Commandments Concerning Times Of Prayer

And when it shall come to pass that thou shalt eat thy breakfast or begin any trip or shall be called upon to “close us out in a word of prayer” by thy pastor (if thou shalt be lucky enough to not be a women) that thou shalt heed the words which are written in this book that thy prayers and thy fundy cred be not hindered.

For when thou prayest thou shalt in no wise use words that have ever been used before in a prayer. For God shall only hear and answer prayers that are as different from each other as one snowflake is from another. And in the day that thou shalt use a prayer that has been ever said or written then shalt the Lord tell you that he’s already heard this one and ignore you as if you were a tattooed heathen or an Episcopalian.

And if when thou prayest thou shouldest have a creative lapse wherin thou canst not think of what to say next then shalt thou throw in the word “Lord” as a filler. For the Lord doth dearly love to hear his name used as punctuation and never wearies of it. And if thou art really stuck adding a few “Father God’s” or “Good God Almighty’s” might work too.

For when Our Lord taught his disciples to pray he gave them only an outline example which he never really expected them to use except as they might modifying it extemporaneously with much verbal clutter and a meandering purpose. Go and do thou likewise.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, p 3

300 thoughts on “Commandments Concerning Times Of Prayer”

    1. “For the Lord doth dearly love to hear his name used as punctuation and never wearies of it.” Priceless.

      A few “Praise God”‘s thrown in also work, both in prayer and as punctuation for normal conversation.

    1. Oops! I may have to sue for trademark violation ๐Ÿ˜€

      Actually, I think that little TM took a few nanoseconds off of your posting speed.

      1. Yes. In my attempt to be witty I may have lost the prestige of claiming the coveted initial post.

  1. And if thou is at a restaurant, thee must double thy volume when praying, so the gidless heathens who work there might be blessed by thy piety.

    Bonus points for leaving a $1 tip with a tract.

      1. That case (people leaving either a very small tip + tract or just a tract and no tip) is why my mother always tips extra. She figures that there’s enough stingy Christian tippers out there, she might as well try to make up for them!

      2. Better yet is when it’s a family with spawns of Satan, who are demanding, leave a huge mess and leaves a nice tract.

      3. Fundies talk a lot about “testimony”, but when it comes down to it, praying piously and then leaving a pittance as a tip, or leaving a pittance and a tract, is a far worse “testimony” than drinking a glass of chardonnay with your dinner.

        Testimony. In the words of the great philosopher Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    1. Double points if you leave a tract that looks like a green $20 bill!

      (We used to have so much fun in the mall and Wal-Mart with those.) :mrgreen:

      1. This is one of my pet peeves from my waitressing days. I worked at a restaurant with two Baptist churches less than two blocks away. I’m not sure if both were IFB or not because it was before I was in the IFB. The church people came in for dinner after church and you always knew it was them because of how they dressed. They always left tracts instead of tips. I was already saved, but not going to church at this time due to having to work on Sundays.

        I didn’t mind waiting on them, for the most part they were more polite than other customers. But I did mind very much getting tracts instead of tips, and so did the girls I worked with, most of whom were not saved. Whenever I tried to witness to them, they’d remind me of these Sunday Christians and their tracts with no tips. I couldn’t argue with them, they were right! They would throw the tracts in the trash and I couldn’t blame them a bit for this. Some of them were single mothers who desperately needed their tips. If these Baptists thought they were going to win someone to the Lord this way, they were sadly mistaken, they were doing the opposite of what they intended by ripping these hardworking waitresses off of their well deserved tips.

        What was particularly insulting was the way they assumed we were all unsaved. Why? Because we worked on Sunday. Why did we work on Sunday? Because the restaurant was open on Sunday and why was it open on Sunday? To give them somewhere to eat after church! Sure they weren’t the only people who came in on Sundays but they were a good part of it. So it was rather hypocritical of them to look upon us as unsaved for working on Sunday when they were part of the reason why we had to. I hardly ever got a Sunday off in that place.

        Once I ran after a customer who had left his tract instead of a tip and gave it back to him saying I was already saved. He looked shocked, if I was saved why was I working on Sunday? Were they totally blind to their hypocrisy? I said because the restaurant is open on Sunday. Many people like to eat out on Sunday! I guess he thought I could just ask for it off. Ha ha hardy har har!

        The other thing was the tracts themselves. One looked like a dollar bill (a good tip in those days) but naturally it was a tract entitled “The best tip you’ll ever receive!” Now if *I* got ticked off receiving it, how did my unsaved coworkers feel? You got it!

        Often in looking back on this I wished I’d spoken to the pastors of these two churches and told them how we felt about this, that he ought to tell his church members they ought to leave a tip as well as the tract.

        Later after I got married and we got into fundyville, we would leave tips with the tracts.

        1. I’m thankful that most of the churches I’ve been in, pastors have specifically told their church members NOT to leave only a tract as it was a bad testimony. (Although I do remembering also being told by one that going to eat out on Sundays was a sin because it DID require other people to work.)

        2. I was a waitress also for several years. Our restaurant was also frequented by the Baptist churches in the area. I don’t think that I ever received a tract instead of a tip, but I do remember any tract that was left for a waitress (with or without a tip) went right into the trash. They hated getting them.

        3. My mom used to give out tracts to the trick or treaters. I think it is about the same. NO kid (or waitress) is going to say, “OH YIPPEE, Someone gave me READING MATERIAL!” Only in fundyland maybe.

        4. I used to work at a restaurant where we had these 5-6 Christian teens come in every Wednesday night after church. They would order one side item to split between them, then make a big mess and leave a 10%-of-their-side-item tip. I wasn’t part of the waitstaff, but my boss would have me take care of them because they were “my people.” At least I was able to take the edge off of the stench they were putting on Christianity.

    2. If you want to offer someone a tract, OK.
      But that doesn’t let you off of tipping.
      Would you pay your mechanic with a tract (and no money) for repairing your car?
      Would you pay your hairdresser, your grocer, your doctor with tracts instead of tips?
      Not for long, because they wouldn’t keep doing business with you for very long.

      1. And if you leave something titled “The Best Tip You’ll Ever Receive,” you’d better make good on it by leaving a whole lot of money with it.

      2. Whoops, I meant to say “tracts instead of money” up there. My typing just gets worse all the time.

  2. “And if when thou prayest thou shouldest have a creative lapse wherin thou canst not think of what to say next then shalt thou throw in the word โ€œLordโ€ as a filler.”

    Absolutely all-time one of my biggest pet peeves. If someone starts doing this I find that I can’t pay attention to the rest of the prayer – all I hear is the word “Lord” over and over and over. Argh.

    1. Filler material:
      How about this tag at the beginning of each sentence and at the end of each sentence.

      Dear God Lordbless this offeringDear God Lord. Dear God Lord bless the gift and the giver Dear God Lord.

      For variety there was an occasionaly “Father God Lord” mixed in there.

      1. Don’t forget when you’re praying the offering prayer you have to throw in “bless the gift and the giver.”

        1. And before the meal: “Bless the hands that prepared it.” I used to pray, for my single friends, “And put a ring on it.” Then Beyonce stole my idea, and made millions. Sigh.

        2. That’s the thing: we were always exhorted about never using “vain repetition” like those heathen who read from a prayer book, but our extemporaneous prayers often were full of cliches: “Bless this food and the hands that prepared it”, “traveling mercies”, and of course the ubiquitous, “Dear Heavenly Father, Thankyouforthisday” (usually said all in one breath).

          It’s easy to fall into mindless repetition. That’s one of the reasons written out prayers can be so meaningful, because instead of bursting out at the spur of the moment and thus often consisting of well-worn phrases they can be thoughtful, deep, and Scriptural.

