Praying Within Relationship

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Who can pray?

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

There is one common area within Christendom that all are agreed on; and that is as Christians we are expected to pray. The Scriptures declare many times that we are to do so. Jesus expected us to pray, saying specifically to His disciples, “When you pray.” Three times he repeats himself in a passage in Matthew 6:5-7, and once in Luke 11:2. While we agree that prayer is an important part of our lives, many of us are in confusion as to what prayer really is?
Calvin says of prayer that it,

“…is an intimate conversation of the pious with God”

And indeed there is much to commend within this comment, in that prayer is conversation with our living God. Yet, is Calvin completely correct in his exclusive description that prayer is only for the Christians whom he speaks of? Or is prayer inclusive of all people, made in Gods image to pray, work and seek God.

Do Non – Christians pray as well? Is Castelli right when he says, “That every body prays; whether it be the daily lengthy prayers of the faithful or the non – intentional outburst of non – believers crying out, “God NO!!” when hearing bad news”? What is prayer? How are we to pray? Who can pray? Is there a certain way we should pray?

1. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960) 3.20.16.
2. Jim Castelli, How I Pray (Ballantine Books, New York, 1994) p.iv.


One Response to “Who can pray?”

  1. Karyn said

    You have asked an extremely pertinent question. During my childhood I was told to pray via the saints etc but even then, I preferred to ‘talk’ to God. When I turned 15, I stopped going to confession because for many years, I had lied to the priest about my sins – I usually made them up! Think about it – I sinned so I could have a private chat with God. I believed I had every right to have a conversation with Our Lord, instead of my thoughts being channeled via some priest in a dark cubicle.

    With this in mind, certain religious faithful believe they are praying but really they’re not. Instead their prayers (especially the ones learnt by rote) do not directly connect with our Lord because they get lost on the Saints Highway.

    On that note I will end with a conversation I had with my Mum. I was trying to explain my relationship with God. I asked her if she ever prayed directly to God. She responded: “I much prefer to pray to Mary or St Joseph. They always listen to me.” When was it a good idea to get a quick and valid response from middle management? Always go straight to the top I say!

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