Sunday, August 14, 2016

What is Prayer For?

The question should probably be, "Who is prayer for."

I heard a clip of a Christian programming on what should have been a doctrinally evangelical program, where the guest was talking about her centering prayer.  That got under my skin.  I do not pretend to know that much about mystical exercises and contemplative practices.  Some of it is attractive, but there is one primary problem for me.  These things seem to be very self-gratifying.

Who is prayer for? God?  Well, it should glorify Him, but He doesn't need your prayers.  Oneself?  Of course, we need prayer, but it seems that the request of the prayer should be the focus rather than the methodology of the prayer.  Others?  I think an argument could be made from Scripture that prayer is supposed to be first intercessory, as a ministry to others.

Centering prayer focuses on emptying of the mind, and that is never good.  What virtue can come from an empty mind?  We were given minds to think about something, not to empty them. 

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