The Language of Prayer

By Not Known

Words are powerful things and we should always take care in their use.

This is especially so with the language of prayer. We need care in our approach to God, how we express our heard and the framing of our desires.

Firstly, the Psalms are careful in how they address God. They use Biblical names for God and often draw attention to those aspects of his character which they will appeal to. There is never a flippant presumption of treating God like a best buddy whose presence we casually enter like Joe Cool. Even as we address God with the privileged and intimate title of ‘Father’, we need care to give respect where respect is due.

Secondly, there is a raw realism as the psalmists express their heart. We sometime frame prayers with carefully manicured politeness that conceals all emotion. Not so the Psalmists. if they are having a bad day or are angry with God, they let him and us know with direct speech. This is appropriate. God is the one friend we can revel our heard to in the knowledge that he can ‘take it’ and that he has ‘think-skin’. So, let’s be boldly honest to tell him what we really think and how we are feeling.

Thirdly, the Psalms take care what they ask. The model of prayer is to pray within God’s will (1Jn 5: 14; Luke 22:42). Before we pray, it is good to reflect on God’s character and word. How do these impact on the matters about which we pray? What we can ask that will most ‘fit’ with what we already know about God? By taking a few minutes to consider these questions we are kept from impossible prayers in which we ask God to act again his own nature and word.

Our morning Bible passage (Ps 6) illustrates these points. David is respectful in address God as Lord, direct in baring his heard with passion and careful in what he asks for.

Let us pray often and with boldness. However, let us take care with our words and with what we ask, remembering to who we speak and who we are.