Thursday, July 30, 2015

Prayer in church

At our evening service, the president changed our prayer routine. Instead of one person praying he invited members of the congregation to contribute a short prayer as they wanted. Good idea, I thought, as long as it didn't go for too long*.

He introduced the segment with Ecclesiastes 5:1-3. Aptly to encourage short prayers (I was reminded of Nehemiah's quick prayer). He was also wise enough to cap the session after a good handful of contributions. I have been in meetings where such sessions went on and on: tedious for all and detracting from the overall meeting.

*On the topic of too long, I read of a prayer meeting in Ackroyd's Civil War that went for about 8 hours, with one of the Puritan pray-ers praying for 2 hours! Closer to home, I attended Petersham Baptist church in Sydney many moons ago where the prayer went for over 30 minutes. Too much. God is not honoured by many words, methinks.

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