Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Is it OK to say "butt" when praying to God?

I was praying the other night, and one thing I prayed about was some major discouragement and depression I have been dealing with. My exact words were "this discouragement and depression are really kicking my butt." Then I paused and thought to myself "I just said kicking my butt to God.....while I was praying." Then I found myself smirking...(I wonder if it is OK to smirk while you're praying?)

  I've been thinking about that since then, and I don't think it is a big deal to talk like that. Obviously you shouldn't be vulgar when talking to God, but I don't believe we have to be so formal with God as some have been and still are. We don't have to go all King James Version on God when we are praying. He isn't waiting to hear the thous, thees, lovest, "our gracious Heavenly Father who art in the Heavens....".

  Prayer is simply talking to God, yet somewhere along the line, we got the idea it has to be formal, we have to say just the right words, we have to have the right posture, and it has to be a certain length. But it doesn't. We can pray standing, kneeling, lying down, standing on our head, even while driving........though I would advise keeping your eyes open.

  God wants us to be real with Him, not formal and stiff. And it doesn't have to be a certain length. The model Jesus gave us to use is pretty short. And yes, it is a model, so we shouldn't just pray that length all of the time, but I often find myself trying to pray longer, and why? So I can feel I did it right? So I feel better about myself as a Christian? I had some bad thoughts today, but I prayed 10 minutes longer than I did last night, so I am doing pretty good at this Christian thing....

  Looking back over my prayer life of years past, I have come to a realization: My prayers have largely in part been about me. To make me feel good, to make me feel like I am filling my obligation to "read my Bible  and pray every day, so I'll grow, grow, grow." I try to say the right words, pray the right length so I feel I have done it right and can mark it off of my daily to-do list.

  And prayer is for us. It connects us to God, our Father, it gives peace of mind, healing. Studies have shown that people who pray have a better frame of mind than those who do not. But we shouldn't do it just so we can feel we fulfilled our daily duty as a Christian.

It is just talking to our Heavenly Father. No rules or special phrases, just talking. And listening. That is the part I am bad at. My mind tends to wander when I just try to listen. 

  I used to worry about that, and it is something I need to work at, but if I have learned anything in the last year, it is that God is so much more patient with me that I am with myself - or that anyone else is with me. He "gets" me more than anyone else.

  And while I am working on listening, I'll keep on talking to God as just me. No filters, no fake posturing or attempts to sound more intellectual or holier than I am. Why try? God sees the heart and knows what I am thinking anyway. 

  Even if is a word like "butt".

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