Sunday Prayer

For the first time since I joined the church, I will be saying the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting this week. I know it might not be a big deal for everyone else, but I am pretty nervous about the whole thing. I have secretly been practicing in my head, and I just hope I don't revert to my childhood Baptist "Dear Baby Jesus" prayers.

When I pray in front of other people, I usually do pretty well. I start with "Our Father in Heaven..." but try to avoid the prayer template. (Below)

My husband and I were talking about this, and he said, "Just make sure to include lots of "Thee's" "Thou's" and "Thy's."

I laughed. But he wasn't kidding. He said that someone might end up talking to me after Sacrament about it if I didn't. On his mission, a new member got up and started praying without "Thee" or "Thou" and the Bishop talked to them afterwards about including it in their prayers from now on.

"Umm, how about I pray the way I want to? I mean, I won't be waving my hands and "Praisin' Jesus" - but I don't want to sacrifice content for formality. Thinking about adding "thy" instead of "your" will make me get all jumbled up." I said.

He agreed. He just didn't want me to feel bad if someone said something to me. If someone came up to me and said I had to start using "Thee" and "Thou" I might leave the ward.

Yes, there is a certain way to pray. And for those who DO use the formal words and prayer template, I don't blame you. Not only was it the way Mormons were taught, but it's also a way to "fit in." Heavenly Father knows me. He knows that the way I pray is reverent and formal - not fake. If I started using the vain "repetition" that everyone else does, knowing it's not right for me especially, prayer would no longer be about praying. It would be about trying to fit in with everyone else, and sounding like a sheep.

To a point, I will stay within the loose prayer guidelines. But I won't be using the same voice inflection, or trying to input Thee's and Thou's. I want to say a prayer so that people will pay attention instead of zoning out like I do. The only prayers I tend to pay attention to are those that are unique. So that's what I want to be, unique!


The Mormon Prayer Template

Our Dear Kind and Gracious Heavenly Father

We are so very grateful to be able to gather here this Sabbath Day

We are grateful for: (Insert Sacrament speakers here) who were able to (enlighten, regail, bore) us with their testimonies.

And we ask that Thou wildst bless those who were unable to join us.

We ask that Thou would bless our family and friends (with good health, so that they may have the holy spirit with them, to bring something other than Jell-O to the picnic)

And we also ask, Dear Heavenly Father, that we will take the words spoken here today and apply them in our own lives

We humbly say these things in the Holy Name of Thy Son Jesus Christ Amen

8 comments:

Moody said...

Oh gosh, I can so relate to this. If you're interested here's my experience doing the prayer http://somethingclever-moody.blogspot.com/2007/10/thufferin-thuccotash.html
and I may use your template in the future! LOL

Neta said...

From my point of view - raised in a member family, etc. - I do not see anything wrong in saying the prayer without the formal thee, thy, etc. Heavenly Father knows what is in your heart - if anyone is insensitive enough to mention it just smile and brush it off. They are the ones that have to grow - not you. I admire your being willing to do something that puts you outside your comfort zone and in front of everyone. Another Normal Mormon.

Jimbo said...

Hi, I stumbled onto this post, while looking for something totally different. After reading what was here, I feel like I should say something. I know Hevenly Father hears ALL prayers which are offered to Him. I know He answers ALL of those same prayers (in His way and in His time). Having said that, check out this link:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=2df19209df38b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

If it doesn't work right, just copy/paste it into your browser.

Please don't take offense, this is not my intention at all.

I don't consider myself a sheep in the context which has been mentioned in this post. However, I want nothing more than to be found within the fold of the Good Shepherd. If that makes me a sheep, then so be it.

Jimbo said...

Hmmm,

Since the link didn't work, here's the talk: Ensign - May - 1993 - Dallin H. Oaks - The Language of Prayer

Sorry for double post.

April said...

The link worked for me. It was a very interesting article, and helped me understand more why people pray the way they do.

I think people should pray the way they are comfortable praying. This man, obviously is very used to formality, and using certain words to distinguish authority figures. While others are probably not as comfortable doing so.

Right now, I am not comfortable praying that way. I feel that God wants me to pray sincerely. I thank him, humbly request the things I need or want, and that's that. If I began to spout off thee's and thy's - he would immediately know that my prayer isn't sincere, and I am just attempting to both "suck up", for lack of a better term, and adhere to the vainness of man.

While I am not saying ALL people who pray this way are vain - some are. Some simply pray the "right" way to fit in with others, not to honor Heavenly Father. Some do it because that's what they know, and praying any other way would be insincere for them too.

Thanks for the link!

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