Teacher Scott, I am now in Judges. So far I don't have any problems. I tried so hard to pay attention during Deuteronomy but that Moses was so long winded!
So when ministers pray, a closing prayer at church, why is it that they take 10 min to say what they want to say? The sermon itself only takes 15-20 minutes. I've put up with it since I was a kid and my daughter asked me last Sunday why it takes so long to pray. All I could say was 'that's just the way they do'. Is there a reason? Is it something they learn in training?
Hi Joyce! It's nice to hear from you again. I trust that you and your family had a nice Christmas.
You asked why ministers take so long to say the closing prayer at church.
Well, there could, of course, be many reasons, each one unique to the person praying. But here are a few thoughts that may be helpful.
Prayer is simply talking to God. If you were to have a long conversation with your daughter, no one would question it. When we care about someone, it's normal to talk with them. If we really understood prayer, I think we would all pray a lot more ... and a lot longer. Think about it--the ability to communicate with Almighty Creator God, and to know that He hears and cares! Wow!
In a church service, you have an added element. There, the church comes together to worship, not simply as individuals, but corporately, as a body. As a part of most Christian worship services, there is corporate prayer. This is a time during which the pastor (or someone else) leads the church in prayer. The intent is to communicate with God collectively. As one reaches out to God on behalf of the congregation, the congregation participates in that conversation mentally and spiritually. One person is speaking, but, in a sense, the entire church is reaching out to God.
There are many examples in the Bible of groups of believers being led in worship by a spokesperson. The Psalms are an excellent example of this. As a psalm was recited or sung, the body would be represented in this worship to God.
Here is my suggestion. The next time someone leads the church in prayer, try to actively engage in that prayer mentally. Take note of what the individual is saying on behalf of you and the church. "Participate" in that conversation with God. Enjoy it. Enjoy that time with God ... as part of the group.
I realize that some elements of a church service can become tedious and boring ... especially if passion is lacking. This can be blamed in part on those leading worship, and in part on those of us participating in worship. But these are all important things, and it is worth the effort to recognize the value of corporate prayer and other elements of corporate worship and to pour our hearts, minds, and souls into them.