Traditions fascinate me.
For many of us, we do things without really thinking why. It’s just the way we’ve always done it.
In church, traditions are even more apparent.
But I want to know why. Why is it that we do things a certain way?
Take prayer for example. As a teenage I was encouraged to pray out loud. That this was some kind of ‘badge of honour’ that showed you were a real christian.
In my current place of work, I also try to encourage young people to pray out loud.
It seems to me that asking young people to pray out loud really has nothing to do with prayer at all. If it really was to do with prayer then we wouldn’t ask our young people to pray out loud. Why should we pray out loud? Does it make a difference? Doesn’t God hear it anyway?
Praying out loud is more about affirmation. Affirmation for the prayer(er) and affirmation for the hearer.
We affirm the one praying is doing a good job and we affirm the listener because more than likely they have asked for a prayer request.
Corpororate ‘out loud’ prayer then is more about us than God.
Would you agree? And is that necessarily a bad thing?