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Prayer Group Question

ironchapman

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Here's something I've been curious about.

My university's history department has several Christian professors, and some of the have gotten together to form an informal prayer group with a few students and some other Christian faculty.

There's several Protestants and a few Catholics, but no Orthodox.

In the past I've attended this, since I have a few friends (among them the professors) that do. Is it alright for me still attend this? Basically it's just a discussion of how our week has been and what sort of praises and requests we have, followed by a prayer.
 

JamesR

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There is a canon law which forbids us from praying with non-Orthodox unless we are the ones leading the prayer or something along those lines. However, it is generally not recommended to apply these canon laws to yourself unless your Bishop and/or spiritual father prescribes it to you. I would recommend asking your Priest.
 

ironchapman

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JamesR said:
There is a canon law which forbids us from praying with non-Orthodox unless we are the ones leading the prayer or something along those lines. However, it is generally not recommended to apply these canon laws to yourself unless your Bishop and/or spiritual father prescribes it to you. I would recommend asking your Priest.
Yeah, I remember that.

Thanks for the advice. Asking one's spiritual father's is a great idea for these sorts of things.
 

Benjamin the Red

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I don't see any problem with attending. You aren't communing with them or anything, just meeting, talking, etc. I don't see an issue with you as an inquirer (or even as an Orthodox layman) participating in such things. Personally, I was always uncomfortable in this kind of setting, even as a Protestant, and becoming Orthodox intensified that for me. But, again, just my own personal attitude towards such things...but I wouldn't condemn anyone else for being involved.
 

LBK

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Someone young in the Orthodox faith should be very, very wary of attending such meetings. It doesn't take much to sow the seeds of doubt and heterodox belief at them.
 

Benjamin the Red

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LBK said:
Someone young in the Orthodox faith should be very, very wary of attending such meetings. It doesn't take much to sow the seeds of doubt and heterodox belief at them.
Given my previous response, I still have to second this. If you're serious about your inquiry, you may need to stop attending, at least temporarily, in order to sort out what you believe. This is another reason I tend to avoid such gatherings...I don't care to sit in a room with a group of people that talk about and believe things that I don't believe to be contrary to Christian faith.
 

NicholasMyra

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These things get really awkward for Orthodox (and Catholics and Anglicans, I would assume). We don't easily speak evangelical/baptist/pentecostal pidgin Christian (witness on, personal testimony, laying it on your heart, push-back, etc.), and we're not often asked to come up with a custom prayer to perform on the spot.

If you come from a background that does speak pidgin evo-bapti-costal, it's a habit you'll want to break.

Just something to think about.
 

mabsoota

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despite speaking evo-bapti-costal from a young age, i have found recently that i am no longer fluent, so if i do pray with protestants (not a common occurrence), i start with 'in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, amen', and then pray briefly, usually thanking God for His mercy. although i do the 'through the prayers of the virgin mary, mother of God and all the saints' under my breath so as not to totally freak them out.
after this, we either don't pray together again or they ask about orthodoxy.
;)

edit:
did anyone that bit in the film 'meet the fockers' where the jewish 'male nurse' attempts to pray before the meal with the Christian in-laws? that's how my protestant prayer attempts sound these days...
 

ironchapman

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I'll say this: there's no discussion of doctrine at these meetings, and it isn't like one of those worship services at an evangelical type church. There's no laying of hands-type stuff. We meet in a professor's office, sit in some chairs in the office, discuss how our week has gone, mention whoever we'd like to pray for, and then pray. We keep it simple. It's just a few Christian friends trying to survive on in a secular environment. It doesn't seem to bother the Catholics who attend (though they aren't Orthodox, of course).

I will be speaking with my spiritual father about this.
 

Benjamin the Red

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ironchapman said:
I'll say this: there's no discussion of doctrine at these meetings, and it isn't like one of those worship services at an evangelical type church. There's no laying of hands-type stuff. We meet in a professor's office, sit in some chairs in the office, discuss how our week has gone, mention whoever we'd like to pray for, and then pray. We keep it simple. It's just a few Christian friends trying to survive on in a secular environment. It doesn't seem to bother the Catholics who attend (though they aren't Orthodox, of course).

I will be speaking with my spiritual father about this.
From what you say here, I still say it's probably alright. At the same time, most of not all of the concerns raised in this thread are also valid. You'd also be surprised how much dogma comes through in a passing statement or simple prayer. I never picked up on some of the loaded terminology of Protestants until I steppes outside of that world. It's not that they mean to, it's just how they understas their faith. Orthodox so the same thing. It's just that we don't agree on the terms. ;)

Also, American Catholics (especially since Vatican II) have become rather Protestantized, and many have not received proper catechesis. When I first became Orthodox, I thought I could find brothers-in-arms among Roman Catholics in places such as work. This often turned out to be not the case. Even pious RCs were rather Protestantized in their thinking, and didn't understand how some of the ways they thought about things were contrary to Catholicism. I do have friends that are Catholic, but we either don't talk about faith or they're Tradtional Latin/Eastern Catholics.
 
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