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Discussion Forum : General Topics : When Praying

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jamccor
Member



Joined: 2006/1/5
Posts: 263
New Jersey

 When Praying

I apologize for posting a question that may seem a no brainer to some, but I am curious about this.Is there a proper way to start a prayer and end a prayer? For instance, I am in the habit of starting a prayer with "Dear Father" almost as if I was writing a letter.I also end all my prayers with "In Jesus' name,Amen". What does it say in the Bible? Is it ok to just start praying without a proper "salutation" if you will? Also, if there is a thread about this already, please, point me to it.
Thank You and GOD Bless
John


_________________
John

 2008/1/19 10:01Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re: When Praying

Hi jamcorr...

I suppose that we could always refer to the manner in which Jesus taught us to pray ("[i]Our father who art in Heaven...[/i]"). But I don't think that Jesus meant to confine us to any sort of rhetoric or required salutations. If you look at prayer (or literal converstations with God, like Moses) throughout the Bible, you will notice that they seemed to vary in the rhetorical manner in which they began.

I feel that the Lord was trying to show us exactly who we are supposed to pray to in the "Lord's Prayer" (our Father [which "father?"] in Heaven). The key, as you know, is to not be repetitious babblers who think that our words make us heard. Our Father heres us and desires for our honest communication, not sincerity hidden behind pious sounding phrases, salutations or words that we use in order to sound holy.

I suggest that you might want to pull out the old Strong's Concordance and look up every example of a person praying. Listen to how THEY started speaking with the Lord. Did they use a similar salutation over and over again? Were they trapped in any sort of mandatory rhetoric required for communicating with our Father? Or were they free to simply pour out their entire beings to a Father who already sees, already knows and already cares for them?

This would be an interesting project (to copy every prayer from the Word of God into a database).

Anyway, I hope that this helps. I know quite a few people who share the same issue. They insert what they feel to be required formalisms into their communication with God -- often not truly understanding what it is that they are saying. It is as if the "[i]In the name of Jesus, Amen[/i]" becomes a little token sacrifice that shows that we [u]really[/u] mean business in our praying. I had a conversation with a person once who didn't even know what that phrase meant or signified.

Now you have me interested in this topic!

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2008/1/19 12:46Profile
sojourner7
Member



Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: When Praying

I don't think God is too concerned about the
form of our prayers as He is knowing what is
on our hearts and minds and sharing our cares
and burdens. God wants us to relate to Him
with honesty and openess. Abraham was a close
friend to God, Moses speak with God face to
face; David was called "a man after God's own
heart." You would do well to follow after
their examples! ;-)


_________________
Martin G. Smith

 2008/1/19 15:15Profile









 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
Hi jamcorr...

I suppose that we could always refer to the manner in which Jesus taught us to pray ("[i]Our father who art in Heaven...[/i]"). But I don't think that Jesus meant to confine us to any sort of rhetoric or required salutations. If you look at prayer (or literal converstations with God, like Moses) throughout the Bible, you will notice that they seemed to vary in the rhetorical manner in which they began.

I feel that the Lord was trying to show us exactly who we are supposed to pray to in the "Lord's Prayer" (our Father [which "father?"] in Heaven). The key, as you know, is to not be repetitious babblers who think that our words make us heard. Our Father heres us and desires for our honest communication, not sincerity hidden behind pious sounding phrases, salutations or words that we use in order to sound holy.

I suggest that you might want to pull out the old Strong's Concordance and look up every example of a person praying. Listen to how THEY started speaking with the Lord. Did they use a similar salutation over and over again? Were they trapped in any sort of mandatory rhetoric required for communicating with our Father? Or were they free to simply pour out their entire beings to a Father who already sees, already knows and already cares for them?

This would be an interesting project (to copy every prayer from the Word of God into a database).

