One myth about prayer is that spontaneous, improvisational prayer is more meaningful than a pre-written prayer. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the book of Psalms, we find written prayers used by the people of God for thousands of years. God has given us countless wordsmiths, truth-tellers, prophets, priests, and hymn-writers who have blessed the church with written prayers.
A prayer said once is not a dirty tissue to be thrown away and never used again. A thoughtful, written prayer is no less heartfelt or efficacious than one spoken off the cuff. If you are called upon to offer a prayer, it is just as faithful for you to find and share a prayer written by someone else – or write your own prayer ahead of time – as it is for you to pray off the top of your head.
This message is excerpted from “I don’t have a prayer!” by Libby Howe in the June 2021 Gather magazine. Today is the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
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