"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.IX Pg.4b
April 1942

Gag Rule Needed

I'm about to say something on a delicate subject in a not very delicate way. There ought to be some way to put a limit on the time some brethren use in leading an audience in prayer. Personally, after I find out that a brother prays more than half as long as I preach, I call on somebody else, but others are not as considerate of the feelings of the audience as I am, and if we get on our knees we stay there till they ache, and if we are on our feet we stand there till our ankles hurt. He may lead us for the first few minutes but after that we drop out and get lost and hope for the best. Public prayer is not an endurance contest and it is yet to be discovered why any brother should feel that, when he is called on to lead a public prayer, he should ask the Lord all at once for everything he has ever heard and thought of, and then wind up by preaching awhile. It is certainly not a time for showmanship and the least such a course can show is bad taste, and it usually shows more than that, and none of its complimentary to the man who does it. If a brother feels that he needs to pray all night on a meeting night he should do most of it after he goes home and in the privacy of his own closet where it will do him the most good, and not tempt some others to forget the Lord entirely. I was told seriously of a case where a brother with a big voice publicly wrestled with the Lord vocally for a full fifteen minutes by the clock. Of course the individual who kept time on him did not do much praying, but I can understand how he felt the need for a diversion of some kind. There ought to be some way to attach a stop-clock to a brother who will thus impose on an audience, under the pretense of leading them in prayer. It might be well to study the sample prayer that Jesus taught Me disciples to pray, as to style content and length. It can be read in half a minute. —C.E.W.