Private Prayer

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, May 27, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Dennis brings up an interesting question.

    Is it wrong to only pray in private?
    Some do not like to pray in public - even with 2 or 3 other people. Should we "make" someone pray in a prayer meeting service? Is somone wrong for not praying?

    Pastors / SS teachers - do you ask someone in advance before asking them to pray with others in a group?
     
  2. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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    Private prayer is more on the personal level as well as praying for others but public prayer for the most part is praying for others and asking the Lords blessings on the event. I think people that pray in public are more concience over the wording that comes out of their mouth than if we are alone. I don't think a person should be put on the spot to pray in public without asking them before hand.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    Some people who haven't prayed a lot IN public aren't comfortable with that. And - to others to whom prayer is an extremely private thing - they aren't comfortable in praying out loud.

    A lot of people at my church don't come to prayer meeting much because so often - 90% of the time - the pastor divides us up into groups of his choosing and gives of a list of people to pray for and says that everyone has to pray. I don't think he is aware that for some, this is not comfortable.

    While I have no problem with praying aloud, I'm not comfortable with this method, but I do just go with the flow. I always try to put people in my groups at ease by offering for them to go first or last and to choose the people on the list to pray for.
     
  4. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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    I am not comfortable with everyone praying at the same time either. This can be very distracting to the mind. Some get so loud they think God is deaf. Other try to preach a prayer. The Baptist churches locally are big on everyone coming to the altar and praying to the Lord. I think they believe God would not hear them if they didn't open their mouth in prayer.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty
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    Understand what you are saying, but mass praying at once is not the point of this thread.

    I intended to talk about
    (1) a group of several people who felt pressured to pray (one at a time) in a prayer meeting
    (2) asking one person to open or close any service or gathering

    Sal
    Please start a thread about that - should be an interesting discussion

    Thanks
    Salty (hey, our names are almost similar :1_grouphug:)
     
  6. Dennis324

    Dennis324
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    Yep, I've had that happen to me in Sunday School. I like going to class and learning the lesson...even participating in the discussion. But when I was asked to close with a prayer...I felt embarrassed.

    I know I shouldn't have. I'm a 50 year old grown man and a veteran and should be courageous and all that. I;'ve fought fires and dealt with tornados and did my job when coming under fire in the Navy. But I'm timid when it comes to speaking (or praying) in public. The teacher had no way of knowing how I feel about public speaking.

    Anyway I stammered out a short prayer and asked the teacher after class not to call on me. She was very sweet about it, but weeks later forgot and called on me again.

    I don't like being the center of attention. It took me 28 years to get up and make a public profession of my faith in front of the church (alter call). Coz I was scared! I really didn't want to get dunked in front of the church but did it anyway. (Glad I did now).
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    Several years ago, my pastor at the time called on a member to pray during the morning service. There was a brief pause, heads bowed, eyes closed, and then this:
    "Preacher, you got the wrong guy."

    Quickly, the pastor called on someone else.

    The lesson is, if you're unsure, ask in advance. It'll save both some embarrassment.
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    This is one of my favorite stories. I first heard it from Wendell Ford, former governor and senator from Kentucky (and a Baptist).

    A faithful member went to his new pastor. "Pastor, I'll do anything you need me to do in the church, except one thing. Please don't ever call on me to pray publicly. The thought terrifies me."

    The new pastor acceded to the request, but stewed about it. And he had an idea. He went to the member with his suggestion.

    "Brother John, your fear of praying in public has been on my mind, and I'd like to help you overcome that fear. So here's what I've done. I've written a short prayer on this card. Next Sunday, you stick this card inside your hat-band, I'll call on you to pray, and when everybody's head is bowed and eyes are closed, you get that card out of your hat-band and read it, and nobody will ever know the difference."

    "Well, pastor, I believe I'll give that a try."

    Sunday morning, choir walks in, sings the Call to Worship, the congregation stands and sings a hymn. The pastor walks to the pulpit and says, "I'd like to ask Brother John to lead us in prayer."

    Heads bowed, eyes closed. Brother John says "Dear Heavenly Father..........uh, this ain't my hat."
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    The two stories I told may not fit the OP, but I couldn't resist telling them.

    We haven't done it in a while, but under one particular pastor we had, he liked to have us on occasion break up into small groups, find a room and have a "season of prayer." Some of the folks in the group would pray, but others would not. I don't recall anybody feeling any pressure to pray aloud. If they were led to pray, they did. If not, they didn't. But I have heard people, particularly women and young people, pray in those settings when they would never do it in a church service.

    I tell you, some of those ladies knew how to talk with the Lord.
     
  10. agedman

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    I wish more churches would have quiet prayer rather than public prayer offered through a single person.

    Often, these prayers are proceeded by some music such as prelude or hymn, and unfortunately the mindset is "locked" upon the theme of the music rather than the Holy Spirit leading. Listen for this in your own congregation and see - most of the time it will be true.

    I love it when the congregation sits completely still and waits quietly upon the Holy Spirit - each member focused upon their own meditative prayer and seeking the Lord's attention in their midst.

    Unfortunately, the time is often ended by a verbalized prayer. Why?

    End this time of prayer with singing softly a hymn of gratitude and praise - such as:
    "Thank you Lord for saving my soul,
    Thank you Lord for making me whole.
    Thank you Lord for giving to me,
    Thy great salvation so rich and free."​
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I was raised RC & I have a difficult time praying in public. If you were to ask me to do it I would decline. I dont even pray that way when its time to do so at a meal. Its not who I am.
     
  12. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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    I remember one time a pastor of a church ask my mother to close the service in prayer, she declined and said, you close the service. At the door the pastor ask my mother if everything was ok, meaning is everything right with the Lord, my mother replied yes. Some preachers just call on people un-expected to see how they will react. I have heard my mother at home when she was alive pray out loud to God in behalf of someone else.
     
  13. Dennis324

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    You know, apparently we aren't the only ones historical who had difficulty with this. I recall the disciples of Christ asking him to teach them how to pray. So perhaps they felt embarrassed or unsure of what they were supposed to do during prayer as well. Thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit who can put my ramblings into some organized form that makes sense to the Lord.
     

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