Has Your Faith Walk Become Ritualistic?

Praying Hands      I was at church a month or two ago when Pastor Rowdy made a statement that chilled me to the bone! I mean it was like he hit me with a two by four. Actually, it turns out, it was the Holy Spirit what had hit me with a two by four! What Pastor said was, “If you say the same prayer at meal time, saying Grace has become nothing more than a Ritual to you!”

My immediate thought was, “Whoooaaaa!!” You see, I was extremely guilty of that very act! I had been saying the same prayer for so long that I couldn’t even remember when I started saying it. It was a nice little prayer:

Our Heavenly Father
We thank you for this meal
And ask that you Bless this food
To our bodies.
In Jesus name,

If we went out to eat, I added what I thought to be a nice little twist:

Our Heavenly Father
We thank you for this meal
And ask that you Bless this food
To our bodies
So that we, in turn,
Can Bless you and Bless Others.
In your name Jesus,

      Now, you may be thinking, “Well, Floyd, what’s wrong if your prayer was Ritualistic?” The answer is… in Jesus’ time the ones who were Ritualistic were the Pharisees! They were, you may remember, the same ones who crucified Jesus! Trust me … you do not want to be counted in their number!

Well, after getting over the shock of discovering my infraction, I went down the Road of Recollection to discover if other parts of my Faith Walk had become Ritualistic. Trust me, this was a most scary journey! With much trepidation I cautiously proceeded around each bend … examining the rest of my Prayer Life; my time in The Word of God; Execution of my Spiritual Gifts; Time spent in Fellowship and Mentoring; My approach to Pastor’s Sermons; My continued attempts to be a Good Samaritan and the way I treat my spouse, children and grandchildren. I am pleased, and relieved!, to announce that, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of my Faith Walk is RitualisticFree!”

The GOOD NEWS today is that if you discover that your Faith Walk has become Ritualistic, there is something you can do about it! First, you are going to have to take a journey down the Road of Recollection and discover if you have allowed any Ritualism to worm itself into your Faith Walk. Then, you need to repent for your faux pas, and, as the term implies, make the necessary changes to make your Faith Walk fresh once again. In doing so I am sure you will find that while you may have slipped into this inadvertently, as I had, the joy of “righting your ship,” if you would, will make your Faith Walk that much more of an enjoyable stroll!

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