Posted by: Dan | July 4, 2005

The Rule of Prayer

The early church coined the phrase lex orandi, lex credendi, which is translated roughly as “the rule of faith is the rule of prayer” or “prayer reveals the prayers' true theology.”

So my question is this: if our prayers are dominated by requests for finances, physical security, and good health, to what extent are we just praying to the same gods that are glorified in Western culture?

Granted there is a place for such things in conversations with the divine. Jesus, when teaching the disciples to pray does say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” suggesting that one should appeal to God to provide one's basic physical needs. However, that is only one line in a prayer that says a whole lot more — a prayer that is itself part of an address that emphasises that one should not spend much time worrying about such things. So when such things monopolise prayer (as they so frequently do — especially corporate prayer) I can't help but wonder if we are not simply worshiping idols.

It seems to me that one moves beyond idol worship when one prays for such things but does not devote one's life to attaining (and maintaining) such things. And when one lives in such a way then I suspect that one's prayers will gradually look more and more different.

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