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All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK


Feb 3, 2013

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 3, 2013, during the contemporary service at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Assistant Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

The case against prayer isn’t hard to make. Everything we hope for (and some of us pray for) doesn’t come true. But what if prayer is more about being changed than changing other beings?

Prayer is an ancient art, practiced around the world and found in all cultures. It is a human response to the experience of being. In our congregation, prayer means different things to different people. Some of us were taught to pray at young age and have never stopped. Others, having left behind the ways they learned to pray as children, have given up the practice altogether. Still others have discovered non-traditional forms of prayer later in life. On Sunday morning we will explore the what, where, when, how, and why of prayer.

At 8:30, come hear about the impact of prayer on our brains, and how prayer is perceived and practiced today. As one U.S. college student put it, “I don’t want to be thought of in terms of spirituality or religion. Not my religion – if I have one – not your religion. These designations just should not be part of how we relate to each other, no matter what we believe.” This same student reports that he “sometimes” prays when he’s faced with a difficult decision or is concerned about a family member or friend.

At 10:00, we’ll have a story for all ages, and the Children’s Choir will sing. At 11:30, we’ll enjoy the Youth Choir, and hear why the priest mocked Rachel when he found her praying on the temple steps.

Stories, studies in neuroscience, and our own experience all inform our perspective on prayer. Whether you wonder why you would ever pray, you figure there’s no reason not to pray – it couldn’t hurt – or you pray every day, I hope I see you this Sunday!

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