        3. Yeah I’ve heard all this ten thousand times. “Gift and the giver” and “Bless the hands that prepared it.” How about blessing the whole person, not just their hands? I think they get nervous about praying in public and that’s why they stumble all over their words. In this I was always glad to be female, you never got called on to pray! :mrgreen:

      2. Fundy boot camp:

        Recruits: HAYMEN!!!
        DI: I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!
        Recruits: HAYMEN!!!!!!!!!

    2. I used to sit there and count how many “lords” they said, also I alway found it funny how many people pray in king James, I.e. “we thank thee oh father for thou art good.” and right after they pray it’s back to normal talking, and a regular tone of voice lol ๐Ÿ™„

      1. I once asked about that and was told that was his “Prayer Language.” I don’t think he knew what he was talking about though.

    3. Or how about the “Father we just (ask, thank you, pray)…” Just? Is this trying to minimize the request, somehow, so He isn’t offended? At my fundie school I soon noticed there was a certain way of praying, or filling in gaps, or phrasing things, and students soon picked it up and followed similar patterns which became familiar.

      Of course it was often all run together into one word, as “lordwejust pray that….”

      One thing that I can’t fathom is the need for fundy families to pray out loud in obvious fashion while in a restaurant, as if it is some form of self-humiliation that they feel obligated to enforce on themselves in public. ??

      “…And bless it to our bodies” As opposed to the bodies of heathens eating beside us who will be poisoned or who will fail to be nourished? Vain repetitions.

        1. Oops. Didn’t read far enough–“Jesus Wejus” was covered a bit further along in the discussion.

        2. “Jesus wejus” ??? ROTFL! I just know the next time I hear someone stumbling along with 20 “justs” I’m going to have to cover my mouth to stifle a bellylaugh! :mrgreen:

      1. Ha! Heard a lot of “lordwejust” and “bless it to our bodies” in my day. When I do bless the food, I just thank God for it. Really, that’s all you have to do…and if it’s only a habit, that’s…vain repetitions too.

        Once I had my RA/PC (oy) at BJU all concerned because I had only three prayer requests (and I wracked my brain for more, I swear, ’cause everyone else had like 30) and none of them were about homework. She prayed that I
        would grow and change and stuff, then told my roommate (the APC) that I wasn’t enough of a leader and I couldn’t control a room. All of that because I had three prayer requests because things were good at the time (still are.)

        1. Another reason why I dislike prayer chains/groups. It becomes one up manship: your friend broke a leg, well, my friend has cancer. Your friend has cancer, well my AUNT has cancer. Your aunt has cancer, well I have an unspoken request (trump card) having to do with sexual deviancy, but I really can’t say anymore.

        2. Well, *I* have an unspoken prayer request having to do with sexual deviancy and involving several well-known Hollywood celebrities and a couple of giraffes, but I really can’t say any more about it.

        3. I’m not a giraffe, but I play one on…. Okay, yes, running it into the ground, sorry… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Prayer group at BJU was like a game of “Who’s got the worst situation.” I found out that “ruptured spleen” wins automatically, sort of like catching the Snitch in Quidditch.

  3. I find that most public prayers I hear these days don’t compare well to Biblical prayers; they by and large neglect to praise and thank God for Who He is, and are merely a recital of needs and wants.

    This post is highly appropriate, as I’ve been considering the matter of prayer lately; specifically, written-out prayers. By habit and practice, I’m used to prayers being composed extemporaneously (if I used and spelled the word right; I mean made up as one goes along). It is somehow more “from the heart”, supposedly. But a prayer that is thought out ahead of time can also be from the heart, as long as God Himself is being considered and not the audience.

    Some prayers are clearly more to impress or lecture the audience than to actually talk with the heavenly Father.

    1. If I know ahead of time I will be praying at an event, especially a wedding or funeral, I write them out. I don’t want to spoil an occasion sounding like a complete idiot because of a brain fade.

      I very much regret that I was too fundy at the time to get my Grandfather’s Presbyterian Prayer Book. I would like to read and learn from those very old, truly devout written prayers.

  4. Okay, while the post is hilarious and righ on the money, I have to say, the photo is pretty cute.

    1. Yes it is, those children are so cute. That could’ve been my church when I was little, though I wasn’t raised fundy. We were told to fold our hands to pray though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. They always told us to close our eyes, bow our heads, and fold our hands. I remember thinking as a little kid that if I squinted my eyes REALLY TIGHT, folded my hands just the right way (fingers interlaced, left over right, squeeze hard) and bowed my head as far as possible (lean forward in my chair until my elbows or possibly shoulders touched my knees, chin on chest) it somehow made me more spiritual.

  5. Ah, Darrell, you did nail that one. Even as a budding fundy many years ago, I wondered if all the “O Lords” and “Father Gods” were vain repetitions. I also couldn’t help but wonder if they were worried they couldn’t keep God’s attention and had to remind Him who they were talking to.

    If called upon to pray publicly in church, I almost always begin with thanks for the day, with a specific item that fits that day. I was asked to open a service at my folks church when R. B. Oulette was speaking. One of the many non-scriptural things he said was about people who start their prayer thanking God for the day. Then he back-peddled a bit to say that “Our brother today is okay in he used different words” (one of many reasons why that was, I hope, The last time I hear him speak.)

    1. I kind of hope that I never meet R. B. I’m afraid that I’d pronounce his last name as “Oubliette” since that’s how it sounds in my head.
      Also, I wonder if it means anything that my employer allows me to access YouTube and a number of social networking sites at work but blocks his church site as a security risk.

        1. Hey-Men! This is your brain… this is you brain on IFB preachertainment… any questions?
          (If you have seen the PSA then you just played that mental image without the aid of youtube)

        2. LOL Scorpio and Don.

          I have only ever heard it pronounced “Wool-ette,” but do not know if that is correct, either.

        3. The name has its origins in Middle French. It means a dungeon with an opening only at the top.

          Merriam-Webster is the first google listing.

          It is related to the modern French verb, oublier meaning to forget.

          If the name is pronounced properly it would look like this:


          I make no assumptions that Americans pronounce French names correctly, as so many of the names have lost their connection to their origins.

        4. My post referred to pronouncing the good doctor’s name, GEAH. Sorry, I should have been more clear.

        5. Senn Enough is correct. It is pronounced “wool-et” with emphasis on the last syllable. I attended his church for years, and there were people there longer than I who still couldn’t spell it. It’s very French; “R.B.” stands for Rene Bach.

    2. It is crazy how R. B. Oulette would criticize someone for thanking God for this day. Shouldn’t we thank God for everything?

      And it is pronounced Ooo-let

      1. I didn’t quite understand the point he was trying to make. I think it may have been something about being too lazy to think up something new. He had let his words outrun his brain.
        My favorite, which I have shared before, was when he blasted people who work four ten hour days so they don’t have to go to work five days. At the time, I was on a three day twelve hour schedule, as I am again. Most of us work other jobs on our off days. I guess that would be called greedy by the great R.B. I don’t plan to find out.

        I wish I could tell you the title and text of the sermon. I have no clue. (and not the only one)

        1. I made my post before reading Kaje’s, so I was not trying to contradict her. That is how Paul Chappell always introduced him, and they are good friends. He preached at my former fundy church quite frequently.

          I never heard a “w” at the beginning. Just an “oo” as in “moon”.

          However you pronounce it, Oulette is still a batcrap crazy fundy.

        2. Ouellette is a common name in Quebec or Franco areas of Ontario and Maritimes (his roots are in Canada but we are happy to let you folks south of the border have him). In French, Ouelette is pronounced with a “w” and sounds a lot like “wallet”, not that RB is obsessed with wallets.

