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?