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Mistakes Made During Sacrament Prayer, Other Public Prayers, And Your Own Private Prayers


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I've seen the young man saying the sacramental prayer at the LDS chapel have to repeat it, I've heard a Roman Catholic priest ask God to guide "Pope Benedict, as he leads the Church" right after Pope Francis was chosen as the new Pope, I've heard other clergyman make mistakes when they were reading a prayer, and I've found that the words I want don't always come out right when I pray.

 

I'd like thoughts on why this happens.

 

When it happens to you, does it mean there's something wrong with you?

 

Does it mean that God isn't with you, isn't inspiring you, or is trying to tell you something?

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If they make a mistake, I just don't say "Amen".

 

I also won't say "Amen" if someone prays in a foreign language, because you never know...

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Mistakes in prayers don't mean anything except that you are human.

 

The only reason the prayer has to be repeated when it is said incorrectly during sacrament meeting is because the sacrament is an ordinance and the wording for ordinances that have set prayers has to be exact.

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As stated by bluebell, the only prayer that must be word for word is the Sacrament prayer. There is no right or wrong way to say any other prayer, unless of course you are praying to your Honda Civic in the name of gasoline. Then, I would think, a member of the bishopric might gently correct you on the stand. I am not aware of any doctrine that suggests human errors are the result of sin. I lose my keys on a regular basis, and leave lights on when I go to bed. None of these transgressions fill me with guilt or a need to repent.

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 I think Freedom and Bluebell covered it pretty well.  The sacrament is sort of a special case.  In any case, if you have felt you said something God didn't want you to in a prayer, ask for his forgiveness (he will give it very quickly usually), and just say what he wants instead.  I've had a few moments where I've been asking for something and God through the Spirit has prompted me 'don't ask for that please', and so yeah, I try to change that as quickly as possible, because I love him, and I want him to be happy with me.

 

But yeah.  It's not something that happens during every prayer.  But it happens.

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I've seen the young man saying the sacramental prayer at the LDS chapel have to repeat it, I've heard a Roman Catholic priest ask God to guide "Pope Benedict, as he leads the Church" right after Pope Francis was chosen as the new Pope, I've heard other clergyman make mistakes when they were reading a prayer, and I've found that the words I want don't always come out right when I pray.

 

I'd like thoughts on why this happens.

 

When it happens to you, does it mean there's something wrong with you?

 

Does it mean that God isn't with you, isn't inspiring you, or is trying to tell you something?

It means that a human being is trying to pray.

 

My prayers are constant, continual and inescapable. I rarely phrase them into audible form, because I have grown accustomed to letting my thoughts be drawn. All I want is to know that my desires are not unjust, then everything else will follow at the right place and time....

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God knows the thoughts and intents of your heart, if your words don't come out perfectly, he still understands and will bless you anyway.  Prayer is an interesting thing, sometimes the words and feelings flow like water and other times they flow like clay.  If you sit still for twenty minutes in meditation and become aware of your thoughts, you will find that most of the time our minds and hearts are not sufficiently prepared for revelatory or spirit guided prayer, but are filled with scattered clutter and emotions.  I'll share what is most effective for me.  I approach prayer like I do the temple, because for me prayer is just as sacred.  Our bodies are temples of the spirit of the Lord where he enters and communes with us if we are sufficiently prepared and invite him in.  The scriptural heart is a holy of holies for me.  I prepare myself before entering every day when I pray.  It takes time which we must be willing to offer.  After practicing deep breathing for around 5 minutes, and clearing my head and calming my body by imagining breathing in pure light and breathing out darkness, stress, and impurity through each segment of my body, I feel completely relaxed with a calm mind.  I feel peace and light.  I keep practicing until I feel this peace and calm or my prayers will not flow, rather it feels like there is a block.   I then imagine myself entering my holy of holies.  I know exactly what the room looks and feels like in my mind.  I know exactly when I am there.  Then, I begin my prayer by inviting the Holy Ghost to be with me.  Without fail, I am overwhelmed with the spirit and guided in prayer.  I am not always able to make it to the holy of holies, but I get better with practice. 

 

I know this might be a bit unusual, but it is how I communicate most effectively with God.  I listen a lot more than I speak any more.  When I do speak, it is more felt then spoken.  It usually takes around 20 minutes each morning to complete.  I try to practice in the evening as well.   Sweet hour of prayer, or close to anyway!  After the prayer I am sure to write my thoughts, feelings and impressions in a journal.  It is my personal book of scripture just for me.  I find that in the writing process, a lot of the feelings that I had during the prayer are more clearly understood through putting them into words. 

 

In between these prayers, I try to let my life be a prayer unto him as we are taught to pray always. 

 

In short, yes, when we are having difficulty praying, it seems that we have not sufficiently prepared ourselves for the experience.  It is ok to have those quick, short prayers, but I wouldn't expect to be guided by the spirit every time.  

Edited by pogi
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If they make a mistake, I just don't say "Amen".

 

I also won't say "Amen" if someone prays in a foreign language, because you never know...

Not sure if you are speaking tongue in cheek or not (you do that sometimes, cinepro, so I'm not sure), but it's not up to the congregants to determine whether or not it was done correctly. If the presiding authority approves the prayer, then it is valid regardless of whether or not there were mistakes.

 

In our married ward at BYU, somebody once read the water prayer while blessing the bread. As it was passed, many were obviously torn as to whether they should take it. My wife and I did, and when others looked at us funny, I whispered that it's the bishop's authority to approve or not approve prayers ---- and that if he approved it, then God would honor that. Even though it was clearly the water and not the bread prayer.

