This morning, I stumbled across this ongoing series of posts over on Theocentric centered on a recent book by Scott McNight: Praying with the Church.
Here’s a taste –
“God’s Spirit is not only experienced in spontaneity. God’s Spirit is also known in order, structure, and ritual. My experience of prayer – both corporate and personal – is that without some liturgical guidance, spontaneous prayer eventually descends to a few repeated clichés and a whole lot of petition. But the purpose of prayer is not simply to present an endless running list of requests to God; the purpose of prayer is to know and experience union with God. This includes contemplative prayer – sometimes we are simply too ‘chatty’ with God – and Practicing the Presence of God.
McNight has clearly demonstrated that praying alone in the church and praying with the church can co-exist peacefully, and indeed, enhance one another. His book is primarily meant to expand and enrich our personal prayer lives by connecting them with prayers of the Church. When we observe fixed times with set prayers we enter into a sacred rhythm of prayer shared by millions of Christians around the world. Our prayers take on a whole new dimension. We enter into something much larger than ourselves. Our voice joins in with countless others in the Church to offer glory, honor, praise, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication to God.”
More here: Praying with the Church