Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How the Prayers of Others Help the Worship-Challenged

Interesting reflection from Stanley Hauerwas:

The worship of God does not come naturally to me, as it seems to for some. I live most of my life as if God does not exist. Yet I know I would not have survived without the prayers of friends who have learned to pray the prayers of the church. My life depends on learning to worship God with those who have made it possible for me to go on. Through worship, the world learns the truth that is required for our being truthful about ourselves and one another.
Two key themes emerge in that paragraph: 

1. For many of us not so gifted, the prayers of others are necessary to sustain and shape our own prayers. 

2. Worship is about truth (see John 4:23-24). In worship we encounter the one who is the Truth, we hear both the good news and the bad news about our own condition, and we learn to be truthful by proclaiming the truth. 

In the end, it is because of the rough confrontation with the truth that we know we need the prayers of others.

The quotation is from Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2010), p. 159.
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