Friday, November 5, 2010


A while back a little blogging chain letter of sorts was going around and I was included. I have mixed emotions with these contrary to  an e-mail of similar ilk. For e-mails I feel very little guilt at not responding/forwarding. Even when they try to guilt you into forwarding by sicking Jesus on you. You know the sort, "If you love Jesus, you'll forward this to 1200 of your closest friends..." These chain letters simply bog down the internet and so I refuse on principle to be involved with the vast majority. I do forward on one or two every now and again to one or two friends ( I mean its Jesus after all) but I try to clean it up, removing the other forwarded addresses, and I remove the threats (e.g. forward this or you'll grow man boobs and the like- (which would be particularly threatening if I were a woman))
Something similar happens for blogger although these are typically more interesting and don't include the threats. This is where I have mixed emotions because on the one hand its nice to be thought of by other bloggers, sort of a "hey, I'm one of the guys" kinda thing, but on the other hand there is that request to forward it on to others, which is a bit like selling Amway- to me any way, so I don't want to do that. (no offense to anyone out there who sells Amway.)
One of the more interesting ones I have received was sent by MC over at Bedlam and Parnassus (some time ago I'm afraid) asking us to state our three favorite prayers and state why. So, belatedly, here are mine:

The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I learned this prayer when I was studying the Eastern Orthodox faith. I love it because each word/section can be mediated on separately or as a whole. It is easily committed to memory and thus can be said at any time during the day e.g. waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting in the doctors office.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Trinitarian and can be sung or spoken. It was part of my growing up in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. (sung) Its now part of my prayer time/daily devotional/Rosary.

Lord Jesus, come Yourself, and dwell with us, be human as we are, and overcome what overwhelms us. Come into the midst of my evil, come close to my unfaithfulness. Take my sin, which I hate and which I cannot leave. Be my brother, Thou Holy God. Be my brother in the kingdom of evil and suffering and death. Come with me in my death, come with me in my suffering, come with me as I struggle with evil. And make me holy and pure, despite my sin and death, in Jesus' name.

This prayer is by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Lutheran Pastor. Hung by the Nazis in WWII.

This prayer speaks deeply to me of personal sin and our inability to overcome it on our own. It reminds me that we worship a God who does not stand far off, but stands with us and holds us, and bears us up not when we have reached some point of perfection but while we are sinners. Our God comes to us in our evil and cleans us.


Tex said...

Amway is STILL a scam:

Delirious said...

So THAT's why I have man boobs..... ;)

In our religion we don't have many rote prayers, but I do often think of these words to a hymn:

"We hasten with eager, yet faltering footsteps, oh Jesus, oh Master, for help unto Thee."

kkollwitz said...

Hey I like Bonhoffer but didn't know that prayer. I may try that out on my Catechism kids next week.

eutychus said...

It was kind of a joke Tex. But since you've got an entire blog devoted to it, I guess I hit a nerve. Sorry about that dude. Have a beer and take a deep breath.

D- I'm not sure but I think that first statement qualifies as over-sharing..:-O, :-) I actually had to go back and see what I wrote, I think I was in one of those stream of consciousness moments or some such. That was the "wit" talking. I could have come up with a better example.

I'm a bit uneasy with the use of term rote but I don't think you meant it badly. Growing up and presently being Protestant I have had some of the same concerns with repetitive prayers but the longer I live the less problem I have. I am coming to the realization that like exercise, there is gain to be had without a corresponding mental state and in fact the repetition actually serves to focus my thoughts and block out outside distractions. Certainly it would be preferable to be focused but if I waited to be focused- or inspired- I might never pray.
I've also found that seeking originality often leads astray.

KK- I actually found that prayer on the Touchstone site in the comments section years ago. It has been pinned to my office bulletin board since.

Delirious said...

No, I did not mean it bad, but I couldn't think of another word for it. We do have some prayers that are always said in the same way, word perfect. One is the baptismal prayer, and one is the sacrament prayer. If they are said wrong, they have to repeat them, and there are witnesses to make sure they say them right! :) I do think that sometimes my prayers become too similar and might as well be the same one. ;) That's always something I have to work on.

Bevo said...

This is probably one of the easiest things Jesus taught his disciples to do that we have worked so hard to make difficult. I can't find anywhere in Jesus' teachings that say you have to recite an already written prayer. The prayers from your own heart are the ones that Jesus taught the disciples to say. What was the "crime" the pharisees were accused of? Wanting to be seen for how long and righteous their prayers were to God. Even if our own personal prayers seem repetitive to us, they are a sweet aroma to God if they are from the heart. The simplicity of the "Lords Prayer" is the exact outline we should always have when we speak with God. Additionally, we can be specific when praying for an individual or a group. Even though God already knows what we want, He still requires that we ask. Then we will receive His blessings.