Malankara World

What Shall I Do To Be Saved?

By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil

Question 135. Your church has written prayers. Isn't it better for one to compose their own prayers than to read from someone else's prayer?

I assume that these critics do not use any written prayers. What makes these critics think that their prayer is what our Lord desires? What makes them think that it is complete? Isn't it pride to think that one is complete in all aspects of their own created prayers?

Even the apostles asked our Lord to teach them what to pray. Instead of telling them to pray according to how they like, our Lord taught them what to pray and they prayed what was taught to them (Mat 6:9-13). Some Christian communities have too much spiritual pride to the extent that they don't even utilize the prayers used by the apostles.

In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your father knows what you need before you ask them. (Mat. 6:7) This is what our Lord said about prayer. Therefore it is obvious that not all forms of prayers are good.

In that context, the prayers used by the Church were written by the apostles of Jesus Christ, by their disciples, by early church fathers that learned from them, and were in most instances martyred or had suffered for Jesus Christ. The church can trace its prayers back to the time of St. John.

Our prayers are authored for each occasion and you can compare our church's prayers with your own or with anyone else's and you will see that our prayers are complete and special. You will realize how meaningful these prayers are. If you are not convinced we can prove it. We encourage you to read our prayers and you can decide for yourself.

The church has not confined anyone to written prayers. We have prayers seven times a day and have special prayers for each day of the week. But if you want, you can pray 24 hours a day and no one will stop you from doing that. In fact if you can do this, it is well and good.

Written prayers are an aid to prayer as they are very rich in their contents and were written down by people of greater spirituality than ourselves. Mechanical repetition or parrot-like recitations of written prayers are not what is expected of the faithful, but slow praying with real concentration. Written prayers prevent us from our natural tendency to be selfish in submitting our own needs before God without a penitential heart.

TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Sec 2 (Q 27-56) | Sec 3 (Q 57-81) | Sec 4 (Q 82-115) | Sec 5 (Q 116-135) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

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