Practical Helps for Public Praying in Worship or Prayer Meeting by Jeffery Smith

“Let all thing be done for edification” (1 Cor. 14:26)

1. Avoid Heathen Like Prayers: senseless repetitions of God’s name

2. Avoid “Let Somebody Else Do It” Prayers: the deadening affect of long pauses between men getting up to pray in prayer meeting.

3. Avoid Never Ending Prayers: excessively long prayers (lest Eutyches fall out the window

4. Avoid Sermon Prayers: prayers in which you are actually preaching to the congregation instead of praying (both this one and the next one could also be called “I Have An Axe To Grind” Prayers.)

5. Avoid Political Prayers: prayers in which you are trying to push your personal view of some controversial political issue many good Christians disagree on.

6. Avoid Private Prayers:  personal devotional prayers in which you pray in the first person singular “I thank you, Lord” etc.. “Please help me to”..etc.” . Remember you are speaking as a mouthpiece of the entire body.

7. Avoid Modalistic Prayers: prayers that are marked by Trinitarian confusion (“Thank you Father for shedding your blood upon the cross etc..)

8. Avoid “The Old Man Upstairs” Prayers: when appropriate confidence descends into a chummy, flippant, lack of reverence and humility before God. He is our Father, let us come with freedom and confidence, but He is our Father “Who is in Heaven”, let our confidence be tempered with reverence.

9. Avoid “Beat-Around-The-Bush” Prayers: Get to the point dear brother!!!

10. Avoid “Embarrassing?” Prayers: Don’t pray by name for unconverted people or persons you suspect to be unconverted by name who are at the prayer meeting and have not requested it.

Congregation: Avoid The “I-Was-Daydreaming” Impression: Let those not praying affirm hardy agreement with the prayer offered by your brother for all by the verbal “Amen” (1 Cor. 14:16)





3 thoughts on “Practical Helps for Public Praying in Worship or Prayer Meeting by Jeffery Smith

  1. Just an observation re point 2: Silence is not always a bad thing, even in a public prayer meeting. It sometimes means that people are contemplating the prayers they’ve just heard or planning out their own prayer (perhaps so that they can avoid some of the other pitfalls described above). Rev. 8:1 reminds us that silence in the presence of God is sometimes appropriate.

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