November 17, 2009

The Insufficiency of Our Prayers for the Dying


Over on the Internet Monk blog there is an interview with a guy who gives pastoral care for people who are dying. I found this quote challenging:

When most of our prayers begin, “Lord, we just want to thank you for…,” it signals that we might suffer from a lack of language to appropriately relate to life’s awesome mysteries. Purely spontaneous prayer doesn’t work because we simply don’t have words when we are in a situation that overwhelms us.

But why do we rely on that? After all, we claim to be Bible-believing people. No book on earth contains human expressions of sorrow, pain, anguish, grief, disappointment, anger, guilt, loneliness, or fear like the Bible. We just have to read it! But because we haven’t really internalized the Scriptures, we don’t know how to be human, we don’t know how to pray as real people dealing with real life before a real God.

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