On the Abuse of Prayer


Thanks to the Sacred Sandwich. (I’m pretty sure the two guys in suits are preachers from different congregations.)

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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2 Responses to On the Abuse of Prayer

  1. Guy says:

    Jay,

    The comic is comical, but sadly i've known "prayer groups" formed by members of the congregations that were, even on cursory examination, merely righteous covers for gossip and judgment. It's a real problem i think.

    –Guy

  2. Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    Some years ago (long before our present staff was in place), I recall eating lunch with a minister after he attended a lectureship. He proceeded to spill one gossipy tidbit after another — breathless with excitement over the need to pray for this or that minister guilty of a moral failing.

    I'm aware of cases where a minister was caught in a sin and within 24 hours, preachers were calling from 10 states away wanting to know enough detail so they could "pray for" their fallen brother.

    Or someone calls a friend to ask for "guidance" on what to do about a rumor he's heard about a fellow minister. (Rule: Don't spread the rumor by asking for guidance — even on a "confidential" basis. If you have to talk to someone, talk to someone who already knows about it.)

    There are times I want to say: If you love your brother, you'll get off the phone and stop asking every person you ever met to "pray for" your friend.

    Gossip is a serious problem among the members and — when it comes to other preachers — among the ministerial class.

    There is but one way to keep a confidence: don't share the information with anyone else — even in confidence.

    The Golden Rule works pretty well here.

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