Cynical

I have trouble getting into church.

This never used to be a problem. When I was in the youth group, I loved going to church. I loved worship and the teaching and everything. But I find myself examining things a little more closely these days,  and I find myself frustrated with something.

I think, mostly, that my problem is with prayers. Whereas I used to be the “uh huh…mmm” kinda active prayer, nodding my head with every cliche line, I now feel like nothing is being said. You can only say “thank you for being so good to us, and we’re so glad you sent your son to die on the Cross” so many times before it rings hollow. And most church prayers ring hollow to me now.

Occasionally, someone will get up and pray and it will get me fired up again. Sometimes a person will really put some thought into what they’re praying for and it becomes poetic and meaningful to me, but the days of listening to someone saying “God, you’re so awesome” 17 different ways is over.

Anyone else feel the same way? I hope I’m not the only one who is feeling these things, cause I guess it would make me a heretic.

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8 responses to “Cynical

  1. It sounds like you might need to spend more time praying, rather than criticizing the prayers of others. I’ll pray for you, brother. God bless.

  2. I was sitting in church thinking the same thing this morning… It is so sad to hear prayers that are either rote or scripted… devoid of passion. What ever happened to spontaneous prayer? A passion for God that is so intense that you can’t help but pour out your prayers like an offering…

    continue to wade through this, brother… and continue to pursue with passion

  3. I agree Justin. I find myself the same exact way. I have to pull myself back and remember that no matter how I might feel, the person saying the prayer could be as honest and sincere as anyone else. Also, I find myself struggling with my own private prayers sometimes with the very same problem. It’s like anything you do every day. It can get stale sometimes.

    One thing I think that would help is for people to understand that long prayers are not the answer. These 5 min. prayers that almost cause you to nod off are problems, not answers. Maybe that is being cynical as well, I don’t know.

  4. Justin, your problem is really two-fold. First, you aren’t going to church while on my diet. Second, you aren’t going to my bat-shit crazy church.

    Get on that, and it will be copacetic.

  5. We’re all heretics from each other and I’m sure the first century church would look at us and have some choice words for us too.

  6. I have no doubt we’re heretics Phil… its just I feel like people are going through the motions… or even if they aren’t going through the motions, they’ve never put enough thought into their prayer so that it actually means something. I guess that’s where the holy spirit intercedes, but it still irks me for some reason.

  7. Honestly, I don’t see the point of public prayer. How can any one person get up and pray a prayer that everyone gets on board with? Wouldn’t it be much more effective to say “Here’s a minute or two of silence for you to pray your own prayer,” than to say “Here’s a minute or two for you all to practice acting like you give a shit in what this guy is saying?” I mean, when I was forced to lead prayers (I now politely decline, if possible) I found it difficult to pray my own prayer for hundreds of people. It just doesn’t seem necessary by any means.

    These feelings you have on prayer are feelings I have toward singing. Does God even care if we sing the same songs every week, telling him how great and awesome he is? I think not. It seems to me that he’d rather have that same group out somewhere “living a song” by being active in the community than by standing together and being brainwashed into facing the screen and singing meaningless words.

    And please, I already realize that someone will say that not all Christians are like this and that you are the one who means every word that you sing. If this is the case…leave me alone. I’m not talking to you.

  8. I’m with you Michael. Not 100% as I do love worshipping most of the time, but I can certainly see where you are coming from. I have those feelings from time to time as well.

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