Shakespearean Invocations

When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most assuredly, I tell you, they have received their reward. Matthew 6:5 WEB

It was a hot summer day in the South and Dad and I were working on a house for an elderly lady. Dad was repairing some of the wood work, and I was coming behind him painting it. At noon she invited us in to have lunch with her. We removed our hats and sat down at the table, and she said a blessing over the food before we ate. Now I try to say a blessing over my food too, but this is one that I will always remember.

She folded her hands, her eyes closed, her head bowed, then her voice changed, and she began to speak in a 1700s ancient english dialect. She prayed words that I had only read in Shakespeare, or in the King James Bible. I felt as if we were on the Mount of Transfiguration as she became a completely different person right in front of me, uttering long beautiful words that I barely understood. Even her southern accent seemed to take on an old English overtone, and her pronunciation changed. I watched her out of the corner of my eye to see if she would levitate up from her chair.

After what seemed to be several minutes, her prayer ended, and she became herself again. I felt like I had just seen something from the movie "The Exorcist" and I clenched my knife a little tighter for the rest of the meal. She was a southern belle that had learned religion by rote, and she prayed in King James English. You used to see a lot of that here. She thought she sounded 'Holier' but to me it was just 'Scarier.'

When you pray, be yourself. Do not make God scratch His head and say: 'Well he looks like Dion, but he sounds like Shakespeare? Dion is that you? What happened to you?' I am sure that God would understand, but He has not heard that dialect in a while.

Hypocrite means actor, someone impersonating someone else. God made you to be who you are and He put you here for such a time as this. When you speak to Him, be your everyday self and do not be ashamed to pray because you do not have the fancy words that you have heard others use. They may be faking it in order to impress you, and that is all the reward they will receive.

You are who He made you to be and He loves you. When you pretend to be 'holier than thou' you are buying into a lie that you are not good enough, that God could not love the 'real' you, when nothing could be further from the truth. God has loved you for your entire life, through the ups and the downs. He understands, and He still loves you.

God knows who we are inside, sees us run to the bathroom, and He watches us in traffic, so don't think that you will flatter Him with pretty words. God is the Awesome, Omnipresent, Unchangeable, Loving, Merciful, and Patient, Creator of the Universe, and He made you. So be yourself, especially when praying. The superficial is everywhere, while the real thing is rare and beautiful to behold.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for loving me just as I am. You made me and I am now here before You in prayer. It's me Lord. I just want You to know that I am thinking of You today and that I want more of You in my life, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!

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