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Today’s “spontaneous” = tomorrow’s repetitious
Posted By Eric Sammons On May 13, 2010 @ 9:00 am In Apologetics,Liturgy,Protestantism | Comments Disabled
When I was an Evangelical Christian, we would often engage in “spontaneous” prayer in which each person would simply pray as “the Spirit led them.” We were against rote prayers, feeling that they were “traditions of men” and broke the Lord’s command against vain and repetitious prayer (Matthew 6:7). But over time I started to realize something: our “spontaneous” prayers were awful unoriginal, each sounding like a slightly modified version of the previous prayer.
The same thing occurred with our Sunday worship services: they were intended to be spontaneous and fresh, yet over time they took on a set structure that was much like every other Evangelical service out there.
It appears that other Evangelicals have noticed that today’s Sunday services are still just as predictable as always, as can be seen in this hilarious video:
The problem with condemning repetition in prayer is that it is almost impossible to be truly spontaneous all the time, and it is human nature to feel comfortable with repetition in our lives. Jesus did not condemn repeating prayers, he condemned mindlessly repeating prayers. If you say the Hail Mary without contemplating what you are saying, then you are “babbling like the pagans” (Matthew 6:7). But if you pray the Hail Mary while contemplating the mysteries of our salvation, then your prayer is efficacious. After all, when the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he did not say, “just wing it”, but instead gave them a set prayer to say: the Our Father.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/05/13/todays-spontaneous-tomorrows-repetitious/
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