Just Say It!

Written by Joel on May 18th, 2009

prayerboardI visited a church where they prayed like this:

“Oh God we would like to thank for all you have done. We would pray Lord God that you would hear us. And we want to pray now for all those who are sick in our parish. As we pray to God, think of all the good graces he has given us. And now, God, we will pray the Lord’s prayer.”

It was early in the liturgy and they called it the pastoral prayer. This followed a time of sharing joys and concerns of the community. A minister gave the prayer and they concluded with the Lord’s Prayer.

Passive voice.

What gives with the passive voice? “We would pray,” “We would like to pray,” “We want to pray.” All of these statements are one step removed from reality. Those statements might work outside of prayer. However, when you are already in the prayer, just say so! “Gracious and loving God we thank you for your works, hear us now! Be with those who are sick…”

If prayer is a conversation with God, then actually talk to him. Don’t talk about talking to him.


Who hears our prayers? It is the Triune God. Those who pray should not address the congregation in their prayers, unless of course you are asking the congregation for intercessory prayer. If this is the case, do it outside of the pastoral prayer. You are just going to confuse God and the people.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Hey Joel, thanks for the question. To answer it, being in an ‘inter-church’ family is okay. Sometimes I worry about a few of them when I see all the razzle-dazzle they do that seems (to me) to have no meaning. But my Dad told me when I was about to get married that some of them would be my biggest cheerleaders, and he was right. In many ways, the church is the least of ways in which my wife and I are different from them, and it’s working out.

    And officiating for the first time was a breeze. It was for two good friends, and they didn’t want anything ridiculous. So I couldn’t have asked for an easier time at it.

    How do you find it in your inter-church family?

    • Joel says:

      Thanks for sharing. I have written a good deal about it, all the posts are categorized as “protestant-catholic.”

      Occasionally its a struggle, often its a blessing. I hope to serve a church in the South (Virginia) this fall, and so that will be an adventure.

      I’m still working on my MDiv so mind always spins off to theological things and then I get myself all twisted up. But, my wife and I are agree more often than not. Our views of the church help us to mutually recognize each other as fully Christian (even if our respective denominations occasionally do not) – and we try our best to faithfully live out our domestic church.

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