Faith

Why Must We Roll Out that Flowery Prayer Language?

Have you listened to how someone’s speech pattern changes when they bow their heads and start with the flowery prayer language?

I’ve never really understood why there seems to be a totally different prayer language compared with how we speak the rest of the time.

I’m sure I noticed it at a very young age in church. It confuses me to this day.

No matter how casual one’s English usage happens to be, it seems they feel the need to start speaking like the Lord’s Prayer when it comes time to actually pray.

On one hand, I understand: the Lord’s Prayer, after all, was the Bible’s example of how we should pray. Of course, as different translations of the Bible itself appeared, translations of that prayer accompanied them.

After all, how many people today ever use the word hallowed? And of them, how many ever pronounce the last two letters as a separate syllable outside of that prayer?

People suddenly say things like, “Our Heavenly Father” when the rest of the time, they just say “God.” They say “we humbly ask for your wisdom” instead of “help us understand.” “Forgive us” becomes, “we ask your forgiveness.”

I’ve heard some insist on referring to God as “Father God.” Every single time. You might hear 10 “Father Gods” in the first two or three sentences of the prayer.

It’s as if we believers don’t know how to talk to God.

There are honestly times that I wonder if God is up there chuckling at the spectacle.

Yes, we should show reverence. But isn’t our relationship with God deeper than that?

Many, many years ago, in a Sunday School class, someone prayed in a different way. Right from the start, the prayer language was differed from what I’d ever heard.

He started the prayer with, “Hi, Dad.”

When he finished, he explained the more casual language. God is our Father, so why not call Him Dad? If you picture Him as your Dad, you feel a more personal connection to Him.

I’ll admit that I have a bit of trouble being that casual. But I also admit that I feel sometimes we try to flower up our prayers so much that we lose the genuineness of what we’re trying to say.

We make God this unattainable being who keeps us at a distance. I don’t think that’s what He wants.

I think He’d rather us consider him a Dad just as He considers us his kids.

Some might find that disrespectful because it doesn’t sound “God-fearing” enough. But when we talk about fearing God, the definition we mean isn’t about being afraid but being reverent and respectful.

If those of us who pray could learn to set aside the flowerly language and try talking more with God, we might find we could be more honest with Him from the start.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.