  6. We used to have this one guy at out church who would ALWAYS end his prayer with “Glory to God the Lamb forever, the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel”.

    He would say it so fast that it took us a while to catch all that he was really saying. ๐Ÿ™„

    1. My brother (now a Methodist minister) when asked to say a blessing would bow his head and mumble the alphabet – “ABCDEFG…” His contention was that no one paid attention to the words anyway.

      It got to be a running joke in our family. However, after he finished seminary he started tacking on the line, “Take these letters, let them be a canticle of praise to Thee. Amen.”

  7. I used to count every time someone used Lord as punctuation. It is very distracting.

    My biggest pet peeve has to be the phrase “Jesus, we just”. A lot of fundies use that phrase while they are praying.

    1. Ah, yes, the “just” prayers. I don’t know if it’s just filler or some sort of weird humility, but in public prayers people always will say, “Lord we ask that You just” this or “just” that, meaning “only” I guess, maybe they think they’re asking too much? I don’t know. I doubt people pray like that when they’re alone, it must be something they do in public prayers, a sign of nervousness perhaps? ๐Ÿ˜•

      1. It’s the weird humility thing. It’s as if ALL they need is “just this” or “just that” and wouldn’t be so proud as to ask for more.

        1. … which is hilarious, because C.S. Lewis addresses this very thing in THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, when he reminds his nephew Wormwood that “the patient’s” mother is one of these. All the while proclaiming that she does not want to be a demanding nuisance, she nevertheless behaves just like a demanding nuisance. It is false humility ,and you nailed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. There is also the use of “really” as a filler.

        “Lord, we really just wanna pray for Brother Jim’s unsaved mother.”

    2. Somebody here on SFL taught me the term “Jeesus Weejus Christians” for these people. You know, the folks who believe it’s not really a prayer if it doesn’t begin “Jesus, we jus’ …”

  8. Always praying before eating even if it was only a snack item like an apple used to bug me a lot. Some IFB’s I knew would get so sanctimonious over it. They’d pray and thank God and ask Him to bless it even if it was a tiny morsel!

    At fundy pot lucks etc, I remember more than once getting the evil eye from someone if I took a bite before someone had properly “blessed the food” so it was getting cold while everyone waited for the prayer.

    If you happened to arrive late and took your food after everyone had already gone through the line, woe betide you if you didn’t bow your head for a few seconds before digging in, lest you be thought to be a heathen, or just ungrateful for your food.

    When it comes to prayer before a trip, if I’ve heard the phrase “traveling mercies” once I’ve heard it ten thousand times. ๐Ÿ™„

    1. Ok, so now that you mention it, tell me if this seems weird to you. In the nursing mom’s room, this mom comes in with her baby already crying. Sits down, and before she opens up shop to feed the baby, holds the (crying) baby’s hands together and prays with the baby to help him be thankful for the food he is about to recieve. (And it wasn’t a brief prayer either.) I thought at the time maybe it was for my benefit but didn’t want to be judgy. I don’t know at what age prayer before meals starts, but we didn’t start our kids till they were weaned. (Maybe that explains why they are so reprobate now.) J/K!!! My kids are good Christians! (In SPITE of not being thankful for the nummies.)

      1. Just when you think you have heard it all.. .so sanctimoniously STUPID. Dear Heavens, that poor infant! ๐Ÿ™„

      2. Stuff Fundies Like: Assuming that tiny babies with brains the size of oranges have a clue what time it is (for scheduled feedings), what they did that annoyed you (for prescribed “chastisement”), whether or not you want to stay asleep (for being ignored when calling out in the night), or–this one is new to me!–what the hell those sounds coming out of your mouth even mean. How much of the Kool-Aid does one have to imbibe in order not to notice that babies do not comprehend words?

        1. A fundy friend of my wife’s thinks her 5-month-old understands “No” already. (eg – “Mommy says no” and he behaves ๐Ÿ™„ ) Our own son is the same age. He doesn’t understand anything but his own name. Even that is iffy.

      3. “A fundy friend of my wifeโ€™s thinks her 5-month-old understands โ€œNoโ€ already. (eg โ€“ โ€œMommy says noโ€ and he behaves )”

        Sounds like she has read (and believes)the crap Michael Pearl writes. Might be time for an intervention.

        1. That baby sounds like my cats. They’re capable of ignoring me in about eight different languages.

      4. I think the nursing mom who makes an infant scream and cry during a prayer before she will let him nurse is a nitwit.

        I prayed WHILE nursing the baby. I thought it was a sweet time. I would hold his little hand and thank God for providing him dinner, and for him, etc. A nice memory.

        1. It is, and it brings back nice memories for me, too, of praying, or of crooning to mine while they nursed. ๐Ÿ™‚

      5. That is weird. The baby doesn’t understand thankfulness, it only understands that it’s hungry! Time later on to teach thankfulness!

    2. A guy I worked with at a Catholic school prayed over every small snack. Not only did he do it, he folded his hands in front of him like a child to make sure we knew he was praying. A co-worker/friend and I saw him pray before eating a chocolate one day in the teacher’s lounge and nearly cracked up laughing. He was Catholic, but from the most conservative diocese in the country which has two nicknames here in the diocese next door: “The Fundy Catholics” or the “Shiite Catholics”!

    3. Oddly enough, though, it seems to be okay to not “bless” the chips and cheese dip when the Fundies I know eat Mexican. Can anybody explain why those don’t need prayer, but a pack of ‘Nabs does?

    4. Fundies act like praying before a meal is such a necessary act of godliness, but I don’t really find it in the Bible anywhere. I remember a mention of Jesus blessing food before giving it to the multitude, but that doesn’t equate a command for us to ask him to bless every morsel we consume. Elsewhere I only see mention of receiving food with thanksgiving, which seems to me to be more of an attitude of the heart than a meal-time spoken ritual.

      Again, another case of fundies twisting the Bible into commands it never actually commands and using it as another way to judge people.

      1. Nah, prayer before meals isn’t a fundy thing. It has ancient Jewish (and ancient Christian) roots. I agree that praying before every single snack isn’t necessary, but thankfulness over food isn’t really presented as a generic “attitude of the heart” thing in Scripture, either. When Paul speaks of being thankful for what we receive, he mentions that it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. And Jesus blessing food wasn’t just his own personal anomaly, but a regular, ritual blessing of food.

        As my former Baptist church went more mainstream evangelical, I would see less and less prayer before meals in people’s homes. The thought was that as long as they were generally thankful for food, all that praying before meals stuff was just a relic of a fairly un-cool Christian past full of vain repetitions and concrete rituals. Ironically, they were still stuck in fundy-land, with this reasoning. Coming out of evangelicalism and into a rather more ancient Christianity, I found regular table prayers to be refreshing and comforting again.

        1. Love this. This is the reason i love to follow Rite II in the Book of Common Prayer, esp. In the evenings. So very comforting!

        2. But I think it’s only in Fundyland that it’s used so legalistically. I remember my parents snapping angrily at my siblings for sneaking a bite before the prayer, or even issuing spankings. I honestly don’t think that’s what Paul had in mind when speaking of food being sanctified with prayer.

