Thursday, May 10, 2007

Liturgical Prayer II

Another important aspect of liturgical prayer is that it is prayer in Christ. The only person who prays 100% as he ought to pray is the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. The Father always hears him. He always prays according to the Father's will.

What makes prayer efficacious is that is in Christ. We never pray directly to the Father. By the power and presence of the Holy Spirit our praying is linked with Christ's praying. Then our prayers our offered to the Father. (In other words, prayer is ALWAYS Trinitarian.)

This is why, for example, praying the Psalms is so important. The Psalms are not only human prayers, the are God inspired prayers. At the human level, they are the prayers of David, Asaph and others. But behind and in the human voices in the Psalms is the voice of God. But in a Trinitarian understanding, the way God speaks is in the Son. God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, is the divine logos spoken of in John 1. So the ultimate speaker and pray-er in the Psalms is the logos -- God the Son. John 1:14 tells us the logos, God the Son, was made flesh in Jesus. So these prayers, more than any other, or prayers in Christ. This is why the Church has always held the Psalms up as the centerpiece of both its corporate and personal praying.

1 comment:

MattJP said...

Hey Peter, it's interesting what you said about the Psalms being God inspired prayers - When I was struggling with notions of Biblical authority and inspiration, it was actually some experiences with the Psalms that helped to convince me of Biblical inspiration and authority. One experience is somewhat personal and I believe, miraculous, but I will say that I am often amazed, especially when I'm going through something difficult when I kneel down and pray Psalms. It seems that the Psalmist can often say better what I am feeling, and pray better for what I need than what I could ever come up with on my own...a very good argument for liturgy!