Prayer in Psalm 5

Dale Ralph Davis laments the lack of ordered and thoughtful prayers in worship:

We find too little of this in the church. We don’t order our prayers; we simply start in with our religious rattling and easy Christian clichés. ‘We just want to thank you, Lord; we’re just really glad to be here; we ask you, Lord, to just give us a really good time in your presence; just help us to worship you in Spirit and in truth [How many ponder what that means in John 4? Has it perhaps become an empty phrase that simply makes excellent ‘filler’?] tonight and we’ll be careful to give you all the honor and glory…blah, blah, blah.’ Then if we need to pad the prayer or to boost its earnestness, we can always insert ‘Father’ or ‘Lord’ every third or fourth word-go ahead; surely God’s not too interested in our keeping the third commandment anymore. I suppose some might call this ‘free prayer.’ It’s certainly free, I doubt if it’s prayer. Sometimes we may need to revert to using the written prayers of others to get back on track. Like praying the psalms themselves as our prayers or using the Book of Common Prayer (gulp for some) or the Puritan prayers collected in The Valley of Vision or chunks out of Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer. There is a difference between prayer and drivel. I do not want to advocate eloquence in prayer, but I want to reject thoughtlessness in prayer.‘In the morning I will set in order my requests to you.’ Prepare your prayer.

Dale Ralph Davis, Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life, The: Psalms 1-12

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