Public prayer is an awkward experience in most churches. It’s really a strange set of circumstances. Someone comes up to the microphone and is speaking to God and we are praying along. Hopefully. Sometimes, if you think about it, it would sound a little weird from God’s perspective. Prayer should be the ultimate spiritual communion between God and man, but like most things we have a tendency to make the sacred things seem rather human. So I submit to you these lower forms of public prayers along with their scientific classifications.
- The Sidebar Info-Prayer: Someone forgets to make an announcement but suddenly discovers that if they announce it to God in prayer everybody will overhear it. (Check that puppy off the list!)
“Dear God, we pray that many will come to the church bake sale where there will be an innumerable array of baked goods- all selling for under ten dollars in the Activity Center at 5 PM tonight. And I pray that we will all remember that the proceeds are going to the YouthMania Super Spiritual Conference in Panama City.”
- The Intercessory Argumentative Indignation Prayer: A person prays in worship while simultaneously commenting his or her own opinion.
“Lord, thank you for the gift of music. We pray that our leaders will do more Hymns and less songs about Oceans and the like. We long to worship with the inspiration of the hymns from the hymn books that we donated so long ago and pray that the drums that are placed on our stage will not damage the ears of the listeners.”
- The Ditto Prayer: The ditto prayer can only be recognized after hearing someone pray more than three times in a worship service. It’s basically the prayer that the speaker prays every time he is called on to pray. It can usually be said in one breath and by now I think God has gotten the message.
“Dear Lord, thank you for this day. We pray that you will take this offering, bless the gift and the giver, use it for thy glory. Go with us now as we seek to do thy will, and forgive us of our many sins.”
(This is the Baptist “Hail Mary”.)
- The Prayer of Our Lady of Too Much Information: We think it’s important to pray for everything but there are some prayers that we need to trust that God knows the details already.
“And help Laura who is struggling with whether to get a divorce or not because they are just so incompatible in their communication skills. And we pray for Frank who has a cyst right behind his ear and the fluid is…” (I will go no further.)
When I hear people praying these prayers to God, I sometimes fantasize about being Episcopalian but the form and theology is foreign to me and I don’t want to have to wear a robe. Also, I like our music. The modern songs and the hymns… And my son plays the drums. So there’s that.