Dream word – PRAY
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” NKJV
Getting rid of your secret prayer language
Part of my basic training as a young sailor was the learning of naval slang. The fact is, that there was so much of it, from Dhoby (washing) to Rabbits (presents – legitimate or otherwise,) and that it was so prolific, well, it meant that unless you knew the lingo, you wouldn’t have much of a clue what other sailorswere saying to you! An enclosed world, lead to a very specific and enclosed language. Do you see that?
The prayer life of Christians can so easily become that same old enclosed world and frankly, the language, especially the prayer language of such closed worlds is rather boring, limiting, disconnected and lifeless. Indeed, if I were God, (immediate prayer of thanks from you that I am not!) then I would be AWOL from many a Christian prayer meeting, or to put it another way, if I were God, I would rather go “on the trot”, rather “do a runner”, than turn up at a prayer meeting. The problem is that often our language is both like our hearts and our subject matter, in that they have become nothing but pitiful expressionsof enclosed, tired, predictable and boring Christian colloquialisms. Well, somebody had to say it, for the mould of our boring “blah blah blah, blah blah”, communication needs breaking and the only way to do this, is to marry a more expansive personal reality with the rawness of the Scriptures.
Most Christian groups have a secret prayer language, that is, a language they use when they are gathered together to pray which is disconnected from both the reality of their regular lives and the language of Scripture. It is pure local Christian community colloquialism, or as I prefer to call it, boring drivel! Limiting, non-descriptive, stuttering, “justing”, boring drivel. (“Lord we just want to, I just want to, we just, will you just, I just....” good grief!) This kind of secret prayer language of the group enclosure is often not the real language of our lives and so is of necessity, thoroughly disconnected from who we truly are. If it is the language of your lives, and for some it is, then brethren, you need to get out of the chicken coup a little more, or watch more TV. I never thought I’d actually say that, but there you go. When you speak, be who you are. When you pray, be who you are, yes, ditch the local C.C.C. the Christian Community Colloquialisms.
Most Christians refuse to use the language of the Scriptures. One of the reasons has been the insistent and continued the use of the King James version of the Bible. A translation that despite all its majesty and beauty, was nevertheless made for the Royal court of ancient English Kings. It was disconnected then from the common vernacular and how much more so several hundred years later. I am from the county of Derbyshire and as youngest spoke much in thee’s and tha’s and thou’s and subsequently feel somewhat more comfortable with that translation but even I use the New King James version and also heavily supplement it with several other translations. We need to take an understandable version of the Scriptures, especially the Psalms and start praying them out loud. We need to take the text from the page and make it live on the expression of our own verbal reality. Pray the Psalms aloud but for your own souls sake, please make sure to get a translation that is nearer your own common language, get something you connect with. The language of your day, in all its constructions and explanation and expression, is the very language in which you should pray. Get rid of the C.C.C. that dreaded secret prayer language.
Listen: “It's your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” - Matthew 12:34-37 (from THE MESSAGE:by Eugene H. Peterson.)
Pray: God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening. Their words aren't heard, their voices aren't recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. God makes a huge dome for the sun — a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, The day breaking sun an athlete racing to the tape. That's how God's Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith. The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree. God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries. There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool? Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar. (Psalms 19 from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Click HERE to find out about how we are reaching 16,500 CITIES in the 250 Nations of the Whole World!