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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Horizontal Prayer?

I regard the lounge as a place for thinking aloud and listening to what others think.

I am curious, and have been for many years, as to why we give God so much information in our prayer. I am also curious about the phenomena of forum-posted prayers. Do we have any statistics about how often God logs into sermonindex? So are these prayers primarily Godwards or manwards? I ought to say it is not only on sermonindex that I hear horizontal prayers; I have store of fascinatining things I have heard 'in prayer'. My old Bible College principal used to work through the events of the day in prayer. We used to say we were always expecting him to conclude by saying "Well, that's the news for tonight Lord; I'll just go through the headlines again".

I know we are to 'make our requests known' but what would it mean if there was some information I had that He didn't? I know that Solomon and Ezra prayed as the official representatives of the nation but what other biblical evidence is there for this kind of prayer?

Just thinking aloud...


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/12 18:21Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Horizontal Prayer?

Great topic.

How do we pray with and for one another in this online world? Is "I'm praying for you" enough or should we attempt to "vocalize" our prayer as it were by typing out something?

Personally I have "said" a prayer online with the intention of both making supplication before God and also to encourage another. The following verse came to mind in considering this matter;

[i]And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.[/i]
(John 11:42)

It seems that one of the reasons Jesus made this public statement was to strengthen the faith of His followers, that they would know this miracle was obtained by prayer. It seems there was a horizontal element here.


Quote:
My old Bible College principal used to work through the events of the day in prayer. We used to say we were always expecting him to conclude by saying "Well, that's the news for tonight Lord; I'll just go through the headlines again"



I've experienced some prayer similar to this. I've heard some people pray and it just sounded like they were preaching, not praying, clearly just trying to make a point with someone, I'm not sure that is what is going on here on this forum though.

I'm interested in others opinions on this.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2004/5/12 19:44Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

inthelight writes And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
(John 11:42)

It seems that one of the reasons Jesus made this public statement was to strengthen the faith of His followers, that they would know this miracle was obtained by prayer. It seems there was a horizontal element here.

Hi Ron
This is a good verse but I think the emphasis here is on the One who asked the prayer rather than on the efficacy of prayer itself. He prayed publically so that the hearers would know that it was His prayer that was being answered and that hence He was the sent one. ie the answer to this prayer was itself a Messianic proof in confirmation of the claims of John 5:28ff. ??


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/12 20:11Profile
KeithLaMothe
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Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

Praying in the company of others is an interesting phenomenon.

One justification for giving information is so the others present can agree with you in prayer, though a practice in my church is to ask for such information before entering the prayer time. People still go into detail in the actual prayers, though.

I've noticed I tend to pray different in a group, talking much more regularly, almost conversationally. Alone I sometimes go silent for long periods of time in prayer, that doesn't seem to work very well in group prayer. In group prayer I also seem to mention insights God's recently given me, and probably doesn't need me to recite back. Perhaps I get into "sermon mode" when praying with others in earshot.

A somewhat disturbing trend I notice is people making prayer requests to large groups, seemingly like they think that the number of people praying for something makes a difference (2 or 3 perhaps does, but I'm talking larger scale than that). I believe we should be careful to not let our affections and the scope of our prayers get narrowed to only those things we're connected with, but I think there's some danger in an almost-mechanical view of prayer where the more people you can get to pray for something, the more likely it is to be answered in a certain way. Thankfully, the people I know who sometimes incline in that direction would never really think of it in such terms, but that seems to be the logical conclusion.

Quote:
Do we have any statistics about how often God logs into sermonindex?

I think the computers would have difficulty resolving His IP address, so statistics would be inconclusive :)

 2004/5/12 20:46Profile
Shamgar
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Joined: 2003/10/26
Posts: 4


 Re: Horizontal Prayer?

Quote:
I am curious, and have been for many years, as to why we give God so much information in our prayer.

I find myself doing this often. I have a tendency to over-explain to everybody, so I have to catch myself in prayer and simply say "Ok, Lord you know my heart."

My old Bible College principal used to work through the events of the day in prayer. We used to say we were always expecting him to conclude by saying "Well, that's the news for tonight Lord; I'll just go through the headlines again".


I know a guy who works or retreats that I work on and he is constantly trying to "sell people" onto working on retreats by talking it up in his prayers to/with the group.

 2004/5/12 22:53Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

What about the Psalms?


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/5/12 23:00Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

What about the Psalms?

Hi Jeremy
There is an interesting juxtaposing in the Psalms where the 'audience' is sometimes God, sometimes 'the choir' and often the writer. I sometimes think of Paul's injunction to the Corinthians regarding prophecy (1Cor 14:30) in this kind of light. Can you imagine this happening in any 'normal pattern' meeting? It almost seems that prophecy would have had to be 'conversational' for this to happen. It this another indication of how 'formal' our gathering have become? Perhaps the Pslams were sometimes written in the same informal settings. I think there is something very wonderful about the way it which David sometimes moves his focus from 'the saints' to God and back again alomst seemlessly.

Is this what you had in mind?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/13 3:52Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Keith writes Perhaps I get into "sermon mode" when praying with others in earshot.
I think that is the danger. The focus of our consciousness changes and prayer can quickly degenerate into a sincere performance.

Keith also writes A somewhat disturbing trend I notice is people making prayer requests to large groups, seemingly like they think that the number of people praying for something makes a difference...
This is another curiosity and one that we should question, I think. It links with the 24x7 prayer chains. The desire is good but the theological mechanics should be examined. Not only do I not now God's IP address, I don't know what time zone He is in (other than none). The all night prayer meeting sounds virtuous. Mass meetings for prayer sound virtuous too, but are they?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/13 3:59Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

Quote:
There is an interesting juxtaposing in the Psalms where the 'audience' is sometimes God, sometimes 'the choir' and often the writer. I sometimes think of Paul's injunction to the Corinthians regarding prophecy (1Cor 14:30) in this kind of light. Can you imagine this happening in any 'normal pattern' meeting? It almost seems that prophecy would have had to be 'conversational' for this to happen. It this another indication of how 'formal' our gathering have become? Perhaps the Pslams were sometimes written in the same informal settings. I think there is something very wonderful about the way it which David sometimes moves his focus from 'the saints' to God and back again alomst seemlessly.

Is this what you had in mind?



Yes. I believe public, even written prayer can serve a purpose that is beneficial. I have found it curious that people feel led to post their prayers; I tend to just pray for the requests.

I guess it depends on what purpose we intend to accomplish when we publicly pray. Are we like the Pharisees who liked to be heard for their long prayers or is our heart sincerely seeking and speaking to God. If the latter is the case then those who hear or later read can't help but to be blessed by the interaction between God and one of His own. If the case is the former, well then, I guess we have our reward--if we're eloquent enough :-D.

In Christ
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/5/13 4:19Profile
Delboy
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Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re:

Hi Ron,
would you elaborate more part of your first post was

Quote:
I know we are to 'make our requests known' but what would it mean if there was some information I had that He didn't?



what do you mean?
Also, my thoughts are Does it matter if we tell more people to pray for something on the internet or in a gathering?
any thoughts on what the early church where praying together,when they where devoting themselves to each other and the apostles teaching
Jeremy your end quote
Quote:
guess we have our reward--if we're eloquent enough .



made me laugh and say how true :-D


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derek Eyre

 2004/5/13 5:08Profile





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