Today I was in a DBS (Discovery Bible Study-- CLICK HERE to read about them) with some guys who do not really walk with God yet in any way. They were telling us that they do not know how to pray at all and that they would feel really uncomfortable to try to do so in front of anyone. Then, they asked a few really good questions about prayer. My friend and partner, Viktor, talked to the guys about how prayer is really just honest conversation with God.
Then something came over me and I just started mdeling a prayer for them that illustrated what we meant. It was a "Sinner's Prayer" like I have never prayed before. It went something like this:
Hi God, I feel like a real idiot talking to you right now. It feels incredibly awkward to be speaking to someone I cannot see or touch. If I did this in any other instance, my friends would wonder what the hell is wrong with me. But God, I want to learn about this prayer thing so I am trying to start somewhere. Help me learn to talk to you like this without feeling weird about it like I do right now. My life is really, really shitty and I am sorry because I know a lot of it is my fault. I have this feeling that you are trying to get my attention or something. So, I am gonna try to listen to you and what you are trying to say. I am even willing to attempt to do what you ask me to do, but I will need a load of help from you. Thanks. Bye.
If you are churched, you're probably really polished so you cannot handle a prayer like this. It is just too "disrespectful" to your diety and too unholy for you. But for the guys I am working with (and most of the people you saw at the grocery store today), this is about what they can do. Think about it.
My point? Let's teach people to talk honestly to God! Say what you think, feel, need, desire, regret, etc....and say it honestly. Let's take the "often-fake-repeat-after-me" prayers and replace them with honest conversations with God.