Community prayer

“Our prayer ought to be short and pure, unless it happens to be prolonged by divine grace. In community, however, let prayer be very short.” – St. Benedict of Nursia

6 thoughts on “Community prayer

  1. I’m not sure I understand why it should be short. I wish I could ask him more about it πŸ˜‰
    When looking at Scriptures like Matt 6:5-7 I guess I can see where he might be coming from.
    But my favorite illustrations of corporate prayer come out of Acts when over and over again the congregation breaks bread, prays, and sings psalms together.

    What do you think?

  2. Julia,

    I had to laugh when you posted this note. Here’s why: it ought to be taken into consideration when pondering this quote that St. Bernard is the same guy whose monastic rule dedicates 4 hours a day to praying the offices!

    However, that having been said, I think Bernard is referring to the sometimes overly lengthy prayers that we have foisted upon us by those who spend far too little time in private prayer and are wont to make up for it in times of community prayer.

    There are, of course, exceptions (as Bernard points out) when the Spirit moves upon someone and their prayer takes on a different note, one which can be prophetic, healing, confessional or any number of things which can move an entire community to action.

  3. postscript:

    it ought to be noted however, that in order to include those 4 hours of prayer, Bernard’s rule has the monks rise at 2 am and retiring at 8:30 (if memory serves) in order to fit in those 4 hours of prayer that are spread throughout the day at 4 different times.

    Bernard’s rule also had slightly different schedules based on whether it is summer or winter.

  4. Nate –

    Just wanted to let you know that it is so refreshing to know that there are other fellow Torah keepers that actually read *good* Christian literature.

    Be talking to you soon,

    Grace and Peace,

  5. Thanks, Seth! I’m glad to know you think what I’m reading is “good” ! Speaking of “good,” have you read Jim and Casper Go to Church? Since you’re one who is bothered by the “us vs. them” mentality I think you would find it fascinating.

    I’m reading Restoring At Risk Communities by John Perkins, et al, Paul and the Gentiles: Remapping the Apostle’s Convictional World by Terence L. Donaldson, and Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life edited by Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass right now; all three of which are really good reads, and highly challenging. I started Volf’s Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation but it is so weighty that I set it aside until I can read it all by itself.

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