Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thinking Carefully About Prayer

Pastor Mark Roberts offers a detailed analysis of the inaugural prayers of Rick Warren and Gene Robinson.

1 comment:

John Whittaker said...

Fr. John,

I enjoyed the analysis and agree with much of the author's view of Pastor Warren's prayer. Personally, I found the prayer to be in large part quite good. I thought that the addition of the Lord's Prayer and the boldness of directly naming Jesus in such a venue was tempered by his making that aspect a personal reference from his Walk. I also felt that the blog's author eloquently explained why praying in Jesus' name does not require that we must use those specific words as an incantation. The fact that Pastor Billy Graham did not invoke the name of our Lord or mention the word Christ, is very interesting. Where were the ‘appalled’ during the four times he gave inaugural prayers?

I also thought that Bishop Robinson’s prayer was very beautiful, though the reference to the God of our many understandings gave me a little heart burn... Although, I can certainly forgive it as I believe his intention was to be inclusive of the audience and not an attempt to draw moral equivalencies. I should say though, as legalistic and wrong headed as the position that a Pastor must mention Jesus in that specific setting is, the position that a follower of Christ must not pray to our God in the same setting isn't quite right either.

I wonder if I am the only one who felt more uncomfortable around our brother's language regarding every religion, rather than the introduction:

“Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.”

I don’t believe this at all accurate, there are several ancient and some modern religions that absolutely do not hold this view.

My 2 cents.