayer, always addressed to God, praising Him, asking for His will to be done.
     
  12. Gershom

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    No, that's not praying. But you could use that time to pray by yourself while the pastor plays peek-a-boo from the pulpit.
     
  13. NateT

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    There's also the mixed prayer -- where the pray-er switches between talking to God and to those in attendance. Something like "God, thank you for healing Bro. Joe. We know that God is good and listens to our prayers. And God, please be with Aunt Patty."

    When was the last time you were talking to someone and said "Jim, could you please meet me at the airport? Because we know that Jim is reliable."
     
  14. mima

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    Neither.

    What you have described is neither prayer nor an invitation unto salvation. I've heard many closings like this and what I do is use the time to will ask almighty God to send his Spirit to witness to the spirits of the lost in order that they might come to a saving knowledge of his son the Lord Jesus Christ. I have seen some amazing results while praying this prayer unto the Lord during these feel-good, lets all be friends, types of closing.
     
  15. Pipedude

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    Very good observation.

    Why aren't pastors afraid to blaspheme prayer in these ways? Speaking to "God" and using the third person, as NateT described? It's as though there is no God at all, and it's all just pretension.
     
  16. PrimePower7

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    Lord, thank you Lord for your goodness, Lord

    I love that stuff! It's the kinda thing my wife and I laugh over all the time:laugh: Where would we be without someone saying "Lord God" every 5 or 6 words in their prayers. Just imagine how it would be if I was talking to "John" and had a conversation like this: "Good morning, John. NIce to see you, John. John, how are your wife and children, John. I hope John, that they are doing well, John, and that you, O John, are finding happiness, great John, in your employment, John"

    Come on!:tongue3:
     
  17. Jonathan

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    I also tend to get tickled at pastors who seem to forget what they're doing in the middle of a prayer as they switch to something else.

    I put this in the same category as the "preacher voice" (where a pastor sounds almost completely different in the pulpit, or whenever he is performing official pastoral duties, than he does elsewhere).
     
  18. Mike McK

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    I'm starting to come to the realization that coaxing people into "accepting" Christ that way is a really bad idea for a whole variety of reasons. But that wasn't really your question was it?

    From a prayer standpoint, I don't have a problem with that because I think that it's understood that the people in the congregation are engaged in silent prayer.
     
  19. Mike McK

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    I always think that's funny, too. As if God is going to say, "Oh, me? I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were addressing me. Now, what can I do for you?"

    But I understand. People get nervous when they have to pray publically. I made my living for many years getting up in front of hundreds of people every night and making a fool out of myself, but there's something about prayer that I still panic with the preacher asks me to close the service in prayer.
     
  20. J.D.

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    A while back I tried dropping all the cliches from my public praying, but the people thought it was wierd, so I put some of them back in to avoid the strange reactions I was getting.
     

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