I Say ‘Continue’ a Lot When I Pray

I had three pastoral visits today and I realised something when I pray with the person before I leave.  I ask God to ‘continue’ things in my prayers.  ‘Continue to love them’, ‘continue to bless them’, and the like.  After each visit, I have thought how stupid it must sound and it reminds me of those people who pray with ‘Father’ every other word or asking God to ‘just’ do something.  I don’t give much thought to what I will pray for, as I generally try to pray from what the person has told me, but my prayers could get better.

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4 thoughts on “I Say ‘Continue’ a Lot When I Pray

  1. I’m pretty sure I use continue a lot in my prayers. I think it isn’t a bad thing, though, because it acknowledges our recognition that God has already been present, even before we ask.

    I wouldn’t put it in the same category as ‘just’. At least continue has meaning. ‘Just’ and ‘Father’ are generally annoying vocal pauses.

    So I honor and affirm your ‘continues’ and hope you continue to use them!

  2. Nick: That’s great! That prayer makes me feel like I am back home! I knew a guy that prayed like that all the time – almost as much as you used Father! At least it isn’t like those liturgical Christians who use all those ‘vain repetitions’.

    Sarah: Thanks for your affirmation. I guess when I started three sentences in a row with ‘continue’, I got worried.

    Overall, I am finding my pastoral visit prayers a little bland. Not that they should shoot fireworks necessarily, but I would like them to sound more spiritual. Like that ‘minister before you prayed’ who always seems to have been in every church!

  3. I agree theologically with Sarah on this–though it may or may not be annoying to the people you are praying with.

    I have been giving my extemperanious prayers some thought as well. I have been of the mind that God knows our thoughts and prayers before we pray them, and I hear a lot of verbose prayers that remind me of the pharisee saying loud prayer in order to be heard. I have tried to keep prayers short and to the point, but I might be getting a reputation as the pastor who prays short prayers. For a meal grace, I might say, “God, thank you for this food and for this time of fellowship with one another. Amen.” I think it works, but it isn’t something people are used to.

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