          Praying over a meal is certainly not a bad habit to be in. But it’s another thing that I’ve stopped doing because the legalism turned me off so much. I feel like I don’t even know how to make it sincere because of 20 years of ritualistic “Father, thank you for this day and thank you for this food. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” before every scrap of food. =\

  9. My favorites are the folks who TELL the Lord what He has to already know. They TELL him, in their long, sanctimonious prayer, that He made the world, that He ordained such and such to happen, that He blesses those who do this and that. Now, I have to say, when I re-read Solomon’s long and beautiful prayer at the dedication of the Temple, he, too, seems to be “telling” the Lord things He has to already know. But, I believe Solomon’s words were inspired, and anyway, none of the mogs and their satellites are Solomon. Perhaps I am too picky, but it just seems so much more REAL to simply ask the Lord for what it is we are there FOR. <<– Yes, I did end with a preposition. It happens. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    1. I think the purpose is to praise God and glorify Him, not just present Him with our requests but also reflect what He’s done. I think the clue though might be the word “sanctimonious”. If you know the person, and they are not generous, humble, and kind-hearted, than fullsome words of praise sound pretentious. They do come across more like “showing off” << And there's a sentence ending with a preposition too! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Also I think the context matters: sometimes a quick word of prayer simply calls for God's children asking Him to provide for their needs instead of a more formal structure.

      I remember being taught that prayer should consist of praise for Who God is, confession of sin, thanksgiving for what He has done, and finally the requests for need.

      1. Yeah they called that ACTS, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. I don’t think EVERY prayer has to be this way though. It seems that when you’re called upon to pray in public it should be short and to the point. All this other can wait for private prayers.

      2. Yes, PW, I agree with you, and I do know that sometimes that is what a public prayer is trying to do (praise and glorify the Lord); those are not the ones I mean, and I was not precise enough. It is more, as you say, the sanctimonious ones, who speak *AT* the Lord in their most instructive, pedagogic voices, that sicken me.

    2. YES! I was going to say that but then I thought I would just read the rest of the comments first. Glad I did. Other thing is when people “Pray the Scripture” which may or may not be “Scriptural” but it is like they are reminding God where He said this or that, and it sometimes seems to me they are showing off their Bible memory verses. I am so jaded. I think I have seen a lot of showing off in prayer form. I rarely pray in public because of that.

      1. I remember feeling that way, too, when I also felt jaded by it. What helped me, because I was a Sunday School teacher to adults and had to pray, was to just talk to the Lord, in front of my class, the way I talk to Him anyway. It never failed, and anyway, the sanctimonious brethren that liked more show-off-i-ness in a public prayer would simply do even more showing off the next time THEY prayed.

      2. I have a great deal of anxiety about praying out loud in a group and usually just pass it on – because I know I could pray an awesome prayer and use “Lord” and “just” more than anyone else, and follow ACTS to the letter . . . it’ll pretty much be the best prayer ever. But I also fear that maybe it won’t be the best prayer of the group and I won’t live up to everyone else’s expectations of how spiritual I should appear . . . and then I tell the fundy voice to SHUTUP and I pass on praying anyway because I’m not quite in a place where I can do it and not try so hard. But I have found more peace and solace in my private prayer life – not just formal and scheduled and off a list, but throughout the day as things come up. It was eye opening to realize God would listen to me whether I was kneeling with eyes closed and hands folded or not.

    3. I knew a guy who served as an usher. When he prayed over the offering it would be very “informative.”

      “Father we just thank you for each that is here today. We pray that you would bless them and give them the desire to be back in your house. You know we meet together, Lord, at 10 on Sunday morning for Sunday School, at 11 for preaching, and once again at 6 on Sunday night. Then we come back at 7 on Wednesdays….” I guess he wanted to remind the Lord when He was expected to show up for service (and with some of the services I have seen I can understand why the Lord might not want to show up).

  10. I just don’t pray out loud anymore. My conversations with God are just that – personal conversations, not for the rest of the world to hear. They are conversational in style and nature. If I do pray out loud I will either pray in much the same way, talking to God as if He’s sitting across the couch from me, or I’ll keep it as short as humanly possible. In either event, I don’t get called on to lead in prayer much anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I heard a visiting preacher in my home church (don’t remember who) say that we should always pray silently because then the devil wouldn’t be able to hear our prayers. He was quite serious about this, as most Fundys are about whatever hare-brained idea they get in their head. I always figured Satan couldn’t do anything about what God was doing whether he knew it was coming or not, but then I always had a higher opinion of God than most Fundys I knew. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  11. Don’t forget the word “just” Everyone always overuses “just”. As in, “Lord we JUST come before you this more asking your blessing on this conference. We ask that you would JUST move in a mighty way and JUST revel yourself to those in attendance. If anyone is feeling ill, Lord, we ask that you would JUST touch them and JUST help them feel better. We JUST pray all these things in your name and are JUST expecting great things, Amen.

    1. Well! I was JUST about to post what you’ve posted. I JUST want to thank you for doing it. You’ve JUST made my day.

      I have a Southern Baptist minister friend whose pet peeve, when it comes to “prayer punctuation,” is clergy who use the name “God” too casually: “God, we just wanna thank you for all that You have done for us, and God, we pray for the missionaries who laboring for you, and God, we . . .” He points out (rightly, I think) that there is no real reverence attached to such prayers.

    2. I have never really been able to explain Fundagelical prayer to my cradle Catholic husband. I told him once, though, it mostly consists of rambling words with the phrases “just” “lord” and “Father God”.

  12. I’m with Uncle Wilver. I decided years ago that I needed to write out my Sunday morning pastoral prayers, rather than say the same thing every Sunday using the same trite pet phrases.

    Gee, I guess there’s something to be said for those Presbyterian and Episcopal prayer books. Who’d ‘a thunk we could actually learn something from those heathens? :mrgreen:

  13. “Bless this food to our bodies.” This high fat, high sodium, high carb, 2,000+ empty-calorie meal.
    “Give the doctors wisdom.” Their years of experience as top surgeons isn’t enough.
    “Lord, give me the words to say.” Since I’m unprepared to give this sermon.
    “Lord, let thy will be done.” Hmmm…so why even bother praying?

    1. >โ€œLord, let thy will be done.โ€ Hmmmโ€ฆso why even bother praying?

      Um, because Jesus said to? With almost those exact words?

    2. Yeah, as much as those phrases get a bit cliched because of their common usage, I’m not sure I really have a problem with them. If I was in the hospital with my life in the hands of a doctor, I’d sure be praying for his wisdom! After all, I make it a point to ask God to give ME wisdom every day, why not ask him to give it to someone else?

      The “bless this food to our bodies” and aforementioned “traveling mercies” really get to me though, since both phrases are more “Christianese” than anything.

      1. Along with asking God to give the doctors wisdom I often pray that God would give the doctors a real caring for the patient. They treat and operate on so many patients they could see this one as just another, but to us who are praying for them, they are special.

  14. I had a boss once who would pray every time he drove anywhere (at least when someone else was in the car with him). He would put the car in gear, drive 15 feet to the edge of the driveway, bow his head and pray out loud, then continue on. It was always weird.

    1. My husband used to have a coworker that would always pray when riding with him on anything that had an on-ramp…after locking up his seat belt and grabbing onto the handle above the door. He held onto that thing so tightly that it came loose ๐Ÿ˜€

      Of course, I can see his point on that one…

  15. Mounty, I do the same. I don’t like praying out loud (introverted guy that I am).

    I heard these same kinds of prayers a lot in the Southern Baptist churches I attended. It’s like they’re all afraid of a pause or a moment of silence. The best moments I’ve had with God is when I shut up and wait for Him.

  16. C’mon, guys– now people’s prayers aren’t even safe? It’s these kind of articles that make people embarrassed and self-conscious about praying out loud.

    1. I know I am. But I already was. I think Darrell just said stuff we had already thought. (Or at least I did.)

      1. So are you guys on here all atheists? I’m not being sarcastic; I really am wondering. Did you all just leave Fundamentalists or did you leave Christianity as well?

        1. I am not an athiest. I think I am now more aware of God and His Son than I EVER was when I was stuck in the false religion of fundamentalism. I do not appreciate the man-worship that goes on in the churches of my childhood.

