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The seminary I attend recently started a blog, and I want to highlight a helpful post by the practical theology professor Dan Brown on pastoral prayer. Here’s just an excerpt:

Spontaneity, while typical in our prayer life, holds no special benefit with God. Thinking through, and even praying through, the preparation of a public prayer allows thoughts and topics that might not come when we shoot from the hip. Read the prayers of great men of God, and study the prayers of the Bible. Certainly the pastor must be careful not to pray as the Pharisee standing on the street corner, but this danger does not mean he cannot be eloquent, planned, and heart-felt at the same time.

Read the whole thing.