Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 6, 2007
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
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Jesus said, "And whenever you pray, do not be like
the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in
the synagogues and at the street corners, so that
they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they
have received their reward."
As an ordained minister, public prayer is one of my
occupational hazards. I publicly pray in a number
of local churches, ecumenical and interfaith events.
Jesus' message is for all who pray, not just
professionals. It is easy to pray flowery speeches
to impress and please our listeners with poetic prose
that is disguised as prayers. It is easy to be more
concerned with content and delivery than to honor
prayers of the heart. It is easy to be in love with
the sound of our own voice. I have been guilty of
all of these failings.
How do we publicly pray? Carefully. Humbly.
Thoughtfully. Prayerfully. Wisely. Respectfully.
My wise father insisted on brevity! Public prayer
is both an art and a sacred responsibility.
At times I write down my prayers in advance and at
other times they pour out of me straight from my heart.
I have studied public prayers from different religious
traditions. There are times and places to pour out
one's heart before God at great length. There are
also public prayer times when this is inappropriate
and we must be aware of the occasion and others' time.
Flowery speeches disguised as prayers can actually
hinder the prayers of other listeners.
God, teach me how to pray sincerely. Help me pray
non-hypocritical prayers. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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