Saturday, September 27, 2008

As You Pray, So You Believe

The Latin phrase lex orandi, lex credendi, means the law of prayer is the law of belief. A loose translation would be "How you worship is how you believe." This little phrase has tremendous application in the life of the Church. It behooves us as Christians to continuously be vigilant of our practice, lest it corrupt our belief.

Pastor Rick Stuckwisch has an excellent post on lex orandi, lex credendi on his blog thinking-out-loud, in which he explores the history of the phrase, and its significance for the Church.

Here is Pastor Stuckwisch's conclusion:

This original definitiion of the "lex orandi" is instructive. It begins with the understanding that the Church's practice of prayer is not a self-authenticating enterprise. Faithful praying takes its stand upon, and take its cues from, the Word and promises of God. Which is not to say that every rubric, rite and ceremony must have an explicit command. That we should pray "for all men" and "without ceasing" requires a good ordering of life and practice, which need not be the same at all times and in all places. As preaching properly divides the Word of truth, proclaiming the Law and the Gospel in many and various ways, so does faithful praying proceed according to various patterns of sound words. Yet, faithful preaching and praying alike derive their authority from the Holy Scriptures, from the doctrine of the blessed Apostles. Nothing dare undermine, contradict, or compete with that regula fidei (the rule of faith). But the Church, in the freedom of the Gospel, regulates her practice according to and in harmony with the Lord's "lex orandi," in order that her faith in Him may be rightly and clearly confessed. In this way, the Church's liturgical practice establishes an orthodox "lex credendi."

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