9) Form and Freedom in Prayer
||2013-09-08 07:59:23, 조회 : 2,377, 추천 : 518
| Michelle Yim |
Form and Freedom in Prayer
There’s a lot of dispute upon the “proper” way to pray. For instance, I’ve been teaching this book to the adolescents at my church and many of them have different opinions about this topic. One student thought that prayer should come from the heart, and to write a prayer is a waste of paper. Another student felt that writing their prayer enhances their communication with God, therefore making the prayer more effective. My husband and I also have discussions about this topic from time to time. He feels that when he prays without writing, it is more meaningful and powerful. Whereas in my case, I feel that when I write my thoughts down on paper, I can proofread it and organize it to my liking.
Today Pratt talks about this issue to inform us on how to balance both “form and freedom” in our communication with God.
1. Freedom in Prayer
Freedom in prayer is often emphasized. Many Christians accept that having a guideline is necessary however they try to avoid any types of patterns. Having a relationship with someone you first met versus someone you’ve known for awhile differs.
For instance, with a person you first got to know, you may not be at ease to show who you really are. Often times people are a little stiff and formal. However, once you really get to know that person, you’re able to comfortably talk casually around them. In the Bible, it shows us that God indeed considers us as his friend. James describes Abraham saying,
In another occasion Jesus describes to us how God wants to be close to His people when He said,
God longs for us to be closer with him, but many of us speak to Him in a stiff and formal way that our prayers are ineffective. Because of the love that God has shown upon us, we can speak freely and informally to Him (This does NOT mean you should greet Him by saying “what’s up God?”). By speaking to Him freely can make us aware of God as a father and a friend. We must be careful however with talking with God liberally. Pratt says that “emphasis on freedom sometimes leads inadvertently to its own kind of dead formalism”. When we pay little attention to the content of our prayer, it eventually becomes repetitive and patterned.
The second, is to know that although the Bible has Its share of spontaneous prayers, there are also many prayers that show concern for “structure and content” (Please refer to Psalms 30,32 and 1Chronicles 29:10-13, 2Chronicles 6:41-42). We mustn’t take the freedom of prayer lightly, we should do so with care and proper balance.
2. Form in Prayer
Now we’re going onto the “form” in prayer. Like myself and many others, believe that form is a better choice when praying. To me, it feels good that I prepared a prayer for God, rather than just saying what’s on top of my head. Pratt states that “As our Creator and Redeemer, God deserves to be treated with the highest respect. Every believer knows that God should not be taken lightly”.
We can see from Psalms 103:1-5 that God is truly awe-inspiring. The Psalmist praises our God and talks about the many quality He has (redeemer, forgiving, love, compassion, satisfaction). We must remember, that although God is our friend, he is also our king. Planning our prayers gives us many benefits.
For instance, often times when I write my prayers, I realize there are many times where I focus the prayer on my needs and wants. Being that you can proofread it, you can realize where you went wrong in. We can reference to the Lord’s prayer when we want a outline of what a prayer should be. In the Lord’s Prayer, we give praise to God, we also talk about our desires, we ask for forgiveness and we ask for guidance in the future. Those are the most basic elements that are key to a healthy prayer.
There are also some downfalls with prewritten prayers. For example, many planned prayers can lead to insincerity. We often times get into meaningless rituals and don’t mean what we really say. One day I witnessed a gentlemen at a restaurant say a quick prayer before he ate. He said “God is good, God is great, thanks for the food that’s on my plate”. He said it in such a monotone and ritual like way, it hardly sounded thankful.
Another problem that comes with a planned prayer is that it doesn’t help us to reflect the “immediate needs we face”. Pratt gives us an example of the exact situation that happened with him. He prepared a prayer that he was going to say in a Sunday worship. Unfortunately, just before service, he was told that a church member had died from cancer the night before. Instead of going with the prayer that he originally planned, he prayed about the “immediate” sorrows that were happening. Often times, there isn’t a set form that can deal with the circumstances of Gods people.
One psalmist talks about being accused falsely, another psalmist gives praise to God about his personal matter. At times there isn’t a form that helps with what were dealing at the moment.
Pratt encourages us, that both form and freedom in prayer is helpful. One isn’t better than the other. Both routes help us give new awareness and thus being closer to God.
* admin님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2015-12-31 05:58)
||오직 하나만을 주장할 곳이 있고, 양쪽을 동시에 주장해야만 하는 경우도 있다. 종교개혁의 표어가 다섯가지이다. 이 표어의 특징은 "오직, 하나"에 있다. 오직 성경, 오직 은혜, 오직 예수, 오직 믿음, 오직 하나님께 영광. 그러나 오직이라는 단어가 통하지 않는 곳도 많이 있다. 예수님은 인성만 또는 신성만 갖고 있는 것이 아니라, 인성과 신성이 동시에 강조되어야 한다. 삼위일체도 마찬가지이다. 은혜와 행위도 마찬가지이다. 이런 경우에 한쪽만을 강조하는 것이 위험한 것은, 강조한 한쪽이 틀려서가 아니라 강조하지 않는 다른 면이 경시될 수 있기 때문이다. J.I. Packer는 이런 구조가 성경에 2만개가 넘는다고 한다. 이것을 조화롭게 인식하고 받아들이지 못할 때에 우리는 무엇인가 잘못된 신앙의 틀을 만들게 된다.
한번 구원을 받으면 영원히 구원을 받는다는 것이 아무렇게 살라는 것이 아님을 우리는 알아야 한다. 그러나 이런 조화를 알지 못한 현상들이 영지주의 , 구원파등을 통해서 나타난 것이 역사이다.
오늘 기도의 두가지 형태에 대한 논지를 남편과 아내의 대화를 통해서 이끌어내는 smooth함에 , 그리고 어느 쪽을 다른 것보다 나은 것으로 보지 않는 강조는 눈에 띄게 찬사를 해야 할 대목이라고 생각한다.
성숙한 신앙의 모습을 보는 기쁨을 주신 선생에게 ......박수