|Monroe, on Lake Erie|
In The Contemplative Pastor Eugene Peterson writes:
“Praying is a joining of realities, making a live connection between the place we find ourselves and the God who is finding us. But prayer is not a work that pastors are often asked to do except in ceremonial ways. Most pastoral work actually erodes prayer. The reason is obvious: people are not comfortable with God in their lives. They prefer something less awesome and more informal. Something, in fact, like the pastor. Reassuring, accessible, easygoing. People would rather talk to the pastor than to God. And so it happens that without anyone actually intending it, prayer is pushed to the sidelines.” (Kindle Locations 383-387)
Mostly, as a pastor, that's my experience. I meet too many Christians who "are too busy to pray." And too many who would "rather have the pastor say the prayer."
Real prayer is not some "ceremonial" thing to be done by the "master of ceremony." Prayer is a "joining of realities." As I've written elsewhere, the locale of prayer is where heaven intersects with earth. Pastors and religious leaders are not better pray-ers than you. You can pray and must pray. As you gain a life of praying prayer leaves the sidelines and gets back on the playing field of life where it belongs.