Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Opus 2011-250, Written Prayers

I was raised in a tradition that always prayed extemporaneously.  That means that you did not write your prayer out before-hand.  You may have had a general outline in mind, but you would stand up and start and expect the Lord to lead you.  As you can imagine this led to some long and totally disjoined rambling as well as some powerful intercession.  Another downside was that it tended to discourage new Christians in matters of prayer.  But it was assumed that only liberals read written prayers.

My liturgical friends used to be in awe of my ability to pray extemporaneously.  I could never figure out why they felt that way until I realized how dry and formal public prayer was in their churches.  Often they had prayers read that had been written months before, miles away, by people who never knew who they were.

I have had a revelation in this area.  Our associate pastor is in charge of the pastoral prayer time.  It took me a few weeks to realize that she was reading prayers that she had written out ahead of time.  It did not take me long to get over my shock because the prayers were really powerful.  She did not just throw something together.  She spent significant time deciding on how to word what needed to be presented.  She is a gentle soul.  She has the gifts of mercy and helps.  Behind the pulpit during prayer time she is transformed into an advocate.  She brings up things that I would hesitate to mention.  She talks politics.  She reproves, rebukes and corrects.  She calls them as she believes God sees them.  She also soothes and reassures.  It is a time of power.

So I have grown.  In September I am going to fill in for her as she goes on sabbatical.  I have already decided that part of my spiritual growth is to learn to present written prayers.  I am looking forward to that. 

I have broached the idea with her of posting the prayers she writes on my blog.  She is not interested in starting her own.  She seems open to the idea.  We would clean them up to protect identities and such but I think you might benefit.  If I can get her to do it.  I am not going to put on a lot of pressure, but I am hoping it will be something she would like to do.

Time will tell.  Meanwhile I am listening to her to try to get a feel for what makes her efforts so meaningful. 

Growth comes in many areas.

homo unius libri


  1. Like the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer, there's nothing wrong with knowing the words ahead of time, as long as you can still FEEL the meaning when you read or repeat them. The problem comes when people mouth them without feeling as part of a ceremony.

  2. Some of the prayers in the old Anglican Book of Common Prayer, are overwhelming in the beauty and power.

  3. You are both right. Some of us come to realize this later in life. Be patient, I am still learning.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.