I was recently explaining my work at Prayables to a friend of mine, and he asked a question that I'm finding is surprisingly common.
"You can write prayers?"
I assured him that you could.
"I thought you were supposed to just read prayers. Like from scripture or whatever."
I suppose this perspective shouldn't surprise me. Many people view spirituality and its practices as the act of a human being humbly approaching a powerful and frightening force. On the sacred ground of religion, there are strict rules to follow. Don't chew gum, don't wear jeans, and for the love of all that is literally holy, do not address God in your own clumsy words.
Of course, there are times when I prefer someone else's words to my own. Jesus, St. Francis, Lori Strawn... there are countless prayer writers who have helped me find the words I couldn't quite track down on my own. And of course, this is why Prayables exists . . . to help women find the words to pray in a style and language that resonates with them.
However, Prayables also exists to encourage women to find their own voices and to remind them that there is a prayer for every occasion, and it can best be found by opening up an honest conversation with God. I believe that He wants to hear our sloppy rambling, that He craves the sound of our slang, the music of our sincerest praise, and the cacophony of a billion honest rants coming to Him from all corners of the globe.
After all, our fellowship with God is about building a relationship, and it's hard to cultivate a relationship when you're building it around a concept of holy eloquence that isn't true to who you are or how you feel. God sees us as we truly are already; letting Him hear our actual voices and reaching Him with our actual words can't hurt Him. The worst we can do is make Him laugh with our alleged crises or elaborate plans. And the best we can do? We can find ourselves deep in an intimate dialogue, our hearts open, our words sincere, and our voices heard by the Ears that matter most.
In My Own Words
Thank you for accepting my words,
for opening Your arms
to the sloppy child I am,
my voice tripping and stuttering
over a limited vocabulary,
a warped perspective,
an inconsistent temperament.
Please help me accept
that Your holiness is here to cover me,
that I am not expected to bring my own
or to impress you
with an eloquence that implies spiritual genius.
Rather, let me bring myself to You
just as I am—
ready to find true brilliance in You.