I grew up in a church where the pastor would call on people to pray. Thankfully, he didn’t call on kids or it could have gotten scary around there. I’m sure it was intimidating for adults too.
I never thought about it at the time, but now it strikes me as odd to think about how people pray in front of other people. I talk to God every day, in my car, in my chair, in my heart. I’m not really good at praying in front of people, even though I have to do it often. The Bible tells us that God knows your heart and what you hold in your heart speaks to God. So, what you believe in your heart IS your prayer because it is what you truly have faith in.
I talk to God in my own voice. God knows me, right? Sometimes, I think a silent prayer, other times, I talk out loud. When the pastor would call on men to pray in church, they would be somehow transformed into 17th century British men right before our eyes. Men who hung out at the boat place saying “y’all” on Saturday suddenly started saying “thee, thou, and ye” in a Sunday morning instant.
YE! Who says that?
People complained when King James wanted to translate the Bible into “modern English” 400 years ago. Some people don’t like the modern language translations we have today either. What good is a Bible to anyone if you can’t read it? People don’t say Ye and Thee anymore. When you pray, be yourself. Talk to a friend.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave us the most effective, affirmative prayer of all time. It was an example of how to pray effectively. It doesn’t lose anything in translation. Prayer is about talking to God and believing God hears your prayer. In closing, here it is in modern English from the ESV.
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.