        2. The number of people on here who have actually said they are athiest is very, very small. Most of us are not.

          I think you need to read more posts. Check out the “About” tab at the top of this page, too, if you wish.

        3. “No. Youโ€™re not *really* wondering if weโ€™re atheists. I believe youโ€™re implying that we are”.

          Er! Wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had no such intention. I trully was wondering. So a lot of you say you’re not atheists. Are any of you Christians?

          “Do you equate leaving fundamentalism with atheism?”

          Lol, No, dude/dudine. Not at all. I know many people who aren’t “fundamentalists” who are Christians.

        4. “Are any of you Christian?”

          Asking that question means either
          1) you’re deliberately trying to be insulting or
          2) you haven’t read much here on SFL.

          If you read the blog posts and the comments, you should be able to get your question answered pretty clearly.

        5. I am not an atheist. Nor am I a theist. And the usual meaning of agnostic does not capture what I am either.

        6. Come on, Scorpio. What about the 4th option? — i.e. Someone who is concerned abot people’s souls and was just wondering. For crying out loud, you guys are acting so morbid. ๐Ÿ™

        7. Never knew that asking if someone was a Christian was an insult…you learn sumptin new every day! ๐Ÿ˜†

        8. I’m not an atheist; I believe in God and Jesus Christ is my Savior. You really should spend more time here reading comments (and more of Darrell’s posts) before you start asking skeptical questions like that. It’s insulting.

        9. @ a: People talk about their relationship with Christ all over this site. How did you not notice this?

          Basic internet etiquette includes reading for comprehension. At the very least, this involves clicking the About link and lurking for a while. (“Lurking” is reading the public conversation at a site without responding.) Lurking for six weeks is sometimes recommended. Reading through the archives is also a good idea before joining the conversation.

        10. Give it a rest! It isn’t “skeptical”; for all I knew, you could have been Muslems, Bhuddists, etc., etc.,. I was just ASKING. Just “clueing in”.

        11. So, now that you’re all “clued in”–how precocious and adorable!–toddle off. Your nappy needs changing.

        12. Lol, then I am so verrry sorry for “deliberatley insulting” you all, asking a question without reading the about page, not “lurking”, being a “troll”, not reading much on SFL, etc., etc., etc. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ™„

        13. A, you’re getting accused of being a troll and other things because it’s pretty obvious in reading through any parts of this site that the vast majority of us are Christians – Christians who have found that our relationship with Christ has improved since leaving fundamental churches.

          So in saying that the answer to your question(s) should be obvious to even the most casual observer, the “troll” and other accusations are quite logical.

        14. And for the record, I don’t believe someone is an unbeliever simply because they listen to contemporary Christian music or left a Baptist church or criticize a well-known pastor.

          “My take on it is, you donโ€™t want to be taken for a troll? Then donโ€™t act like one.”

          Seriously dude, I really don’t mind what you take me for. Have a happy day! ๐Ÿ™‚

        15. I’m not an atheist, but I play one on TV.

          (I don’t really, but I couldn’t resist the set-up line.)

        16. How typical to equate leaving fundyville to leaving Christianity altogether. I can’t speak for everyone else but I think most of us simply go to other churches now and our faith is just as real (and in some cases even more so) as it was when we were in fundyland. As we’re becoming free from the shackles of fundydom we are finding a liberty in the Lord we never had when we were under bondage to the rules and regulations of fundyness. It’s so nice to be out of that legalistic nonsense realizing that God doesn’t require us to observe every jot and tittle of the fundy law.

      2. Wow, it seems y’all have really jumped the gun. Looks like you’ve chalked me off as the typical baptist easy-believism, 1-2-3, hollywood evangelist!

        Well, here’s the way the cookie crumbles. I came here and read a few of the articles here. The “about page” didn’t say anything about you being Christians, it just said you were former fundamentalists. Reading the satire, it wasn’t exactly clear if you were fed up with he whole of Christianity or just the way hypocritical Christians were. So I wasn’t sure if you were former fundamentalists turned atheists, or “evangelicals” or what. Thought I’d ask without having to “lurk” or read through a ton of info; and how the sparks did fly! ๐Ÿ˜†

        I wouldn’t care in the least if someone asked me if I were a atheist or a Christian. Most everyone I know wouldn’t dream of being offended by being asked that; thought it was the same here. Some really hit the fan though! ๐Ÿ˜†

        1. Hey “a”: Sorry you’re getting pounced on. I wasn’t insulted by the question. I think it’s a good question, especially if you just discovered the site. I don’t go to church and would consider myself a “questioner/doubter” and pretty much churched-out. I enjoy this site, but I too had some mean-spirited replies when I first signed on. I was chastised for “spamming”. You see, I sort of advertised a book, but did it in the wrong forum. I was hurt by some of the meanie replies, but got over it. There are a lot of nice people here. However, if you’re not an ex-fundie, you’re not going to convince anyone they’re wrong about leaving fundyland! ๐Ÿ˜€

        2. That’s because we literally have had people get on this blog and accuse everyone here of being unbelievers simply because we listen to contemporary Christian music or left a Baptist church or criticize a well-known pastor.

          Yes, I am a Christian, just learning how to truly live the Gospel in real life instead of hiding inside the four walls of my church separated from the world and feeling self-righteous in my “holiness.”

        3. Yeah. No apologies here. My take on it is, you don’t want to be taken for a troll? Then don’t act like one. But why try to explain it to a troll?

      3. Don’t worry, kat. I’m not hurt at all. In fact, I find it very comical and entertaining. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Though some of these folks would be red strawberries ๐Ÿ˜ณ if they had to meet some of the people in person that they trashtalked to online. That’s just how some folks are, though; nice and sweet in person, and savage online. Very entertaining, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

        And no, I don’t intend on trying to convince everyone to go to “fundyland”.

        Take care!

        1. And for the record, I donโ€™t believe someone is an unbeliever simply because they listen to contemporary Christian music or left a Baptist church or criticize a well-known pastor.

          โ€œMy take on it is, you donโ€™t want to be taken for a troll? Then donโ€™t act like one.โ€

          Seriously dude, I really donโ€™t mind what you take me for. Have a happy day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. NO… Performance Prayers are the topic of today’s conversation. A heartfelt prayer is not under attack. It is the Performance Prayers that are part of the mask of Piety, and the “go-to” prayers and prayer phrases, that make up the vain repetitions which we call prayer, that are under attack.

      1. Yeah, but even if it’s not a “performance prayer”, if someone utters, “Father God”, “Lord”, etc. more than once, you’re all bored to death.

        1. Why does it matter to the pray-er if we, here, are bored to death? He is not praying four OUR benefit. *or IS he?*

        2. No, more than once does not bore me to death. It is simply when those words become the main substance of the so-called prayer. What bores me to death is people who come to this site to perform fundy apologetics. That makes me yawn till I just doze off completely.

        3. “Why does it matter to the pray-er if we, here, are bored to death? He is not praying four OUR benefit. *or IS he?*”

          Not at all. Your missing the point. What I’m trying to say is that it’s funny you would bore that easily. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜•

      2. Well, in particular I think Darrell’s making a point about the unbiblical Fundy attitude regarding the Lord’s Prayer–that was given to the apostles directly by Jesus, and to scorn even it because of this insistence on quasi-extempore prayer is just silly.

        {Back to lurking, since the abusive church-cult I escaped from was more conservative Evangelical than Fundamentalist.}

  17. Has anyone here seen the King of the Hill where Bobby joins a Youth Group. His prayer had our whole family ROFLing.

    1. I have seen it, Simsy-Poo, and one of my sons can quote whole chunks of it. You picked a classic!

      1. My sons can as well. I wish I could remember important stuff like that, but sadly, it gets dropped out of my brain for other, less important information.

