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Nosy, Noisy Public Prayer

Prayer is vital to me and my church, an important part of my own life. Nonetheless, as I worship here and there, I run into public prayers that rub me the wrong way. First of all, I'm irritated by announcements disguised as prayers. I wonder if they're not, in fact, addressed to me more than they are to God. I've spent quite a few years trying to figure out the best place for the announcements. I favor the men's room, before worship begins.

But if we're going to have announcements, then let's just have announcements, rather than disguising them as prayers. As prayers they're almost funny.

"O Lord, we pray that you'll bless the congregational potluck tonight at 6pm in the Fellowship Hall, A-H bring salads, I-P bring desserts, R-Z bring bread and rolls, at which a free- will offering will be received to help support the youth group's summer mission trip to Muscatine next July 12-18."

I'm all for congregational potlucks and youth mission trips, but I ask you: does the Lord really need to hear ...

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