JW way of praying


#1

Do you guys think the way the JWs pray to God is a good example of how to pray? They pray to Jehovah in the name of his human son Jesus Christ, not as our Lord Jesus Christ or God the Son.

An example of the way they pray is this:

But of course in a Catholic way, one would change a few words.

What about the “Our Father”.

Which way is it better to pray?

When I was in RCIA for my confirmation we were told we could use a notebook to write down things and that could be counted as a way of praying…

Personally, I think the JWs have a good idea on how to pray but I ALWAYS pray the “Our Father”, the “Hail Mary”, a prayer my grandma taught me as a child (I think she made this one up), a prayer to my guardian angel and then I add a brief conversation-like prayer to God for personal intentions.

I also use the rosary to pray in the evening but I still think the JWs have a great example of how to pray to God. Would you consider this a good way of praying to God?


#2

The JW way of praying is fine except for the skewed theology.

We Catholics pray through Christ as the only begotten Son of God and Son of Man, not just as God’s human son, as if he and the Father did not share the same being.


#3

I believe extemporaneous prayer or free-form prayer can be as valid as form prayers. I think it is a healthy balance to include both. For instance I find myself many times a day just speaking to God about what is happening or what I am thinking of. I tend to use form prayers more often for petitions and needs and free-form prayer for thanksgiving and just ‘staying in touch’. I don’t think JWs are much different than some Protestants who use free-form pray almost exclusively, but of course JWs are incorrect in to whom and how they are doing it. JWs do not believe in ‘repeating words’ and call the Lord’s Prayer the MODEL Prayer–believing it should only be used as a pattern on how to pray–you know, what to say first what to say last.

When I was a little kid growing up JW I used to fall asleep before I finished praying often at bedtime and I was told that without the “in Jesus’ name AMEN” at the end it was not sent on its way, so I figured I would say it first to let Jehovah know I intended to say it if I fell asleep–I would say “Dear God, I am going to say this in Jesus’ name AMEN…” I can remember agonizing over it not being heard if I didn’t say that phrase.

To me it was like the magic words. There was real fear about it. But as a JW growing up I was afraid of everything anyway. I was afraid the demons would hear my prayer and know I fell asleep before I ‘sent’ it and they would attack me and God would not help me because I didn’t say “in Jesus’ name AMEN” and then I would not be able to say God’s name (Jehovah–NOT Jesus BTW) to chase them away! I spent my whole childhood terrorized. I literally remember being so afraid when I was about 6 or 7 that I felt sweat run down the back of my neck and I fainted (because I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I had fallen asleep before I said it.) Sometimes I would say it 50 times to make sure it was just right. (they really did a job on me didn’t they?)
Ravyn


#4

I also believed my prayers had to cover all the bases so to speak…like if I asked for something I had to make sure I phrased it correctly or God would play a joke on me and maybe give me what I wanted but under different circumstances. If I asked God for more money in the family finances (dad was often out of work) then I had to make sure I specified that I did not want to the money to come from some Life Insurance Policy or else I might be praying for the death of one of my parents! Once my cat had kittens in the closet and I asked God to make them be quiet because they were mewing and keeping me awake and in the morning they were all dead and my mom told me it was because I asked Jehovah to make them quiet!
Jehovah was a very schizo God to me as a child and my prayers reflected it. (more like Loki than a loving Father…of course a loving Father was out of realm of experience also…)
So I guess to keep this all on topic—free-form prayers can be a danger if it is not explained how to do it properly and if you do not really know who you are talking to. I think if I had known the formal prayers that Catholic kids learn I might have been more comforted. Children need repetition.
Ravyn


#5

I like the way they pray because it’s a very personal form of prayer, however, when DH prays and wants me to pray with him, he gets a bit annoyed that I don’t say Amen at the end w/him.

If DH leads the prayer, well, in my mind I change the JW part to make it sound as a Catholic prayer, and finish it with “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen”. So, because I do this in silence, DH thinks I don’t say “Amen” to his praying. I do say it in my head but I don’t want to say it aloud so he doesn’t think I’m saying “Amen” to the way he prayed. Does this make sense?

Ravyn, thanks for the comment. I really hoped you would come and answer here. :stuck_out_tongue: I knew the JWs use the “Our Father” as an example prayer, but because not all people know about the WT, THANKS!


#6

:eek: JWs scare me most of the time… but, I cannot recall if you said your mom was a JW or not, but if she was, for those of you who don’t know, this is actually a way that JWs control things around them, blame everyone else for everything. If your mom wasn’t a JW, well, I still think JWs do that, but wouldn’t know why your mom said that to you.

Jehovah was a very schizo God to me as a child and my prayers reflected it. (more like Loki than a loving Father…of course a loving Father was out of realm of experience also…)
So I guess to keep this all on topic—free-form prayers can be a danger if it is not explained how to do it properly and if you do not really know who you are talking to. I think if I had known the formal prayers that Catholic kids learn I might have been more comforted. Children need repetition.
Ravyn

I don’t know if free-form of prayer would be dangerous. Don’t you think God knows what it is you’re asking for before you even ask for it?


#7

yes my mom was a JW --but not ever considered very ‘strong’.
I mean dangerous from the person not from God. I know now God hears even the groanings of our hearts and Holy Spirit is the Comforter who can say AMEN for us even if we fall asleep…but I did not know that kind of loving God back then and so it was dangerous to my psyche. I think kids especially learn by rote and repetition and it was very hard for me when I was in RCIA to learn the prayers and remember the Creed and such as an adult.

I cross myself and say “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” at the end of anybody’s prayer that I agree with no matter what they think.

I remember being the designated pray-er at everyone’s Bible Study because they always said I did it so well, and I can remember thinking they were all fakes because the ‘best’ prayers I said were the ones that said the least! Just a bunch of pretty words strung together. Soemtimes it would amaze me that others didn’t even ‘get’ that what I just said did not even make sense! But I said the right words and all they heard were individual words. “Almighty Jehovah God, we come before your Throne today and ask you give us your spirit and guidance to help us understand this material from your Faithful Slave so that we can become better ministers of Your word and help others to know and love you…blah blah blah…and we thank you for the food at the proper time that You dispense thru Your Remnant and help us to digest it and take it into our hearts …yada yada yada…(of course) we say all this and express our love to You and gratitude for your Organization thru your Son, Christ Jesus…AMEN” I called them political prayers. They said nothing of any substance.
And don’t forget the head covering if there was a baptized male in the room–even if it was a baptized 10 yr old! (to respect his spiritual headship over us!)
Ravyn


#8

Yessian:

Praying using your own words is good but there are times when I really do not know what to say to God. During these times, I often just sit in silence with God particularly if I am sitting in Church before the Blessed Sacrament. Other times, I start with the Our Father or The Liturgy of the Hours and this actually teaches me how to pray to God.

The Rosary is awesome because when we pray the Rosary we are actually sitting at the feet of the Blessed Mother while she tells us the story of our salvation through her Son. When praying the Rosary, we are, in effect, praying the entire Gospel and meditating on it. The JWs do not have anything near the richness of this prayer or any of the other prayers that Catholics have.

In addition, Catholics can receive the gift of contemplation from God. I like to describe it as an intense feeling of peace where interior dialogue ceases and you are just there in the presence of Almighty God. It is as the mystics would describe it a small taste of heaven on earth.

You might find the book entitled “The Fire Within” by Father Thomas Dubay helpful in teaching you how to pray. I can honestly say that I never really learned how to commune with God and pray until I became Catholic.

Jeff S.
www.catholicxjw.com


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.