I don’t spend much time in American churches, as you might have guessed, but today I visited one to attend a wedding. And was shocked to discover little cards that you could fill in to get the church staff to pray instead of you.
On the other side of the card a space is provided for you to describe the request you want this prayer to contain.
I understand that people lead busy lives but there should still be things that we don’t delegate to others. Thinking, breathing, eating, loving, drinking, sleeping, learning, even going to the dentist are activities that nobody can do for us. Surely, prayer is one of them. How could it have occurred to anybody that you can get others to pray instead of you? What next? Pre-recorded prayers that are made at regular intervals for a low price of $19.99?
This is just mind-boggling. If somebody wanted to ridicule religious people, they couldn’t do it as well as the religious people manage to all on their own.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
I wonder what the guy who came up with the the above-mentioned suggestions would have had to say about this practice of getting others to pray instead you.