What does prayer really look like? I mean, the good, authentic, "this is my heart, and I'm bearing it all to you God" kind of prayer. Does it really look like the many times I've seen it presented as? This "Dear God, please help us with this, and that, and Father God, I would like this..." It just seems so boring. When I hear people say things like that what I really hear is "I want to feel comfortable again, so give me the things I want." and that's not how God works at all. Has our prayer turned into something superficial?
We talked about prayer today at church, and it got me thinking. Does prayer really have to be this drawn out thing? Do we really have to use the word "God" like the word "um" in our prayers? Can't we just talk to Him like normal human beings? Why can't our prayer be more like talking to a best friend? Is it really disrespectful to talk to God and call Him "dude"? Because if it is, then I've been disrespectful for a very long time.
When I think of prayer I think of having a regular conversation. There are days where I've gone "Hey God, how you doing?" There are days where He is very sarcastic with me, we joke around with each other. Is that not prayer? Does it always have to be the "God this is going on, and it concerns me"? I do talk to God about my problems, but sometimes my problems aren't really anything to worry about, and I just want to spend some time with Him. Have I lost my mind, or is this the kind of praying that Jesus did when He spoke to the Father? He'd have to have some kind of relationship with the Father that was similar to that, because I can't see praying for hours on end that sounds like "Father God, we just would like to, God, thank you for, Father, everything, Jesus... etc." I know I'm exaggerating a little, and I'm sorry if I sound cynical, but I really want to know why is prayer like that? What good does it do?
Maybe I'm just different, and I can't pray like that. Maybe I'm just too practical to think that being so formal about prayer to be effective. Honestly, sometimes my prayer is thinking on something with this sub-thought that says, "Hey God, I'm kinda concerned about this," but there aren't really any words to it, just this... sense... for lack of a better term. *shrugs* I just don't know.
Maybe it's just me... maybe it's what I'm coming out of, but I feel like Christianity is becoming so superficial. Maybe that's what people mean by the "Christian Ghetto"... What has happened to us? I feel like Christianity, as the institution it has become, has fallen quite a bit from the way the early church was. What happened to being authentic? What happened to love? What happened to accepting people for who they are, not for what they've done, or for the things they do?
Maybe I'm just tired of seeing people get stuck in this endless cycle of hurt, get bitter, hurt others, get hurt by others, hurt. Christians!!! Not the "world", no I expect them to act that way, because that is what they know, but Christians should be above that, yet they aren't... what has happened to Christianity? Am I going crazy here, or have I caught on to something and it has pulled me out of this superficiality I used to call my religion? Am I finally starting to see what Jesus meant when He said, "follow me"?
Just some thoughts, you are more than welcome to give me your opinion, but keep it clean, k?
Grace and Peace.
P.S. My birthday is in 24 days... weeee!