Saturday, June 19, 2010

#83 The Prayer Voice


Corporate prayer is a very serious matter for white Christians. Children are taught from a young age to bow their heads, fold their hands, and close their eyes while praying. However, there is an equally important part of group prayer (particularly before a meal) that parents will not mention, but will certainly model for their children: the prayer voice.

In the same way that people change their inflection when talking to babies, white Christians assume that God also responds better to a certain vocal style. When praying out loud, white Christian fathers typically go up an octave and speak with slow, measured phrases to better please God's ears. Many different prayer voice styles are acceptable, but in no circumstance should a white Christian pray in the same voice that he uses for normal conversation.

White Christians also feel the need to use verbiage while praying that they would never use in everyday life. While they would never ask their fellow diner, "O Bill, we just come before you this evening and we ask thou to pass the butter," it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to say while praying. As long as the person praying says these strange things in a quiet, reverent tone, the prayer will meet the approval of all.

7 comments:

Kathy said...

My mother uses the same voice she would use to the baby Jesus - like she is talking to a 2 year-old. Makes me crazy

Steven said...

I've always wondered, why does using the phrases "O" and "bounty" please God so much? I wonder if God is really into the Renaissance Fair...

Paul Wilkinson said...

On the other hand, I have a different voice I use when talking to the cat; which shows there is some precedent for varying the manner of speaking depending on who is being addressed.

But my cat voice wouldn't work as a prayer voice for even half a second!

dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee Salzman said...

I just thank you for just the best article. You're just the most precious gift from heaven and you're just...you're just...you're just an awesome God to just be showering your mercy on us. You just know our hearts so well. Just, amen.

Library Lady said...

My husband used to say, "After the person praying has used the word 'just' three times, it's time to close the prayer."

I'm just thanking you for posting this today and just thankful for your writing skill. I also want to just thank our LORD for your talent.

Amen.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know...when do we justly get our just desserts!?