Worship on sunday, may 19, 2019 at 10:30AM
Half hidden by large hedges, dress glittering, the camera catches Hannah, the current star of ABC’s The Bachelorette, whispering to herself. After a moment, it becomes clear that she’s not talking to herself, but murmuring a prayer to Jesus for wisdom, among other things, seeking his guidance as she begins the process of choosing her husband from among the contestants.
‘I hate that. It’s so fake,’ my husband Luke says as he watches beside me.
‘It isn’t!’ I reply. ‘If you were her, wouldn’t you be praying, too?!’
‘Just loud enough so that the cameras and millions of TV viewers could hear? No way.’
I don’t record this conversation because I’m interested in whether or not Hannah’s prayer was scripted— I’m not. But I am interested in the way in which any of us can feel like our prayers are at least, in part, a show.
We may be vaguely aware of an audience. Perhaps we don’t have swathes of prime time TV viewers observing, but in the background of our prayers often loom our fellow churchgoers, our family, our pets, and, perhaps most ominously, God.
When we pray in public, or even in private, we can find ourselves wondering, am I doing it right? Am I saying the right things? Am I sitting correctly? Am taking the right amount of time?
This Sunday in worship we’ll explore what Jesus has to say about prayer- how do we do it, who is it for, and what do we say.
"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name." —Psalms 103:1
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