I do not completely understand prayer. Although God hears everything we say and knows every thought of our hearts, we have specific times that we direct these thoughts and words to God. Don’t misunderstand, I think prayer is important, but it also seems that we get confused by it. We start wondering what are the proper words to say or the correct things to talk about. As a result, we often end up developing certain types or techniques of prayer. Since we are speaking to God we tend to speak differently than we normally would.
Here are six prayer types I have been able to identify in my own experience.
1. The King James Version
In this type of prayer the words “thee” and “thou” get used frequently. You can add “eth” to more modern words as well. The result is a prayer that sounds similar to the King James Verson of the Bible. ”God, we thanketh thee for thine goodnesseth today and every day thine would giveth us hereafter.” this prayer is often heard in traditional churches in the south or at the Thanksgiving table.
2. The Old Testament
At first glance it may appear that this is the same as The King James version, but their is an important difference. Although it may include the word thee, it sounds more like an old testament prophesy from the book of Daniel. ”Dear God, anoint my tongue with fire and grant me visions of your holiness that I might fight against the idolatry of this age.” This type of prayer gets used frequently used at political rallies.
3. The very casual prayer
Casual prayer is the extreme opposite of the first two. It is more common in those who are young and find themselves in coffee shops on the west coast. The length may vary, but the key is that no formalities are used. ”Jesus, dude, you are awesome. I can’t get enough of hanging out with you. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me today.” Casual prayers are not as common where I come from, but they do seem to be increasing in frequency. Those who use this type will also often be heard saying the word “relevant” in nearly every sentence.
4. The “911″ prayer
This is more of a concept than a style. It is characterized not so much by praying when there is an emergency, but praying only when there is an emergency. This prayer does not discriminate based on church background, geographic location, or age. It gets used by everyone. Beware, unkeepable promises are often made to God in these moments of crisis. ”God, if you allow for this plane to land safely, I promise that I will start tithing 99% of my income.”
5. The Canned prayer
When you do not know what to say, say the same thing everytime. “God I just want to thank you for providing this meal. Bless the hands that prepared it. Bless it to our bodies. Thy will be done.” Admit it, we have all done this.
6. The kids prayer
This is my favorite. It can only be done by one who approaches God like a child approaches their father. In this prayer you are honest and frank with God while maintaining a sense of awe of who God is and how much he loves us. Instead of seeing it as merely a duty, you enjoy the interaction and discussion with God. As a result you open your heart and have a conversation about your worries, your fears, you thankfulness, your hopes, and your affections. No examples can be given because it will sound different for each individual.
Have you seen any other types of prayer?
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