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I've seen the young man saying the sacramental prayer at the LDS chapel have to repeat it, I've heard a Roman Catholic priest ask God to guide "Pope Benedict, as he leads the Church" right after Pope Francis was chosen as the new Pope, I've heard other clergyman make mistakes when they were reading a prayer, and I've found that the words I want don't always come out right when I pray.

 

I'd like thoughts on why this happens.

 

When it happens to you, does it mean there's something wrong with you?

 

Does it mean that God isn't with you, isn't inspiring you, or is trying to tell you something?

We only have two prayers that must be said exactly as reveled fron Christ. The gravity of these prays have to with the remission of sin and the renewal of our Baaptisms, where the same is required the words must be exact, but that is an ordinance.
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Not sure if you are speaking tongue in cheek or not (you do that sometimes, cinepro, so I'm not sure), but it's not up to the congregants to determine whether or not it was done correctly. If the presiding authority approves the prayer, then it is valid regardless of whether or not there were mistakes.

 

In our married ward at BYU, somebody once read the water prayer while blessing the bread. As it was passed, many were obviously torn as to whether they should take it. My wife and I did, and when others looked at us funny, I whispered that it's the bishop's authority to approve or not approve prayers ---- and that if he approved it, then God would honor that. Even though it was clearly the water and not the bread prayer.

 

Yes, this is important.  Even more, we have a member of the ward who doesn't persay have a strength in speaking clearly, and yet the Bishop accepts the prayer, and I'm sure that God would too.

Edited by TAO
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I wouldn't worry too much about verbiage here. I think the sincerity and intent of our hearts is what counts the most.

 

Romans 8: 26

 

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

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If you make a mistake it means that you are a seriously demented individual and you are very carnal......welcome to the human family.  Some are more demented than others. 

 

On a more serious note, you are thinking this out too much. You either follow Christ or not. The rest of the stuff is just form. Some people say really nice prayers and others don't really have a gift of expression. The important thing is not how good a prayer sounds to the ear, but the condition of our heart when we pray. When we pray we are communing with our Father in Heaven; do that and all things will work out well.

 

We have very, very few prayers in the Church that are set:  the two Sacrament prayers and the Baptismal prayer. When we ordain a man to the priesthood we have a phrase that some are particularly fickle about. These are exceptions; share the feelings of your heart and God will let you know how he feels.

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I'd like thoughts on why this happens.

 

When it happens to you, does it mean there's something wrong with you?

 

Does it mean that God isn't with you, isn't inspiring you, or is trying to tell you something?

What has been your experience and the resulting conclusion?

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One of my nephews had to be baptized (dunked) three times because the prayer wasn't right and then the third time he said the boy's foot was out of the water. Fortunately Darius was a sport. I think some take it more seriously than others.

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What has been your experience and the resulting conclusion?

 

Today, I was trying to say "help dad and me repent of our sins," and it came out "help dad and me repent of my sins."

 

That bothered me.

 

After asking myself why God caused or allowed me to say that instead of what I meant to say, and not being able to make any sense of dad repenting of my sins, I started all over.

 

Whenever anything like that happens when I'm praying i feel I have to start all over (from the beginning.)

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After asking myself why God caused or allowed me to say that instead of what I meant to say,

Why do you assume that God "causes or allows" you to say what you say in your prayers? Do you believe that He remote controls your every thought and word?

 

I know that isn't the case. He doesn't intervene on slips of the tongue. That (and a lot more) is part and parcel of our mortal experience. But, He looketh upon the heart, and knows what the intent is, even if the words don't match. This also applies to people whose words are the right ones, but whose thoughts and hearts don't match those words.

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Hi inquiring mind. One of the great Catholic saints described prayer very simply as "a conversation with God." We sometimes get tongue twisted in conversations. This sounds a little like what moral theology calls, scrupulosity. A scrupulous conscience worries over trivial details and can get to thinking that God is unhappy with him too easily. Scruples create unreasonable fears. Ultimately, it is hard for such a person to love God. Why? Because God seems to be so easily provoked. Your thinking that something is wrong just seems like an unwarranted fear. I feel guilty when I don't pray. THAT is when I know something is wrong.

Edited by 3DOP
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As mentioned above, since the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper involves the renewing of covenants, the prayer must be word-perfect. This is similar for temple ordinances and baptism, which involve covenants. Certain parts of other ordinances (confirmation, conferral of priesthood) must also be spoken using the correct wording.

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Today, I was trying to say "help dad and me repent of our sins," and it came out "help dad and me repent of my sins."

 

That bothered me.

 

After asking myself why God caused or allowed me to say that instead of what I meant to say, and not being able to make any sense of dad repenting of my sins, I started all over.

 

Whenever anything like that happens when I'm praying i feel I have to start all over (from the beginning.)

That is one of many possible reactions and responses that depend on individual personalities. What have you concluded about what it means as far as God's companionship and communication with you?

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That is one of many possible reactions and responses that depend on individual personalities. What have you concluded about what it means as far as God's companionship and communication with you?

 

Can you tell me what it means?

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Can you tell me what it means?

Not for you, but for me, I know that praying despite what bothers me is an act of faith, which is a gift from God who loves me. The same goes for starting over in any worthy effort that hasn't gone as well as I had intended.

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Not for you, but for me, I know that praying despite what bothers me is an act of faith, which is a gift from God who loves me. The same goes for starting over in any worthy effort that hasn't gone as well as I had intended.

 

Thank you.

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