Anyway, I hope that this helps. I know quite a few people who share the same issue. They insert what they feel to be required formalisms into their communication with God -- often not truly understanding what it is that they are saying. It is as if the "[i]In the name of Jesus, Amen[/i]" becomes a little token sacrifice that shows that we [u]really[/u] mean business in our praying. I had a conversation with a person once who didn't even know what that phrase meant or signified.

Now you have me interested in this topic!

:-)

Some great comments, like this one, already.

A speaker I know used to point out that "in the Name of Jesus" means we are claiming His [i]authority[/i], expecting Him to ratify our prayers.

So before praying those words maybe we'd best be sure that what we are praying is in His will!

Not to get too hung up about that - but makes you think!

And Amen means "so be it", or truly. (It's used in Jesus' most solemn declarations. The KJV translates it, "verily, verily I say unto you (or thee)... The word "verily" is actually "amen". Jesus is [i]the[/i] AMEN!

I've become much more informal in my prayers over the years - even in prayer meetings. Usually begin with just, "Father", and "Amen" at the end mostly, but not always. "In the Name of Jesus" is reserved for times when I'm certain the Lord Himself showed me what to ask, because I don't want to claim His authority presumptuously. (Remember what happened to the sons of Sceva in Acts 19!)

And sometimes I suddenly realise I'm talking to Him as much as to myself when thinking aloud about something! (More often I just talk to myself, especially if I'm shopping, trying to remember what's next on the grocery list!)

Prayer flows out of a relationship - what relationship we have with Him.

There's a Christian cartoon of a General (or some top man in the US forces), in his office in full uniform. His aides were standing each side of the open door, stiffly to attention, saluting him. But [i]his[/i] whole attention, open arms and welcoming smile was for a little boy running into the room shouting, "DADDY!!!"

Not that we should take the relationship casually, as some Christians do. Awe and respect have to be mingled with the love and informality.

Blessings

Jeannette

 2008/1/19 16:06
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
The key, as you know, is to not be repetitious babblers who think that our words make us heard. Our Father hears us and desires for our honest communication, not sincerity hidden behind pious sounding phrases, salutations or words that we use in order to sound holy.



Chris, do you mean 'insincerity' instead of 'sincerity'? Anyhow, I do understand what you are saying and I agree! You said it well.

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2008/1/19 19:43Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hi ginnyrose...

I suppose that it could be both. Some hide their SINCERITY behind pious sounding phrases, salutations or words that we use in order to sound holy. Others can hide their INSINCERITY behind the same.

When I first met the Lord, I didn't say a textbook "sinner's prayer." I poured out my heart to the Lord in the middle of a field at a summer youth camp. I had been an agnostic youth, thinking that I was too intelligent to believe in God. That night, God was more real to me than the very air in my lungs. I cried out to the Lord for hours, telling Him that I wanted to know Him and be His friend. I remember telling Him that I would trade all that I was and all that I would ever be -- if I could just know Him and be His friend.

I remember arriving home the very next day. I went upstairs to my room in order to spend time in prayer. I realized that, even though I had been raised most of my life in Church, I didn't know how to pray. I began to weep. I wept because I didn't know how to pray. I remember a peace that suddenly overwhelmed me with the knowledge that I simply needed to talk to God. I remember getting on my knees, placing my face in a pillow and pouring my heart out to the Lord. Three hours later, I realized that I had just had the second most incredible experience of my life (second only to meeting the Lord the night before while standing out in a field at the summer camp).

I realized then and there that I didn't need to hide my sincerity behind meaningless words or phrases of ecclesiastical origin that I either didn't understand or didn't mean. Since then, I've realized that nothing on Earth can compare with such purity of speech or thought within my prayer closet. It really is pouring out myself to the Lord. I think that it is unbecoming to insert words that do not relay the cries of my heart within such communication.

Of course, God is "our Father in Heaven." I think that it is certainly appropriate to address Him as such. However, this is not an "official title" or formal declaration. It is simply stating who it is that we are speaking to. He is our Father who is in Heaven.

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2008/1/19 21:03Profile





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