I have many warm and lifelong memories of my high school football career. I remember before every football game after Coach Wacojay had given a rousing pregame speech, the leaders of the team would huddle on bended knee to pray. We would each hold hands, recite the Lord’s Prayer, and then rise to scream, yell, jump, and on occasion say, “Let ‘s kill these (insert obscenity).” This extreme yet true example reveals much about prayer.
Prayer is such a funny and common thing in all of life. It seems that the thought and language of prayer pervades all of life; every tragedy, every hard day, every need, every ball game, and every Facebook post. In a hypocritical and arrogant church setting we will even use prayer request as an opportunity to gossip about, or just outright inform one another, on the tragedy of sin, selfishness, and pain in the lives of other people who are obviously not present. The tragedy of prayer is that it is common to all people. Some call it meditation, some call it praise music, and some call it “the blessing”. Some call it yoga, some call it talking to God, but despite the method or the god, prayer is universal.
You see the question isn’t “Should we pray?” or even “When should I pray?” but rather “To whom shall I pray?” and “How shall I pray?”
The real question is, “What is authentic prayer”. The root of authentic prayer is in the object of the prayer. With yoga it may be nature, with meditation it is usually the inner person, with Hinduism it can be anything, with Muslims it is Allah, with praise music it can be ascending and descending scales, and with Christianity it is the triune God.
On November 10th, 2013 all campuses at the Church at Lake Guntersville will begin a conversation about this conversation. I encourage you to bring your questions, speculations, and struggle with prayer to one of our campuses, preferably the Downtown Campus (wink wink) as we discuss Prayer: A conversation about a conversation.