Prayer (part deuce): Redundant cliché’s

I don’t know how many people are with me in this, but I feel the majority of my prayers are a jumbled up mixture of redundant cliché’s.  These are things ranging from worn out idioms that I have heard in church all my life to the latest Christian cultural fads that tend to breed seasonal catch phrases for Believers.  I would give examples, but I am afraid it would come out sounding like I am mocking the meaning behind the words, and that is not at all my intention.  It is not that those phrases or words are bad.  In fact, they are probably so overused because they are so right on.  I just struggle with this because I feel like it is not me talking and that I am putting on a show.  Do I truly mean those words?

Perhaps my biggest struggle with a consistent prayer life even more than the cliché phrases is the redundancy.  I cannot stand saying the same thing over and over, and I feel like that is what I do with God a lot of times.  It is like I am a child reciting “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep…”(which is a really morbid prayer when you think about it, but I digress).  How about reciting the Lord’s prayer?  I hardly ever do that in my private prayers, but it is interesting that it was given as a template of how to pray.  I have a hard time with outlining a prayer in that manner because I feel it should be more of a conversation or a living expression.  I know I wouldn’t be close with someone if the only so called “conversation” we had each day consisted of the same exact exchange.  For example, if I called you up everyday and read or recited a heartwarming poem and then hung up and that was the extent of our relationship, I would say we are not very close.  Our relationship would be surface level at best, and honestly it would be just plain weird.  That is the beauty of having a meaningful relationship with someone where you can grow, evolve, and adapt.  Your time spent together isn’t even necessarily about what you say, but more about the time that passes in each other’s company.  You learn about each other as you walk through life together…remaining, and abiding.

I keep returning to this concept of abiding in Christ (perhaps redundantly) because I think it is pivotal to truly understanding the sort of relationship we were meant to have with Him.  I am using that idea to break down the preformed notions that I have constructed in my head as to what Christianity looks like and in this case prayer in hopes that I will be closer to understanding how to stop trying and simply abide.  Any thoughts?

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3 responses to “Prayer (part deuce): Redundant cliché’s

  1. Just this morning I felt similar to what you are describing here. I lowered my head and closed my eyes and started rambling of cliche’s. In mid prayer I stopped and told God I was sorry. I was just saying a prayer to say a prayer. I didn’t feel connected at all. It was more like a routine that I have developed. I have noticed that when I do this normally means I have not been paying attention to those around me. I have become self-centered. When I’m involved with others and actively engaged in the world I have tons to talk over in prayer. This means I haven’t been very Fluid lately. The state of withdrawing into myself is so easy for me to do. When I do get engaged it truly is a wonderful thing. It’s the difference between darkness and light. Also when I’m engaged in life outside of myself my prayer life is just like a conversation with an old friend. It’s not cliche or just a routine.

    These are just a couple of thoughts I had and realized while reading your post.

  2. I am with you 100%, especially when it comes to saying “grace”. I almost get mad at myself when I find myself repeating the same thing over and over, but, I have to stop and remember that I wouldn’t repeat myself like this with a friend of mine, or a family member.

    Usually when you tell someone once, or twice, they will remember. How about God? Probably can remember before we say it?

    I try to remember to speak from my heart, as in conversation with our Lord. What’s on my mind, ask and praise specifics… to me, not, “Lord, bless us all” etc etc.

    It is a “relationship”, and it is not one sided. We (or at least I) need to remember to listen as well. Hard for me to hear what the Lord has to say when I always have my mouth open and mind closed. Just my $.02

  3. You know… over the last number of years, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time learning to “hear God”. I really think that our prayer lives would be revolutionized if we heard what the spirit of God is saying… and agree with it.

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