        1. … like, did I pay the utility bills, and what time do I need to pick up offspring from that appointment, and did I think about what we are having for supper… yeah ,Sims, what is WRONG with you? Not memorizing whole chunks of animated sitcoms! Tut tut! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. I haven’t seen the King of Hill episode. How about the prayer in Talladega Nights? A little irreverent, which was the point of course, but really funny.

      1. What I love about THAT prayer is the memory it brings back to me of Sister Theresa Aloysius, my fourth-grade religion teacher, who found me crying at my desk one day. I told her my cat was missing, and I really thought my heart would break. She told me to pray to Baby Jesus for the safe return of my cat. I did just that, no rote prayers, just heartfelt anxiety, addressed to Baby Jesus. Um, whatever we may all think about that, daggone if that cat did not come strolling across the school yard to me the very next day, so that I, and the good Sister T.A., could see. And she let me take her home, then and there. Which was in itself a miracle, because NO ONE, even a good girl like me, got to leave in the middle of the school day, and come back. (I lived down the street.)

    3. “King of the Hill” is a classic TV show.
      If you’ve ever been to Garland, Texas (the town “King” is loosely based on), you can see that the writers nailed Garland culture, and the Garland accent and dialect, perfectly. They must have had a good dialect coach. It also has a surprising amount (for a network TV series) of dialogue about God and faith. Much of it is played for laughs, of course, but on the whole, I find Hank and his family’s “God talk” in the show to be theologically sound.

      1. O, dear! Garland? The home of Miller Road Baptist Church, those poor, poor people who were so used and abused by Jack and David Hyles… Sigh. I am glad they got a really funny show, then, to make them laugh.

    4. This is one of my favorite Hill episodes. The conclusion (“I don’t want God to end up in this box”) is a sermon in itself. I have actually thought of using it with the youth class but have not been quite that brave yet.

  18. How many of you have heard the claxon call, “All men to the prayer room.”
    If you have never experienced the all hands call to prayer you have missed a fundie event of the first degree.
    It is the IFB answer to Islamic calls to prayer. The men gather in a room and prayer requests are taken.
    Then… it begins.
    If 20 men are in the room then you have a cacophony of murmmering by those 20, punctuated by the “Oh Lord”, “we Just”, “Oh Father”, and “Lord God.” Over the din can be heard the voice of authority leading this chorus of pious prayer warriors, the pastor. His prayer is louder and he controls the pitch and cadence for the prayer. Then as all the requests have been prayed for and the checklist has been completed the pastor signals for the prayer to end with a solemn, “in Jesus Name…A-men.” and then you hear the individuals wrapping up their prayers with the same until the final “a-men.”

    Then everyone gets up shakes hands and blesses one another with a “Bless you Brother” which doubles as a validation of the prayer one prayed.
    It’s a pious locker room moment.
    “Good Job!”
    “Nice prayer!”
    “That concern in your voice was a solid hit!”
    “Yeah! we kicked the devil’s butt!”

    You have not lived as a fundie until you hear one of these prayer concerts at a Bible conference with a room full of IFB Pastors, Missionaries and Evangelists. It’s like leaving a rock performance where all the bands were on stage at once playing their own interpretations of “Stairway to Heaven.” Your ears will bleed but it’s worth the price of admission just for that part of the preachertainment.

      1. Sigh. I like being a girl, but just once I would at least like to be a fly on the wall for one of these sessions…

        1. You mean you never experienced the same when the Pastor’s wife called for the Ladies to meet in a room before service for prayer? You really need to get out here in rural NC. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ™„

        2. I *was* the pastor’s wife, long ago, and no, we did not experience it qiote that way! Since then, I have been in a non-fundy/fundy lite sort of thing, where no, those calls to prayer do not happen…

        3. P.S. Don, next time I am passing through–I hope to get back to Wrightsville Beach one of these days, for a vacation!–I will let you know, and wow, if you could arrange one of those cool claxon calls, I will do my best to sneak in and hide, just to hear it all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Our church strongly emphasized everything being done “decently and in order” so I don’t think this happened in my circles. I also don’t remember any announcements calling all the men to prayer before a service (although sometimes the deacons would gather in the little pastor’s study on the side of the platform.)

      On Wednesday nights, the men and women would split for prayer and as a little girl, I’d often sit with my dad and again, everyone took turns. I still remember one old man whose prayers were so verbose I dreaded them!

      1. Interestingly enough, the prayer part of prayer meeting was one of the things I did appreciate in my fundy church. For several months I prayed with an older gentleman who had moved back to town after the death of his wife, he had been a longtime member of the church. I as a young 20-something father, we hit it off and he became a mentor to me. And boy could that guy pray! You had to open your eyes and look to see if God was sitting right there, it was moving and personal. He died about a year after he moved back to town, and after that I had some conversations with some men who grew up in the church who told me how influential he was to them as a youth leader when they were kids. I really wish my church could have encouraged more of that type of intergenerational ministry – genuine spiritual spiritual community – thats what many of the leaving young people want (its what I am still looking for) but instead it was a scorched earth us against them civil war encouraged by the rantings from the pulpit against “the World” poorly defined.

        Now whenever we had a public prayer service I just cringed, because usually all but about one prayer were so put on that I just sat there singing “Eminence Front” by the Who and wondering if we could get it over with so my contacts would stop getting so uncomfortable from keeping my eyes closed while people tried to make people think they were spiritual with flowery prayers about how they were thankful they weren’t like those publicans out in the aforementioned “World”

        Holy crap that was long…see, I coulda been a fundy preacher – just imagine my introductions to the offering!

        1. I know what you mean: public prayer often appealed to those who liked to pray to be seen of men like the Pharisee. Prayer in small groups often enabled one to discover the truely humble, God-fearing souls who had a prayer life that was vital, powerful, and refreshingly real.

          Of course, in my case, I was about seven and 20 minutes of long prayer while sitting on a metal chair with legs dangling and eyes closed around 8:00 p.m. is just NOT what a child wants to do! Sometimes a caring adult would take the children apart for a shorter prayer time and then let us play!

    2. I vividly remember these gatherings in my rural area in Appalachia. We used to have these meetings at campmeetings, etc. They were borderline mandatory. A cramped room full of men and an inadequate air conditioner in the summer heat made for an odor I won’t soon forget.

      1. Uh, note to Don: is claxon call room air conditioned? Do the men use dodorant? Maybe you could just take a tape recorder in with you…. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

        1. Don’t know if you could pay me enough to go back and pretend I was one of them enough to go through that ever again. But if I do I’ll take a recorder in wih me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Ok, so that wasn’t quite it. (But still good.) For the part I was talking about, Bobby had gotten into a youth group that was more contemporary than most and when he offered to pray over lunch it was something like, “Yo! My main man! Props to your son! It was funny,I tell you what.

      1. THANK YOU Kevin! YOU ROCK!!! Having this on here just made this post a THOUSAND TIMES cooler!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen. Great points from both perspectives ๐Ÿ™‚

        I love Hank’s “You aren’t making Christianity better, you’re making Rock and Roll worse”.

        I like Hank’s little speech at the end about fads, and how he doesn’t want Bobby to see Jesus as a fad. But the other guy has some good points – God isn’t limited to one way of worship.

        1. i do like how both sides are represented fairly and accurately. And having been on both sides of this episode (Understanding Hank’s view and being apalled at the other way being presented to his son, and knowing kids now who are genuinely in love with Jesus but who appear more like the kids in this story) I found it pretty accurate. I did love the part at the end where Hank tells Bobby he doesn’t want God to end up in the box of discarded fads.

      1. Only if it is an imprecatory against homosexuals, democrats, women wearing pants or catholics. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  19. Whenever thou prayest, always thank God for the shedding of his son’s precious blood. No matter what else you are praying for.

