Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prayer Fellowship

I recently spoke to 2 different WELS pastors about various issues and about this blog. I would like to bring up one issue that was discussed and that is on the WELS position on prayer fellowship.

I had the opportunity to witness and pray with a family that had gone through a horrible tragedy. This family belonged to a Christian (non-WELS) church.

In trying to comprehend the doctrinal position of the WELS on prayer fellowship, I spoke to these WELS pastors and got 2 different answers. Pastor A said that I should say that I prayed "for" them and not "with" them. (help me out her Mr. Grammarian).

Pastor B said this private prayer with the family is not forbidden in Scripture and I didn't sin. This pastor went on to say that there are also varying degrees of close communion that synod pastors use to admit member to the Holy table.

Here are a few links on the subject of prayer fellowship...

...On the subject of joint prayer between spouses who belong to different churches, Brug himself states elsewhere that

If one spouse is a non-Christian, the Christian partner may pray for and in the presence of the non-Christian husband or wife. Obviously, they cannot pray together. If the other spouse is a member of a heterodox church and ridicules or rejects the beliefs of our member, joint prayer is hardly possible. If the other spouse’s membership in a heterodox church is seen as a matter of weakness in understanding, joint prayer may be possible in the privacy of the home. (Church Fellowship: Working Together for the Truth [Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1996], p. 149)


Bespoke said...

Brug is hilarious. I would add, "But if the religious leader is from the United Methodist Church(Sweet), or Fuller Seminary, or the Church of Rome, by all means learn his or her deep religious insights. Just don't let me catch you praying."

California on my mind said...

God's Word teaches that for all expressions of fellowship there needs to be agreement in all the teachings of Scripture. This includes joint prayer. A christian may come across situations in life where more than one biblical principle comes into play, and then we have to use our sanctified christian conscience to decide if the fellowship principle applies or another doctrine. This is the point where we find out there are always exceptions to the rule. I think this is probably what the pastor you spoke to was getting at.

BTW, bespoke: Why don't you save your sarcasm for ichabod.