The most bizzare example for me of people speaking in the most spiritual and rational manner about the prayer times – how each time is a time when God manifests his power in a most clear and unique way, justifying that human beings respond by prostration to such majesty – and then the same people find it most easy to “combine prayers”, an idea that suggests prayers are thoroughly juridical – carrying out of a command so that God would be pleased – and nothing to do with witnessing something at the relevant time that one would respond to. This sort of double-speak most bothers me. Either one should be honest and say – prayer is what tradition has taught me to do, the how and the how many and the when and my prayers are counted, combined, uncombined, shortened etc as per the tradition’s guidance. Or one should try to understand what prayer is in revelation, what is the truth of it and whether the notion of “combining” makes any sense if one was to think about prayer in the way revelation speaks about it.
Human beings are superb at justifying whatever they do quite apart from whether truth and honesty is preserved. And if i were not concerned with honesty and truth, I too would become a justifyer. And so my committment should be to truth as much as I have been given of it and to what I can/should do truthfully.
God help me on the path of truth.