    My Grandpa (Baptist preacher) chewed my dad out for not including the blood in his prayer before we ate.

    1. Because of course that’s the point of prayer: to listen to other people’s with the purpose of making obscure spiritual points to show that you’re holier than they are.

    2. “Whenever thou prayest, always thank God for the shedding of his sonโ€™s precious blood.”

      Lol, and what’s wrong with that (as long as one is praying sincerely and is sincerely thankful)?

      Lighten up, bro!

      1. The problem was it became a running joke in our family. The moment Grandpa would add that to the prayer, even if it didn’t fit someone would snicker.

        It became ritualistic.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning the blood of Christ in prayer.

        There’s something most definitely wrong in demanding that everyone else ALWAYS include the blood in prayer. If we were required to say that, Scripture would tell us to. Anytime someone adds to the Bible or makes up requirements to prove one’s spirituality they are on a dangerous path and headed toward heresy.

      3. “My Grandpa (Baptist preacher) chewed my dad out for not including the blood in his prayer before we ate.”


        Why did you choose not to comment on the second half of the post? Reading only the first part of a post and telling us to lighten up is weak.

        1. “Why did you choose not to comment on the second half of the post?”

          Ummm, because the first part just stuck out to me. I can comment on the second part if you want me to. Of course you shouldn’t chew someone out for not including the blood in their prayer. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to include it, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      4. Nothing is wrong with doing such a prayer… the error is rebuking others for not doing things “just like you” in matters upon which the Bible is silent… The Bible does not command, enjoin, insist, or teach by example that every prayer must include thanking God for the shed blood.

        (**NOT** ending the sentence with a preposition!)

    3. With our Gothard background, being able to talk about the “blood” was the litmus test for knowing if someone was possessed by demons or not.

  20. On a more serious note. I DO love coming into the auditorium a little early and seeing the worship team standing off to the side in a circle, hand in hand, praying for the service. It isn’t showy or phoney, it is just what they do every service.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to no longer be in the bondage I once was. I wish I could be free of it altogether. I am still being washed of it daily.

    1. I can relate to that – – in my church, we (choir, clergy, those also taking part) gather in the back and have a simple prayer that what we do – and say – might be to His Glory. These are the times that really “put the punch” to the worship service…

  21. The ironic thing is when I got to my church this morning, in my mail was the latest issue of “Immerse” magazine with the article, “Entering the School of Prayer,Leaning on the Church ‘s Tradition of Written Prayers” by Richard Liamtonio.

    He grew up in the traditional non-denominational eve helical church where he was taught that Catholics read their prayers off of a sheet of paper, rather than just talking to God like a friend.

    He goes on to say that the practice of using written prayer developed from the Jewish service which uses the Shema, the Amidah, and the Aaronic Blessing and the Psalms. It was also common for Jewish teachers, in the time of Jesus to teach their disciples a prayer to use.

    I remember the first time, in college, when I didn’t attend a Baptist church and I could not say the “Lord’s Prayer”. I was rather embarrassed.

    I had a little boy get upset with me at Bible School, because I would end my prayer with Ah-men, not A-men. I wasn’t saying it right. LOL

  22. I was just wondering:
    Does the prohibition on using a pre-written prayer apply to The Lord’s Prayer? ‘Cause, you know, that’s the same words every time.
    Is it OK to keep repeating that, or should we always try to think of something more original?

    1. I always like when they take the Lord’s Prayer and embellish it (As if it wasn’t meaningful enough somehow)to make it their own. “OUR Fa-theh… Our Precious and Loving Fatheh… Who ART in Heaven… Where Thou does even now pre-PARE a place for us… Hallowed be thy Name… OH thy name is so Hallowed…” It reminds me of when I used to write my reports out of the encyclopedia and try not to be plagerizing.

    2. I knew of fundies who frowned on people who recited the Lord’s Prayer; they thought it was too Catholic to repeat prayers in unison in church. They didn’t mind if it was done once in a while, but disapproved of it being said every Sunday.

      It boggles the mind.

      1. Doing what Jesus told us to do: Bad.
        Doing what Jesus told us not to do (piling up empty words and phrases and/or taking care to be seen acting holy by a lot of people): Good.

        Okay then.

      2. But it’s ok to sing “Just as I Am” every Sunday and “now close your eyes and lets sing that third verse as a prayer.”

      3. I grew up in an SBC church and did not learn the Lord’s Prayer until I was an adult and needed something to recite in my head to keep my cool in church in the months before I left.

        Memorizing Bible verses? Encouraged. Memorizing those particular verses? Why, since we never seemed to use it?

    3. At my old church the Lord’s prayer served only as a model for the ACTS pattern of praying. According to them, Jesus didn’t actually want us to pray using those words. The only okay kind of prayer was a spontaneous one.

      Our pastor’s wife went further. She said that she didn’t like any written down prayers “because she didn’t like someone telling her how to pray.”

  23. I have a vague recollection of Jesus telling people to go into their CLOSETS when they pray.

    And that praying on the street corners to show off one’s piety is all the reward the prayer will receive.

    Since fundies are literalists they think this verse doesn’t apply to them, since street corners are for PREACHIN’.

  24. Darrell–you forgot the part where the latest gossip is snuck in for everyone to hear. It went like this in the daily mandatory teacher prayer group I had to attend at the Christian school:

    Father God, we also just ask you to pray for little Bethany in 4B’s parents Joe and Linda, Lord, we just know that you are there for them in this time of trial, Lord, since Linda had that dalliance with the neighbor, Father God, John Smith who some here may know from Second Baptist, Lord, and we ask that you just bring them all back to you, Lord, especially since Joe got in a spot of trouble over shooting up John’s garage, Lord….

    And then, later, the pray-er assures everyone that s/he would not talk about such things except for, you know, needing to pray about it.

    1. I HATE those prayers. Its why I’m reluctant to be part of the ‘prayer chain’, or go to Wed. night prayer meeting.

  25. What he really should do is run along home. His momma’s calling, and she will worry. Besides, doesn’t Elmo come on just before nap time?
    Trolls: they need a regular schedule, too, to stay healthy and well-adjusted.

    1. “Basic internet etiquette… At the very least, involves lurking for a while.”

      Seen Enough, you didn’t follow this BASIC etiquette rule! *is shocked* What makes you refer to me as “he”? For all you know, I’m a “her”. ๐Ÿ˜†

      Lighten up, y’all!

      1. a, when you came onto this site asking if we are all atheists, it came across as an accusation. If you truly did not mean it that way, fine, but we have trolls here frequently who like to say similar things, and carry them out in such a way that their trolliness (yep, made up a word) becomes more and more evident.

        If you want to know things about us, then please tell us more about yourself, so we can see that you are not a troll.

        1. JoeR, “Telling about yourself” is not covered in the “Trolling for Souls” handbook. The outline and instructions are simple.
          1) Establish unsaved status of group of heathen
          2) Get them lost (show them they are sinners)
          3) Get them saved (Romans Road)
          4) Make them pray (type) the prayer with you
          5) Mark it on your activity report when you have checked the traffic of the site to see how many people you saved.
          TA DAAA DONE and DONE

        2. Sims, you are always scathingly brilliant, but this post is sheer genius. I like the way your mind works. For The Win.

        3. and you can bet he has a WitnessStickโ„ข too. No SoulTrollโ„ข would be caught dead without one.

        4. I think I may write a “Trollwinners Handbook” (for us, not them) that will contain useful information in dealing with the pesky little things.

