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11 May 2009

Prayer Exercise Revisited

"Church speak" is that vernacular in which we who are used to churchy things speak, particularly when we're around others of our ilk. It's also the way we talk to God most of the time. Quite a long time ago, I wrote about how changing the language of my prayers had a deep, positive impact on my life. I'm offering a refresher here.

When was the last time you used "pray" in a sentence (to someone other than God) where you were requesting something of another person or telling them something? Maybe if we were in the 1600's, we'd say something like, "I pray thee, O my wife, tell me where the Altoids are." (I think they've been making them for that long...)

My recommendation is simple, really. Instead of saying to God, "Lord, I pray that you would be with Jethro in his surgery," a sentence that would make this more meaningful to us would be something like, "Lord, please draw Jethro closer to you as a result of the surgery he's having this morning on his right eyelash (or whatever)." Or maybe this: "Father, Jethro is having eyelash surgery this morning. Please give the doctors incredible skill, foresight, and deft hands as they operate, and physically strengthen Jethro so that the results of the surgery honor You."

To be honest, I don't even really have to know what I mean when I say, "I pray for this person." For me, the word "pray" had gotten so ambiguous in my prayers that it became a catch-all word.

While that word may not be a catch-all for you, the expansion of prayer-speak into phrases that are comprehensible and meaningful in modern English (or your native language and dialect) serve to actually help us grow closer to God. We take Him out of the cultivated religion box and are able to express ourselves and our prayers more accurately.

It also serves to help us to care about and love the people we're praying over. It pushes us to be specific, whether in our thanks or requests to God.

Don't shoot this post down until you've put it into practice for a few days. I'm interested in knowing about your results.

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