Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts on Prayer

So, I was visiting a parishioner in the hospital the other day, and I dropped by the hospital chapel, just too scope it out.  I picked up a brochure detailing the services offered, and was interested to find that it contained some general "Prayers for Healing."  Here, I will give you two of them - see if you can identify the differences:

Prayer One:
"In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, cure me of my weakness, heal me of the sickness, and forgive my sins.  Expel all afflictions of my mind and body.  Mercifully restore me to full health.  You are my Lord for ever.  Amen."

Prayer Two:
"O God, the Source of all health and healing, so fill my heart with faith that with calm expectancy I may receive Your power to help me in this time of my need.  By Your grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, forgive my sin, heal my spirit, mind and body, and be present with me.  Guide my doctors, nurses, and other staff by Your counsel so they will have skill, wisdom and ability to help me.  Amen."

Okay, ready? 

Prayer One is the "Catholic Prayer" and Prayer Two is the "Protestant Prayer."

Now, I myself cannot actually discern what it is in the first that makes it Catholic, and what it is in the second that makes it Protestant.  The Protestant Prayer is a little more verbose, but not particularly bad.  The Catholic Prayer is fine - no invoking of Mary or the Saints, etc...

I have a number of Catholic friends, and I'm certain they would be content to pray the "Protestant Prayer" with me, and I would be perfectly comfortable praying the "Catholic Prayer" with them.  So, what's going on here?  Why can we not just have a "Christian Prayer"?  Does anybody out there in Blogland have any theories on what the difference is?

1 comment:

Kevin Haug said...

Looks like a matter of focus. ;-)

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