        5. Headline:
          “Bystander beat to death by blind Ninja SoulTrollโ„ข wielding a WitnessStickโ„ข.”

          “Say it!” *whack!*
          “I-I accept J-J-Je-sus”
          “Say it like I told you to,” *whack!* “and say it like you mean it!!” *whack!-Whack!*
          “I accept Jesus as my personal lord and Savior.”
          *WHACK!* NO! Wrong! You did’nt say Sav-IOUR **WHACK_WHACK_WHACK**

          Sponsored by the Jack Bauer School of Evangelism and your friends at the Sacred Sandwich

        6. Yes, but if you make them include “lord” in the prayer, than you open up the whole Lordship salvation can of worms… ๐Ÿ™„

  26. My brothers and I used to be able to quote word for word the pastor’s prayer before his sermon. It was always the same every week. He would also go off on Catholics for saying the same prayers every day. I was such a confused child.

    1. I giggled at first, then I felt bad about giggling. I hate for little ones to be confused! ๐Ÿ™

  27. I learned to pray at bed time “Nowi layme down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. Fieshadie before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take.” I never did find out what that word fieshadie meant. I also could not distinguish between the lord taking or keeping my soul.

    1. And then there’s the grace that goes:
      “Lord, bless this food tray use, ustily service, amen.”

      I spent years wondering what “ustily” meant.

  28. To top it all off and get extra points you must add something about your “smokin’ hot wife” (even if she’s not so hot) and include “boogity boogity” before the amen. :mrgreen:

  29. Say what you will about Ricky Bobby’s prayer in Talladega Nights–it at least was genuine and from the heart. God would answer such a prayer faster than some of the overly stylized stuff we hear, I imagine.

    Also, when praying be sure to include as much information about the person or subject being prayed for: “Please God, in Your most precious and holy name, we ask that You would deliver healing for Bob Smith of 2394 Main Street down past the 7-Eleven…” Because we don’t our friend Bob to miss out on the blessing (or have another Bob Smith receive it instead).

    In a charismatic church, you MUST always speak in tongues, otherwise God can’t understand you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Does this mean that charismatics are not KJV-onlyists?

      Since God can’t understand English.

      1. Depends on what you mean by “English.” Doesn’t the KJVO crowd say that God only speaks scholarly British English, circa 1611– yesterday, today, and for all time?

      2. The notion (at least as I understood it) was that the ‘prayer tongue’ was the language of angels and therefore more appropriate to use in speaking to God. It also supposedly showed evidence that the Holy Spirit was truly indwelling you. My AoG church wasn’t too finicky over the translation, although 1611 KJV was preferred over the ‘Nearly Inspired Version’ (I split the difference and used NASB most of the time; these days I use the modern KJV but I feel God’s work can be done through any modern translation).

  30. Oh love this.

    There used to be this in our church when I was a kid who prayed “Father God” and not much else in his prayers. We’d get so distracted with him ending every sentence in his 10 minute prayer that we’d just count how many times he said it. I don’t know why the pastor would ask him to open in Wednesday Night prayer meetings sometimes. Prayer Hog! ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. I think praying with an organ in the background is the way to go.
    Now “a” is going to ask me if I am black.

    I’m not, but I play a black guy on TV…
    (Sorry, Big Gary, couldn’t resist.)

    1. John R. Rice once ran a lengthy diatribe in the SotL about the evil of music during prayer. Sigh.

  32. I remember Dr. Oliver Greene would always end his prayer with “save that soul that is nearest hell”.

  33. Ok, new thought:
    Why is it necessary to close one’s eyes during prayer? In the photo above these kids seem to be concentrating more on keeping their eyes tightly shut and keeping their hands together than actually praying. Why it is we teach our children to “close their eyes and bow their heads?
    What purpose does it serve?
    Does it make the prayer better?
    Does it affect the prayer at all?

    Every head bowed and every eye closed? Hungh? Why? So we don’t see all the movement going on on stage? Brother Piousmoneybags you pray (while we get ready for the next scene in today’s Kabuki Theatre.)

    Feigned reverence?
    Appearance of humility?

    I really want to know why we hold to the closing our eyes during prayer? Do we talk to one another with our eyes closed and speak in King James Christianese? Why do we put on such a show for God? Why don’t we talk to him like we are talking to a dear loved one, say a Father or a mother.

    *dismounts soapbox and sticks the landing* and the crowd groans at the East German Judge’s score.

    1. I was done with Fundystan by the time I was 14. My own private rebellion was to never close my eyes during a prayer and never go forward during an invitation.

    2. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If I do, it is to help me focus. Same reason I sometimes do, during worship.

    3. I learned not to shit my eyes during Children’s Church, because they would tend to good off when I wasn’t looking.

        1. Hahahaha… i just stopped laughing from Strangely Warmed, and start all over again as i read the replies…. Iam literally wiping my eyes…. ๐Ÿ˜†

        1. ^^ Epic! Sounds like Jane Lynch’s opening song when hosting SNL. “I wrote this song. And my co-writer, Jose Cuervo.. .”

        2. OMG – I just came back to see what else got posted and discovered I made a great typo! Hate that the u and i are next to each other. I sat here laughing so hard my 6 year old asked if I was crying. Always good to have a great laugh at yourself!

      1. because they would tend to good off when I wasnโ€™t looking.

        And we can’t have those little shuts gooding off like that. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      2. Breathless from laughter here… I was just not in the mood for my fundy past today, and came one last time t o this thread, and am I EVER glad I did…. Cannot stop guffawing…. Strangely Warmed, you made me laigh so hard, and that does a body good… Bless you ….LOL ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

    4. Never mind. I’m not sure I can follow that………..

      But what I would have said was that my eyes were open during the opening prayer of my son’s last football game [non-fundy Christian school], and I saw a really cool shooting star go by and disappear behind the trees. As a photographer, how many rules do I break when I take a picture of whoever is praying during the prayer?

    5. Why it is we teach our children to โ€œclose their eyes and bow their heads?
      What purpose does it serve?

      I think this was invented for little boys with ADHD.

  34. I was taught that we close our eyes during prayer for two reasons: Because it helps us concentrate and because people who are praying shouldn’t have to worry about what their faces look like.

  35. I too remember reading about praying and how we need to go in and shut the door. We should not be like the people who like to be seen praying.
    For those reasons, public prayers to me are bothersome. I was a worship leader with my last church and we were expected to pray to open the service, during “prayer and share” time where people would talk about their trials and good times for up to a half hour, followed by a lengthy prayer that mentioned each request by name..over offering…over communion, and at the conclusion of the service. I never felt like my prayers were adequate. I have a far better conversation with God running. My eyes are open. I’m trying to connect with him..nobody else needs to know…
    As far as vain repetition…you guys have hit the nail right on the head. Evangelical and fundy churches also engage in repetition. They just don’t call it that.
    I think Jesus teaching us to pray was telling us…”don’t do this to show this to talk to me!” Maybe I’m wrong.

  36. I always hated the super long prayers when I had sinus infections. The bowed head position is a good way to feel like you are going to pass out when your sinuses are clogged.

    One of my friends that grew up Pentecostal Holiness told me about a church service he went to when he was a kid where a man was up on stage praying and praying, getting more and more worked up…and after ten minutes or so just literally fell over dead. Now I always think of that when I am listening to a Guinness Record attempt for longest prayer. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  37. I can remember that during my first attempt at college, (TTU, early 80’s) we would time Dr. Phillips’ prayers at breakfast. One morning it was almost five minutes, and never once mentioned the food.

  38. We have, in south Georgia, the Lorjus prayer:

    “Lor’ jus’ hear our prayer,
    And we pray. . . Lor’ jus’ open our hearts, and Lor’ jus’ . . . Lor’ jus’ let us hear your WORD {note: WORD is spoken in all caps} and – and – and . . . Lor’ jus’ . . . “

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