How about prayers being used as a talk?

by NikL 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • punkofnice
    stan 666 - oh dear Punk--i hope you didnt get a stiffy while you were stood there with your head bowed.

    The thought of all those virgin sisters waiting to get plugged already did that.

  • Xanthippe

    It proves what I've long suspected, most JWs don't believe in God. They don't believe they're talking to anyone. They grow up in the religion, it becomes a habit, they pray like do everything else to impress other people or keep elders off their back.

  • freddo

    As a "reaching out" eighteen year old in the late 1970's I occasionally ran the sound desk and I had an assistant to put the roving microphones away and make sure the record player needle was lifted on and off carefully so as to not scratch the kingdom songs record while I switched it off and switched on the speaker's microphone for the closing prayer.

    We used to time the prayers (and place a non monetary bet with each other as to what the time would be - the closest got bought a pint of beer by the other at the pub afterwards) with the stop watch used for the student talks. The longest was 7 minutes 11 seconds.

    I bet 5 minutes 5 seconds and my mate reckoned 5 minutes 20. He was closest and got bought the beer!

  • Magwitch

    Growing up in the rurals, Thursday nights were the absolute worst. We had already been in school all day. Did chores, got prettied up, squeezed into the family car with two parents and five siblings and then had to drive 30 miles on country roads. The meeting did not end until 10 PM, but 9 times out of 10, the brothers would go way overtime because what they had to say was so very important. The final prayer would get started by one of my long winded foreign speaking Ukrainian uncles and the majority in the audience just wanted death........

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Magwitch: "The final prayer would get started by one of my long winded foreign speaking Ukrainian uncles and the majority in the audience just wanted death........"

    Ahhhh, Good Times!!

    I'll never forget a CO who counseled the entire audience at a CA re: the nature of our public prayers. (Which of course only applied to the penis-possessors in the audience.) His counsel was absolutely spot-on, IMO. He said something to the effect of "Brothers, Do you think Jehovah needs a refresher course on the content of the program today? (Long pause) He doesn't."

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    When I was a young boy getting through a prayer by some of the brothers was a painful chore.

    I had to walk to high school - located about 4 miles from my home. And then back after school. Then Tuesdays and Thursdays go to Book Study and TheoSchool/Service Meeting. Sitting was tolerable, but standing still for 7-10 minutes was painful because my feet were hurting so bad.

    The worst was when elderly Brother Wysocki (one of the Polish survivors of WW2 and a member of the "144,000") would be called upon to do the closing prayer. About 2/3rds of his prayer was unintelligible and repetitive. That, along with my sore feet, was excrusitating.

    One Thursday night Bro W was called upon to offer the closing prayer. While I did not have a watch, I am sure that his prayer lasted at least 15 minutes - maybe 20. I heard the Service Meeting Servant cough - and gently tried to interrupt, but then he chickened out. [Too dangerous to challenge one of the members of the "Remnant."]

    The following weekend I was out in the door-to-door service with Brother Rogers, a kindly man who was our "Congregation Servant." I mentioned the prayer by Bro Wysocki and asked how he felt about it. "Honestly, Johnnie, I think it was a bit too much. But how can we stop someone who is sincerely trying to represent all of us to Jehovah?" Such a kind statement from a very kind brother.

    But then I (a smart ass kid) challenged Brother Rogers (much to my regret later). "Brother Rogers. Jesus taught us how to pray when he provided us with the 'Lord's Prayer.' Someone with a lisp and a stutter could still follow the example of the 'Lord's Prayer' in 45 seconds and cover all the important points." Brother Rogers just chuckled and told me that I made a good point - but "maybe Jesus and Jehovah liked long prayers."

    A few days later I was called into my parents' bedroom for a good spanking by my father. Apparently, Brother Rogers told him about our conversation and suggested that I should be counseled on having more "respect for elders and the 144,000." After that - long prayers became intolerable for me and made me realize how ridiculous that whole formality was. That's when I really began to hate being a JW.


  • redpilltwice

    There was always that inevitable moment when some elderly sisters in the hall began to sigh during such long prayers. A subtle stop sign that could be heard by almost anyone, exept by the one praying it seemed.

  • schnell

    Doesn't God know what you need at the moment? Before you ask? Even if you whisper? Even if it's silent? Even if it's in another language? Even if it's in Klingon?

    Hey, my Klingon wedding ceremony needs a prayer, too. "tlhogh. tlhogh, maHvaD qem nuq nItebHa' … DaHjaj."

    I know we should be thankful for the meeting's spiritual food, but isn't God capable of understanding that we are? Isn't his existence on a completely different time scale from our own? So, why do we need to pour our thoughts out in a monologue and require everyone else in the room to silently submit to it? Doesn't God know what's in their hearts too?

    What if they're not thankful? Does God still require lip service and perfunctory silent submission to this big long prayer? Does he want it? Why would he want it?

    What happens if you just break for it and start to leave? Does God come after you, or do the others in the congregation shame you? If it's the latter, isn't that all that happens? Then how is it the former? If it isn't the former, and it's only the latter, then what exactly is it that these people call God?

    What is this prayer but a group ritual to reinforce ideas and feelings in the congregation? Indeed, what is the entire meeting but a group ritual and an exercise in cohesion?

    But if this God is invisible, atemporal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, then why do his people need such a group cohesion ritual to convince themselves of it?

    If we do this ritual to work out what God did in the past and what he'll do in the future, why did this omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God allow such things to go this way in the Garden of Eden?

    To quote Epicurus: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  • Vidiot

    redvip2000 - "...It's almost like the target of the prayer is the actual audience in attendance..."

    Figured that out all by yourself, huh? :wink:

  • NikL

    Love the comments.

    I'll be thinking of them and sniggering this Sunday no doubt.

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